6 Sandwich Recipes That We Can't Believe Are Vegan

Photographed by William and Susan Brinson.
Contrary to what some might assume, vegan sandwiches aren't all just comprised of plain veggie fillers stuffed blandly between bread with no protein punchline. With the right recipes, there are seriously satisfying meat- and dairy-free options out there just begging to be munched. We're talking about juicy gryos, clubs, burgers, and even bánh mìs dressed in ample sauces and topped with all the right mix ins — coconut bacon, anyone?
Robin Robertson's Veganize It! includes plenty of vegan sandwich ideas and breaks them down step by step. From making your own hamish loaf to whipping up a vegan cheddar or tzatziki sauce, Roberston has it all. And we've got six of those savory sandwiches featured ahead; they're so good, they may just change your standard sub order (hold the salami).
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Photographed by William and Susan Brinson.
Bahn Mi
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 cup shredded carrot
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp neutral vegetable oil
8 thin slices Hamish Loaf (below) or seitan or extra-firm tofu
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
4 (6 in) sub rolls or 1 or 2 baguettes, cut into 4 (6 in) pieces, split
½ cup vegan mayo, store-bought or homemade (below)
1 to 2 tbsp sriracha, or to taste
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 cup cilantro leaves
2 tbsp chopped bottled jalapeňo slices

Instructions
1. In a small bowl, combine the shredded carrot, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Mix well and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the hamish slices and cook until lightly browned, turning frequently, about 5 minutes. Add the hoisin, turning to coat, and glaze the slices for another minute or two. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

3. To assemble, spread the inside of each roll with mayo and drizzle with Sriracha to taste. Arrange 2 hamish slices on the bottom half of each baguette. Top each with the cucumber slices, cilantro, jalapeňos, and reserved pickled carrot. Close up the sandwiches and serve at once.

Hamish Loaf
Makes about 2 lbs

Ingredients
1 cup cooked or canned white beans, drained and rinsed1 cup tomato juice
3 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp liquid smoke
1½ cups vital wheat gluten
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp tapioca flour
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
⅛ tsp ground allspice

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a food processor, combine the beans, tomato juice, tamari, oil, and liquid smoke and blend until smooth. Add the vital wheat gluten, flour, nutritional yeast, tapioca flour, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, coriander, sugar, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and allspice.Process to combine and form a soft dough. If the mixture is too wet, add a little more vital wheat gluten,1 tablespoon at a time. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more tomato juice, 1 tablespoon at a time.Transfer to a work surface and knead for 3 minutes, then shape into a loaf about 9 inches long.

2. Place the loaf on an oiled sheet of aluminum foil and enclose it in the foil. Place the loaf in a 10 in baking dish, seam-side up. Add an inch of water to the baking dish and cover the entire pan tightly with foil. Bake until firm, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Uncover and allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate to firm up for 2 to 3 hours before slicing to use in recipes.

Creamy Cashew Mayo
Makes 1½ cups

Ingredients
⅔ cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, then drained
½ cup plain unsweetened almond milk, store-bought or homemade
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp mustard powder
¼ cup olive oil

Instructions
1. Combine the drained cashews, milk, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and mustard powder in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.

2. With the machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil in a thin stream, blending until very smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Transfer the mixture to a bowl or jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to thicken. This mayo will keep well in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

Banh Mi from VEGANIZE IT! by Robin Robertson, William Brinson, and Susan Brinson. Copyright © 2017 by Robin Robertson, William Brinson, and Susan Brinson. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
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Photographed by William and Susan Brinson.
Best Bean Burgers
Serves 6

Ingredients
¾ cup chopped walnuts
¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 ½ cups cooked or 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup minced onion
½ cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten (optional)
1 flax egg (see Note below)
1 tbsp tamari
½ tsp gravy browner, such as Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet (optional)
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
4 burger rolls
Condiments of choice

Instructions
1. In a food processor, combine the walnuts and oats and process until finely ground. Add the beans, onion, bread crumbs, wheat gluten (if using), flax egg, tamari, gravy browner (if using), garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Process to mix well. Transfer the mixture to a work surface and divide into 6 balls (or more or less, depending on how large you like your burgers). If the mixture is too soft, add a little more vital wheat gluten or bread crumbs. Use your hands to firmly shape each ball into a thin burger, pressing the mixture well to hold the burger together. Set the burgers aside on a plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer.

2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the burgers and cook for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the burgers and cook for 5 minutes longer. Serve hot on burger rolls with your favorite condiments.

Variation
To make a flax egg, combine 1 tbsp ground flaxseed and 3 tbsp warm water in a small bowl. Mix and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes.

Best Bean Burgers from VEGANIZE IT! by Robin Robertson, William Brinson, and Susan Brinson. Copyright © 2017 by Robin Robertson, William Brinson, and Susan Brinson. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
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Photographed by William and Susan Brinson.
Seitan Gyros With Tzatziki Sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
12 oz seitan, very thinly sliced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and ground black pepper
Tzatziki Sauce (below)
4 pitas or other flatbreads, warmed
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 large ripe tomato, halved and thinly sliced
½ English cucumber, peeled and chopped
½ red onion, thinly sliced

Instructions
1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the seitan and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste, tossing to coat.

2. To assemble, spread the tzatziki sauce onto the pitas, divide the seitan mixture among them,and top with the lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and onion. Serve immediately.

Tzatziki Sauce
Makes about 1½ cups

Ingredients
1 English cucumber, peeled and seeded
Salt and ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
1 cup plain unsweetened vegan yogurt, store-bought or homemade (below)
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions
1. Shred or grate the cucumber using the large holes on a box grater. Place the cucumber in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 30 minutes over a bowl to allow the liquid to come out. Transfer the cucumber to a clean kitchen towel or a piece of cheesecloth. Bring up the sides of the cloth and twist to extract any remaining liquid from the cucumber.

2. Transfer the cucumber to a bowl. Add the garlic, yogurt, dill, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, then taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Easy Vegan Yogurt
Makes 2 Cups

Ingredients
⅓ cup raw cashew pieces, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, then drained
⅓ cup plain unsweetened almond milk, store-bought or homemade
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ tsp sugar
Pinch of salt
1 (12.3 oz) box extra-firm silken tofu, drained and crumbled

Instructions
1. In a high-speed blender, combine the drained cashews, almond milk, lemon juice, sugar, and salt and blend until very smooth. Add the tofu and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.

2. Transfer the mixture to a bowl or jar with a tight-fitting lid. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3hours or overnight to chill and thicken before use. Stir before using. The yogurt will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Seitan Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce from VEGANIZE IT! by Robin Robertson, William Brinson, and Susan Brinson. Copyright © 2017 by Robin Robertson, William Brinson, and Susan Brinson. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
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Photographed by William and Susan Brinson.
Cheesy Steak-Out Sandwiches
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
6 portobello mushroom caps, thinly sliced
⅓ cup ketchup
1 tbsp Vegan Worcestershire Sauce, store-bought or homemade (below)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup Cheddary Sauce (below)
1 French baguette, cut into quarters, each quarter sliced lengthwise

Instructions
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and mushroom slices and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook for 5 minutes longer, or until the vegetables are very soft.

2. Spoon about half of the sauce onto the mushroom mixture and keep warm while you toast the bread. Divide the mushroom mixture among the baguette sections and top each with some of the remaining sauce. Serve hot.

Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
Makes about ½ cup

Ingredients
⅓ cup tamari
¼ cup rice vinegar
3 tbsp molasses
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp dry mustard powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder
Pinch of ground allspice

Instructions
1. Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan, stirring to blend. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid reduces slightly, about 8 minutes.

2. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Once cooled, pour the liquid into a small jar with a tight-fitting lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Cheddary Sauce
Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients
1¼ cups raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, then drained
⅓ cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp jarred chopped pimientos or roasted red bell pepper, drained and blotted dry
1 tbsp beer, white wine, or dry sherry (optional, but recommended)

Cheesy Steak-Out Sandwiches from VEGANIZE IT! by Robin Robertson, William Brinson, and Susan Brinson. Copyright © 2017 by Robin Robertson, William Brinson, and Susan Brinson. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
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Photographed by William and Susan Brinson.
Join The Club Sandwich
Serves 2

Ingredients
¼ cup vegan mayo, store-bought or homemade
1 tsp Dijon mustard
4 slices bread, toasted
4 lettuce leaves
4 to 8 thin slices Hamish Loaf or other vegan ham
4 slices tomato
Salt and ground black pepper
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
4 slices cooked vegan bacon, store-bought or homemade (below)

Instructions
1. In a small bowl, combine the mayo with the mustard until blended. Spread about 1 tbsp on one side of each slice of bread.

2. Place 2 of the toasted bread slices on a work surface, mayo-side up, and top each with a lettuce leaf, followed by 2 or 4 slices of ham, then 2 tomato slices, salt and pepper, avocado slices, and 2 bacon slices. Top each sandwich with the remaining lettuce leaf and the remaining toast (mayo-side down). Secure each sandwich with long toothpicks and cut each sandwich into 4 triangles.

Coconut Bacon Bits
Makes about 1 ½ cups

Ingredients
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp liquid smoke
1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp water
1 ½ cups unsweetened flaked coconut (large flakes)

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a medium bowl, combine the maple syrup, liquid smoke, tamari, and water. Add the coconut and toss gently to coat. Spread the coconut mixture evenly in a single layer on a nonstick baking sheet or one lined with parchment paper.

2. Bake for about 20 minutes, turning the coconut with a thin metal spatula every 5 minutes to help it cook evenly and prevent burning. Watch carefully during baking as the coconut can burn easily.

Join The Club Sandwich from VEGANIZE IT! by Robin Robertson, William Brinson, and Susan Brinson. Copyright © 2017 by Robin Robertson, William Brinson, and Susan Brinson. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
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Photographed by William and Susan Brinson.
Pulled Jackfruit BBQ Sandwiches
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, minced
1 (16 oz) can water-packed jackfruit, drained and shredded or thinly sliced
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
¼ tsp smoked paprika
Salt and ground black pepper
1 ½ cups barbecue sauce, store-bought or homemade (see below)
4 sandwich rolls, split and toasted

Instructions
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the jackfruit and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and season with the paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Add as much of the barbecue sauce as desired, stirring to mix well.

2. Use a fork (or two) to break up the jackfruit. If hard pieces remain, remove them to a cutting board and finely chop, then return them to the skillet. Cook for about 10 minutes to heat through and blend the flavors. Pile the jackfruit mixture onto the toasted sandwich rolls. Serve hot.

Barbecue Sauce
Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients
1 tbsp grape seed or sunflower oil
1 yellow onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 oz) can tomato sauce or puree
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced
⅓ cup pure maple syrup or dark brown sugar
¼ cup water
¼ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup tamari
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp liquid smoke

Instructions
1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, until the vegetables soften. Add the tomato sauce, chipotle, maple syrup, water, vinegar, tamari, salt, and pepper, stirring to mix well. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the sauce reduces to the desired consistency.

2. Near the end of the cooking time, stir in the liquid smoke, then taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt, maple syrup, or vinegar if needed to balance the flavors.

Pulled Jackfruit BBQ Sandwiches from VEGANIZE IT! by Robin Robertson, William Brinson, and Susan Brinson. Copyright © 2017 by Robin Robertson, William Brinson, and Susan Brinson. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
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Photographed by William and Susan Brinson.
Veganize It! by Robin Robertson, $14.53, available at Amazon.
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