How to Make a Delicious Chopped Cheese

Greetings, my fellow food enthusiasts! Today, I would like to introduce you to a delicious sandwich that is a staple of the street food scene in the United States, especially in the city of New York. It’s called the “chopped cheese”, and its popularity has been on the rise in recent years. If you’re curious about how this sandwich is made, join me as we explore the steps, explanation, and tips on how to make a chopped cheese.

Steps on How to Make a Chopped Cheese

Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

The first thing you need to do is gather all the necessary ingredients. These are:

  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 White Onion, Sliced
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, Sliced
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • 4 Slices of American Cheese
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Hero Rolls (6 inches each)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Make sure that all the ingredients are fresh and of high quality. The hero rolls should be soft and fluffy, able to hold all the fillings without falling apart. Now that you have everything ready, you can start cooking.

Step 2: Brown the Ground Beef

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and season it with salt and pepper. Break the meat into small pieces using a spatula and cook until it turns brown all over, stirring occasionally. This should take about 8-10 minutes.

Step 3: Add the Vegetables

Once the beef is browned, add the sliced onion, green pepper, and minced garlic to the skillet. Stir everything together and continue cooking until the vegetables have softened and caramelized, about 5-7 minutes. The aroma of the cooked vegetables should be very enticing!

Step 4: Chop Everything Together

Now comes the fun part that gives this sandwich its name. Use a metal spatula or a large knife to chop everything in the skillet together, creating a finely chopped mixture of meat and vegetables. Keep chopping until the ingredients are evenly distributed and you get a texture resembling a sloppy joe.

Step 5: Add the Cheese

Next, add the slices of American cheese on top of the mixture and let it melt. Cover the skillet to speed up the melting process. This should take about 1-2 minutes.

Step 6: Toast the Rolls

While waiting for the cheese to melt, cut the hero rolls lengthwise and toast them in a toaster oven or under a broiler until they are lightly browned and crispy on the edges.

Step 7: Assemble the Sandwich

Once the rolls are toasted, scoop a generous amount of the chopped cheese mixture onto one half of each roll. Use a spatula to press the mixture down and distribute it evenly. Put the other half of the roll on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly to make the sandwich hold together.

Step 8: Wrap and Serve

Wrap the sandwiches tightly in foil or wax paper to keep them warm and to prevent the filling from falling out. Serve the chopped cheese sandwiches immediately while they are still hot, preferably with a side of potato chips or pickles.

Explanation on How to Make a Chopped Cheese

Now that you’ve gone through the basic steps of making a chopped cheese sandwich, let’s dive deeper into its origins and variations. Originally, the chopped cheese was created in the bodegas (grocery stores) of Harlem, where it became a popular alternative to the Philly cheesesteak. The exact origins of the sandwich are unknown, but it is believed to have originated in the late 1990s or early 2000s.

The chopped cheese is a sandwich that mixes various cultural influences, including Italian-American, Puerto Rican, and African-American. It has been described as a cross between a cheesesteak, a hamburger, and a Cuban sandwich. The key ingredients are ground beef, cheese, onions, and peppers, but the recipe can be customized to suit individual tastes. Some people add bacon, jalapeƱo peppers, or even scrambled eggs to their chopped cheese sandwiches.

The popularity of the chopped cheese has grown beyond Harlem and New York City, as it has been featured in various food blogs, YouTube videos, and social media posts. People have also started experimenting with vegan and vegetarian versions of the sandwich using plant-based meat alternatives and vegan cheese. Whether you’re a meat lover or a vegan, there’s a chopped cheese sandwich for everyone.

Tips and Tricks to Make a Chopped Cheese

Tip 1: Choose the Right Beef

When buying ground beef for the chopped cheese, choose one that has a decent amount of fat (around 80/20 lean-to-fat ratio) to make it juicy and flavorful. Lean beef will result in a dry and tough sandwich, so avoid it if possible.

Tip 2: Season Liberally

Don’t be afraid to use plenty of salt and pepper to season the beef and vegetables in the skillet. The chopped cheese needs a good amount of seasoning to enhance its flavors and aroma.

Tip 3: Use Fresh Vegetables

Always use fresh vegetables that are in season and locally sourced if possible. It will make a huge difference in the taste and texture of the sandwich.

Tip 4: Don’t Rush the Chopping

Take your time when chopping the beef and vegetables together. You want to make sure the mixture is evenly distributed and finely chopped without turning it into a paste.

Tip 5: Let the Cheese Melt Slowly

Don’t be tempted to turn up the heat to melt the cheese faster. It’s better to let it melt slowly and evenly to avoid burning the filling.

Tip 6: Toast the Rolls to Your Liking

Some people prefer their hero rolls lightly toasted, while others like them crispy and charred. It’s up to you to decide how much toasting you want.

Tip 7: Wrap the Sandwich Securely

Make sure to wrap the chopped cheese sandwich tightly and securely in foil or wax paper to prevent it from falling apart or getting cold.

Tip 8: Experiment with Different Cheeses

While American cheese is the traditional choice for a chopped cheese sandwich, you can experiment with other types of cheese such as cheddar, provolone, or pepper jack to give it a new twist.

Tip 9: Serve with Your Favorite Sides

The chopped cheese sandwich goes well with a variety of sides such as french fries, sweet potato chips, cole slaw, or even a side salad. Choose your favorite and enjoy!

Tip 10: Share with Your Friends

The chopped cheese sandwich is best enjoyed with friends or family, so don’t hesitate to make a big batch and share it with your loved ones. It’s a great way to bond over food and create happy memories together.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Making a Chopped Cheese


1. Delicious Flavor: The chopped cheese sandwich is a favorite among many New Yorkers due to its savory and flavorful taste.

2. Affordable: Making a chopped cheese sandwich at home is relatively inexpensive, as it only requires a few basic ingredients.

3. Customizable: You can add your favorite toppings and condiments to the chopped cheese sandwich, making it a versatile meal option.

4. Easy to Make: The chopped cheese sandwich is easy to make, even for novice cooks, as it only involves a few simple steps.

5. Quick Meal Option: If you’re in a rush and need a quick meal, a chopped cheese sandwich can be made in minutes.

6. Filling: The chopped cheese sandwich is a filling meal, making it perfect for those who are hungry.

7. Can be Made in Bulk: If you’re hosting a party or have a large family, the chopped cheese sandwich can be made in bulk, making it a convenient meal option.

8. Can be Made Ahead of Time: You can prepare the ingredients for a chopped cheese sandwich ahead of time, making it a convenient meal option for busy weekdays.

9. Perfect for Leftovers: If you have leftover ground beef, onions, and cheese, you can use them to make a chopped cheese sandwich.

10. A Cultural Icon: The chopped cheese sandwich is considered a cultural icon in New York, representing the diverse food and cultural scene of the city.


1. High in Calories: The chopped cheese sandwich is a high-calorie meal, making it unsuitable for those on a diet.

2. High in Fat: The chopped cheese sandwich is high in fat, which can contribute to high cholesterol and heart disease.

3. High in Sodium: The chopped cheese sandwich is high in sodium, which can lead to high blood pressure and other health problems.

4. Unhealthy for Regular Consumption: Eating chopped cheese sandwiches regularly can lead to numerous health problems, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

5. Requires Preparation: Making a chopped cheese sandwich requires preparation, which can be inconvenient for those who don’t have much time.

6. Messy to Eat: The chopped cheese sandwich can be messy to eat, and the ingredients can fall out of the sandwich if it isn’t constructed properly.

7. Limited Nutritional Value: The chopped cheese sandwich is low in nutritional value, making it an unsuitable meal option for those looking to eat a healthy diet.

8. Unappealing Appearance: Some people may find the appearance of the chopped cheese sandwich unappealing, as it is often messy and unorganized.

9. Not Suitable for Vegetarians: The chopped cheese sandwich is made with ground beef, making it unsuitable for vegetarians.

10. Availability: The chopped cheese sandwich is primarily found in New York, making it difficult for those outside of the city to try it.


1. What is a chopped cheese?

A chopped cheese is a sandwich made with ground beef, onions, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and condiments, typically served on a hoagie roll.

2. Where did the chopped cheese sandwich originate?

The chopped cheese sandwich originated in New York City, specifically in the bodegas of Harlem.

3. Can I use a different type of bread?

You can use any type of bread that you prefer, but the traditional hoagie roll is recommended.

4. How do I make the ground beef for the chopped cheese?

Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat until browned, breaking it up into small pieces with a spatula as it cooks.

5. Can I use a different type of cheese?

You can use any type of cheese that you prefer, but American cheese is the traditional choice for a chopped cheese.

6. How do I chop the lettuce and tomatoes?

Wash the lettuce and tomatoes and pat them dry. Chop them into small pieces with a knife or kitchen scissors.

7. Can I add other ingredients to the chopped cheese?

You can add any other ingredients that you prefer, such as pickles, jalapenos, or hot sauce.

8. How do I assemble the chopped cheese sandwich?

Begin by spreading mayonnaise or mustard on the hoagie roll. Then add the ground beef, onions, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes, along with any other desired condiments.

9. How do I heat up the sandwich?

You can heat up the sandwich in a toaster oven or microwave for a few seconds, if desired.

10. Can I make the chopped cheese ahead of time?

You can prepare the ingredients ahead of time, but it is best to assemble the sandwich just before serving to prevent the bread from becoming soggy.

11. How do I store leftover chopped cheese?

Store leftover chopped cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.

12. Can I freeze the chopped cheese?

It is not recommended to freeze the chopped cheese, as the bread may become soggy when thawed.

13. What is the best beverage to pair with a chopped cheese?

A cold soda or beer is the perfect complement to a chopped cheese sandwich.

Conclusion how to make a chopped cheese

Who says making a delicious chopped cheese is difficult? With the right ingredients and recipe, anyone can do it. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced cook, this recipe is easy to follow and guarantees a mouth-watering, cheesy, and meaty sandwich that will leave you craving for more.

Start by cooking the ground beef and onions. Add your preferred seasoning and spices for a unique flavor. Then, add the cheese and let it melt until it forms a smooth and creamy consistency. Don’t forget to toast the buns and add some lettuce and tomato for a more balanced and nutritious meal.

Although the chopped cheese originated in Harlem, New York, you can prepare it anywhere in the world. It’s a versatile dish that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can also customize it to your liking by adding different toppings such as jalapenos, avocado, bacon, or even eggs.

If you’re looking for a quick and satisfying meal, the chopped cheese is your answer. It’s easy to make and requires simple ingredients that you can find at any grocery store. You can also prepare it for your family or friends and impress them with your cooking skills.

Closing how to make a chopped cheese

We hope you enjoyed this recipe and learned how to make a chopped cheese. Remember, cooking is all about experimenting and having fun. Don’t be afraid to add your twist to the recipe and discover new flavors and textures.

Next time you’re craving a cheesy and meaty sandwich, don’t hesitate to make a chopped cheese. It’s a tasty and satisfying dish that will fulfill your hunger and leave you wanting more. Thank you for reading, and we hope to see you soon!