You’re going to love the savory, crispy bite of a vegan Rachel sandwich. It’s similar to a reuben but with seitan chicken and coleslaw.
This toasted sandwich is finished with melty non-dairy cheese and a drizzling of Thousand Island dressing. There’s plenty of mmm in every bite!
Few things make me happier than a good reuben sandwich.
If you’re similarly enthralled with a reuben sandwich, you’re going to love this veganized variation of a Rachel sandwich!
What is a Rachel sandwich?
A Rachel sandwich is a cousin to the reuben. It’s also known as a California or Georgia reuben.
While a traditional reuben sandwich uses pastrami & sauerkraut, a Rachel is typically made with turkey and coleslaw. It’s then toasted on rye bread with melty Swiss cheese & Thousand Island dressing.
Since this is a vegan version of a Rachel sandwich, I make a few substitutions.
Instead of turkey, I use thin slices of homemade seitan chicken. It’s seasoned with basil, oregano, onion powder, and garlic. It has a wonderful toothsome texture.
For the coleslaw, I use my favorite vegan coleslaw recipe. It’s really quick & easy to make thanks to the shortcut of pre-shredded cabbage mix. It includes both purple and green cabbage as well as carrots.
For the dressing, I make a simple Thousand Island with eggless mayo, ketchup, diced pickles, and lemon juice. If you’d rather use store-bought, that works too!
How to make it
Start by making vegan Thousand Island dressing.
Combine the following:
- Vegan mayo
- Lemon juice
- Diced pickles
Then compile your other sandwich ingredients: rye bread, seitan chicken, non-dairy butter, shredded vegan cheese, and coleslaw.
Butter two slices of bread on one side with non-dairy butter.
Put the slices into a skillet butter side down on a medium heat. Add a sprinkling of non-dairy cheese to both pieces of bread. (I use vegan mozzarella, but any meltable non-dairy cheese will work!)
On one of the bread slices, add sliced seitan chicken, a generous helping of coleslaw, and vegan Thousand Island dressing.
Add the top piece of bread to the sandwich. Flip the sandwich to make sure it’s evenly toasted on both sides.
Then remove it from the pan & cut it on a diagonal.
Make it your own
It’s easy to make this sandwich your own by simplifying or changing the ingredients.
- Instead of seitan chicken, use store-bought vegan deli slices. Tofurky hickory smoked deli slices would go well here.
- If you’re making this sandwich around the fall or winter holidays, use leftovers from a vegan holiday roast like a re-vamp of a leftovers sandwich.
- Use sauerkraut instead of coleslaw.
- Use store-bought vegan Thousand Island dressing instead of making your own.
- Use any shredded non-dairy cheese you like or replace it with sliced avocado.
- Add sautéed onions, bell peppers, or pickled jalapeños for more vegetable goodness.
- Instead of rye bread, use whole wheat, have it as a wrap in a tortilla, or on a toasted baguette.
What to serve with it
A Rachel sandwich is so filling, it’s basically a full meal on its own. But you can round it out with any of these tasty side dishes:
- Baked fries or vegan poutine
- Fried pickles or fried zucchini
- Vegan pasta salad
- Air fryer kale chips (or oven baked)
- Spinach salad with strawberries
Rachel sandwich with seitan chicken & coleslaw
For the vegan Thousand Island dressing
- 2 Tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon ketchup
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped dill pickles
To make vegan Thousand Island dressing
- In a small bowl, combine vegan mayonnaise, ketchup, lemon juice, and finely chopped dill pickles. Set aside.(This is enough dressing for four sandwiches. If you're only making one sandwich, put the rest in a covered container and refrigerate.)
To make the Rachel sandwich
- Bring a large skillet to a medium heat. Butter both slices of rye bread with non-dairy butter on one side. Put the slices into the skillet butter side down.
- Add a sprinkling of non-dairy cheese to the bread slices.
- Add several thin slices of seitan chicken to one piece of bread.
- Top it with a heaping ¼ cup of coleslaw.
- Finish with a drizzling of vegan Thousand Island dressing.
- Top the sandwich with the remaining toasted bread slice. Flip the sandwich with a spatula, so that it's evenly browned on both sides. If the cheese hasn't melted enough, turn the heat to low, and cover the skillet with a lid until the cheese melts completely.
- Once the cheese has melted, remove the sandwich from the skillet, and cut it diagonally.