Vegan Tempeh Reuben for a Plant-based St. Patty’s Day!

Recipe by Katie Mae

Makes 2–4 servings | Ready in 30 minutes | Stores 5 days in fridge (unassembled)


See how Katie Mae make this Vegan Tempeh Reuben Sandwich


    • 1½ cups water
    • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons low-sodium tamari
    • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 8 oz tempeh, sliced
    • 1 small onion, sliced
    • ½–1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper*
    • ½–1 tablespoon caraway seeds*
              1 bay leaf


    • 1x Potato “Bread” recipe OR a whole grain bread of your choosing, toasted
    • 1 cup sauerkraut, strained (I used a beet and cabbage sauerkraut)
              1x Thousand Island Dressing recipe


  1. Prepare the Thousand Island Dressing (separate recipe), so it can chill in the fridge as you continue this recipe.
  2. Prepare the Potato “Bread” (separate recipe) or have whole-grain bread ready to toast.
  3. Place a large skillet or sauté pan on the stove top. Add the water, tamari, apple cider vinegar, and liquid smoke, and stir.
  4. Slice the tempeh into wide, thin slices. Create these pieces by slicing the tempeh at a diagonal, OR slice the tempeh cross-sectional so you have two large flat pieces and then cut those pieces into 1- to 2-inch strips.
  5. Lay the tempeh strips in a single layer in the pan with the marinade, and turn the heat to medium-high. Lay the sliced onion over the tempeh. Add the garlic and bay leaf. Then sprinkle the peppercorns and caraway seeds across the top.
  6. Cover, reduce the heat to low-medium and let simmer for 20 minutes. If there’s excess water in the pan, drain it, keeping the tempeh and onions to use for the sandwich.
  7. Toast bread, so it’s warm with a little bit of crunch.
  8. To assemble, take two pieces of your choice of bread and spread a thin layer of the Thousand Island Dressing on each side. Layer three to six tempeh slices on one of the bread slices. Top with a few of the caramelized onions and a scoop of sauerkraut. Place the top piece of bread over top. Best served warm and freshly toasted.


The Potato “Bread” can turn out to be less sturdy than would be ideal for a sandwich. The substance of it may be closer to a piece of pita bread, depending on how thick you make it and how long it cooks for. If you want something that will hold together a little more, or you want more calories than feel free to use a whole grain bread of your choosing instead.

I use a tablespoon each of black pepper and caraway seeds. If you prefer a milder flavor, use start with a ½ tablespoon of each.

Traditional Reuben sandwiches come with Swiss cheese. I prefer this sandwich without any non-dairy cheese, however you’re welcome to add a slice of vegan cheese if you like.

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