Learn how to make this chopped cheese recipe at home in less than 10 minutes. Easy to make and you can customize it as per your taste!
The Best Chopped Cheese Sandwich
Are you a huge fan of New York City’s chopped cheese sandwich? You’ll be glad to know you can now enjoy a homemade version that is as tasty as having chopped cheese at a restaurant. So, without further ado, let’s begin!
What is chopped cheese?
The chopped cheese sandwich was first introduced in New York City and sold in local small shops, known as a bodega. Thanks to it’s popularity, this simple and delicious sandwich soon became incredibly popular in the other areas too.
It’s a quick sandwich, basically a burger, with beef patties, American cheese slices, and toppings such as lettuce and tomatoes. The chopped part of it refers to the hamburger meat being chopped up finely before the cheese is added on top.
Why this recipe works
Quick. You can prepare it in less than 20 minutes, including the prep and cooking time.
Easy to make. Instructions are easy to follow, ingredients are simple, and there the chopped meat can be prepped in advance.
Delicious. Not only you’ll love making it, but it tastes EXACTLY like an authentic chopped cheese sandwich.
Easy to customize. Like spicy food? Want more salad? This recipe is easy to customize; you can add spicy seasonings to the patty or some spicy condiments as toppings.
The beauty of this chopped cheese recipe is how simple the ingredient list is: no hard to find or odd ingredients. Everything can be found at your local grocery store. Here is what you’ll need:
- Bread. Hoagie buns, hero buns, or if you are stuck, even a hot dog roll. Regardless of what bread you use, ensure it is fluffy on the inside and with a crusty exterior.
- Butter. Do not use oil to fry the meat: it must be unsalted butter!
- Onion. Finely chopped to mix into the beef.
- Beef. Either lean or standard ground beef work (85/15 or 90/10). Do not use extra lean ground beef as it will lack flavor.
- Salt and pepper. To taste.
- Garlic powder. Adds some garlic flavor without needing actual garlic.
- American cheese. Traditional chopped cheese sandwiches use American cheese, but any you have on hand work.
- Mayonnaise. To spread in the buns.
- Iceberg lettuce and tomatoes. Must have fresh salad ingredients.
How to make a chopped cheese
Simple is an understatement when it comes to this recipe.
It’s a 4-step process that comes together in less than 10 minutes. Here’s to how to make it:
Step 1- Prepare the buns
Start by dividing the buns from the middle and toasting them. Spread some mayonnaise on both sides.
Step 2- cook the ground beef
Take a non-stick pan, add butter to saute onions, and push them to a side.
Next, add the ground beef patty to the pan and don’t break it. Season it with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Heat both sides for 2-4 minutes. Slowly break the patty, mix with sauteed onions and cook until there is no pink beef in the middle.
Step 3- Chop the meat and add cheese
Now, divide the meat into four equal portions. Cover each portion with American cheese, and cook until the cheese melts.
Step 4- Assemble
Transfer each portion to toasted buns, top with tomatoes and shredded iceberg lettuce, and serve!
Make ahead and storage info
Chopped cheese tastes the best when made fresh, but you can make the meat filling in advance:
To Store: Use air-tight containers to store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To Freeze: Place the filling in a shallow container and store it in the freezer for up to two months.
More sandwiches to try
- Meatball sub
- Smoked salmon sandwich
- Sausage McMuffin
Frequently Asked Questions
No chopped cheese isn’t the same as a Philly cheesesteak. From bread to meat, these recipes have nothing in common.
All things considered, chopped cheese sandwiches are a well balanced meal. They contain protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
If calories are an issue, you can make some smart swaps: use low fat cheese, lean ground beef, and low calorie buns.
American cheese like Kraft singles are best for these sandwiches. Alternatively, you can use cheddar cheese or Colby Jack also work.
Ground beef is preferred, but ground turkey, chicken, or even venison are all great choices.
Chopped Cheese Sandwich | The BEST Authentic Recipe
- 4 hoagie buns hot dog buns work
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small onion thinly sliced
- 1 1/4 pounds ground beef lean or standard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 8 slices American cheese
- 1 cup lettuce chopped
- 1 large tomato thinly sliced
- Halve the buns and lightly toast them lightly. Spread one side with mayonnaise.
- In a non-stick pan, add the butter. Once melted, add the onion and cook until fragrant. Push to one side.
- Add the ground beef and do not break apart. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Sear for 4 minutes, flip, and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Slowly break apart the beef then fold through the onions. Once there is no more pink in the center, divide the portion of beef into four equal sized portions.
- Add 2 slices of the American cheese over each portion and cook for 2 minutes, until gooey and melted.
- Transfer each portion into the hoagie buns, add shredded iceberg lettuce and sliced tomatoes.
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Can’t wait to try this … veganized! (Tofu crumbles in lieu of beef, cashew cheese, zero oil or butter, smoky legume spread instead of mayo … everything else same.)
Thanks for the inspiration.
Never heard of this chopped cheese. I’d say it’s more like chopped burger lol.
Nevertheless, I’ll give it a whirl!
Why aren’t these popular all over the USA?!! These sandwiches are fantastic! It’s a burger, but it isn’t. Much faster and easier than making a patty. One skillet does it all. I started with mayo and ketchup, then saw some Thousand Island dressing, and of course, had to try it too and it was perfect. This easily customizable to suit your tastes. I left the tomato off to suit mine and it was such a great meal. This could work for a midnight snack too because it didn’t take that long from start to finish. I used a hamburger bun because it’s what I had and while it worked, a bun that still has one side attached would have been preferred to contain the filling better. The next time, I will use a bolillo and then wrap it first in foil and let it sit a minute before consuming.
This is a New York City thing! It appears to have originated at a bodega in Spanish Harlem called Hajji’s. From there, it spread prolifically to other bodegas throughout the boroughs of the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. This recipe looks pretty authentic, by the way…
I made this tonight and it’s the best thing I’ve eaten in months. It’s now going to be weekly. Thanks so much for such a tasty meal. X
sounds really good, but I’d have to cook and drain the hamburger separately.