Sandwiches have long been one of the cornerstones of meaty fare. Now, the plant-based world has claimed many of the classic recipes and made them even better. “Meaty” vegan sandwiches not only make quick, easy meals, but are lower in fat and calories than the originals, and are cholesterol-free.
Sandwich fans who are giving up meat, or easing away from it, will be glad to know that they won’t have to give up favorite sandwiches. Read on to choose from an array of favorites, and make sure to scroll to the end for a bonus sections of veganized classic sandwiches that can be made without a recipe.
Vegan Breakfast Sandwiches with Plant-Based Bacon or Sausage: It’s easy to make vegan breakfast muffins using plant-based bacon and/or sausage, with other tasty plant-based ingredients embellishing the recipe.
Vegan Reuben Sandwich: The classic Reuben sandwich is easy to make meatless as well as dairy-free. This one, made with tempeh or plant-based bacon, is a quick-to-fix lunch and a fantastic choice for a soup-and-sandwich dinner.
BBQ-Flavored Chick’n Melt Baguettes: Here’s an easy big sandwich made with plant protein, barbecue sauce, fresh bread, and melted vegan cheese. BBQ-flavored vegan chick’n melt baguettes could just become a weeknight favorite!
Portobello and Seitan Vegan Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches: Hearty vegan Philly cheesesteak — the classic sandwich — made with portobello mushrooms, seitan, and vegan cheese, definitely rivals the original recipe.
Triple-BBQ Pulled Jackfruit & Plant Protein Sandwiches: This pulled jackfruit sandwich solves the dilemma of delivering this intriguing meat substitute, which is low in protein with more main-dish content.
The Ultimate Easy Vegan Cuban Sandwich: This version of the famous sandwich does away with the multitude of animal products in the original. It’s easy to swap in BBQ-flavored pulled plant protein or jackfruit, and vegan deli and cheese slices.
Vegan Gyros: The classic Greek pita wrap is so easy to make plant-strong with beefy-style plant protein. Seitan works quite well, too, to create delectable and easy vegan gyros.
Pinto Bean & Quinoa Sloppy Joes: If you’re not a fan of commercial meat substitutes but still get a craving for something meaty, you’ll love these hearty vegan pinto bean and quinoa sloppy joes.
Vegan Hero Sandwiches with Fresh Herb Mayonnaise: This vegan hero sandwich recipe featuring plant-based deli slices is terrific as part of a soup-and-sandwich dinner. It’s also a treat for portable lunches for school and work and a fantastic choice for picnics.
Vegan Chopped Chick’n Salad Sandwich: With so many plant-based chicken alternatives on the market, there are many ways to recreate this classic without the bird.
BONUS! Classic “meaty” sandwiches to make without meat — and without a recipe
Classic club Sandwich: Club sandwiches are double-deckers, with one layer basically a BLT. Use whatever plant-based bacon you prefer; crisp it up in a small skillet. Layer it with lettuce, tomato, and vegan mayo. The second layer consists of a few deli slices and a slice of cheese, so just swap in your the plant-based versions of these. Spread the bread with mustard. The most challenging part of these stacked sandwiches is holding them together; a cocktail toothpick can assist with that.
BLT Sandwich or Wrap: A veganized classic that couldn’t be easier to make. Simply use your favorite kind of plant-based bacon (or Smoky Tempeh Strips) and layer on whole-grain bread or wrap up with lettuce, tomato, and vegan mayo. If you want to add a little something extra, sliced avocado is most welcome.
Vegan Elvis: The original weird but good — really good — sandwich is named for Elvis Presley, the pop icon of the 1950s – 60s. Supposedly this was his favorite sandwich. It’s a peanut butter and jam sandwich with a layer of sliced bananas and crisped bacon (in this case, your favorite plant-based variety). This makes a hearty breakfast sandwich and is also good as a portable lunch.
Italian Meatball or Chick’n Parmesan Sub: Warm up 4 plant-based meatballs or enough breaded vegan chick’n nuggets to fill a hero roll. Slather some warm marinara sauce on both sides of the split-open hero roll. Arrange the meatballs or nuggets on the bottom of the roll, then sprinkle some mozzarella cheese shreds over them. It’s best to warm these in a not-too-hot oven, just long enough to melt the cheese. If you’re only doing one sandwich, a toaster oven is fine. Microwaving the finished heroes until the cheese melts works, too, but don’t overdo it — 30 to 40 seconds should do, otherwise the roll can get mushy.