Vegan Wonder

Ditch the Deli: Discover Delicious Vegan Meat Alternatives for Mouthwatering Sandwiches and More

If you’re tired of the same old deli meat options, it’s time to expand your horizons and explore a world of flavorful, plant-based alternatives. Not only are these tasty options healthier and more sustainable than their animal-derived counterparts, but choosing them also supports ethical farming practices. Bonus: They’re incredibly versatile in the kitchen.

Debunking Myths About Vegan Deli Meats

Before we dive into the delicious world of vegan deli meats, let’s address some common myths.

  • Taste and texture: With the advancements in plant-based meat technology, vegan deli meats offer mouthwatering flavors and satisfying textures that rival those of animal-derived options.
  • Protein content: Many vegan deli meats are high in protein, often containing around 10 grams per 2-ounce serving. This makes them a great option for athletes and anyone looking to increase their protein intake.
  • Accessibility and affordability: Vegan deli meats are increasingly available at grocery stores nationwide, and their prices are comparable to those of animal-derived deli meats.

The Best Vegan Deli Meat Brands to Try

The market is filled with delicious vegan deli meat options, but these brands are worth seeking out:

  • Seitan-based deli meats: This wheat-based meat alternative is dense and chewy, making it perfect for replicating the textures of deli meats. Top brands include Tofurky, Field Roast, and Lightlife.
  • Soy-based deli meats: Soy protein is a classic in the plant-based meat world, and it makes for delicious deli slices. Look for products from Yves Veggie Cuisine, Boca, and Morningstar Farms.
  • Nut-based deli meats: For a nutty twist on deli meats, try options from Treeline, Miyoko’s Creamery, and Nutcrafter Creamery.

Crafting Delectable Vegan Sandwiches

Now that you have a solid understanding of vegan deli meat options, it’s time to get creative in the kitchen. While you can certainly stick to classic deli-style sandwiches, there are also plenty of innovative options to explore.

Classic Deli-Style Sandwiches

  • Vegan Reuben: Swap out corned beef with seitan or soy-based deli meat, and top with sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing, and vegan cheese on rye bread.
  • Vegan Club Sandwich: Create a plant-based twist on this classic sandwich by using seitan deli meat, vegan mayo, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and vegan bacon on sourdough bread.
  • Vegan Meatball Sub: Heat up vegan meatballs, marinara sauce, and sliced deli meat on a sub roll.

Innovative Sandwich Ideas

  • Vegan Banh Mi: Use soy-based deli meat and pickled vegetables on a baguette, topped with jelly, sriracha, and cilantro.
  • Vegan Cubano: Create a vegan version of this Cuban sandwich classic by using seitan deli meat, ham-flavored vegan deli slices, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on Cuban bread.
  • Vegan Chicken Salad Sandwich: Mix vegan chicken (such as Gardein’s Chick’n Scallopini) with vegan mayo, celery, onion, and grapes, then serve on bread or lettuce wraps.

Beyond Sandwiches: Versatile Vegan Deli Meat Recipes

While sandwiches are a delicious way to enjoy vegan deli meat, there are plenty of other options. Here are some delectable recipes to try:

  • Vegan Charcuterie Boards: Arrange sliced deli meat alongside vegan cheese, olives, crackers, nuts, and pickled vegetables for a fancy and satisfying spread.
  • Vegan Deli Meat in Salads and Wraps: Use deli meat to add protein to salads and wraps, like a vegan Cobb salad or a vegan wrap with deli meat, veggies, and hummus.
  • Vegan Deli Meat Pasta Salad: Toss cooked pasta with sliced deli meat, cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, and vinaigrette for a quick and delicious side dish.

Tips for Buying and Storing Vegan Deli Meats

When shopping for vegan deli meat, read labels carefully to ensure you’re getting a quality product. Look for brands that use whole food ingredients and avoid processed additives. Also, be on the lookout for common allergens (such as soy and wheat) and prioritize organic and non-GMO options when possible.

Once you’ve brought your vegan deli meat home, proper storage is key. Most brands recommend refrigerating unopened packages and freezing opened packages to maintain freshness. To reheat, simply place slices between paper towels and microwave for about 30 seconds. Enjoy your delicious plant-based deli meat creation!


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best vegan deli meat brands?

Some popular and well-reviewed vegan deli meat brands include Tofurky, Field Roast, Lightlife, Yves Veggie Cuisine, Boca, Morningstar Farms, Treeline, Miyoko’s Creamery, and Nutcrafter Creamery.

What types of plants are used to make vegan deli meat?

Vegan deli meat can be made from a variety of plant-based sources, including soy, wheat (in the form of seitan), nuts, and legumes. Some brands may use a blend of these ingredients to create a meat-like texture.

Can I use deli meat in salads or wraps instead of sandwiches?

Absolutely! Vegan deli meat can be used in a variety of dishes, including salads, wraps, and pasta dishes. Simply slice or chop the deli meat and incorporate it into your recipe as desired.

How do I store vegan deli meat?

Most vegan deli meat brands recommend storing unopened packages in the refrigerator and opened packages in the freezer to maintain freshness. Always refer to the specific storage instructions on the package.

How long does vegan deli meat last?

The shelf life of vegan deli meat can vary depending on the brand and specific product. Most vegan deli meats have a best-by date listed on the package, so be sure to check this when planning your meal.

Can I cook with vegan deli meat?

While vegan deli meat is designed to mimic the texture and taste of deli meats, some people may choose to cook with it in savory dishes. Some potential uses include adding it to soups, stews, or casseroles for extra protein and flavor.

Are there gluten-free vegan deli meat options?

Yes, there are gluten-free vegan deli meat options available. Look for brands that use legumes, nuts, or soy as the base ingredient, as these are naturally gluten-free. Be sure to check the ingredient list and label directions to ensure the product is free of gluten.

Can I freeze vegan deli meat?

Yes, most vegan deli meat brands recommend freezing opened packages to maintain freshness. To thaw, simply remove the desired amount of deli meat from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.

Can I microwave vegan deli meat?

While vegan deli meat is best enjoyed at room temperature, you can use a microwave to quickly reheat slices. Simply place the deli meat between two paper towels and microwave on low power for about 30 seconds.