Mindblowing vegan sandwich recipes?
January 3, 2010 4:59 PM   Subscribe

I have no idea how to make a good sandwich without cheese or meat. What are some mindblowing vegan sandwich recipes?
posted by archagon to Food & Drink (54 answers total) 182 users marked this as a favorite
Chunky multi-grain bread and thick, garlicky hummus can make up for a multitude of sins. Alfalfa sprouts also add satisfying texture.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:00 PM on January 3, 2010 [4 favorites]

See also.

And my suggestion from there is vegan: ALT - avocado, lettuce, tomato sandwich. Yum.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:01 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

This is my all time favorite vegan sandwich:

Marinate a portobello mushroom cap in BBQ sauce and Italian dressing. Throw it on the grill for a bit and then place it on a whole wheat bun with some vegan coleslaw. Vegan coleslaw is easy to make or you can usually find it at a natural foods market. This is what I always bring to cookouts and it's amazing.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:03 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Some kind of baguette or crusty bread
Bake a sweet potato (in advance) and slice it, chunk it, or smoosh it in a way that pleases you
roasted red peppers, fresh cooked or from a jar
pine nuts
olive oil

(Being a non-vegan I like to spread large amounts of goat cheese on the crusty bread before sandwich preparation, but it's equally tasty without.)

spread olive oil on bread
layer items onto both sides of the bread
place in toaster oven
toast until bread is crustier
posted by sarahj at 5:07 PM on January 3, 2010 [10 favorites]

Also, you can sub out a lot of things in the place of meat. There are tons of recipes for homemade veggie or lentil burgers and then you can load those up with yummy toppings. Tempeh is also a good substitute on a sandwich. If you've never had a tempeh reuben before, then you should try one. I visit this website a lot and they have a ton of sandwich recipes.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:09 PM on January 3, 2010

Favorite of mine: fresh heirloom tomato slices with lots fresh basil on good bread with vegenaise.

If you have more time, add tempeh bacon (you can buy this, I think it is called fakin' bacon) and baked tofu for a club.

To bake the tofu, press the tofu first and slice for 6 pieces. Brush on marinade of 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 teaspoons ginger and 2 tablspoons sesame oil. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes each side.

If you want to make your own tempeh bacon, there is a recipe here.
posted by katinka-katinka at 5:09 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

One of my favorite sandwiches as a kid was avocado sandwich, which was an avocado smooshed with lime or lemon juice and some salt and pepper, and spread thickly on bread.
posted by needled at 5:11 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Sauteed or baked breaded eggplant, especially good breaded with parmesan but you said no cheese sooooo.... breaded eggplant, roasted red peppers, garlicky aioli on ciabatta.
posted by Allee Katze at 5:11 PM on January 3, 2010

One of my favorites: Grilled Portobello mushroom slices, roasted red peppers, fresh basil, hummus, salt and pepper on good crusty bread.
posted by cecic at 5:14 PM on January 3, 2010

Good bread is totally key. You can add hummus to just about any sandwich (or maybe it's just a fave of mine). Think outside the box with the veggies: you can put just about anything into a sandwich and have it be great, including but not limited to sprouts, potatos (cooked of course!), fruits, pickled crap, sauerkraut, etc.

Also key: roasted red peppers, grilled veggies (zucchini or somersquash or both are easy enough), sun dried tomatos, pesto, avocado, olive spread.
posted by shownomercy at 5:14 PM on January 3, 2010

My favorite is nutty whole grain bread slathered with hummus and topped with sliced avocado and sliced tomato with a dash of salt and pepper.

Some other good fillings:
marinated baked tofu
arugula and other spicy greens
olive tapenade
marinated roasted vegetables (peppers, squash, portobellos, etc)
garlic roasted to the point of near liquification (spread on toasted pita and top)

Also, re: plinth's suggestion, you could try it with Tofutti cream cheese. It's actually really good as substitutes go.
posted by messica at 5:15 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Granny Smith Apple slices on pumpernickel with whole grain mustard and red onion or vidalia onions is good too.
posted by katinka-katinka at 5:16 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rye bread. Spread one slice with wholegrain mustard, and the other with avocado. Fill generously with sliced tomato, beetroot, shredded carrot, lettuce and a little red onion.

2nding avocado with lemon juice, salt and pepper. So delicious.
posted by Emilyisnow at 5:24 PM on January 3, 2010

One good way to make sure a veggie sandwich doesn't seem plain is to use balsamic vinegar and/or olive oil in just the right proportions, to accent and wake things up, not overwhelm. Fresh herbs too, such as basil, cilantro, parsley, whatever you like. A pesto mayo.

Sprouts and shaved carrot are often nice additions that add bulk, texture, and flavor to whatever you're making. Cucumber is always a fresh, tasty, crispy addition. A layer of raw baby spinach goes with a lot of stuff. Maybe some green or black olive slices. Sunflower seeds if you've got some goop like mayo or pesto or whatever to catch them so they don't fall out. Same with slivered almonds or craisins. These are mostly just accents though.

For something substantial, I love a pita stuffed with falafel, baked/roasted seasoned eggplant (made ahead of time and stored for casual use), hummus, finely diced tomato and cucumber, parsley, and some kind of drizzle, be it tahini or your favorite goop. A little hot sauce if you like. Lettuce or sprouts as some optional green filler. Falafel may be more involved than you care to get for a casual sandwich, so extra hummus or baba ganouj can be easy spreadable substitutes. I steam the pita in a damp paper towel for just a little bit in the microwave first so it's more pliable and less prone to break.

Nthing avocado. I like avocado, tomato, (cheese would go here in my version), mayo, and a drizzle of balsamic on lightly toasted bread.
posted by kookoobirdz at 5:28 PM on January 3, 2010 [2 favorites]

Peanut butter and jelly.

One of my favorite things ever is tomato and avocado on toast. Mostly excellent with really good homegrown or farmers market tomatoes. Toast a thick slice of good crusty french bread. I'm partial to sourdough, but it's not necessary. Lay some avocado slices down, and then top with tomato slices. Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper. Yum yum yum.
posted by mollymayhem at 5:30 PM on January 3, 2010

I love to make "chicken/tuna" salad. I mash up chickpeas and mix them with mayo and some diced carrots/celery/onions. Add in your spices (salt, pepper, parsley, mustard powder, paprika and some pickle relish in my case) and then chill. On toasted bread with some lettuce, it's one of my favorite sandwhich fillings.
posted by pghjezebel at 5:32 PM on January 3, 2010

pita, hummus veggies!
posted by wocka wocka wocka at 5:33 PM on January 3, 2010

Sauteed or baked breaded eggplant
Fry the breaded eggplant in coconut oil first, then bake. So good.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 5:35 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Here is a link to a very good vegan tempeh salad recipe. You can substitute garbonzo beans for the tempeh if you wish. I used aoli vegan mayo, which also adds flavor.
posted by samsaunt at 5:38 PM on January 3, 2010

Toasted multigrain bread wth tomato, avocado, roasted red pepper, cheese (or not), and mayo.
posted by axismundi at 5:39 PM on January 3, 2010

Vietnamese banh mi! That is, marinated tofu, lettuce, pickled daikon and carrot, jalapeno slices, cilantro, mayo (or veganaise), etc Not that I've ever made one. I just pay people for them.
posted by R343L at 5:39 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Here is a link to a very good vegan tempeh salad recipe. You can substitute garbonzo beans for the tempeh if you wish. I used aoli vegan mayo, which also adds flavor. Here is the link. (It's from recipezaar)
posted by samsaunt at 5:41 PM on January 3, 2010

I really like rice vinegar drizzled on plain tomatoes...I bet it would make an excellent sandwich.
posted by kylej at 5:42 PM on January 3, 2010

Google "muffaletta". Much goodness.
posted by megatherium at 5:45 PM on January 3, 2010

1. Marinate some sliced sweet onion, squash, zucchini, red bell pepper in olive oil, white wine, garlic, salt and fresh herbs. Grill. Serve on French bread with a spread made from vegan mayo, Dijon mustard, parsley or tarragon and lemon juice.

2. Make a vegan omelet in an 8 x 8 inch pan, for 4 sandwiches, and serve with sliced tomato:

12 ounces firm, water-pack tofu, drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon mirin or water
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Combine tofu, olive oil and mirin or water in a food processor until creamy. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in remaining ingredients. Spread batter into a well-oiled 8 x 8 inch pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until firm and golden.

Omelet will puff up in the oven, then fall as it cools.

Cut into 4 squares.

3. Make a bean salad from a can of rinsed beans, half of a red bell pepper, diced, and a quarter of a red onion, diced. Add some jalapeno, oil and vinegar and lime juice (not too much - it will make the bread soggy), salt and pepper, and serve it in pita bread.
posted by zinfandel at 5:51 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

grilled eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil and a drop of your hot sauce of choice. Great on ciabatta or focaccia.
posted by _dario at 5:58 PM on January 3, 2010

My favorite:

marinated, baked tofu (just regular/asian flavoring, or any flavor you like - you can buy it premade sometimes, or make your own);

sourdough bread (actually I love the rosemary sourdough bread from Whole Foods here);

fresh, juicy, summer, farmers' market red ripe tomatoes - these are key;

Lots of lettuce - 2-3 layers;

Veganaise (optional) - (fake mayo);

dijon mustard.

A key here is to put the tofu on bottom, tomato in the middle, lettuce on top. This protects the bread from the juiciness of the tomato and helps keep the sandwich from falling apart. Of course, if the sandwich does fall apart, that's OK. It just means it's extra good.
posted by amtho at 6:03 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Avocado and mustard. On bread, of course.

OMG it's good.

(and if you vegans out there ever go back to eating animals, I really like avocado, sharp cheddar and bacon on bread, but I'm not trying to temp anyone, I swear.)
posted by bilabial at 6:04 PM on January 3, 2010

I like to put Greek lima bean dip on bagels. I imagine it would be good in a toasted sandwich, too, maybe with a tomato in there as well.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:16 PM on January 3, 2010

Not a vegetarian but I regularly make sandwiches with slices of avocado, grilled eggplant, tomatoes, red peppers, baby spinach and so many crunchy, crunchy sprouts (mung bean, alfalfa, or broccoli). These all go happily with gobs of any flavor hummus. In fact I've seen vegans have a lot of fun with spreads. I googled these for a starting point. Tofutti's soy cream cheese is just as good if not better than the real thing, in my opinion. Back when I was a vegetarian, I longed most wistfully for hot dogs, so I made lots of vegan frankfurters with sauerkraut, tomato sauce, brown mustard and onions. Mmm and vegan kielbasa, which are in a whole other league.

But you asked for mindblowing, and I can't think of anything more holy epicurean than a Nutella and banana toasted-wheat sandwich, so I present you a recipe for Not-tella.
posted by Juicy Avenger at 6:52 PM on January 3, 2010

Giant sub bread. Seared green peppers, alfalfa sprouts, deep fried tempeh slices, fire roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes diced and sprinkled around. Sauce of real mustard, minced shallots, balsamic vinegar, thyme, and olive oil. I like some vegan mayo on the bread.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:08 PM on January 3, 2010

I layer thin slices of banana (I cut them longways), granny smith apples (I cut the slices into strips, too, and lay them at a 90 degree angle), and top it with strips of melty warm onions (I cook them whole in bouillon until they almost fall apart), again at a 90 degree angle. I like these through a good hearty bread - the seedier the better.

My best sandwich tip is to cut thin slices of tomatos, and stagger them around the bread. This reduces the amount of chunks that drop out and somehow increases the tomatoeyness, and makes sure every bite is tomatotastic.

My second best tip is to put both slices of bread in a single widemouth toaster slot so that the edges and 1 side of each piece toasts up, but the insides of the bread are still untoasted and ready to soak up the flavor.
posted by julen at 7:12 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Peanut Butter and Banana.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:45 PM on January 3, 2010

I love a sandwich made from just good bread, good hummus (use this recipe!), and approximately one metric ton of good fresh cilantro.
posted by fritley at 7:57 PM on January 3, 2010

Tomato, Lettuce, Avocado and miso as the spread. I like to toast the bread first.
posted by bkeene12 at 8:03 PM on January 3, 2010

Tomato (sliced thick), Green peppers and thin sliced cucumber. Mayo or miracle whip, salt and pepper is optional. Toasted bread is good too.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:24 PM on January 3, 2010

-Nut butter and apple slices/pear slices/bananas
-Nut butter and shredded carrots (add raisins if you like)
-Grilled portobello mushroom on toast, topped with tomato slices and pesto (cheeseless, obviously, for vegans). The toast is important as it soaks up the lovely, earthy mushroom liquid.
posted by cmgonzalez at 8:33 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Also, Jennifer McCann's Vegan Lunchbox books might be worth checking out for you. Isa Chandra Moskowitz' Vegan Brunch too.
posted by cmgonzalez at 8:34 PM on January 3, 2010

Tomato (sliced thick), Green peppers and thin sliced cucumber. Mayo or miracle whip, salt and pepper is optional.

Mayo has eggs in it, and thus isn't vegan.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:39 PM on January 3, 2010

Veganaise is good though.
posted by fritley at 9:30 PM on January 3, 2010

spaghetti sandwhich!
posted by low affect at 10:07 PM on January 3, 2010

Try tabouleh, hummus, (feta, optional), tomatoes, and red onion (drizzle with balsamic reduction)
Or peanut butter, jelly and your choice of crunchy vegan potato chips
or falafel, hummus, sun-dried tomato

+1 on nut butter and crunchy sliced fruit like apples, with some glazed nuts
dark chocolate bar on crusty french bread.
As a kid I loved mustard and sweet pickle relish (potato chips optional) on white bread

A good balance of crunchy/creamy is a must. Good bread is essential.
And, as always, the laws of sandwich physics must be obeyed!
posted by cross_impact at 6:48 AM on January 4, 2010

Avocado! Lots of avocado! Sometimes I use chil-garlic sauce as a spread.

Also, sun-dried tomatoes are flavourful and have texture.
posted by molecicco at 7:41 AM on January 4, 2010

Lots of great answers, I'll just emphasize herbed whole-grain bread - something baked with dill, rosemary, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, etc. - as an essential ingredient for savory sandwiches. Also, natural peanut butter (just ground peanuts, nothing else) and grapes cut in half (or other fresh fruit, like strawberries) on whole-grain bread makes an amazingly tasty open-face sandwich.
posted by mediareport at 7:46 AM on January 4, 2010

Many people have recommended avocado already, but I'd like to elaborate with my favorite vegan sandwich ever:

Sliced avocado
sliced cucumber
Tofutti (vegan) cream cheese

all on toasted sesame bread.
posted by fros1y at 7:54 AM on January 4, 2010

A Spanjo (from when I worked at the Halfass in Ann Arbor): tofu cream cheese, apple slices and sprouts on a bagel.
posted by nikitabot at 8:54 AM on January 4, 2010

multigrain bread.
salt & pepper (optional).
baked tofu (optional).
posted by timory at 10:24 AM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by cestmoi15 at 10:33 AM on January 4, 2010

Nth-ing the nut butter/fruit idea, but don't forget to add the lettuce and grape-seed mayonnaise. Cucumber slices mix well with fruit, too. My favorite addition is a little Bubbie's sauerkraut, to taste, for the tang.

We also like to half-toast the bread, stacking pairs in the toaster oven, but we put the soft sides out for comfort.
posted by dpcoffin at 12:09 PM on January 4, 2010

honey and cashew butter mmmmm
posted by WeekendJen at 12:51 PM on January 4, 2010

OMG I love this thread with all my heart.

Here's my fave:

Southwestern-style Black Bean Burgers

Black bean patties
Iceberg lettuce
Red onion
Barbecue sauce
Whole wheat bun

For the black bean patties: Mix can of black beans (leaving some of the liquid) with sauteed chopped onions and garlic, cumin and chili powder and salt to taste, plus enough flour to thicken into a paste. Shape into small patties with a spoon, and fry in a pan with a small amount of olive oil until they're a little crispy on each side.

Tear lettuce, slice red onion and tomato, cut avocado into strips or mash it up a little, and assemble the deliciousness!
posted by crackingdes at 2:24 PM on January 4, 2010 [6 favorites]

Wherever you use avocado try sprinkling some lemon pepper on it. Yum!
posted by like_neon at 10:57 AM on January 7, 2010

Response by poster: Here's one I recently discovered:
* soft white sandwich bread; I use potato-rosemary
* hummus
* alfalfa sprouts
* avocado
* honey mustard, or Dijon mustard+honey

I don't usually like vegan sandwiches, but this one blew my mind!

(Apparently, I'm not the first to discover the wonder of avocado and honey mustard together.)
posted by archagon at 3:11 PM on April 12, 2010

This thread is pretty old, but my favorite sandwich is:
one slice of whole wheat bread
a thick layer of garlic hummus
a layer of sliced/smooshed avocado
a layer of thin tofurky slices
a thin layer of better than cream cheese
another slice of whole wheat bread

Holy moly. moly. moly. I crave this sandwich almost daily. I only give in a few times a week. (;
posted by srrh at 3:54 PM on May 16, 2010

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