Seeking plant-based ideas for lunch or hoping for a marvelous meatless handheld to pack? These 5 vegan sandwiches are perfect.

No lunchtime meal is more iconic than the classic sandwich. Found in multiple cultures throughout the world, sandwiches are a filling and satisfying midday meal that is both affordable and quick to prepare.

However, the average sandwich almost always contains meat as the centerpiece. For vegans and plant-based eaters, creating animal product-free versions can be a challenge. But not to worry! This list will give you five vegan sandwiches to incorporate into your next lunch.

1.   Curried Tofu Salad

Vegans looking for an alternative to chicken salad or egg salad can utilize tofu! Tofu’s simple flavor is best accompanied by lots of spice, making curry tofu salad the way to go.

To make the curry salad base, combine dairy-free vegan yogurt with some chopped walnuts, raisins, and celery.  Add your spices: curry powder/ turmeric, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and mix well! To balance the spiciness of the curry, add a couple of tablespoons of sweetener, such as maple syrup or agave honey. Finally, toss in some sauteed tofu and enjoy in a wrap or on cinnamon raisin bread.

2.   Falafel

A bowl of cooked falafel balls is shown in this photo.
Photo by Anton Uniqueton

A staple of Middle Eastern cuisine, falafel makes a perfect meat substitute in vegan sandwiches due to its dense and flavorful texture. These fried chickpea balls go perfect in pita bread alongside pickled veggies and other acidic flavors. Falafels can be purchased pre-made and frozen, or you can easily make them yourself with this simple recipe:

  • 1 can of dried chickpeas (drained and dried)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small to medium onion or shallot, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, and turmeric
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • Oil for pan

Blend all ingredients (except oil) together in a food processor until you’re left with a thick, greenish-yellow paste. Form into one-inch balls, slightly flatten, and shallow fry in an inch of oil until browned on all sides.

3.   Portobello Mushroom

For those that love mushrooms, the portobello is a fantastic vegan sandwich filler. Its meaty consistency is perfect for sandwiches that would traditionally need a thick-cut protein, like chicken breast or carved turkey.

Portobellos, when cut thick, are perfect for grilling. Add some ample seasoning, brush with oil, and place on your grill for a smoky, charred flavor.

4.   BBQ Pulled Jackfruit

Spiky jackfruit is hanging from a tree outdoors in this photo.
Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh

While it may not be found in your average chain grocery store, jackfruit can be obtained at most Asian markets or purchased online. Jackfruit’s texture is extremely pulpy and flaky, making it perfect for pulled pork-style sandwiches.

To enjoy, simply cook the pulled jackfruit in a pan with your favorite vegan barbeque sauce and place it on a bun or ciabatta with some homemade vegan coleslaw.

5.   Veggie Bahn Mi

Not all sandwiches need a meat substitute! Bahn Mi, a Vietnamese sandwich normally made from pork, is just as delicious on its own without the protein.

The highlight of a Bahn Mi sandwich is its pickled vegetables. The night before, place some julienned daikon, carrots, radish, and jalapenos in a container filled with vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. When making your sandwich, choose a soft baguette and slather both sides with siracha vegan mayo. Add your pickled veggies, top with cilantro, and enjoy this saucy delicacy!

A happy vegan lunchtime is coming your way

Don’t let your plant-based diet stop you from enjoying a classic lunchtime sandwich. With these vegan sandwiches, never again will you have to lazily resort to a PB&J. So, stock up your fridge on these vegan alternatives, and enjoy!