Vegetarian “Chicken” Philly

November 21, 2014

Oh, you were expecting Thanksgiving foods so close to Thanksgiving? Ehhh, I gave you two kinds of gravy and an appetizer, what more could I possible have came up with? Truth is, I have a hard time making holiday foods several weeks before the holiday. I’ll be making a full Thanksgiving meal (minus the turkey, obvs) next week, eating left overs for a solid 8 days after, and that’s all enough for me.

Vegetarian Chicken Philly @hiddenfruitnveg

This post was inspired by this month’s Recipe Redux which prompted me to write about a food memory I’m thankful for. Are chicken phillies a weird food to remember that fondly? Lemme take it back a few steps. When I first met Josh, his proclaimed favorite food was chicken Alfredo. As we shared many, many meals together, I realized that he was wrong. I very, VERY rarely ever saw him order it and he didn’t crave it like I crave my favs (pancakes, tacos, grilled cheese, lettuce). What he did order a lot of were club sandwiches and philly cheesesteaks (but usually swapped out for chicken). After I had the wonderous eating experience of ordering a vegan philly for brunch at Stella’s (<– if you’re in Grand Rapids, go there. They call the vegetarian/vegan philly “No Bull Steak”), I could understand their appeal. In fact, I dreamed about eating my left overs the entire 2 hour drive home that afternoon.

Vegetarian Chicken Philly @hiddenfruitnveg

If it wasn’t the next day, it was very soon after when I needed to recreate that philly at home. The result was the first meal that Josh ever raved about. Now, I consider myself a pretty good cook and I’d like to think most of my friends think the same. Josh, on the other hand, would be happier if I let him eat Burger King and Taco Bell every night. It’s like pulling teeth to get him to offer an opinion on any meal I ever make, so for him to voluntarily rave about a sandwich I made really meant something. Several years later, I still go back to making that philly and while it’s pretty impressively sad that I’ve never shared it here, it’s because it’s so easy to make. Heck, I don’t even make the same way every time. Feeling garlicky? Throw on extra garlic. Have leftover lentils? Stir those in (do it!). This is sort of my catch-all meal I make when I have a green pepper without a purpose. It’s a little higher in calories than I’d normally like for a sandwich, but it’s a massive, packed full sandwich with lots of fiber and protein. Plus, I feel way better about giving this to Josh than him ordering it as take out.

Vegetarian Chicken Philly @hiddenfruitnveg

5.0 from 1 reviews

Vegetarian “Chicken” Philly
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4 sandwiches

  • 1 large wheat baguette (I cut mine into four ~300 calorie portions. If your baguette is smaller, you may need 2)
  • optional: garlic powder
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, cut into half moons
  • 3 bell peppers (I used a mix of green and red), cut into strips
  • 12 oz Beyond Meat chicken strips (or preferred fake chicken/beef or ½ c cooked lentils)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce (make sure it’s vegetarian!)
  • ½ tsp soy sauce
  • 4 oz cheese of choice (Josh insisted swiss was right, I recommend provolone or cheddar. Vegan cheese works here!)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Split your bread open, if necessary. Spritz the inside with a little nonstick spray and a sprinkle of garlic powder. Toast in the oven once preheated. This step is optional, but highly recommended.
  2. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Line with a little water or nonstick spray and add the onion and garlic, sautéing until they start to soften.
  3. Add the bell pepper and frozen “chicken” strips (if using lentils they can be added here, other non-breaded brands of “chicken” will be okay to add here). Season with salt and pepper, the Worcestershire and soy sauce. Cover and let cook, stirring occasionally, until hot and the peppers are soft.
  4. Split the filling between four chunks of the baguette. Top each with about 1 oz of cheese, place on a baking sheet and pop in the oven for a few minutes, just enough to get the cheese melty.
  5. Serve hot.
  6. If you’re serving fewer than 4 people, only toast the needed amount of baguette. Save the remaining bread and filling for leftovers.

If you swap in lentils, the calories decrease by about 30 per serving. Fiber increase to 12 g, protein decreases to 24g.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 sandwich Calories: 570 Fat: 13 Carbohydrates: 81 Fiber: 7 Protein: 38

Tagged with:

    Kate Nov 24, 2014

    Looks and sounds wonderful! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours

    CakeSpy Nov 24, 2014

    OMG. These look awesome. Awesome! I used to live in Philadelphia and there was a veggie place that made something similar…thank you for the taste memory!

    Joanne Nov 23, 2014

    If your guy voluntarily said something good about it, then it must be delicious!! Now this sounds like comfort food.

    Katherine Baker Nov 22, 2014

    Love this! And those beyond meat strips are pretty good! I’ve not yet put them on a sandwich but this is a great idea!

    Deanna Segrave-Daly (@tspbasil) Nov 22, 2014

    Wow I think I need to recreate this (with shredded chicken) – I’m a Philly girl and while soy/worcester are not part of the classic philly steak sammie, it really sounds good 🙂

    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl Nov 21, 2014

    These sound amazing, Kelly! Thanks for sharing. I love how simple they are too.. for my lazy nights 😉

    Also, I am totally with you on not being able to make a bunch of Thanksgiving recipes weeks in advance. I just can’t do it.. but that’s how I roll 😉

    Isadora @ she likes food Nov 21, 2014

    I’m the same way, I really have no desire to make a bunch of Thanskgiving food now and then make it again next week, haha! But my sister got onto me so I’ve been cooking up a Thanksgiving storm lately! I’m glad to see these hoagies though, they look awesome and I wish I had some for lunch tomorrow 🙂