By Little Northern Bakehouse

Vegan Gluten-free Cuban Sandwich

Gluten-Free Vegan Cuban Sandwich

Cubano (Cuban) sandwiches are traditionally loved for being simple. They’re a no-nonsense sandwich that focuses on the flavour and traditions it has grown from. Originally hailing from the Taino tribe in Cuba with Spanish influences, the sandwich has continued to evolve and adapt to the cities it is brought to and the hands that craft it. Typically packed with pork and cheese, we are veganizing it so all are able to enjoy the delicious and complex balance of flavours this sandwich has to offer.

The key to a good Cubano is that hard finishing sear that creates a beautiful, caramelized crust and seals all the flavours together, our buns are perfect for that! (Hot dog or hamburger, whatever you have on hand.) You can also use our dinner rolls and make a sheet pan Cubano and sear portions individually as needed! See the tips section at the bottom of the recipe.

We recognize that this dish—that’s rich in both flavour and history—can be hard to replicate in a vegan, gluten-free way. But we’ve taken into consideration the textures, flavours, and ingredients to ensure this inspired dish is accessible to everyone.

Our vegan gluten-free take on this classic dish is rich and savoury with an acidic kick from the garlic pickles and yellow mustard. Buttery, crisp, bread brings it all together and balances out the flavours in a warm, mouth-watering way.

We have two ways to make this sandwich – one for when you’re looking for a project to be proud of and one that you can throw together for a deliciously satisfying weeknight dinner. The first is with homemade Vegan Gluten-free Seitan and hearts of palm. If you are short on time, we recommend the second option: sub out the seitan for smoked tofu.

instructions: (hearts of palm and seitan/smoked tofu)
  1. Drain the hearts of palm and shred by hand into ¼ inch thick pieces. Some can be bigger or smaller- we’re not picky.
  2. Toss in a bowl with all seasonings and sauces. Make sure each piece is coated.
  3. In a hot, well-oiled pan, cook the hearts of palm until lightly charred. Set aside.
  4. In a hot well-oiled pan, sear thin slices of seitan (or smoked tofu) until lightly crispy along the edges and golden brown, remove from pan and set aside for assembly.
instructions: (sandwich assembly)
  1. Open up your buns and spread the bottom with mayo and the top with yellow mustard.
  2. Layer the sandwich with a few slices of seitan (or smoked tofu), hearts of palm, pickle slices, and vegan swiss cheese.
  3. To get that nice crispy sear, heat a cast iron pan with half of the plant-based butter and set two sandwiches in,
  4. With a smaller pan, or something you can use to weigh down the sandwiches, press down for 3-4 min until the tops are golden brown and the cheese is melted and gooey.
  5. Add the rest of the butter to the pan, flip and sear the other side until brown.
  6. Cut and serve.

Serves 4


If you are feeding hungry tummies or want to have an easy way to pack lunches. Cut our dinner rolls down the middle to split the tops and bottoms but keeping them all intact. On a baking sheet, arrange the bottom layer and spread with mayo on one side and mustard on the top layer. Top buns with seitan, hearts of palm, pickles and cheese and sandwich. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 – 15 mins until the cheese is warm and starting to melt. Pull the baking sheet out of the oven, cut segments, and sear when you’re ready to eat or pack for lunches as is.

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