This vegan Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich makes everything old new again. It’s packed with slices of vegan turkey, orange cranberry sauce, and avocado.
Like so many people who aren’t in charge of cooking, as a kid I was not a fan of leftovers. There was something about pulling cold dinner out of the refrigerator from the night before that was immediately unappealing. However, after I grew up and started cooking for myself, I realized the value in leftovers. It means a tasty meal that doesn’t require much effort at all. Simply reheat and eat.
Still, I often like to slightly repurpose leftovers, so that I’m not eating the same thing over and over again. That’s why three bean chili becomes vegan chili dog pizza or chili cheese tater tots. It’s the same dish, but different enough to keep things interesting.
No holiday is more associated with leftovers or repurposing than Thanksgiving. It’s known for plentiful amounts of food, often more than can be eaten in a single day. Still, there comes a point when the same plates of vegan turkey with cranberry sauce can get a bit tired.
Vegan Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich
That’s when it’s time for the vegan Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich to be called into action. It takes the holiday Thanksgiving roast and reinvigorates it by putting it into a crisp sandwich.
This vegan Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich is stuffed with slices of Trader Joe’s turkey-less roast; although, you could obviously use the vegan turkey of your choice. I’ve tried roasts from Field Roast, Gardein, and Herbivorous Butcher, and they’ve all been terrific.
I always say that avocado only offends by its absence. So that gets thrown in for some additional fat & deliciousness. The sandwich has schmears of orange cranberry sauce on one half and vegan mayo on the other. The tart/sweet orange cranberry sauce melds wonderfully with mellow avocado and vegan turkey. Then I toast the sandwich in a skillet until it is crisp.
Serve it with chips, sweet potato fries, or leftover persimmon & delicata squash salad.
Thanksgiving re-cap & Trader Joe’s turkey-less roast in the air fryer
While we’re talking about Thanksgiving, I wanted to give a quick re-cap of this year’s meal, in case anyone else wants to make their holiday roast in the air fryer!
A few days before Thanksgiving, I stopped by Trader Joe’s. They were sampling their vegan turkey-less roast. There was a man standing by the sampling table whose mouth was agape. He was stunned that the roast was so good and completely vegan. I had a bite for myself and immediately decided to grab a roast for our family Thanksgiving.
This year’s family Thanksgiving was held in a rental hall that came with a kitchen. There were about 20 people in attendance, and so I wasn’t sure how busy the kitchen would be, what temperature the oven would be set at, or what dishes people would be cooking. For obvious reasons, I didn’t want non-vegan food to drip down onto my roast underneath.Instead of trying to finagle all of this, I decided to bring along my air fryer. The Trader Joe’s turkey-less roast has oven directions on the side of the package. I wasn’t sure how the time would compare for an air fryer on something so dense. One thing that the Trader Joe’s roast has on its side is that it’s refrigerated, not frozen. So I didn’t have to worry as much about the outside getting too brown before the interior was done.
The directions call for the roast to be wrapped in foil for the majority of the cooking time, and then in the last 15 minutes for the foil to be removed, so that the exterior can get crisp.
I cooked the turkey-less roast wrapped in foil at my parents’ house for about 25 minutes at 370 degrees, and then I left it in the air fryer as we drove to the hall. (The directions call for it to be cooked at 375 degrees, but the air fryer only goes in 10 degree increments.)
Once we got there, I removed the foil and cooked it for another 10 minutes. I don’t know if it was because of the drive, or because I sliced the roast before making my way through the buffet line. However, the inside of the roast was warm, but it could have been a smidge warmer.
So next time I cook the roast in the air fryer, I’ll follow the Trader Joe’s directions on the box (cooking it for 30 minutes in foil), even though things usually cook faster in the air fryer. Then I’ll keep an eye on it after removing the foil and cook for about 10 minutes more. (I’ll also update these directions then. Let me know if you try it in the air fryer too!)
Other than that, the Trader Joe’s turkey-less roast was terrifically good. I had it with my mom’s mashed potatoes and vegetable gravy, homemade stuffing using a recipe I’ll be sharing later this week, and a fresh salad my sister-in-law made that was very similar to my spinach salad with strawberries.
And now I get to use the remaining turkey-less roast in vegan Thanksgiving leftovers sandwiches. I plan on making at least one or two more of these sandwiches before my Thanksgiving leftovers are a memory.