I have two questions:
- Why are sandwiches so hard to photograph?
- Why don’t I eat more sandwiches?
Okay, honestly, I think I know the answer to both of them.
Sandwiches are hard to photograph because… um… the colors are often a lot to be desired.
In this vegan reuben situation, you’ll see that we have a smattering of lovely colors that consist of: brown, slightly browner brown, and yellowy brown. Not super appealing. Not like a grain bowl or some donuts.
And why don’t I eat more sandwiches? Well… have you had a veggie sandwich? Not super awesome.
There are a few sandwich restaurants around me that offer vegetarian items that consist of things like shredded iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, and green peppers. Not super yum.
That said, I will live with the browny hues of this sando because it is not your typical sad vegan sando.
Oh no. We have a deliciously tangy and oniony spread, lots of zesty sauerkraut, roasty toasty bread, and a thiiiiiinly sliced homemade seitan situation that is very very delicious.
Is this a reuben in the traditional sense? No, of course not.
But is it delicious enough to have 5 days in a row for lunch? Oh very much yes.
Alright, let’s talk elements.
A must! And one of my all-time favorite breads. Whenever I’m at a diner (which, admittedly, isn’t often enough), I always order the rye bread when it’s an option. Especially if it’s seeded.
It’s a rich and nutty bread with a distinct malty flavor that is absolutely required for any of your reuben-y needs.
I found a nice marbled, seeded rye (pre-sliced!) at Trader Joe’s, but it’s relatively easy to find at any mega mart.
Vegan Thousand Island Dressing
One of the two “this requires a bit of work” elements in this sandwich is the vegan thousand island dressing. But… it’s easy.
Ingredients like vegan mayo, ketchup, pickles, onion, garlic powder, lemon juice, smoked paprika, and sugar get whisked together in a bowl. That’s it.
I highly recommend you make it the day before you’re going to eat it to let the flavors all mellow and balance with one another. It’s like a whole different dressing the next day!
One of the other things you’ll need to prep ahead of time is your vegan seitan. I just used this tried-and-true recipe, and it worked beautifully. Once you bake it, you’ll let it cool, keep it wrapped, and pop it in the fridge to chill out overnight.
It’s 1000x easier to slice real thin once it’s cold, and real thin slices are the name of the game when you’re trying to make a vegan reuben!
Okay. I’m making this ingredient optional. Why? I really don’t like it. At least: I haven’t found a vegan cheese I actually like.
The texture just always seems off to me, as well as the flavor. I made this vegan reuben with vegan cheese for the photos, but I made it every other time without. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything by leaving it off.
Hello my lil fermented friend! I love sauerkraut so much. It’s tangy and crunchy and such a nice, cool element against all of your other warm ingredients.
Pro tip: I highly suggest you go heavy-handed when it comes to sauerkrauting your reuben. Trust me.
Oh how I love this roasty toasty, texture explosion of a sandwich. Truly will be on repeat all summer long.
Hope you love it, too!Print
Vegan Seitan Reuben
We have a deliciously tangy and oniony spread, lots of zesty sauerkraut, roasty toasty bread, and a thinly sliced homemade seitan that is very very delicious. Meet my vegan reuben!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1.5 hours
- Total Time: 26 minute
- Yield: 7-9 sandwiches
- Category: Lunch
- Method: Griddle
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
PREP ONE DAY AHEAD:
- Vegan Italian-Style Seitan
- Vegan Thousand Island Dressing:
- 1/2 cup vegan mayo
- 2 and 1/2 tablespoons sweet onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 small (2-inch) dill pickle, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- salt and pepper, to taste
TO ASSEMBLE ONE SANDWICH:
- your chilled seitan, sliced thin
- two slices of rye bread
- a few spoonfuls of your thousand island dressing
- 1–2 slices of vegan cheese (optional)*
- a few spoonfuls of sauerkraut
- oil, for toasting
- The day before: Make your seitan (recipe here) and your thousand island dressing.
- To make the dressing, mix all of your ingredients together in a container. Fit with a lid and allow to chill overnight.
- Reuben day: After slicing your seitan, warm it up in a dry pan over medium heat until no longer cold. If you’re using vegan cheese, go ahead and toss that on top of the seitan as its warming so it melts.
- Meanwhile, take a slice of your bread and spread it with some of your thousand island dressing. Top it with your warmed seitan, cheese, and sauerkraut. Top it with another slice of bread and give it a slight press to compact everything.
- Add a drizzle of oil in your warm pan and add your sandwich, cooking until brown and toasty, 2-3 minutes. Carefully flip your sandwich, and continue cooking on that side, adding more oil if necessary, until both sides of the bread are browned.
- Slice diagonally in half (optional, but arguably the best way to serve a sandwich) and dive in!
* I haven’t found a vegan cheese I like, so I leave it off and I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. That said, a traditional reuben is served with swiss cheese, so if you can find a vegan swiss, try that!
Vegan Thousand Island Dressing recipe adapted from Simply Recipes!
Keywords: vegan sandwich, seitan sandwich
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