The Best Vegan Reuben Sandwich
If you’ve been looking for The Best Vegan Reuben Sandwich then you’ve landed on the right page. Cheesy, melty, and loaded with all the goods as any Reuben should be, and using tempeh of course!
The bread is perfectly toasted and (vegan) buttered on each side and then a brilliant amount of vegan Thousand Island or Russian Dressing is used before we layer on all the other good stuff: sauerkraut, vegan swiss, and marinated tempeh. All of these flavors and textures combined are what vegan sandwich dreams are made of.
My posts are always a little more on the healthier side but it’s nice and ok sometimes to not be so obsessive and enjoy ourselves once in a while. You can totally swap out the Italian bread I used here for your bread of choice, like rye is a good one and more classic. But you can totally healthify this up any way you’d like or leave it as is. I say, follow this recipe and treat yo’self.
Fun fact about me is I always hated, well more like despised sauerkraut growing up. The thought of it would make me legit gag, I never understood how anyone could eat it. Low and behold during my first pregnancy guess what one of my cravings were?? Yeap, sauerkraut. Straight up out of the jar. Now-a-days they sell such better quality sauerkrauts and I love the raw, live cultured kind that comes loaded with healthy probiotics. Since those pregnancy cravings I now love sauerkraut. I think I love it more because of how good it is for gut health. Like, I truly appreciate sauerkraut and love the way it tastes. Guess my younger self was missing out huh.
The Cheesy Trick
K, now lets talk vegan cheese for a second. I do not like a lot of the vegan cheese on the market. I’m pretty picky when it comes to that because I don’t want the cheese to have like a chemical taste to it which some of them have. So pick your fave cheese even if it’s not vegan swiss and use it in this Reuben Sandwich. Here’s a trick you can do to get your vegan cheeses super melty like you see in my photos here.
- Spray a fry pan with coconut oil spray or non stick cooking spray. Put the flame on medium heat. Add a slice or two of cheese or you can do a handful of cheese shreds (both will work for this) and watch it melt. I’m talking super stretchy, ooey, gooey type melting. Once you see it melt through, it slides right off and you can put it directly on your sandwich or fries or anything but this is a sure way to get it evenly melty.
If you cook with vegan cheese you know the shreds or slices just kind of stay there and it takes forever to melt down through bread because of it’s texture and how it’s made. But when directly on heat, it’s perfecto.
And now to the tempeh! Yay for tempeh! Tempeh is fermented tofu another amazing food to eat not only because it’s high in plant protein but because this too is amazing for gut health and full of probiotics.
Now sometimes tempeh, if not cooked right, can taste bitter or weird or can just be kind of scary to cook with if you’re not familiar with it. But I promise you, if you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go and you will soon fall in love with it as I have. It becomes a staple in a plant based home.
The trick to tempeh is marination. It needs to be marinated otherwise you’ll hate it. Kind of how I felt about quinoa when I use to make it all wrong in the beginning. With the marinade I give here you’ll be all like “fermented tofu, what! OMG so good!”. The longer it sits the more it absorbs so I will either let it marinate over night if I know I’m making this the next day or I leave it for 30 minutes or so just to let it sit in it for a while and soak up all the juices.
This isn’t the only way to marinate tempeh but this is what you’ll do for this recipe and flavor (recipe below).
Ahhh I can’t wait for you guys to try this recipe! I just know it’s going to be a hit especially if you loved a good ole fashion Reuben and thought they were gone forever. Cheers to the classics!
The Best Vegan Reuben Sandwich
- 1 package of tempeh
- 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce or braggs liquid aminos
- 1/4 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- salt/pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 loaf of Italian Bread, cut into 4 pieces
- 1/4 cup sauerkraut, (per sandwich)
- 4 tbsp thousand island dressing, (per sandwich)
- 2 slices vegan swiss cheese, (per sandwich)
- vegan butter, (for toasting the bread)
How to Marinate the Tempeh
- Cut the tempeh in half lengthwise and then cut it through the middle to make the slices thin.
- In a large bowl whisk all the ingredients for the tempeh marinade then add in the thin tempeh slices. Either do this step the night before you're going to make this or let it sit for 30 minutes prior to making.
Putting the Reuben Together
- Once the tempeh has marinated for the allotted amount of time heat up two tbsp of avocado oil to a large skillet and let the tempeh slices cook on each side for 5 minutes. Do not throw away the marinade. Add the rest of the marinade to the skillet and let it cook off. Keep the heat to low/medium.
- In a separate fry pan add 1 tbsp vegan butter and let it get melty. Slice one of the pieces of Italian bread lengthwise but not all the way through. Open side up, coat the bread in the butter in the fry pan and let it get lightly browned.
- On the side facing up, add the thousand island dressing, sauerkraut, vegan cheese, and 1-2 slices of tempeh. Remove from pan once cheese is melted and sandwich is heated through. Press down with spatula too.
- Repeat the steps above for all sandwiches. Serve right away with a side salad, pickles or fries and Enjoy!
- To get the cheese super melty instead of adding it to the sandwich, remove the sandwich with all the other fixings except the cheese. Spray a fry pan with coconut oil spray or non stick cooking spray. Put the flame on medium heat. Add a slice or two of cheese or you can do a handful of cheese shreds (both will work for this) and watch it melt. I'm talking super stretchy, ooey, gooey type melting. Once you see it melt through, it slides right off and you can put it directly on your sandwich.
- Can sub vegan Thousand Island dressing for Russian Dressing.
- Tempeh marinade adapted from Mydarlingvegan.
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Sounds absolutely lovely. Thank you for the recipe. Hi from New Zealand
Thanks so much! Sending blessings 🙂