My 15 Favorite Vegan Sandwiches
One of the biggest fears people have when going vegan or embracing a plant-based diet is that they’ll lose their traditions. Most of the familiar food they know and love will change, and that can be jarring and intimidating at first! One of the toughest things to reimagine is the daily sandwich. After all, when you’ve spent decades spreading egg-based mayo on bread, slapping on some sliced cow cheese, and piling on your favorite lunchmeat, it’s hard to imagine any other way!
In my life, and I suspect in the lives of many others, sandwiches are tied to childhood nostalgia. My Mom makes the BEST sandwiches (fortunately she’s vegan now, so she makes the best vegan sandwiches!). Everyone knows it, though she’ll humbly deny it. What makes her sandwiches so great has never been the ingredients, whether plant-based or animal-based. Rather, it’s the fact that she makes them with so much love, you can practically taste it in each bite. So long as you infuse each of these recipes with love, you should be fine.
Before I dive into the fabulous and creative recipes below, I would be remiss not to mention some of my tips for reimagining your go-to favorites:
- For grilled cheese or paninis: Use vegan cheese slices by Follow Your Heart, Chao, or Violife
- Instead of egg-based mayo, choose Just Mayo (my personal favorite) or Vegenaise (also fantastic, but a little sweeter)
- Instead of your regular animal-based cold cuts, choose deli slices by Tofurky or Field Roast (follow my buddy Plant Philosophy for sandwich inspiration!)
- For peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, change nothing- they’re already vegan and perfect!
Without further ado, these are my top 15 favorite vegan sandwiches!
My husband and I have a serious addiction to this recipe. Even when I double the recipe, we eat it all in less than 48 hours. It’s so refreshing, you’ll keep eating it long past the point of fullness. *Recipe note: It doesn’t mention that you should cook the Beyond Meat chick’n, which you absolutely should. I recommend sautéing it in olive oil until it gets a nice browned edge, then dicing and salting it.
This vegan sandwich is a new one from the genius behind Vegan Comfort Classics (the Hot For Food cookbook), and I’m already obsessed. I would never guess how well mushrooms and artichokes work together, but obviously they do!
This vegan sandwich is another staple that I make in big batches for my husband and I to devour. The carrots add such a delicious unexpected crunch! Recipe note: If you’re a glutton like me, I highly recommend using vegan Just Mayo instead of the recommended hummus or tahini- but do whatever feels right!
This is the recipe that inspired this blog post, because it’s one of my absolute favorites. I make it at least once every few months, and every time I do, I can’t believe I don’t make it more! Recipe notes: double the amount of liquid it calls for, because you end up with lots more for dipping sauce. I also recommend adding vegan mayo to the rolls!
Let me tell you a secret that every vegan needs to know. Kala Namak or “black salt” is one of the world’s most miraculous ingredients, as it makes everything taste like egg! The recipe says it’s optional, but let me tell you…it’s not! You can find it at most Indian grocery stores, but I typically order it online. In my personal opinion, the less powdery the better (look for bigger salt chunks), but don’t let my pickiness deter you if the powder is all you can find.
Ingredient Note: Kala Namak isn’t actually black in color, and I have no idea why it’s called that. It’s actually purple or pink, and shouldn’t be confused with Himalayan black salt, which is actually black!
I can’t rave enough about this vegan sandwich. You may have already seen me do so in my ecstatic review of the Hot For Food Cookbook. Don’t be intimidated by the frying- I was a total newbie when I first made this recipe, and it was a lot easier than I expected! Recipe Note: Make more than enough Thousand Island sauce, because it’s phenomenal and you’ll want to eat it on everything.
I’m a huge fan of hearts of palm in any form, and this vegan sandwich is no exception. Don’t ignore the recipe creator’s advice to squirt a bit of lemon juice on top!
I always recommend this recipe to people who say they don’t like tofu. My husband loves these sandwiches, and despite being vegan himself, he’s not typically a tofu fan. There’s something about the breading that makes it hearty and flavorful- basically the opposite of the tofu cliché! *Recipe Note: This recipe calls for you to make BBQ sauce from scratch. If you’d like to, please be my guest, but I typically grab it pre-made! Just be sure to check the ingredients, because not all barbecue sauces are vegan.
This one is kind of the epitome of what you’d expect from a vegan sandwich, and I’m sure that sounds like a hippie nightmare to some of you. However, if you’re the kind of person who likes to see the entire rainbow between slices of bread, this refreshing, nutrition-packed vegan sandwich is the one for you! *Recipe note: this isn’t an explicitly vegan recipe, as it doesn’t specify to use vegan mayo instead of egg mayo. But, you’re probably smart enough to know that you can just sub in the vegan version!
Okay, this one isn’t recommended if you’re in a hurry, because it’ll take you at least an hour and a half. However, as I mentioned in the intro, the key ingredient in all these sandwiches is love, and this vegan sandwich is certainly a labor of love! Set aside an afternoon and give making your own seitan a try!
This recipe is by one of my favorite vegan Instagrammers, Neurotic Mommy! I love how she worked so many different greens into this decadent sandwich, making it a perfect way to sneak nutrition into the lunch of your loved ones. *Recipe note: Personally, I’d recommend using Follow Your Heart or Chao cheese slices instead of Daiya, but that’s just me!
This vegan sandwich is definitely different than your standard deli club, but that’s what makes it so special! The miso tahini tofu is packed full of flavor, and the kale and sprouts do an excellent job of ensuring that the tomatoes don’t make the bread too soggy. Just make sure you have extra napkins nearby when it’s time to bite in!
I know, this list already has a chick’n sandwich, why does it need another? I’ll tell you why. I was making the previously listed chick’n salad sandwich so often that I felt the need to mix it up, and that’s how I stumbled across this one. The combo of lemon and pepper puts extra zest in every bite!
Here’s the thing. I know lentils don’t sound that exciting. And why wouldn’t we use vegan beef crumbles if we’re replacing beef? Honestly, I thought the same thing when I first found this recipe, but I had lentils in my cupboard and decided to give it a go. I was pleasantly surprised by the expectational flavors and textures! It’s really easy, and pretty cheap to make. And don’t yell at me, but if you don’t mind losing the authentic “sloppiness”, feel free to throw that mixture on a Kaiser roll or something it won’t fall out of so easily! *Recipe note: I highly recommend adding vegan mayo to the bun!
I know this one doesn’t sound too exciting, but this creation is by Martha Freaking Stewart. And when Martha tells you to make a vegan sandwich, you make it. I found this recipe when looking for something that incorporated Kite Hill cream cheese, and lo and behold, Martha uses it! Next time you’re feeling fancy, give these a try!