This toasty Tempeh Reuben Sandwich is so delicious! Made with seasoned tempeh, fermented sauerkraut, sourdough rye bread, melty cheese, and quick Reuben sauce, keep it vegetarian or use vegan cheese for a vegan Reuben! Vegan-adaptable.

tempeh reuben sandwich, cut in half and stacked up high.

This Tempeh Reuben Sandwich is a nod to our former restaurant, Mizuna, from way back in the day. I still crave this sandwich, and my husband loves it, too. It’s a quick, easy, high-protein meal that is dinner-worthy, satisfying, and easily vegan-adaptable! We regularly have sandwiches for dinner, like this BBQ Tofu Sandwich and our Vegan Banh Mi, and its a fun way to use up our sourdough bread!

Tempeh, if unfamiliar, is a vegan “patty” made from fermented soybeans. It is very high in protein and low in fat, with a chewy, textured, nutty flavor. When treated right, it can be really tasty! Tempeh can be found in the refrigerated section of most upscale grocery stores, near the tofu. See our tips below for how to cook tempeh!

tempeh reuben sandwich ingredients on a wood block, using vegan cheese.

 tempeh Sandwich Ingredeints

  • Tempeh -always try to buy organic, non-GMO tempeh if possible.
  • Soy Sauceor tamari, or use gluten-free liquid aminos
  • Rye Bread- I love our sourdough rye bread or use store-bought rye bread.
  • Sauerkraut -(either homemade kraut or store-bought) seek out fermented sauerkraut in the refrigerator section of your grocery store, full of healthy probiotics versus canned varieties.
  • Reuben Sauce – make our quick reuben sauce-see the recipe card or sub mustard.
  • Cheese: Swiss cheese, provolone, smoked mozzarella cheese, or use vegan mozzarella!

Tempeh Sandwich (Instructions)

Step 1: Cut the tempeh. Cut the tempeh in half lengthwise and widthwise- so you have 4 thin pieces.

cutting the tempeh.

Step 2: Simmer the tempeh. This step helps remove its bitterness and opens up its pores, allowing flavor to permeate. Place it in pan or large skillet, and simmer in water seasoned with soy sauce, smoked paprika and salt for 10 minutes.

simmering the tempeh.

Step 3: Sear the tempeh. Drain it, wipe out the pan, and sear the tempeh slices over medium-high heat in a little olive oil until crispy and golden.

searing the tempeh.

Step 4: Melt your cheese of choice over the top of the crispy seasoned tempeh.

melting cheese on the tempeh.

Step 5: Make the quick Reuben sauce. Simply whisk ingredeints together in a bowl. Or just use mustard!

the reuben sauce being whisked in a bowl.

Step 6: Toast the bread. You can do this in the same skillet with a little olive oil, or in a toaster.

toasting rye bread in a skillet.

Step 7: Assemble the tempeh sandwich. Lather both pieces of the bread with the Reuben sauce, top with two thin pieces of tempeh, and top with a mound of drained kraut.

assembling the tempeh reuben sandwich.

Serve! Cut in half if you like and serve immediately.

cutting the tempeh reuben sandwich in half on a cutting board,

Storage and making ahead

The sandwich is best eaten right after assembling, however, you could meal-prep the tempeh (simmer it ahead) and make the Reuben sauce ahead of time. Then, when ready to serve, pan-sear the tempeh, melt the cheese, toast the bread and assemble.

a tempeh reuben sandwich, stacked on a plate.

I honestly can’t wait for you to try this- it is on repeat at our house and my husband constantly asks for this. So much umami flavor happening here!

What to serve with Tempeh Reuben?

Serve the tempeh sandwich on its own or with a leafy green salad like our Caesar Salad or this Kale Salad or this Vegan Caesar Salad, or a refreshing slaw.

Chef’s Tips

The secret to cooking good-tasting tempeh is to steam it first or simmer it in a marinade to open up its pores to soak up flavor. This also removes some of the bitterness and tenderizes it a bit.

More Favorite Tempeh Recipes!

xoxo

Sylvia

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This toasty Tempeh Reuben Sandwich is so delicious! Made with seasoned tempeh, fermented sauerkraut, melty cheese, and classic Reuben sauce, keep it vegetarian or use vegan cheese for a vegan Reuben! Vegan-adaptable.

Tempeh Reuben Sandwich

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 7 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home Blog
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 2 sandwiches 1x
  • Category: Sandwich, Vegetarian,
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This toasty Tempeh Reuben Sandwich is so delicious! Made with melty cheese, flavorful seared tempeh, and Sauerkraut, keep it vegetarian or use vegan cheese for a vegan reuben! Makes 2 sandwiches. 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 8 ounces tempeh
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, tamari, or GF liquid aminos
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 slices sourdough rye bread
  • 12 tablespoons “Reuben sauce” or whole grain mustard– see notes.
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese, smoked mozzarella cheese, provolone, or melty vegan cheese.
  • 1/23/4 cup sauerkraut ( homemade or store-bought)

Quick Reuben Sauce: 

  • 1/4 cup mayo or vegan mayo
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup or tomato paste (or skip it, and add more paprika)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar
  • good pinch salt and pepper
  • Optional: finely minced garlic clove ( or use garlic powder), or prepared horseradish
  • Splash Worcestershire sauce (or soy sauce)

Instructions

  1. Prep Tempeh: Slice the tempeh into half, then cut widthwise (see photo) so you have four thin pieces. Place in a saucepan covered with water; add soy sauce, salt, and smoked paprika, and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry. 
  2. Make the Reuben sauce if using- whisk everything together in a small bowl. 
  3. Sear and melt: Wipe out the pan with the tempeh, heat olive oil over medium high heat and sear each side of the tempeh, until golden and crispy.  Lower heat, place the cheese over the top, and cover until melty. Set aside. 
  4. Toast the bread– either in a toaster or in the same pan with a little olive oil.
  5. Assemble: Lather all the bread slices with Reuben sauce or mustard. Layer tempeh, kraut and the top layer of bread. Cut in half if you like! 

Notes

Simmering the tempeh first will remove bitterness and add a lot of flavor. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: One large sandwich
  • Calories: 513
  • Sugar: 2.8 g
  • Sodium: 763.9 mg
  • Fat: 21.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 45.4 g
  • Fiber: 13.6 g
  • Protein: 34.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 26 mg

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Comments

  1. Soooo good! I typically do not do “easy” in the kitchen. Not only is this easy, but super delicious! I have not been a fan of tempeh, but this is a game changer. We prefer dairy free, but haven’t found a vegan cheese that cuts the bill, so I went with Swiss. Made it super super simple and served with frozen sweet potato fries.






    1. We often do the same thing at our house! My husband begs for these!

  2. All I can say is, WOW! I’d almost given up on tempeh because of the texture by itself, but this was amazing! And so full of protein!






  3. Delicious! I forgot to buy sauerkraut so it was more like a grilled cheese with tempeh (amazing). Thank you for the instructions on making tempeh! Total game changer 🙂






  4. I am going to make this for my vegetarian granddaughter for my annual St. Patrick’s Day party for my 4 adult grand kids. I always make Reuben sandwiches for 3 of them, then something special for her. I think this would be perfect! I thought I would make them just the same, with the exception of the tempeh in place of the corn beef. I make a very good thousand island dressing, which I will use, and I will use the smoked mozzarella, as suggested, but also the traditional Swiss cheese. I also use a tasty sauerkraut from Trader Joe’s that has cumbers in it. Very good! The rye bread, from a local bakery, is the best! Thanks for this recipe!






  5. This tempeh prep is a game changer – it was such a great sandwich! We had no idea boiling it in salted water would make such a difference.






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