The Epic Journey of the Vegan Pastrami Sandwich

Have you ever bitten into something and felt the universe shift just a little? Alright, maybe I’m exaggerating slightly, but that’s exactly the sensation I experienced the first time I tasted a vegan pastrami sandwich. Let’s journey together into this delightful world, shall we?

vegan pastrami

A Dish Born from Innovation

Centuries ago, who would’ve thought? Pastrami—a meaty, smoky, peppery delight—can actually be vegan. The universe, in all its vast complexities, handed us the eggplant. And we? We made vegan pastrami.

The Signature Taste: A Symphony of Flavors

When you think pastrami, the mind conjures up flavors. Spicy, savory, smoky. Now, substitute beef with a plant! Ah, the elegance of eggplant marinated in a potion of liquid smoke and spices. The result? A masterpiece. Delicate textures, an explosion of flavors, and most importantly, it’s cruelty-free.

Crafting Vegan Pastrami: A Surprising Star Ingredient

The hero in our pastrami tale? The humble eggplant. In its raw form, eggplant is mild, almost nondescript. Yet, when marinated in a concoction of liquid smoke, spices, and a touch of sweetness, it transforms. The result is a tantalizing, smoky, and surprisingly meaty substitute that mimics the traditional pastrami texture and taste, all while being entirely plant-based.


Expanding Horizons: Delicious Variations to Explore

The beauty of the vegan pastrami sandwich lies in its adaptability. While eggplant takes center stage in the classic rendition, other ingredients like jackfruit, tempeh, and king oyster mushrooms each offer a unique twist, adding different textures and flavors that make the dish exciting every time.

Ingredient Swaps: For Every Kitchen and Palate

Not a fan of eggplant or can’t find liquid smoke in your local grocery? Fear not! Vegan pastrami welcomes experimentation. Opt for zucchini or portobello mushrooms. In place of liquid smoke, smoked paprika or a touch of chipotle can add that sought-after smoky flavor.

Ahead of Time: Simplifying the Vegan Pastrami Experience

For those constantly on the move, vegan pastrami is a blessing. Prepare your chosen ‘meat’ substitute a day in advance, letting it marinate and soak up all the flavors. When you’re ready, it’s a swift dance of frying or grilling before constructing your perfect sandwich.

Dressing it Up: The Perfect Companions

What’s a sandwich without its entourage of condiments and sides? With vegan pastrami, the sky’s the limit. Go classic with mustard and rye or experiment with vegan cheese, tangy sauerkraut, and a touch of creamy vegan aioli. Remember, it’s your sandwich – make it as decadent or as minimalist as you want!

wheat bread

A Peek Behind the Curtain: Crafting Vegan Pastrami

Curious about the magic behind pastrami? At its core, it’s about marination. The seitan or jackfruit is soaked in a blend of spices and flavors, absorbing them wholeheartedly. Paprika, garlic, black pepper, and a touch of liquid smoke are often the secret warriors behind that distinct pastrami kick. Slow-cooked to perfection, each slice is a testament to patience and passion.

The Global Touch: Vegan Pastrami Around the World

The vegan pastrami sandwich may have a Western vibe, but did you know that variations of it are sprouting up globally? From spicy Asian twists with a hint of Sriracha to Mediterranean versions with olive tapenade, the vegan pastrami is becoming a cosmopolitan icon.

Unpacking the Health Benefits

Let’s talk numbers for a moment. Vegan pastrami, depending on its base, can be a fantastic source of protein minus the saturated fats. Add to that a generous dose of vitamins, especially if you’re teaming up with jackfruit, and you’ve got a sandwich that’s as nutritious as it is tasty.

Gather ‘Round the Table: Making It a Family Affair

One of the joys of food is sharing. The next time you whip up a vegan pastrami sandwich, get the whole family involved. Kids can layer their toppings, and you can weave tales of the sandwich’s rich history. It’s not just a meal; it’s an experience.

vegan pastrami

In wrapping up, the vegan pastrami stands as a symbol of evolution – in food and in thought. It’s about preserving the essence of a classic while staying in tune with the evolving ethos of our times. Whether you’re a vegan, a meat-lover, or somewhere in between, this sandwich beckons with a promise: to tantalize your tastebuds and to make you ponder on the power of choice. So, the next time you’re in the mood for a bite, reach out for that vegan pastrami sandwich. It might just be the culinary adventure you never knew you needed. Happy eating!

Loved our vegan pastrami sandwich? Take your taste buds on another plant-based journey with our mouth-watering vegan shawarma recipe!

If you enjoyed our version, you’d love the twist of Zardy Plant has on the vegan pastrami sandwich. Don’t miss out!

Vegan Pastrami Sandwich

This vegan pastrami sandwich, suitable for 4 servings, uses marinated and pan-fried eggplant slices as the main ingredient, replicating the texture and smokiness of traditional pastrami. Complemented by a tangy vegan coleslaw and optional mustard between low-carb whole wheat bread slices, each serving offers a net carb content of 15 grams and 280 calories. With a total time of 40 minutes split between 20 minutes of preparation and 20 minutes of cooking, this beginner-friendly sandwich is a harmonious blend of taste, health, and convenience.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Snack, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Breakfast, Recipe, rice sandwich, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 280kcal


  • 1 large eggplant thinly sliced (approximately 1/4-inch thick)
  • 4 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 vegan whole wheat or low-carb bread slices
  • 1 cup vegan coleslaw prepared from shredded cabbage, vegan mayo, and a dash of vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Vegan mustard optional


  • Preparation of Eggplant Pastrami:
  • In a mixing bowl, combine tamari, liquid smoke, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. This will serve as your marinade.
  • Submerge the thinly sliced eggplant pieces into the marinade, ensuring each piece is well-coated. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Cooking the Eggplant:
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  • Once hot, place the marinated eggplant slices in the skillet. Ensure they are in a single layer and not overlapping. Cook each side for 4-5 minutes until they become brown and slightly crispy. Once cooked, set them aside.
  • Assembling the Sandwich:
  • Toast the vegan bread slices.
  • Place a generous layer of vegan coleslaw on one slice.
  • Layer the cooked eggplant pastrami on top of the coleslaw.
  • Add vegan mustard if desired.
  • Top with the other slice of toasted bread.
  • Slice the sandwich in half, serve immediately, and enjoy your delicious, healthy, and beginner-friendly Vegan Pastrami Sandwich!


Net Carb Content per Serving: 15 grams 
Total Calorie Count per Serving: 280 calories

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