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Get your skillet or flat top ready for a delicious and hardy take on the classic Philly with this Horns Up Bison Philly Cheese Steak. I was inspired by my home state of North Dakota and the NDSU’s Bison mascot and the school colors, green and yellow.

Fried yellow onions and American cheese for the gold. Peppers and a wasabi zing for the green. The best part is that it tastes spectacular and is easy to make!

Bison Philly Cheesesteak with french fries on a plate.

🦬 What makes this recipe special?

First and foremost, I love good flavors, and this dish has them. Bison is an unlikely suspect for a Philly, but it works great on this sandwich. Melted American cheese and sauteed veggies match beautifully with the bison sirloin.

The wasabi mayo adds a bit of zing to this unique sandwich and is super easy to make.

Some sides that would be great with this are french fries, our own Grilled Jo Jo’s recipe, or maybe some tasty coleslaw. 

This isn’t our first look at hardy sandwiches. Check out our New Orleans-inspired Baked Shrimp Po’Boy and if you need a game-day crowd-pleaser, try this Baked Pizza Sliders recipe.

🧀 Ingredients

The only unusual ingredients in this recipe are bison sirloin and wasabi, but both are findable. 

For those in Fargo, I found my bison sirloin at Prime Cut Meats , but you should also check out Eagle Valley Bison Ranch for some top-quality Bison meat. 

Wasabi can usually be found in the Asian aisle in most retail grocers or at your international market. Here is a list of ingredients for this Bison Philly:

  • green pepper
  • yellow onion
  • 8 ounces bison top sirloin
  • vegetable oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • Hoagie buns
  • American Cheese
  • mayo
  • Wasabi
A list of ingredients included in this recipe.
Bison Sirloin, Hoagie Bun (or sub roll), onion, green pepper, oil, American Cheese, salt, pepper, & garlic powder. The sauce has mayonnaise and wasabi.

See the recipe card for quantities.

🍲 Instructions

First, put the sirloin into the freezer for a bit. This helps harden the meat and makes it easier to thinly slice. You don’t want the cut of meat to be frozen, but just stiff.

While this is freezing, mix up the mayo and wasabi. I find that one teaspoon is excellent, but if you want to really clear out your sinuses, add more. 

Once you have this cut, you should be ready to cook. Heat up your flat top or skillet to medium-high. I use a skillet here, but for those of you out there that have them, a Blackstone grill (Affiliate Link) is perfect for this kind of dish.

Add a bit of oil and add your onions, peppers, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Saute until the onions are golden.

Remove from heat and set aside. Add the remaining oil, and then cook the bison until browned. At this point, you can add more salt if you want. Don’t be afraid to cut your sliced bison with your spatula into smaller pieces. 

Add your veggies back to the mix and combine everything. Cook for another minute or two until hot. 

Once warm, separate into two hoagie-sized piles. Add two slices of American cheese to each pile and cook until melted. I like to use a cover at this point, as the steam helps melt the cheese into a tasty gooey mess.

Cooking the bison, pepper, onions, and American cheese in a pan.
This is as simple as cooking the ingredients. To get that nice melty cheese, cover up your pan for a minute or so.

Put each pile into a hoagie bun, top with the wasabi mayonnaise, and serve. 

🤷 Substitutions and variations

One great thing about this recipe is there are many different ways you can change it up for your tastes or what you have available.

  • Bison Sirloin – If you can’t get a hold of some bison sirloin, I would recommend beef ribeye as a substitute. That is often used in the classic recipe, and using ribeye would also be great. 
  • Hoagie – Hoagie or sub rolls will work well for this. Use gluten-free buns instead of white bread buns to make this gluten-free (but make sure your American cheese is gluten-free)
  • Oil – I call for vegetable oil, but any high smoke point oil, like canola or peanut oil, would work well for this. 
  • Wasabi – Don’t have wasabi? Try some horseradish and substitute on a 1:1 basis. Or if you don’t like this kind of spice, plain mayo would work fine.
  • Cheese – I think American cheese works excellent for this recipe, but really any meltable sliced cheese would work. 

Are two sandwiches not enough? Well, just double or triple the recipe. If you are just doubling the recipe, you don’t need to add more oil, but if you are tripling it or more, think about adding more oil to the mix. 

📦 Storage

If you have a leftover mixture, cover it and put it in your refrigerator for up to 3 days. This does not store well on the bun, so I would not add it to the sandwich if you know you will store it. 

I mean, it is still tasty if you refrigerate the whole thing, but the moisture from the mix gets into the bread and makes it a bit soggy. 

I just put the dish with the bison mixture into the microwave for reheating and heat that. As a side note, the combination goes well with rice and either the wasabi mayo or sriracha. 

The wasabi mayo can be placed into a container and stored in the fridge for a week. 

🎓 History tidbit

While I am sure there might be some debate on exactly where the Philly Cheesesteak was invented, a common story is that it was created by Pat and Harry Olivieri. They ran a hot dog, and fish cake stand in Philidelphia in the 1930s. It was first something they just made for themselves, but the locals could smell it and started requesting the new sandwich known as the Philly Cheesesteak. Check out this history of Cheesesteak article for a deeper read.

❓ FAQ

What really goes on a Philly Cheesesteak?

What really goes on a Philly Cheesesteak?
Based on what I am seeing, there is broad debate on a perfect and traditional cheesesteak. A common consensus is beef, onions, and cheese on a hoagie roll. Some add green peppers and mushrooms. Some add sauce. 

What is the best cut of meat for a Philly Cheesesteak?

Ribeye is a great cut for a traditional cheesesteak. When using bison, the sirloin is more easily found, and it works great for this recipe.

📝 Tips and tricks

  • When sauteing your onions, they should end up a light golden brown. So, this is just a bit past them being translucent. 
  • If you are using a Blackstone grill, just move them to an unheated side instead of removing them from the skillet until you are ready to add them back in.
  • You can spoon or spread the wasabi mayo right onto the meat or bun. We add it to a small bottle to that squirted look.
  • If you can’t find bison sirloin, beef ribeye is a great (and classic) substitute. 
Two Bison Philly Cheesesteaks on a plate with fries.

🛠 Products used in this recipe

😋 Did you make this recipe?

I am so glad you gave it a try, and I hope you like it as much as I do. If you enjoyed it, please leave a rating in the comment section below to let me know how it was! This helps others decide if they want to make it and helps me understand how I am doing. Whether you are an NDSU alum, North Dakotan, or just a follower, thank you so much for visiting Ramshackle Pantry. 

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Bison Philly Cheesesteaks on a plate with fries.

Horns Up Bison Philly Cheesesteak Recipe

  • Author: Ben
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2 Sandwiches 1x
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
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Description

The Horns Up Bison Philly Cheesesteak is a midwest twist on the classic Philly. Add some zing to the sandwich with this tasty wasabi mayo. This hoagie special is easy to make and super tasty.  


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 yellow onion, loosely chopped (about 3 ounces)
  • 8 ounces bison top sirloin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 2 hoagie rolls

Wasabi sauce

  • 4 Tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1-2 teaspoon wasabi

Instructions

  1. Put Bison sirloin in freezer for about 20-40 minutes to stiffen a bit
  2. Thinly cut Bison sirloin against the grain into thin slices
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a nonstick skillet or Blackstone over medium heat
  4. Once heated, add green pepper, onion, salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  5. Saute until golden, remove and set aside
  6. Add remaining oil to pan and once warm, add Bison sirloin
  7. Cook until browned
  8. Re-add onion and green peppers and cook for 2-3  more minutes
  9. Separate into two different piles that will fit into a sandwich bun
  10. Add two slices of cheese to each and optionally cover the pan for just a minute to melt the cheese
  11. Using a spatula, add each pile to a hoagie or sub bun
  12. Top with Wasabi Mayo (see below)

For Wasabi Mayo:

  1. Mix mayo and wasabi

Notes

  • When sauteing your onions, they should end up a light golden brown. So, this is just a bit past them being translucent. 
  • If you are using a Blackstone grill, just move them to an unheated side instead of removing them from the skillet until you are ready to add them back in.
  • You can spoon or spread the wasabi mayo right onto the meat or bun. We add it to a small bottle to that squirted look.
  • If you can’t find bison sirloin, beef ribeye is a great (and classic) substitute. 

Keywords: Bison Philly

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1 Comment

  1. Well, this was a fun one! I happened to have some bison in the freezer, but this would work well with beef I think.