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Vegan Pastrami is a delicious “meat” that’s easy to prepare and even more delicious to eat! It’s made with a beef seitan dough, seasoned, baked, sliced, and simmered in a flavorful broth. Use these sliced pieces of deli meat to make a hearty sandwich that can be eaten for lunch or dinner! 

This vegan pastrami recipe is better than anything you could find at a Jewish deli in New York City. This homemade version is smothered with smoky seasonings and the perfect vegan option for mealtime.

The steps are easy to follow and you’ll have a beautiful finished product in no time. Bake until you get the desired effect and the outside is crispy and the inside is moist. Simmer in the broth until all that goodness has been soaked up by the sliced pastrami. Let’s get started! 

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👩🏽‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Super smoky pastrami 
  • No animal products
  • High protein
  • Healthier than regular pastrami but tastes just as good!
  • Great addition to vegan reubens!
  • The perfect vegan cold cut

🥘 Ingredients

Here are the ingredients for this delicious vegan pastrami in the oven: 

ingredients for vegan pastrami recipe

For The “Beef” Seitan

Vital Wheat Gluten: The core ingredient for making homemade seitan!

Beetroot: You can find beets in your local grocery store’s produce department for this recipe. 

Vegan Beef Broth: Some grocery stores carry vegan beef broth, but if you can’t find it there, you can order it online or get it from a specialty whole foods store. Vegetable broth would also work.

Soy Sauce: Low-sodium soy sauce is best for this vegan pastrami. 

Spices: Garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, allspice powder, mustard powder, sea salt, and vital wheat gluten are all used as spices in this recipe. The combination of these smoky spices makes this vegan pastrami taste like the real thing. 

For The Spice Rub

Spices: Ground black pepper, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, ground mustard seed, coriander powder, and salt are the key ingredients in this potent spice rub. Rub this tasty rub all over the entire surface of the vegetarian pastrami.

For The Simmer Broth

Broth: Vegan beef broth, bay leaf, brown sugar, smoked paprika, spicy brown mustard, and liquid smoke make up a broth that you’ll want to drink right out of the pot. 

📖 Variations

This vegan pastrami recipe is easily adapted to fit your dietary needs or preferences. Here are some tasty options you can try.

  • Flour: Instead of using beetroot, you can substitute all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, or beet powder. 
  • Simmering Liquid: If you’re unable to find vegan beef broth, you can use vegetable broth instead. Also, add a splash of apple cider vinegar, for an excellent balance with the other broth ingredients.
  • Spice Rub: Some other spices you can use are chili powder, cumin, celery seed, cayenne powder, or cardamom.  
  • Sweeteners: Instead of using brown sugar in the broth and the spice rub you can use other vegan friendly natural sweeteners like maple syrup, coconut sugar, or agave. 

🔪 Instructions

Here are brief instructions on how to make the best vegan pastrami you’ve ever had. For detailed instructions, see the recipe card below.

Blend The Ingredients: Place all beef seitan ingredients, except the vital wheat gluten, into a high speed food processor or blender. Blitz until smooth.

ingredients for plant based beef seitan in a food processor

Add Wheat Gluten: Add 1 cup of vital wheat gluten and pulse the flour mixture to form a dough.

ingredients for plant based beef seitan in a food processor

Knead The Dough: Turn the dough out into a mixing bowl, add remaining vital wheat gluten and lightly knead the dough to incorporate. 

batter for homemade pastrami in a mixing bowl

Rest The Dough: Allow the sticky wet dough to rest.

meatless beef seitan on foil

Combine The Spices: In a small mixing bowl add the rub ingredients and mix well.

spice mixture in a bowl

Shape The Dough: Shape the dough into a log shape and place on a large piece of foil. Coat all surfaces of the dough in the spice rub. (There will be some rub left over, that will be used in the simmer broth.)

spice mixture added to vegan beef seitan

Bake The Dough: Tightly cover the dough with a second piece of foil and place on a rimmed baking sheet in the center of the pan. Bake in the oven on aluminum foil for 60 minutes, remove the top piece of foil after 30 minutes and continue to cook for 30 minutes. The outside layer of the seitan will become crispy.

vegan beef seitan wrapped in foil on a baking sheet

Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting into thin slices on a cutting board.

vegan pastrami cut into slices on a cutting board

Simmer The Broth: Prepare the simmer broth by adding all ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil.

simmer broth for vegan pastrami meat

Add the sliced seitan to the simmer broth, ensuring all slices are coating in broth. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve pastrami directly from the broth. 

vegan pastrami slices cooking in a pan

❓Recipe FAQs 

How to store oven baked pastrami?

Store sliced pastrami for four days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To keep it moist, store it in the leftover simmering broth.

How to serve this easy homemade pastrami?

My favorite way to serve this meatless pastrami is to make a vegan pastrami sandwich! 
After you cut the slices and simmer the pastrami, lay them on a slice of vegan bread and top the sandwich with pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, Russian dressing, vegan mayo, or spicy mustard. 
Sauerkraut and rye bread make a great vegan reuben sandwich with a touch of spicy mustard. 
It can be served as lunch or a light snack.

What is vegan pastrami meat made of?

Seitan pastrami is a vegan dough covered in spices, baked, and then thinly sliced and simmered in flavorful broth.

Can I add vegan cheese to this plant based pastrami?

Yes, you can make this pastrami into a sandwich and top it with strong vegan cheese like Swiss cheese.

💭 Expert Tips

  • Don’t overwork the dough as this will result in chewy pastrami. 
  • Slice cold pastrami as thinly as possible before adding it to the simmering broth.
  • Don’t simmer the meatless pastrami for longer than 30 minutes. 
  • Be sure the pot is big enough to fit the liquid and the pastrami slices at the same time.
  • Add the slices of pastrami to the pot one at a time. 
  • Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the pastrami. 
  • If you want the seitan meat to be even more red, you can add drops of vegan red food coloring to the dough. 
vegan pastrami sandwich on a cutting board

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📋 Recipe Card

Vegan Pastrami

Vegan Pastrami is a delicious “meat” that’s easy to prepare and even more delicious to eat! It’s made with a beef seitan dough, seasoned, baked, sliced, and simmered in a flavorful broth. Use these sliced pieces of deli meat to make a hearty sandwich that can be eaten for lunch or dinner! 

Prep Time25 mins

Cook Time1 hr 5 mins

Total Time1 hr 30 mins

Course: Main Course, mains

Cuisine: American

Diet: Low Calorie, Vegan, Vegetarian

Servings: 6 servings

Calories: 160kcal

  • Don’t overwork the dough as this will result in a chewy pastrami
  • Slice cold pastrami as thinly as possible before adding to the simmer broth.
  • Store pastrami in the broth in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • If serving the pastrami cold, chill it in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

Serving: 6slices | Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1142mg | Potassium: 228mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g



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