Vegan eggplant parmesan sandwich is cozy, saucy, comfort food at its best. This decadent sandwich is filled with crispy breaded eggplant that’s been “fried” in the air fryer.
It’s topped with your favorite jarred marinara sauce, non-dairy cheese, fresh basil, and thinly sliced onion. Serve it on a pretzel bun for a satisfying lunch or dinner.
There’s nothing like leftovers to make your life a little easier. Sometimes you just don’t have the time or patience for cooking. Re-purposing last night’s dinner into today’s lunch means less stress in your life.
But you know what’s even better than having tasty leftovers just waiting in the refrigerator? Finding a way to re-purpose them that’s arguably even more delicious than when they were freshly made!
That’s what happened with this vegan eggplant parmesan sandwich.
First, you can enjoy the vegan eggplant parmesan with a big bowl of pasta with marinara for dinner.
(I give step-by-step instructions on how to make eggplant parm in the air fryer in this post!)
Then the next day, reheat the breaded eggplant slices in the air fryer. I recommend adding more marinara and non-dairy cheese on top. It freshens things up, and it makes it even saucier & cheesier. That means 20% more yums at least.
To re-heat, air fry at 390 degrees for 5 minutes. Since the breaded eggplant slices are topped with sauce and non-dairy cheese, don’t flip them, of course.
Add the breaded eggplant to a toasted bun with fresh basil leaves & thinly sliced onion. If you wanted to add a schmear of cilantro basil pesto to the bun as well, that would not go amiss.
A vegan eggplant parm sandwich is kind of like the vegetarian’s answer to the meatball sub. There’s all of that rich tomato sauce, and ooey gooey non-dairy cheese, encased in soft bread.
Then for the filling you get crisp-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside eggplant that’s breaded with panko & seasonings.
(And if you still feel like a meatball sub the next night, check out this vegan meatball burger that’s made with lentils!)
What kind of bread should I use?
I used a pretzel bun, but feel free to use the bun of your choice. Be sure to pick something hearty that can hold up to the sauce. So a hoagie bun would fit well here too.
What marinara sauce do you recommend?
I usually buy organic pasta sauce from Trader Joe’s. You can see a picture of a longtime favorite in my post on vegan Trader Joe’s products.
But you can use any marinara sauce you like, as long as it isn’t too watery. Wet, soggy sandwiches are a real letdown. So be sure to pick something that’s saucy and thick.
What kind of non-dairy cheese is best for this recipe?
For a vegan eggplant parm sandwich, I recommend a non-dairy cheese that will melt well. I especially like Miyoko’s mozzarella & Violife mozzarella. I used Violife shreds here.
With Miyoko’s, you can either shred it by hand or slice it very thinly like I did with my air fryer bagel pizzas.
If you prefer to make your vegan mozzarella, I’ve heard nothing but raves about Somer’s moxarella.
Vegan eggplant parmesan sandwich
- Bring a dry, large skillet to a medium heat. Put burger buns face down on the skillet, so that they can toast on the cut side. Once they are nicely browned, remove them from heat.
- Compile the sandwiches. Top the bottom burger buns with a few slices of vegan eggplant parmesan, a couple fresh basil leaves, and a few thin slices of yellow onion. Top the sandwiches with the remaining buns.