This Gluten-Free Seitan Vegan Corned Beef and Cabbage Sandwich captures the classic tastes and textures of the original—and it’s 100% plant-based! Savoury seitan complements the tangy-meets-sweet yum of Thousand Island dressing, while braised cabbage adds subtle crunch and contrast to create a hearty, memorable mouthful that’s sure to delight.
The History of Corned Beef and Cabbage Sandwiches
What’s the difference between corned beef and pastrami? It all comes down to how its prepared and seasoned. Pastrami is smoked, then steamed. Corned beef is simmered in broth or water with herbs, spices, and seasonings. In our vegan pastrami sandwich recipe, we used liquid smoke to infuse that signature smokiness into the gluten-free seitan pastrami loaf. In this recipe, we left out the liquid smoke and changed up a few of the seasonings in the simmering broth to bring those authentic flavours to our gluten-free, plant-based version of corned beef.
A beloved sandwich with Irish-American roots, the corned beef and cabbage sandwich is made from humble but hearty ingredients (and it’s not just for St. Patrick’s Day!) With a balanced blend of tangy and savoury flavours, and a hearty, satisfying texture, this gluten-free and vegan version is just as tasty as the original!
The Versatility of Gluten-free Seitan
Great tasting, plant-based gluten-free meat alternatives are hard to come by because so many are wheat-based or depend on gluten in some form to mimic the texture of meat. Our gluten-free seitan is a superhero sandwich-filling swap that lets you add countless deli classics back onto your plate with ingredients you control!
Making gluten-free seitan is on the time-intensive side. But it comes with a delicious, plant-based payoff! The versatility of this gluten-free recipe is worth looking past a somewhat longer list of ingredients and some prep work. Get more enjoyment from your effort. Double—or triple!—your batch of gluten-free seitan to freeze as a gift to future you!
For more fun and flavourful ways to use this recipe, try our Vegan Hot Pastrami Sandwich and our Vegan Gluten-free Cuban Sandwich recipes. Between these three gluten-free meal ideas, you may have a tough time picking your favourite—but you’ll never have a tough time figuring out what to eat with your tasty, homemade gluten-free seitan!
How to Pick the Perfect Cabbage
Time to celebrate the unsung hero of this sandwich. Cabbage! Its satisfying crunch is a big part of what gives this dish its signature hearty texture, so finding the perfect one can really elevate your sandwich.
When you pick out your cabbage, pick one that is heavy for its size, with bright, firm, tightly packed leaves. If the outer leaves are wilted, it’s a sign the cabbage is past its prime.
How to Make Your Own Vegan Thousand Island Dressing
Our Gluten-free Seitan Corned Beef and Cabbage Sandwich wouldn’t be the same without the Vegan Thousand Island dressing! This mouthwatering ingredient delivers a flavour-packed punch of tangy sweetness—the perfect complement to this satisfyingly savoury sandwich.
Sure, you could use store-bought gluten-free, vegan Thousand Island. But you can make your own almost as fast with ingredients you probably have in your fridge door and spice drawer. Simply mix vegan mayo, ketchup, onion powder, kosher salt, and sweet pickle relish. (Get the ratios in our recipe below!).
How to Assemble a Gluten-free Seitan Corned Beef and Cabbage Sandwich
Our top tip for building the perfect gluten-free vegan corned beef and cabbage sandwich? More is more! This classic is best when it’s an over-dressed hefty handful. So, stack your toasted Whole Grain Wide Slice gluten-free bread high with thinly-sliced seitan. Cram on the braised cabbage. Slather on the dressing. And pile on the pickles.
Then open wide and embrace the joy of messy mouthfuls and dribbly dressing. Pass the napkins!
- Prepare the gluten-free seitan ahead of time by following this recipe, and allow it to fully cool.
- While the gluten-free seitan is cooling, prepare the vegan corned beef simmering broth by adding the ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to low simmer.
- Add the whole gluten-free seitan to the broth and simmer gently for 3 – 5 minutes each side.
- While the gluten-free seitan simmers, combine the Vegan Thousand Island dressing ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix. Cover and set aside in the fridge.
- Remove gluten-free seitan from the vegan corned beef simmering broth and place on plate or in container. Allow the seitan to rest in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
- When you are ready to make your sandwich, add the cabbage, broth, caraway seeds, salt and, pepper to a large pan over medium heat. Cook for 3 – 5 minutes or until the cabbage begins to wilt and change to a brighter shade of green. Transfer to bowl and set aside.
- Slice your gluten-free seitan vegan corned beef as thinly as you can (using a serrated blade (like a bread knife) or a freshly sharpened chef’s knife helps. (Slice gently as you would with a ripe tomato)), and lightly toast your bread.
- To assemble the sandwich, generously spread vegan Thousand Island dressing on your gluten-free toast (if you like your sandwich drip down your wrist saucy, slather it on the inside of both slices!). Add 3 – 6 thin slices of gluten-free seitan vegan corned beef, and as much braised cabbage as you like (or think you can get your mouth around!). Pile on sliced dill pickles to taste.
- Sandwich ingredients are for one sandwich, but one loaf of gluten-free seitan vegan corned beef is enough to make two to four sandwiches, depending on how thin you slice it—and how generously you stack your sandwiches with all the fixings!
- Scale up gluten-free bread slices as needed for more servings. (You’ll have plenty of braised cabbage and Vegan Thousand Island dressing for at least 4 stuffed Gluten-Free Seitan Vegan Corned Beef and Cabbage Sandwiches, so store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days).
- Corned beef spice seasonings vary widely. Some people opt to include dill seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cardamom seeds, cloves, cinnamon, and ground ginger. What you put into your simmering broth is up to you!
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