Vegan & Vegetarian Sandwich Ideas for the PBJ Weary (VZ 290)

vegetarian sandwich white ceramic plate

When I first became a vegetarian in 2013 I thought my sandwich life would consist of egg salad, peanut butter and jelly, and grilled cheese sandwiches.  Little did I realize that the number of vegan and vegetarian sandwich ideas was pretty much endless!

One thing that being a vegetarian has taught me is how to be more creative with my food choices. After all, having to piece together sides at a steakhouse to create a meal forces one to think outside of the box!

We’re including some links to recipes below to help spark some ideas, but remember that the best sandwiches are always the ones that suit your specific taste, so don’t be afraid to tweak and refine!

 

It All Starts with Delicious Bread

The right (or wrong) bread can seriously make (or break) your sandwich. Like many people, when we were growing up we relied on plain old generic off-the-shelf white bread. Today, however, many grocery stores have their own bakeries that offer a wide variety of scratch-made whole grain bread. While not all bread is conducive to sandwich making, try experimenting with a few you’ve never tried before. You may find a new favorite! 

Also, whoever defined “sandwich” as this-or-that between two pieces of sliced bread was sorely lacking in the creativity department! Get creative with pita, naan, an English muffin, or a bagel  (especially toasted!). Or come up with something else completely new! Check out this article from the Happy Herbivore for more vegan bread options.

 

Veggie-Based Spreadables

Whether you are vegetarian or vegan, your choices of sandwich spreads are certainly not limited. Lacto-ovo vegetarians who eat dairy and eggs can use standard mayonnaise, but there are also some non-dairy/egg mayos available these days. Just Mayo brand is one of our favorites.

 

The State of Veggies

The state of your veggies really really REALLY matters! Wilted veggies can take a sandwich from hero to zero, so be sure to use only the best! This is especially true if you’re making a veggie sandwich without faux meats or cheeses.

If a raw veggie sandwich sounds too boring, try grilling them or sauteing in red wine for powerful flavor. How about this amazing recipe for a grilled veggie panini? This looks so good! 

 

 

Don’t Forget About Veggie Burgers and Other Faux Meats!

A meatless sandwich doesn’t necessarily mean veggies only. There are some delicious faux meats on the market, and more options are popping up all the time. Yes, many are processed but there are many coming out that keep the processing to a minimum. For an off-the-shelf brand, check out Mrs. Goldfarb products. I’ve tried several and love them! Luckily they are now in our local grocery store.

You can also look into making your own faux meats such as those made by Chef Skye Michael Conroy (aka The Gentle Chef).

Crafting Seitan: Creating Homemade Plant-Based Meats Crafting Seitan: Creating Homemade Plant-Based Meats

Chef Conroy shares his special tips and techniques for preparing a variety of shapes and textures. A special section of the book contains his personal spice blends and flavoring mixes, sauces and glazes, and even a few nondairy staples to enhance these delicious dishes

Portobello mushroom and top with caramelized onions for a delicious meatless burger, or heat vegan meatballs in pasta sauce for a classic meatball sub.

Tofu can also be used as a sandwich filling. Just remember that tofu is flavorless on its own, so you’ll need to marinate it before baking or pan-frying. The good thing is that marinade possibility are endless, so you really can create a truly unique sandwich.

Check out Peta’s “12 Vegan Meat Brands That are Changing Everything!” for more on faux meats.

Hamilton Beach Electric Panini Press Grill
  • Locking Lid
  • Opens 180 Degrees for Any Sandwich Thickness
  • Nonstick 8" X 10" Grids

 

Less-Processed Fillings

For healthier, less-processed options, try making your own bean burgers, falafel, or vegan tuna salad made from hummus. Jackfruit and portobello mushrooms also do a remarkable job of subbing in for meats especially sloppy joes or BBQ.

 

Gettin’ Cheesy

Since most vegetarians still eat dairy and eggs, there’s no need to substitute the cheese unless you are trying to reduce your consumption of dairy. If that’s the case (or if you are vegan), there are some great vegan cheese options to explore.

Much like faux meats, vegan cheese has come a long way in just a few short years. Demand for vegan cheese is on the rise and doesn’t show any indication of slowing down, particularly as more companies compete for market share.

Spreadable vegan cream cheeses such as those from Kite Hill, or thinly sliced Chao vegan cheese from Field Roast can make wonderful additions to your sandwich. Check out Cooking Light’s article We Tried 19 Vegan Cheeses—Here Are the Ones Worth Buying for some vegan cheeses worth trying.

 

Spice it Up!

Try thinking outside of the “salt and pepper” box and consider some other spices you can add to give your sandwich a flavor blast. Roasted garlic, lemon juice, red pepper, curry, herbs de Provence, and smoked paprika can really pep up an otherwise plain sandwich. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

For more on spices that work particularly well in vegetarian dishes, check out The Vegetarian Flavor Bible.

 

Vegan & Vegetarian Sandwich Ideas on Pinterest

We’ve created some amazing vegan and vegetarian sandwich ideas for you on Pinterest. Be sure to check out our board dedicated to these delicious recipes!

vegan and vegetarian sandwich ideas on pinterest

As you can see there are SO MANY vegan & vegetarian sandwich ideas! We hope this article has inspired you to experiment with some creative sandwich options. Listen to Larissa and I talk about vegetarian sandwich recipes in episode 290 of the podcast. You can share some of your vegan and vegetarian sandwich ideas with us in our closed Facebook Group, The Peas and Carrots Society. 

Looking to up your plant-based cooking skills? Check out the Forks Over Knives Online Cooking School! I graduated in 2018 and my plant-based cooking life has never been the same!

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Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

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