For a lot of us, making sandwiches was our introductory to cooking.
It's fun, easy and creative! Get two pieces of sliced bread, throw in some veggies, maybe put in a slice of cheese, drizzle on your favorite condiments, and you are good to go.
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There's one problem though. While veggie sandwiches are amazing, Some of the most classic sandwiches are not vegan-friendly - Roast beef, pulled-pork, Bacon-Lettuce-Tomato, even a Philly Cheese Steak. So, what is a vegan to do?
Luckily, we live in a time where veganism is on the rise. No matter what supermarket is closest to you, there's always some sort of vegan-friendly meat alternatives. To add to that, the internet is full of incredible recipes and people on YouTube teaching you how to make awesome plant-based food for free.
Various famous chefs are starting to take veganism more seriously, new plant-based chefs are rising, and popular vegan food empires are being created.
In this article, we will go over everything you need to do to start making some awesome vegan-friendly sandwiches.
Similar to making Sushi, sandwich making is something that you can get good at quickly but is an art in itself that can be taken very far.
If you enjoy, make sure to give this free guide a share on social media to help support our effort.
The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread: A Brief History
In 1762, John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, England, was gambling for twenty-four hours straight.
He requested that the chef make some sort of food he could eat while continuing to gamble. The chef served two pieces of toast with meat in between and the sandwich as we know it was born.
Another story says that the chef didn't come up with the idea and it was Montagu who asked for two slices of bread with meat in the middle.
Pretty soon his gambling buddies would say "I'll have what Sandwich is having" as they took note of the convienience of such a hand-held food.
Other cultures around the world also had their own versions of sandwiches prior to Montagu. In Greece, there were gyros. In Vietnam, there was banh mi.
But Montagu is still credited with the original version of what we tend to think of as sandwiches today.
Sliced bread was invented in 1928 by Otto Rohwedder in Missouri.
Mr. Sandwich himself
At the time, bread was becoming softer and fluffier which made it virtually impossible to slice evenly by hand. One of the first companies to distribute sliced bread nationally was Wonder Bread, which remains popular even to this day.
3 Tips To Up Your Sandwich-Making Game
Here are our top 3 tips to help you make your packed lunch a culinary masterpiece:
Use high-quality bread
If you can, opt for a fresh, locally-made bread without tons of additives or preservatives. With some variation, bread is flour, yeast, and water, so don’t buy the bread with a million ingredients you can’t pronounce. Bonus points if you make your own! (Try this easy recipe here)
A perfect example of the type of bread you should not buy. It’s not vegan, anyway. That photo is from all the way back in 2012 when 730SageStreet published an article detailing the ingredients in Wonder Bread.
Soggy sandwiches are the worst! Put your mustard, ketchup, or vegan mayo in between your ingredients so that they don’t touch the bread. This tip is especially effective if you're storing a sandwich in the fridge for another time.
Toast Your Bread (Or warm your tortilla!)
Toasting your bread makes it warm, crispy, and just overall better. It helps vegan cheese melt, too. If you’re using a tortilla, warm that up too!
Quick Toppings & Fillers To Stock Up On
It’s always easier to have ingredients on hand, especially versatile ones that can be used in multiple recipes. Keeping an arsenal of fresh veggies, legumes, nuts, condiments, and other staples makes it that much easier to make healthy choices at home.
We’ve come up with a list of recommendations, but of course choose ingredients you like and feel like you’ll use up. We definitely don’t encourage wasting food, so start out with a few fresh items and condiments. As you hone your sandwich skills, you’ll be able to branch out into the unknown with confidence.
Here are some ingredients you may want to have on hand:
Veganized Cold Cuts
If you love your traditional sandwiches but can’t stomach the cruelty, we have you covered. The market for mock meat has soared within the past few years. Here are some brands that make processed vegan versions of meat that you can buy at your local grocery store:
Feeling ambitious? You can make your own cold cuts, too! Check out some of these innovative recipes:
Fried Vegan Bologna
Make your own fried vegan bologna...need we say more or are you already rushing to the kitchen?
Chickpea “Tuna” Salad
This classic vegan sandwich recipe is easy to whip up. You probably have most if not all of the ingredients in your kitchen already. I like to crumple some wasabi-flavored seaweed snacks for more of that sea-inspired flavor and an added kick.
Great on sandwiches or a vegan pizza, this genius recipe for a mock pepperoni is essentially tofu and spices. You can choose how large you make the pepperonis, so you can easily make them sandwich-sized.
Vegan Turkey Style Deli Slices
I give serious props to the creator of this recipe. These vital wheat gluten slices have an uncanny resemblance to meat. These cold cuts will be great on any sandwich.
Vegan Rice Paper Bacon
There are tons of vegan bacon recipes out there, but this one is the crispiest because it uses rice paper. It’s not that filling, though, so you’ll just have to make more to compensate.
Sandwich Spread Recipes
Add dimension to your sandwich with one of these delicious sandwich spreads:
Sun-dried Tomatoes Spread
This spread is delicious with sandwiches loaded with veggies. It’s super easy to make, too!
Avocado & Balsamic
One of my go-to spreads is a mashed avocado with a few drops of balsamic vinegar to taste. It creates such a rich flavor that can’t be imitated. Just go easy with the balsamic vinegar; it can quickly become overpowering.
This spread is great on a sandwich, pasta, or as a dip with crackers. Impress all of your friends by serving this at your next dinner party.
Who doesn’t love a cheesy sandwich? This vegan ricotta would be delicious on a light sandwich with sliced cucumbers or on a sandwich loaded with ingredients.
Sandwich Sauce Recipes
Sauces can take a sandwich from mediocre to OMG! Elevate yours with one of these recipes:
How could we not mention this classic condiment? A vegan version is super easy to make as long as you have vegan mayo on hand. And homemade ranch is so much better than store-bought.
Obviously honey mustard isn’t vegan, but substituting it with a vegan version is easy. This recipe only calls for three ingredients that you most likely already have.
BBQ Tahini Sauce
This heavenly combination has so much flavor and the tahini makes it nice and creamy. You’ll want to put this on everything.
A lighter option that won’t overpower your ingredients, this dressing is quick and easy to whip up while you toast your sandwich bread.
This is a great sauce for Asian-inspired recipes. Gradually add sriracha to vegan mayo to taste and mix together.
Sandwich Recipes That Will Blow You Away
In case you needed more inspiration, here are some awesome vegan sandwich recipes:
Quick Walnut Pate Sandwiches with Pears and Arugula
This very well may be the most sophisticated sandwich I’ve ever eaten. The pears and arugula are a great combination of sweet and bitter that makes this sandwich fantastic.
BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches With Avocado Slaw
Sounds complicated, but is actually ridiculously easy. If you don’t have BBQ sauce on hand, it also tastes great with sriracha.
Grilled Cheese Three Ways
Veggies and Hummus Sandwich
This is just one of the many vegan versions of the BLT. It uses tofu to replace bacon, but you could easily use tempeh or rice paper as described above.
Spicy Banh Mi
Baked Tofu and Pesto Sandwich
This loaded sandwich has something for everyone; pesto, baked tofu, veggies. And as a bonus, it’s oil-free!
As you can see, there’s a whole wide world of vegan sandwich making out there. We’ve come a long way since Montagu’s gambling binge. With so many options, you’re bound to find some favorites that are both healthy, filling, and delicious.