Vegan Pastrami Recipe

This vegan pastrami recipe offers a mouthwatering plant-based twist on the classic deli favorite. Made with seitan, a wheat protein, and a flavorful spice rub, this vegan pastrami is perfect for sandwiches or as a standalone deli meat substitute.

Vegan Pastrami Recipe

Key Takeaways:

  • This vegan pastrami recipe is a delicious plant-based alternative to traditional deli meat.
  • Seitan, a wheat protein, is the key ingredient in this vegan pastrami recipe.
  • The spice rub and simmering broth create the perfect texture and flavor.
  • Thinly sliced seitan or vegan corned beef can be used for the pastrami.
  • Enjoy this vegan pastrami in sandwiches, wraps, or as a filling in various dishes.

What You’ll Need

To make this Vegan Pastrami Recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Thinly sliced seitan or vegan corned beef
  • Vegan beef broth
  • Spices such as smoked paprika and ground mustard
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Maple syrup or brown sugar
  • Gluten-free alternatives like tempeh or tofu
  • Rye bread
  • Sauerkraut
  • Vegan Russian dressing or mayo

These ingredients are essential for creating a delicious and satisfying vegan deli meat substitute. The seitan or vegan corned beef provides the meaty texture, while the combination of spices and broth adds the signature pastrami flavor. The rye bread, sauerkraut, and vegan Russian dressing or mayo are key components for assembling a mouthwatering vegan pastrami sandwich.

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” – Ann Wigmore

Customize Your Ingredients

Feel free to experiment with different variations and substitutions to suit your preferences. For a gluten-free option, you can use alternatives like tempeh or tofu instead of seitan. You can also adjust the spices according to your taste, adding more or less smoked paprika and ground mustard. Additionally, you can play around with different sweeteners, such as using maple syrup or coconut sugar instead of brown sugar.

Ingredient Substitute
Seitan Tempeh or tofu
Smoked Paprika Regular paprika
Ground Mustard Dijon mustard
Apple Cider Vinegar White vinegar

Where to Find the Ingredients

You can find most of the ingredients for this Vegan Pastrami Recipe at your local grocery store. Seitan and vegan corned beef substitutes may be available in the refrigerated or frozen section alongside other plant-based meat alternatives. The spices and condiments can typically be found in the spice aisle or specialty food section. If you prefer gluten-free alternatives like tempeh or tofu, check the refrigerated section in the health food or vegetarian/vegan aisle.

Making the Vegan Pastrami

To create your own homemade vegan pastrami, you’ll start by simmering thinly sliced seitan or vegan corned beef in a flavorful broth. The broth can be made using either vegan beef broth or vegetable broth, along with spices like bay leaf, brown sugar, and mustard.

Once the seitan slices have been simmered to absorb the delicious flavors, they are then coated in a spice rub that adds depth and complexity to the final dish. The spice rub typically includes ingredients such as brown sugar, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and a selection of other spices.

After coating the seitan, it is time to bake it until it becomes beautifully crispy, allowing the flavors to intensify. To further enhance the taste, the crunchy seitan is then returned to the simmering broth for additional soaking, ensuring each bite is packed with mouthwatering goodness.

By following these steps, you’ll create a homemade vegan pastrami that rivals the flavors of the classic deli favorite while remaining entirely plant-based.

Spicy Vegan Pastrami Rub

Ingredients Amount
Brown sugar 2 tablespoons
Smoked paprika 1 tablespoon
Garlic powder 1 teaspoon
Black peppercorns 1 teaspoon
Coriander seeds 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon
Fennel seeds 1 teaspoon
Cloves 1/2 teaspoon
Cayenne pepper 1/2 teaspoon

Combine all the ingredients in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, and grind them into a fine powder. This spicy rub will give your homemade vegan pastrami a bold and savory flavor profile.

Tips for Making Vegan Pastrami

When it comes to creating delicious vegan pastrami, a few tips and tricks can take your recipe to the next level. Here are some essential tips to help you achieve that perfect texture and flavor:

1. Handle the Dough with Care

One key aspect of making vegan pastrami is to avoid overworking the dough. Overworking can lead to a chewy texture, which is not desirable. Instead, gently mix and shape the seitan or vegan corned beef to maintain a tender and juicy consistency.

2. Thinly Slicing for Optimal Flavor

Before adding the pastrami to the simmering broth, make sure to slice it thinly. Thin slices allow the pastrami to absorb the flavors of the spices and broth more effectively. This enhances the taste and ensures that each bite is packed with deliciousness.

3. Store in Simmering Liquid

To keep your vegan pastrami moist and flavorful, it’s recommended to store the leftovers in the simmering liquid. This helps to retain its juiciness and prevents it from drying out. The liquid also continues to infuse the pastrami with its aromatic spices, adding an extra layer of taste.

4. Endless Serving Possibilities

Vegan pastrami can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Try serving it on a classic vegan reuben sandwich with sauerkraut, vegan Russian dressing, and melted vegan cheese. Alternatively, pair it with golden latkes for a flavorsome twist on a traditional dish. The possibilities are endless, so get creative in the kitchen!

Vegan Pastrami Tips Recap

Tips Description
Handle the Dough with Care Avoid overworking the dough when shaping the seitan or vegan corned beef to maintain a tender texture.
Thinly Slicing for Optimal Flavor Slice the pastrami thinly to ensure it absorbs the flavors of the spices and broth effectively.
Store in Simmering Liquid Keep leftovers moist and flavorful by storing them in the simmering liquid, allowing the pastrami to stay juicy and soak up additional spices.
Endless Serving Possibilities Enjoy vegan pastrami in various dishes, such as classic reuben sandwiches or paired with latkes for a delightful flavor combination.

How to Make a Vegan Reuben

The key to making a delicious vegan reuben is to start with good-quality rye bread and melt vegan cheese on top. Layer sauerkraut and a generous amount of vegan pastrami on the bread, and spread vegan Russian dressing or mayo on the other slice. Grill the sandwich until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted. Serve with pickles and chips for a classic deli experience.

Ingredients: Instructions:
  • Good-quality rye bread
  • Vegan cheese
  • Sauerkraut
  • Vegan pastrami
  • Vegan Russian dressing or mayo
  • Pickles
  • Chips
  1. Preheat a grill or a pan.
  2. Assemble the sandwich by layering sauerkraut and a generous amount of vegan pastrami on one slice of rye bread.
  3. Spread vegan Russian dressing or mayo on the other slice of bread.
  4. Place a slice of vegan cheese on top of the vegan pastrami.
  5. Close the sandwich and press it gently.
  6. Grill the sandwich on medium heat until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted.
  7. Remove from the grill and serve with pickles and chips.

Enjoy the mouthwatering combination of tangy sauerkraut, savory vegan pastrami, and creamy vegan Russian dressing or mayo in each bite of this delicious vegan reuben. The vegan pastrami adds a hearty, meaty texture to the sandwich, making it a satisfying choice for both vegans and meat-eaters alike. Serve this classic deli-style sandwich for a satisfying lunch or dinner option.

Variations and Substitutions

This vegan pastrami recipe offers versatility and can be adapted to suit various dietary preferences and needs. Whether you’re looking for a vegetarian pastrami recipe or exploring different vegan sandwich fillings, here are some suggestions:

Alternative Protein Sources

If you prefer not to use seitan in this recipe, there are several alternative protein options you can try:

  • Tempeh: Use thinly sliced tempeh as a gluten-free alternative to seitan. It has a nutty flavor and slightly chewy texture that works well in sandwiches.
  • Sliced Eggplant: For a vegetable-based option, substitute seitan with thinly sliced eggplant. Roast or grill the eggplant slices before assembling your sandwich for added texture and flavor.
  • Tofu: Pressed and sliced tofu can be another gluten-free substitute for seitan. Marinate the tofu in your preferred seasonings before baking or pan-frying for a delicious vegan pastrami alternative.

Customize the Spice Blend

To tailor the flavors of your vegan pastrami, feel free to experiment with different spices and seasonings. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Chili Powder: If you enjoy spicier flavors, add some chili powder or cayenne pepper to the spice rub. This will give your pastrami a hint of heat and complexity.
  • Herbs: Consider incorporating herbs like thyme, rosemary, or oregano into the spice blend for a more aromatic and savory profile.
  • Smoked Salt: For an extra smoky flavor, replace regular salt with smoked salt. This will enhance the smokiness of the pastrami and add depth to each bite.

Alternative Sweeteners

If you prefer to use a different sweetener than brown sugar, there are a few options to consider:

  • Maple Syrup: Swap out the brown sugar for maple syrup to add a touch of natural sweetness with a hint of caramel flavor.
  • Coconut Sugar: Another alternative to brown sugar is coconut sugar, which has a rich, slightly earthy taste. It provides a subtle sweetness to the pastrami spice rub.

Versatile Serving Options

The vegan pastrami you make can be enjoyed in various ways. Here are some serving suggestions:

Sandwiches: Layer the vegan pastrami on your favorite bread with traditional sandwich fixings like lettuce, tomato, pickles, and vegan Russian dressing.

Wraps: Roll the vegan pastrami into a tortilla or wrap along with fresh vegetables, hummus, and your favorite condiments for a satisfying handheld meal.

Salads: Chop the vegan pastrami into smaller pieces and toss it into a fresh green salad or a grain-based salad for added protein and flavor.

With these variations and substitutions, you can customize the vegan pastrami recipe to suit your taste and dietary needs. Enjoy exploring different combinations and discovering your favorite way to enjoy this plant-based deli meat alternative.

Storage and Serving Suggestions

After enjoying a delicious homemade vegan pastrami, you may find yourself with some leftovers. To ensure the pastrami stays fresh and flavorful, follow these storage and serving suggestions:


Place the leftover pastrami in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. This will help keep it fresh for up to four days. To prevent the pastrami from drying out, store it in some of the simmering liquid used during cooking. This will help retain its moistness and flavor.

Serving Suggestions:

Vegan pastrami is incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways:

  1. Delicious Sandwiches: Layer the pastrami on your favorite bread, such as rye or whole grain, for a mouthwatering vegan deli sandwich. Add sauerkraut, pickles, and your choice of condiments, such as vegan Russian dressing or spicy mustard, to enhance the flavors.
  2. Wraps: Roll up the pastrami in a tortilla or lavash bread, along with some fresh veggies and a spread of your choice. This makes for a satisfying and portable meal.
  3. Salad Topping: Cut the pastrami into thin strips and use it as a protein-packed topping for your favorite salads. It adds a savory and hearty element to any greens.

Pair your homemade vegan pastrami with classic deli sides like pickles, coleslaw, or potato salad for a complete and satisfying meal.

Serving Suggestions Pastrami Pairings
Deli Sandwich Rye bread, sauerkraut, pickles
Vegan Wrap Tortilla, fresh veggies, spreads
Salad Topping Fresh greens, vegetables, dressing

More Seitan Recipes

If you enjoyed making and eating this vegan pastrami, you might also enjoy exploring more seitan recipes. Seitan is a versatile plant-based protein that can be used to create a variety of meat substitutes. Some other popular seitan recipes include vegan bacon, chicken-style nuggets, and BBQ ribs. These recipes offer a delicious and cruelty-free alternative to traditional meat dishes.

Recipe Description
Vegan Bacon This recipe uses thinly sliced seitan marinated in a smoky mixture of soy sauce, liquid smoke, and maple syrup. It can be baked or pan-fried until crispy, giving it a delicious bacon-like flavor and texture.
Chicken-Style Nuggets These nuggets are made from seitan that is coated in a seasoned batter and then fried until golden brown. They are a great option for a plant-based version of everyone’s favorite finger food.
BBQ Ribs In this recipe, seitan is shaped into rib-like strips and then marinated in a tangy barbecue sauce. The seitan ribs can be grilled or baked, resulting in tender and flavorful meatless ribs.

These seitan recipes offer a variety of options for incorporating plant-based proteins into your meals. Whether you’re looking for a vegan deli meat substitute or just want to try something new, these recipes are sure to satisfy your cravings.

Plant-Based Jewish Recipes

This vegan pastrami recipe is inspired by traditional Jewish cuisine, where pastrami is a popular ingredient. However, this recipe offers a plant-based twist on the classic dish. If you enjoy Jewish cuisine, you might be interested in exploring more plant-based Jewish recipes. There are cookbooks available that focus specifically on plant-based Jewish recipes, offering a wide range of delicious dishes for holidays and everyday meals.

Sample Recipe: Vegan Matzo Ball Soup

Matzo ball soup is a staple in Jewish households, especially during Passover. This vegan version replaces the traditional chicken broth and matzo balls with plant-based alternatives, but still captures the comforting flavors of the original dish. Here’s a simple recipe to try:

Ingredients Instructions
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup matzo meal
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 cups water
  • Fresh dill, for garnish
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Add the vegetable broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the matzo meal, vegetable oil, salt, pepper, and baking powder. Gradually add the water while stirring until a thick batter forms.
  4. Refrigerate the batter for 30 minutes to firm up.
  5. Using wet hands, shape the batter into small balls and drop them into the simmering broth. Cover the pot and let the matzo balls cook for about 30 minutes, until they are firm and cooked through.
  6. Serve the vegan matzo ball soup hot, garnished with fresh dill.

This vegan matzo ball soup is a comforting and flavorful dish that can be enjoyed by vegans and non-vegans alike. The matzo balls are light and fluffy, and the soup is rich and savory. It’s perfect for holidays or any time you’re in need of a comforting bowl of soup.


By making your own homemade vegan pastrami, you can indulge in the satisfying flavors of a classic deli favorite while staying true to your plant-based diet. This recipe provides a straightforward and delicious method for crafting delectable vegan pastrami that can be utilized in a multitude of sandwiches and dishes. Whether you’re a vegan seeking a meaty alternative or simply looking to explore new culinary horizons, this vegan pastrami recipe is sure to please your taste buds.

Creating a vegan pastrami sandwich is a breeze with this homemade vegan pastrami. Sliced thin and piled high on your bread of choice, layer it with tangy sauerkraut, creamy vegan Russian dressing, and any other toppings that excite your palate. The combination of smoky, savory flavors and hearty textures will leave you completely satisfied.

So why settle for store-bought vegan deli options when you can easily whip up your own homemade vegan pastrami? Not only do you have full control over the ingredients, but you can also customize the spice rub and seasonings to suit your preferences. Plus, the satisfaction of creating something delicious from scratch is unbeatable.


Can this vegan pastrami recipe be made gluten-free?

Yes, you can use gluten-free alternatives such as tempeh or tofu instead of seitan. Additionally, you can use gluten-free bread or wraps when serving.

How long can the leftover pastrami be stored?

Leftover pastrami can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. It is recommended to store it in some of the simmering liquid to keep it moist.

Can I reheat the leftover pastrami?

Yes, you can serve the pastrami cold or reheat it in the simmering liquid. It is delicious in sandwiches, wraps, or as a filling for salads.

Are there alternative ingredients that can be used in this recipe?

Yes, instead of seitan, you can use tempeh, sliced eggplant, or tofu for a gluten-free option. The spices can also be customized to your taste, and different sweeteners like maple syrup or coconut sugar can be used instead of brown sugar.

Can the vegan pastrami be used in other dishes?

Yes, the pastrami can be served in various sandwiches or used as a filling for wraps or salads.

What other recipes can I make with seitan?

Seitan is a versatile plant-based protein that can be used to create a variety of meat substitutes. Some other popular seitan recipes include vegan bacon, chicken-style nuggets, and BBQ ribs.

Are there cookbooks available for plant-based Jewish recipes?

Yes, there are cookbooks available that focus specifically on plant-based Jewish recipes, offering a wide range of delicious dishes for holidays and everyday meals.

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