Vegan Reuben Sandwiches

June 10, 2019

Vegan Reuben Sandwich on a Plate with Pickle Slices

The classic Reuben sandwich goes vegan! Made with layers of hearty seitan, tangy sauerkraut and creamy vegan Russian dressing, these sandwiches are packed with flavor and grilled to crispy delicious perfection.

Vegan Reuben Sandwich on a Plate with Pickle Slices

My husband was in the middle of transitioning to a vegetarian diet when I first met him, and he was really excited about my cooking. He made lots of suggestions for meatless versions of old favorites, and lots of them were dishes that I’d never actually had. One of his first requests was for a Reuben sandwich.

I’ve never had a conventional Reuben, so I relied on my husband’s guidance for this one. He tells me it’s pretty spot on. To this day it’s a household favorite!

Using Seitan in a Reuben

Two Halves of a Vegan Reuben Sandwich Stacked on a Plate

Not only have I never had a reuben, but I’ve never even had corned beef, which is the main ingredient in a conventional Reuben. Seitan is the most realistic beef substitute I know of, which is why I use it in my reuben sandwiches.

Seitan is also super easy to work with and loaded with protein.

I’ve made these sandwiches using my homemade seitan, as well as store-bought. Both work great! The advantage of making your own is that you make it in large chunks and then slice them super thin. If you prefer to use the store-bought stuff, just use a chef’s knife to cut your seitan into strips that are as thin as possible.

How to Make a Vegan Reuben

Start by prepping your sauces. You’ll be dressing your Reubens in vegan thousand Island dressing made from vegan mayo, ketchup, vegan Worcestershire sauce, horseradish mustard and hot sauce.

The other sauce you’ll need to make is for seasoning your seitan. For this, mix together some soy sauce, vegan Worcestershire, maple syrup, ginger, allspice, cloves and black pepper. You’ll want this to be ready to go before you begin cooking the seitan.

Collage Showing Side By Side Images of Vegan Reuben Sandwich Sauce and Dressing Being Mixed in Bowls

To prepare your seitan Reuben filling, start by sautéing some onion in a bit of oil. Let the onion brown slightly, then add some garlic. Once the garlic becomes very fragrant (after about a minute) add your seitan. Cook the seitan for a few minutes to get it to crisp up. And finally, add your sauce.

Let the seitan cook for a minute or so more, until most of the sauce dries up. Your filling is done!

Collage Showing the Steps for Cooking Vegan Reuben Sandwich Filling

Grill up your sandwiches using rye bread slices slathered in vegan butter. Layer your seitan filling, dressing, some sauerkraut, and optionally a slice of vegan cheese and some dill pickle slices between the bread and grill to crispy golden perfection.

Collage Showing the Steps for Assembling and Grilling a Vegan Reuben Sandwich

FAQ & Tips for Making Awesome Vegan Reuben Sandwiches

  • What kind of vegan cheese do you recommend for this recipe? Reubens are traditionally made using Swiss cheese. Daiya makes a vegan Swiss, but my supermarket doesn’t carry it and I’ve never tried it. The sandwich you see in the photos was made using Follow Your Heart smoked gouda.
  • Not into vegan cheese? Leave it out or substitute avocado slices!
  • Where can I get red sauerkraut like I see in your photos? I actually made it myself using red cabbage and this recipe.
  • Doesn’t Worcestershire sauce contain anchovies? Most brands do, but Annie’s and Edward & Sons brands are both vegan.
  • These sandwiches are pretty indulgent. Want to lower the fat/calorie content? Use less oil and cut back on the dressing. You could also substitute mustard for the dressing. Want to lower the sodium content? Cut back on the soy sauce (or use a low sodium variety), and/or the sauerkraut.

Close Up of a Vegan Reuben Sandwich on a Plate

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Vegan Reuben Sandwiches

The classic Reuben sandwich goes vegan! Made with layers of hearty seitan, tangy sauerkraut and creamy vegan Russian dressing, these sandwiches are packed with flavor and grilled to crispy delicious perfection.

For the Vegan Russian Dressing

  • 1/4 cup Vegan mayo
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, (or to taste)

For the Filling

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch cloves
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, (or high heat oil of choice)
  • 1 small onion, (diced)
  • 1 garlic clove, (minced)
  • 8 ounces seitan ((about half a batch if using my homemade seitan recipe), thinly sliced)

For the Sandwiches

  • 6 slices rye bread
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup sauerkraut
  • 3 slices vegan cheese ((optional))
  • Dill pickle slices ((optional))
  1. Whisk together all if the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set it aside.

  2. In a separate small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, maple syrup, ginger, allspice, black pepper and cloves. This is your sauce for seasoning the seitan. Set it aside.

  3. Coat the bottom of a medium skillet with the oil and place it over medium-high heat.

  4. Give the oil a minute to heat up. Once it begins to shimmer, add the onion.

  5. Sauté the onion for about 4 minutes, until it softens up and begins to brown.

  6. Add the garlic and sauté it for about 1 minute, until it becomes very fragrant.

  7. Add the seitan to the skillet and sauté everything for about 5 minutes more, until the seitan begins to crisp up in spots.

  8. Carefully pour the soy sauce mixture over the seitan and flip a few times to mix the ingredients.

  9. Cook the mixture for 1 to 2 minutes more, until most of the liquid has dried up.

  10. Remove the seitan from the skillet and transfer it to a plate.

  11. Wipe out the skillet or grab a clean one and set it over medium heat.

  12. Butter one side of each bread slice, then place three slices (or fewer and cook the sandwiches in batches if there isn't enough room), in the skillet, butter side down.

  13. Layer the seitan, sauerkraut, dressing, pickles and cheese, if using, over the bread slices, then top with the remaining slices, butter side up.

  14. Cook the sandwiches for about 4 minutes on each side, until golden and crispy.

  15. Transfer the sandwiches to plates and serve.

Nutrition information does not include cheese or pickles.

The post Vegan Reuben Sandwiches appeared first on Connoisseurus Veg.

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