vegan sandwiches
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Vegan Sandwiches: Meat-Free Recipes

Vegan sandwiches are a delicious and nutritious way to enjoy a meal without compromising on flavor. Whether you’re looking for a quick lunch or an easy dinner, vegan sandwiches offer a variety of options that can be tailored to your individual tastes. Not only are vegan sandwiches tasty, but they also provide numerous health benefits such as being low in saturated fat and cholesterol, high in fiber, and packed with essential vitamins and minerals. With these two vegan sandwich recipes, you can enjoy a delicious meal without sacrificing your health or the environment.

When you think of sandwiches, what comes to mind? Grilled cheese? Turkey club? Peanut butter and jam? Italian beef? Tuna melt? Sandwiches, “sandos” for short, most commonly contain some form of animal protein, thus NOT vegan by nature. However, enjoying a delicious vegan sandwich is possible and even preferred by many.

Why Eat Vegan?

Eating vegan is becoming increasingly popular as people become more aware of the health and environmental benefits associated with a plant-based diet. Eating vegan means avoiding all animal products, including meat, dairy, eggs, and honey.

This lifestyle choice has numerous benefits, such as reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes, improving your digestion and energy levels, helping to protect the environment by reducing your carbon footprint, and reducing animal cruelty.

There is no reason for those who choose a vegan diet to miss out on sandwiches when there are some really delightful vegan sandwich options out there.

A Dietitian’s View on Eating Vegan

I can’t help but think through my “nutritional” lens as a Registered Dietitian.

A sandwich that contains (1) a form of bread, (2) meat/cheese/plant-based protein and (3) veggies (with some condiments) typically includes the optimal balance of the three macronutrients we all need: Protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats.

So the trick with a vegan sando is finding a vegan protein source! The following two recipes are vegan sandwiches that our family enjoys on a regular basis in one form or another.

My kids often request a Banh Mi sandwich night for family dinner – It’s the perfect, quick weeknight dinner when you’re so busy (I can relate)!

Give these a try – trust me!

Vegan Italian “Meatball” Sandwich

Serves 2

From: Monika Jacobson, RDN

Ingredients

2 hoagie or French rolls

6-8 vegan meatballs, cut in half (i.e. Field Roast, Beyond Meat or a homemade chickpea ball like this one)

1 cup marinara sauce, divided

1 cup arugula

Sprinkle of nutritional yeast (a “cheesy” tasting, vitamin-packed topping).

Directions

  1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook/heat the meatballs according to the package directions.
  3. Place hoagie rolls open faced on a baking sheet lined with parchment for easy cleanup.
  4. Spread 1/4 cup marinara sauce on each roll.
  5. Place cooked and halved meatballs down the roll on top of the marinara sauce.
  6. Cover meatballs with another 1/4 cup of marinara sauce.
  7. Toast open-faced sandwich in the oven for about 5-8 minutes until warmed through.
  8. Top with fresh arugula and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.

Tofu Banh Mi

vegan sandwiches
Vegan banh mi sandwich

Serves 2

Adapted from: Jessica Jones, RDN and Wendy Lopez, RD

Ingredients

1 package (16 ounces) of extra firm tofu (higher protein)

2 tablespoons avocado oil

2 tablespoons vegan mayo

1 teaspoon sriracha sauce

1 carrot

1/2 small to medium red onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 teaspoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 baguette, sliced in half lengthwise and into 6-8 inch sandwiches pieces

1/2 cucumber, sliced thin and lengthwise

1 jalapeno pepper, sliced (or, if you don’t have fresh, about 4 tablespoons pickled jalapenos

Handful of cilantro

Directions

  1. Remove the tofu from packaging and place on cutting board.
  2. Slice tofu into 1/2-inch thick pieces and lay them side by side across the cutting board.
  3. Place a clean towel over the tofu and firmly press the towel into the tofu to soak up as much water as possible.
  4. Turn the tofu pieces over and repeat with a dry part of the towel until you’ve soaked up as much liquid as you can.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Oil a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  7. Cut the tofu into cubes and toss with 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  8. Place tofu on the baking sheet in an even layer. Try to space the tofu cubes so they aren’t touching each other.
  9. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  10. Once done, remove baking sheet from the oven and adjust the temperature to 400 degrees.
  11. While the oven is warming up, make the sriracha mayo by combining the mayo and the sriracha in the small bowl and whisking together until combined.
  12. Grate the carrot and thinly slice the onion. Mince the garlic and chop the cilantro.
  13. Place these ingredients in a bowl and add the vinegar, brown sugar and soy sauce. Massage the ingredients together with your hands and set aside.
  14. To toast the baguette, put it directly on the oven rack, open-faced, and toast for 3-5 minutes. Keep an eye on it!
  15. While the baguette is toasting, slice the cucumber lengthwise, and seed and chop the jalapeno into rounds (more seeds = more spice).
  16. Spread the mayo on both sides of the bread. Add a layer of tofu, the carrot and onion mix, cucumber and jalapeno. Finish with a generous garnish of chopped cilantro.

Other Protein Sources for Vegan Sandwiches

Can’t think of other tasty ingredients to put in your vegan sandwich? Here are additional protein ingredients to try in your delicious vegan sandwiches.

  • Hummus
  • Edamame
  • White bean dip
  • Tofu
  • Seitan
  • Tempeh
  • Cashew or other nut “cheese”
  • Mushrooms
  • Lentils
  • Nut butters

More Ideas for Vegan Sandwiches

Vegan BLT: Toast two slices of bread and spread vegan mayo on each slice. Layer with lettuce, tomato, and crispy bacon-style tempeh strips.

Vegan Reuben: Spread vegan thousand island dressing on two slices of rye bread. Top with sauerkraut, Swiss-style cheese, and thinly sliced seitan. Grill until the cheese is melted.

Vegan Falafel Wrap: Spread hummus on a wrap and top with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and falafel. Drizzle with tahini sauce and enjoy!

Vegan Club Sandwich: Toast three slices of bread and spread vegan mayo on each slice. Layer with lettuce, tomato, crispy bacon-style tempeh strips, avocado slices, and alfalfa sprouts.

Why Try Vegan Sandwiches in 2023?

Vegan sandwiches are a great way to enjoy delicious and nutritious meals without sacrificing flavor. With more vegan options available than ever, it’s easier to make plant-based meals that are both tasty and satisfying. Plus, vegan sandwiches are a great way to reduce your environmental impact by cutting down on animal products. In 2023, try out some of the delicious vegan sandwich recipes listed.

Let us know if you try the Vegan Italian “Meatball” Sandwich or the Tofu Banh Mi (or others!) by sharing your photos and reviews on social media and tagging @eat_move_thrive_spokane and @trendingnorthwestmag on Instagram. Even the meatiest eaters will enjoy these sandwiches!

Vegan sandwiches are a delicious and nutritious way to enjoy a meal. They are packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, making them a great option for those looking to eat more plant-based foods. With so many different vegan sandwich recipes available, there is sure to be something that everyone can enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a hearty Italian “meatball” sandwich or a light and flavorful banh mi, vegan sandwiches are sure to please.

Monika Jacobson

After growing up in the Inland Northwest, Monika Jacobson earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics at Washington State University. She moved to the west side and worked as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in a myriad of settings–from luxury health clubs, to coaching athletes with sports nutrition, to home health clinical nutrition and various start-ups in Seattle-focused scientific wellness and genetics. After moving to Spokane with her family, she created Eat Move Thrive-Spokane because she wanted to transform people’s lives by teaching them how to make healthy food taste good. At Eat Move Thrive-Spokane, Monika teaches adult and kid cooking classes (online and in-person) and coaches clients one-on-one with their wellness goals centered on nutrition. She discusses how stress, sleep, hormones, and overall mental health affect the decisions we make about food. 

Read all of Monika’s articles here.

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