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Vegan Tempeh Reuben Recipe


When I ate meat, I never liked reubens because I hated corned beef/pastrami. But when I became vegetarian, I started enjoying veggie reubens because they were made with super savory, moist plant-based proteins like seitan and tempeh.

I love Chicago Diner’s Radical Reuben, but when I was living far away from Chicago, I missed it dearly and wanted to make an homage reuben so I came up with this Vegan Tempeh Reuben recipe to fulfill your vegan reuben cravings. Since I started making this sandwich, vegan cheese has vastly improved so you can get that gooey cheese in the middle of a robust sandwich. If you try making any of these recipes, I would love if you could tag it on Instagram or FB @chivegfood!

Vegan Tempeh Reuben Recipe

Vegan Tempeh Reuben Recipe

A delicious veganized version of an American classic, the Reuben made with plant-based protein, vegan cheese, and a vegan thousand island.

Recipe by ChiVeg
5 from 6 votes
Course: Dinner, Lunch, MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Tempeh
  • 8 oz tempeh (sliced in half, then in fourths so 8 pieces total)

  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil (olive oil is fine)

  • 1 tbsp tamari/soy sauce

  • Sandwich
  • 4 slices rye bread (I didn’t have rye bread so I just used wheat bread)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 red onion (sliced into thin strips that are about 1-2 inches long)

  • 1 tbsp garlic (I usually add more because I love garlic)

  • 2 cups sauerkraut (drained)

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (I usually add 2-3 tsp)

  • 1 tsp caraway seed

  • salt/pepper to taste

  • 4 slices smoked vegan gouda or regular swiss cheese (I haven’t found a good vegan swiss yet but Violife and Follow Your Heart have amazing vegan gouda)

  • Vegan Thousand Island
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tsp tamari/soy sauce

  • 2-3 dashes hot sauce (I prefer Cholula)

  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar

  • 2 dashes liquid smoke

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 2 tsp banana peppers (finely minced, adds a nice tang)

  • 1 tsp fresh dill (dried is fine)


  • Tempeh
  • Preheat oven to 375 F. Chop your tempeh in half and cut each half into 4 slices, yielding 8 slices total.
  • In a medium pan on medium heat, heat up your oil and add your tempeh. Sauté your tempeh on each side for about 3-4 minutes and add the tamari after you flip the tempeh over once.
  • Reuben Prep
  • While your tempeh is sautéing, chop your onion, garlic, and drain your sauerkraut. In a separate medium pan, heat up your oil and then add the onion on medium heat.
  • Add your onion to the pan and sauté for about 2 minutes, then add the garlic, turn your heat to low, add your paprika, then add the sauerkraut and caraway seeds.
  • Sauté your sauerkraut mix for about 3 minutes and add salt/pepper. While your veggies are sautéing, make your vegan Thousand Island.
  • In a small bowl, add olive oil, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, tamari, spices, hot sauce, banana peppers, liquid smoke, and stir together. Make adjustments if needed for taste and add dill at the very end.
  • Now it’s time to assemble your tempeh reubens! Lay a piece of foil on your baking sheet that covers it in its entirety. Put your 4 slices of bread on the foil and put your vegan thousand island on all slices of the bread.
  • Put your tempeh on 2 slices of bread (about 4 slices on each piece). On the other two slices, put your sauerkraut/onion mixture and top with your vegan/dairy cheese choice.
  • Put your reubens in the oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes, then broil for about 2-5 minutes. Take it out of the oven and assemble your sandwich slices together and cut into half.


  • Rye bread is ideal for this but if you don’t have it, do not fret! As long as you have a darker bread, that will work.
  • There are vegan mayo based thousand island recipes but I don’t like mayo so why imitate it?
  • I usually add a bit more spice to this so if you like spicy food, add more paprika!
  • Oven times may vary so keep an eye on the reuben after 10 minutes.
  • Mixing pickles with your sauerkraut adds another fun texture to the reubens!

The Vegan Thousand Island
The Vegan Thousand Island

Vegan tempeh reubens are being assembled.
Vegan tempeh reubens are being assembled.

Sauerkraut and pickles on top!
Sauerkraut and pickles on top!

Vegan Tempeh Reubens are ready!
Vegan Tempeh Reubens are ready!

Hungry for more? Check out more recipes here!


  1. Audriana L.

    This was such a good juicy vegan reuben! Simple recipe too!

  2. I love the sauerkraut onion mixture in this and the vegan thousand island. Such a great recipe!

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