VEGAN Reuben Sandwich (Pastramie’d Lentils)

Did you ever think that this meatlovers’ sandwich would be as delicious as a vegan toasted sandwich? Yup, we did it: we made the perfect Reuben Sandwich: VEGAN!

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VEGAN Reuben Sandwich (Pastramie’d Lentils)

  • Author: Toastie Lab
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Did you ever think that this meatlovers’ sandwich would be as delicious as a vegan toasted sandwich? Yup, we did it: we made the perfect Reuben Sandwich: VEGAN!



  • 4 slices of rye bread 
  • 125 grams of sauerkraut
  • 1 can of lentils (400 grams)
  • 4 slices of Vegan cheese (if available “Swiss”)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil 
  • Pastrami spice blend (store bought or DIY)
    • 2 tablespoons of ground black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon of ground coriander seeds
    • 1 tablespoon of ground mustard seeds 
    • 1 tablespoon of sugar
    • 1 teaspoon of paprika
    • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon of onion powder


  1. Drain the lentils and rinse with cold water. Add the lentils to a blender or food processor and add the Pastrami spices and olive oil. Blend until smooth (or chunky if you like). Add some extra chili pepper for more kick. Set aside.
  2. Drain the sauerkraut. Remove excess liquid by squeezing it using a sif and a spoon 
  3. Assemble the toastie: first add a layer of the lentil blend on two slices of bread (the top and bottom layer). 
  4. Then, add a layer of sauerkraut and on top of that two slices of cheese.
  5. Close the toastie and place on a preheated grill.
  6. Grill until crispy or until the cheese has melted completely.
  7. Serve with a delicious vegan thousand island dressing.


  • Sauce tip: Vegan thousand island dressing (store bought or DIY) 
  • Bread tip: Rye bread
  • Equipment: Sandwich grill, blender or food processor
  • Category: Toasted Sandwich
  • Method: Grilled Sandwich
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Toasted Sandwich, Reuben Sandwich, Vegan Reuben Sandwich, Grilled Cheese,

Vegan Reuben Sandwich FAQs

What’s the best way to make a Vegan Reuben Sandwich?

There are many different ingredients you can use to make a classic Reuben sandwich vegan style. While lentils are my favorite option, you could also choose to make a vegan Reuben sandwich using: 

  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Jackfruit
  • Celeriac
  • Smoked beets
  • Mushrooms
  • Plain, vegan deli meats that you can use pastrami-rub on

In general, the key to success when it comes to the vegan Reuben, is to recreate that flavorful combination of something full of herbs, something fresh and sour, and something soft and creamy. To me, the lentil paste helps bring all those flavors together – and it’s perfect with sauerkraut and bread. 

How can you use lentils for toasties? 

One of the downsides of being vegan is missing out on cheese that has the perfect texture for toasties. For some reason, plant based cheese never melt the same way like real cheese does. But, since I’m moving towards more plant-based products in my diet, I need something to keep making my toasted sandwiches delicious. 

Enter lentil paste. 

I prefer to use this lentil paste because it gives the perfect texture to vegan toasties: it makes up for the “fake” cheese and adds texture and flavor. It’s also super versatile as you can add any kind of spice you can think of. Hence, it’s perfect for a flavorful pastrami rub. 

What kind of bread should you use for a Reuben sandwich?

A classic Reuben sandwich uses rye bread. The American type of rye bread, which is a little more plain, lightbrown and less dense than the rye bread you’ll find in Europe (particularly in the Netherlands).

You could, of course, use any other type of bread to make a Reuben sandwich: my personal preference being sourdough bread, which has a similar taste and structure when toasted. A grainy, seedy dark bread is another delicious alternative for a Reuben sandwich. 

What kind of sauce should you eat with a Reuben sandwich? 

A Reuben sandwich is often served with Thousand Island dressing or Russian dressing. The main difference between the two sauces is that the first uses pickles and the latter horseradish. You could use either sauces depending on whether you prefer something a little more sweet (Thousand Island) or spicy (Russian). 

  • You can also make your own Thousand Island dressing for a Reuben sandwich. The simplest version is made by simply combining (vegan) mayonnaise and ketchup. If you’d like to add some of that sweetness to it, add some finely chopped pickles or relish to your sauce. And if you like it spicy, add some horseradish (more Russian dressing)

You might also be able to find vegan thousand island dressing in your supermarket. 

How long should you grill the Reuben Sandwich?

The best Reuben Sandwich has crispy bread, and mostly melted cheese. Depending on the equipment your using and the thickness of your sandwich, it should be ready to eat after grilling it for about 5-10 minutes. 

A Reuben sandwich isn’t always grilled completely, however, since this is the ToastieLab, you won’t be surprised to hear that I like my Vegan Reuben grilled until all the cheese has melted. 

Also, the lentil paste will be super flavorful after grilling it. It brings all the flavors together. And the melted cheese will integrate deliciously with the sauerkraut…. YUM!

What’s the best order for layering a Reuben Sandwich?

Whether you’re working with corned beef, pastrami or a vegan alternative, I’d always recommend to start with that as your base layer. The sauerkraut comes on top and two slices of (vegan) cheese on top of that. 

You can butter the outsides of the Reuben sandwich (that would be step one) or drizzle some oil on your grill. Some people prefer to add sauce on the inside layers of the bread, but I prefer to add the sauce later and eat it on the side. 

Long story short: it doesn’t really matter what the order of a Reuben sandwich is, as long as your ingredients are dry and don’t soften the bread. You don’t want to risk it all falling apart!! 

How should you grill a Reuben Sandwich? 

Usually, a Reuben sandwich is quite thick. Lots of pastrami or corned beef, together with sauerkraut and sturdy rye bread make for a big toastie. Your tiny toastie iron will not enjoy preparing this sandwich for you. 

There are two recommended ways to grill the Reuben Sandwich:

  • In the oven 
  • In a grill 

The oven will not make the bread as crispy as the grill would, but it will be perfect for melting cheese – and obviously it will still be delicious. The grill however, makes this Reuben sandwich more of a toastie. And thus, that’s our preferred option 🙂

Toastie Lab

Toastie Lab is the collective effort of Jack and Eveline. We love making, experimenting with, and eating toasted sandwiches.

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