This Vegan Reuben Sandwich is filled with thinly sliced vegan seitan beef, melted swiss cheese, dairy-free Russian dressing, and tangy sauerkraut. It's cheesy, crunchy, tangy, meaty perfection but completely vegan!
Reubens are quite simple to make vegan with a few simple vegan ingredient swaps.
Instead of corned beef, we are using seitan. Instead of mayo, it's a simple swap to vegan mayo. As for the bread, rye bread is usually vegan but check the ingredients to make sure.
This recipe has been on my blog since 2019 but has since been updated with new pictures and more information as of 2022. I have separated the seitan recipe into a separate blog post with additional information and pictures as well.
These vegan Reuben sandwiches are loaded with vegan beef, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing and served on Rye bread. One of the best sandwich recipes you’ll try (seriously, it’s so good!!)
- Rye Bread
- Vegan Beef
- Vegan Swiss Cheese
- Russian Dressing
This vegetarian Reuben is incredibly delicious and so easy to make at home- prep the vegan beef the night before and you can have this tasty sandwich ready in under 20 minutes!
- Rye Bread: I used sourdough rye bread that I found at my local grocery store. You can visit a bread bakery in your area and see if they have that beautifully marbled rye which is more traditional but if you can't find any, don't worry! Any rye bread will work well. If you can't find rye bread, you can use your favorite bread.
- Vegan Beef: Traditional reubens are made with corned beef but I opted to use my vegan beef recipe and it worked wonderfully! It's made from vital wheat gluten and spices. It's also incredibly versatile so you can use the leftovers for a wide variety of different dishes.
- Vegan Swiss Cheese: Swiss cheese is the preferred cheese option but you can use provolone as well. I used the brand Daiya.
- Sauerkraut: Sauerkraut is a must for tang and crunch!! Even if you don't necessarily like it on its own- it's super important here in terms of flavor. See below for substitutions.
- Russian Dressing: Russian dressing is a mayo-based dressing that was easily made vegan by switching to vegan mayonnaise. It includes ingredients like horseradish, ketchup, and hot sauce. It’s incredible and a must-have in order to make this reuben!
- Vegan Worcestershire Sauce: You just need a bit for the sauce recipe- you can find vegan Worcestershire sauce at places like Whole Foods or a health food store. Annie's and The Wizard's are good brands to look out for.
How to Make This Recipe
This vegan recipe will be your new favorite sandwich. It's everything you would want in a sandwich- it's cheesy, meaty, tangy, and crunchy! The cheese melts and gets super gooey, the tangy Russian dressing adds so much flavor, the seitan is perfectly tender and meaty, and the sauerkraut adds a nice freshness and crunch.
Make a batch of Vegan Beef. Please note that the vegan beef needs to sit overnight.
Thinly slice the vegan beef and heat a large skillet on medium-high heat- add a small splash of oil. Add the vegan beef and cook until lightly golden and browned about 3-5 minutes.
Make the homemade vegan Russian dressing by whisking together all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired.
Spread a heaping spoonful of the Russian dressing on the rye bread and top with seitan slices, vegan cheese slices, sauerkraut, and another drizzle of the homemade Russian dressing as well as the second slice of bread.
Heat a frying pan on medium heat and add enough vegan butter to coat the pan- you’ll need more in between each sandwich. I use the brand earth balance.
Cook each side of the sandwich for about 4 to 5 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and crisp- I recommend covering the pan with a lid for the first few minutes to help the cheese melt.
Serve with more Russian dressing on the side and enjoy!
Vegan Seitan Beef
Regular corned beef is made from salt-cured brisket and is the go-to when making a classic Reuben sandwich. Some Reubens might be made with pastrami instead of corned beef but nevertheless, neither are vegan.
I went with my vegan beef recipe for this meat-free Reuben. It is made from vital wheat gluten and spices and is baked and chilled overnight. It is then thinly sliced and can be used for a wide variety of different sandwiches and recipes.
It is a wonderful vegan substitute for corned beef and pastrami for many different dishes but especially this sandwich recipe.
Prep the vegan beef ahead of time- it needs to sit overnight to become even more delicious and the texture becomes meatier. It'll also slice beautifully after resting.
The Russian dressing can be prepped ahead to marinate and become even more flavorful but it can be served immediately as well.
Russian dressing is often confused with Thousand Island dressing but they are a bit different.
They start with the same first ingredients, mayo, and ketchup. But thousand island is a bit sweet and contains sweet pickle relish.
Whereas, Russian dressing is on the spicier side with a hint of heat from the horseradish and hot sauce. Russian dressing is the traditional sauce for reuben sandwiches.
Tips & Tricks
The seitan beef is best refrigerated overnight. So while it’s difficult, I highly recommend making this the night before and storing it in the fridge before slicing.
Half a batch of vegan beef will make about 6 sandwiches, maybe even more– depending on how much you put on each individual sandwich. I recommend only building the ones that you plan to serve and store the remaining ingredients separately. Use the remaining half to make vegan seitan gyros or see the original blog post for more serving ideas.
Keep the ingredients separate. I would recommend storing all the ingredients separately and building them fresh as you plan to serve.
Substitutions & Additions
Vegan Beef: You can use tempeh or tofu. I haven't tested it out myself but I believe it would be delicious when paired with the Russian dressing, sauerkraut, and swiss cheese.
Vegan Swiss Cheese: I used swiss cheese from the vegan brand Daiya but you can use a vegan provolone as well.
Sauerkraut: Substitute sauerkraut with dill pickles or red cabbage for a nice freshness and crunch.
Storage & Reheating
I highly recommend storing all the ingredients separately and following the instructions as stated in the recipe card.
Frequently Asked Questions
My homemade vegan beef recipe is made from gluten and it cannot be made gluten-free. You can substitute it with a gluten-free option like tofu or tempeh but you'll need to season it. You'll also need gluten-free bread.
You can switch them out for pickles! I would go with a crisp dill pickle but if you wanted to add a little sweetness, add bread and butter pickles. If you aren't a fan of pickles, try red cabbage to add some crunch and freshness without the pickled flavor.
More Delicious Sandwich Recipes You’ll Love:
- Vegan Tofu Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Vegan Steak Sandwich w/ Gouda & Arugula
- Vegan Roast Beef Sandwich
Vegan Reuben Sandwich with Seitan
- 8 slices Rye Bread
- ½ Batch Vegan Beef
- 1 cup Sauerkraut
- 6-8 slices Vegan Swiss Cheese
- Vegan Butter for cooking
Vegan Russian Dressing
- 1 cup Vegan Mayo
- ¼ cup Ketchup
- ¼ cup White Onion minced
- 2 teaspoons Prepared Horseradish
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha
- 2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Vegan Worcestershire see note
- ¼ teaspoon Salt more to taste
- ½ teaspoon Paprika
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- Make a batch of Vegan Beef. Please note that the vegan beef needs to sit overnight.
- Thinly slice the vegan beef and heat a frying pan on medium-high heat- add a small splash of oil. Add the vegan beef and cook until lightly golden and browned, about 3-5 minutes.
- Make the Russian dressing by whisking together all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
- Spread a heaping spoonful of the Russian dressing on the rye bread and top with thinly sliced vegan beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and a drizzle of more sauce as well as the top piece of bread.
- Heat a frying pan on medium heat and add enough vegan butter to coat the pan- you'll need more in between each sandwich.
- Cook each side of the sandwich for about 4 to 5 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and crisp- I recommend covering the pan with a lid for the first few minutes to help the cheese melt.
- Serve with more Russian dressing on the side and enjoy!