HomeAppetizerChopped Cheese Sandwiches

Chopped Cheese Sandwiches

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Chopped Cheese Sandwiches Recipe


The Chopped Cheese Sandwich, also known as “Chop Cheese,” is a beloved staple of New York City’s bodegas, especially in Harlem and the Bronx. It’s a savory, cheesy delight that combines ground beef, onions, and melted cheese, served on a hero roll. This sandwich is simple to make yet incredibly satisfying, perfect for a quick lunch or a casual dinner.

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For the Sandwich:

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  • 1 lb ground beef (80% lean)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 slices of American cheese (or cheese of your choice)
  • 4 hero rolls or hoagie buns
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Optional Toppings:

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  • Lettuce, shredded
  • Tomatoes, sliced
  • Pickles, sliced
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard


Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

  1. Chop the Onion: Begin by finely chopping one large onion. The onion will add a sweet and savory depth to the sandwich.
  2. Prepare the Rolls: Slice the hero rolls or hoagie buns lengthwise, ensuring you don’t cut all the way through so the sandwich can hold the filling better.

Step 2: Cook the Ground Beef

  1. Heat the Oil: In a large skillet or frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Sauté the Onion: Add the chopped onion to the skillet and sauté until they become translucent and slightly caramelized, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the Ground Beef: Add the ground beef to the skillet with the onions. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to break the beef into smaller pieces as it cooks. Continue cooking until the beef is browned and fully cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Season the Meat: Season the beef and onion mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to ensure the seasoning is evenly distributed.

Step 3: Add the Cheese

  1. Add the Cheese Slices: Once the beef is cooked, reduce the heat to low. Lay the slices of American cheese over the beef. Allow the cheese to melt, which will take about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Combine the Cheese and Beef: Once the cheese has melted, use the spatula to mix the cheese thoroughly with the beef, creating a creamy and cheesy mixture.

Step 4: Assemble the Sandwiches

  1. Fill the Rolls: Open the prepared hero rolls and evenly divide the cheesy beef mixture among them.
  2. Add Toppings: If desired, top the beef with shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and pickles. Add condiments such as ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard according to your preference.
  3. Close the Sandwich: Close the rolls around the filling, pressing gently to secure the ingredients inside.

Step 5: Serve

  1. Serve Hot: Chopped Cheese Sandwiches are best enjoyed hot. Serve them immediately after assembling for the best flavor and texture.
  2. Side Suggestions: Consider serving these sandwiches with a side of fries, chips, or a simple salad to round out the meal.

Tips and Variations

Cheese Options:

  • While American cheese is traditional, feel free to experiment with other types of cheese such as cheddar, provolone, or pepper jack for a different flavor profile.

Meat Alternatives:

  • You can substitute ground beef with ground turkey or chicken for a lighter version of this sandwich. Vegetarians can use plant-based ground meat substitutes.

Extra Veggies:

  • Adding sautéed bell peppers or mushrooms can enhance the flavor and nutritional value of the sandwich.

Spicy Twist:

  • For a spicy kick, add some sliced jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce to the beef mixture.

Bread Choices:

  • While hero rolls are traditional, you can also use hoagie rolls, baguettes, or even hamburger buns in a pinch.

Nutritional Information (per sandwich)

  • Calories: Approximately 600
  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbohydrates: 45g
  • Fat: 30g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 5g

History and Cultural Significance

The Chopped Cheese Sandwich holds a special place in New York City’s culinary culture. Originating from the bodegas in Harlem and the Bronx, it is often considered the quintessential New York City street food, akin to the Philly cheesesteak in Philadelphia. Its affordability and simplicity make it a popular choice among locals and visitors alike.

This sandwich not only satisfies hunger but also represents the melting pot of cultures and flavors that characterize New York City. The Chopped Cheese Sandwich embodies the essence of comfort food – hearty, flavorful, and unpretentious.


The Chopped Cheese Sandwich is a delicious and straightforward meal that brings the flavors of New York City’s bodegas into your home. With just a few ingredients and steps, you can create a sandwich that is both comforting and satisfying. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or add your own twist, the Chopped Cheese Sandwich is sure to become a favorite in your household. Enjoy this iconic New York treat and savor every cheesy, beefy bite!

Source: closetcooking.com

Yield: 4

Chopped Cheese Sandwiches

Chopped Cheese Sandwiches

The Chopped Cheese Sandwich, also known as "Chop Cheese," is a beloved staple of New York City's bodegas, especially in Harlem and the Bronx. It's a savory, cheesy delight that combines ground beef, onions, and melted cheese, served on a hero roll. This sandwich is simple to make yet incredibly satisfying, perfect for a quick lunch or a casual dinner.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon oil (or butter or lard)
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (optional) (gluten-free for gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (optional) (gluten-free for gluten-free)
  • 4 slices american cheese
  • 4 hoagies/buns/rolls, cut in half (optionally toasted) (gluten-free for gluten-free)
  • 4 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 2 cups lettuce, shredded
  • 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
  • 4 teaspoons hot sauce (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the onions and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, before setting aside.
  2. Place the ground beef into the pan, press it down into the pan, sprinkle on the garlic powder, salt and pepper and let it cook until the bottom turns a deep golden brown, about 5-8 minutes.
  3. Flip the beef, press it into the pan, and cook until deep golden brown, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Chop the beef to break it apart, add the onion, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, and cook until the beef is cooked.
  5. Place the slices of cheese on top of the beef and let it melt before turning off the heat.
  6. Divide the chopped cheese beef between the hoagies, along with the mayo, lettuce, tomato, and hot sauce, and enjoy!


You can use ground beef or beef burger patties.

Option: Use your favourite sandwich fillers: ketchup, mustard, pickles, pickled peppers, pickled jalapenos, etc.

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