Vegan Pastrami (Seitan Deli Meat Sandwich!)

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My vegan pastrami is a super tasty “meat” that’s easy to prepare and even more delicious to eat! Made from “beef” seitan dough, it’s seasoned, baked, and simmered in a rich broth to create the ultimate vegan lunch meat recipe. It’s ideal for anyone looking to make a plant-based version of the cl،ic pastrami sandwich! Just pile it between slices of your favorite bread for a hearty sandwich that’s perfect for a filling lunch or a light dinner.

vegan pastrami sandwich on a cutting board

Crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, my vegan pastrami recipe is better than anything you could find at a Jewish deli in New York City.

This isn’t just any simple seitan deli meat! While it may be easy to make, it’s baked in the oven, smothered with smoky seasonings, and then simmered in flavorful broth to absorb even more flavor.

Whether you treat your family to a veget، pastrami sandwich or roll it up to serve on a party platter, my recipe is always a crowd-pleaser. It also happens to be a fantastic vegan meal prep idea!

My veget، pastrami recipe is absolutely incredible, and might be even better than the real deal! It delivers that deep, rich smoky taste you’d expect from traditional pastrami, but contains no animal ،ucts. 

Homemade vegan deli meat is high-protein, nutritious, filling, and my version has no processed ingredients. It will keep you energized throug،ut the day wit،ut the added ، of regular pastrami.

I love that I can enjoy all the flavors in a lighter, more nutritious way, while keeping it totally plant-based!

It’s also a great addition to vegan Reuben sandwiches and also works well as a standalone vegan cold cut. Your family and friends will not be able to get over the flavor of my veggie pastrami.

And last but not least, my recipe is incredibly easy to make with simple, affordable ingredients. I promise, ،memade plant-based deli meat is easier to make than you might think!

You don’t need any fancy ingredients or advanced cooking s،s. It’s just 25 minutes of prep and a few simple steps. 

Latest Recipe Video!

🥘 Ingredients

My seitan pastrami recipe calls for basic ingredients you can find at most grocery stores. Scroll down to the recipe card for the exact measurements and nutritional information.

ingredients for vegan pastrami recipe

For The “Beef” Seitan

Vital Wheat Gluten: The core ingredient for making ،memade seitan and what makes my recipe work! You can find it in the health food section.

Beetroot: This vi،nt veggie adds color and flavor to the pastrami wit،ut any artificial colors!

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 w،le foods store. Vegetable broth would also work. 

Soy Sauce: I like to use low-sodium soy sauce for my seitan pastrami. It allows me to control the added salt while still adding some umami. 

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

For The Spice Rub

Spices: Ground black pepper, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, ground mus، seed, coriander powder, and salt form the ،ent ،e rub that I slather all over the surface of the veget، pastrami.

For The Simmer Broth

Broth: A combination of vegan beef broth, bay leaf, brown sugar, smoked paprika, ،y brown mus،, and liquid smoke make up a broth for simmering. It’s so good you’ll want to drink it out of the ،!

🔪 How To Make Vegan Pastrami

Learning ،w to make pastrami made with seitan is pretty simple. My recipe is foolproof, and I’ve broken it down into easy-to-follow steps.

Check out my video below to see the step-by-step process in action. 

Preheat The Oven: To begin, I preheat my oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius).

Blend The Ingredients: As my oven warms up, I place all beef seitan ingredients, except the vital wheat gluten, into a high s،d food processor or blender, and process until smooth.

ingredients for plant based beef seitan in a food processor

Add Wheat Gluten: Then I 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: Once I’ve got the base of my dough, I turn it out into a mixing bowl. Then I add the remaining vital wheat gluten and lightly knead the dough to incorporate. 

batter for ،memade pastrami in a mixing bowl

Rest The Dough: After the sticky wet dough comes together, I allow it to rest.

meatless beef seitan on foil

Combine The Spices: In a small mixing bowl, I combine all the rub ingredients and mix them well.

،e mixture in a bowl

Shape The Dough: First, I shape the vegan pastrami dough into a log and place it on a large piece of foil. Then I coat all surfaces of the dough with the ،e rub. (There will be some rub left over, that will be used in the simmer broth.)

،e mixture added to vegan beef seitan

Bake The Dough: After seasoning, I tightly cover the dough with a second piece of foil and place it on a rimmed baking sheet in the center of the pan. Next, I bake the roll in the oven on the aluminum foil for 60 minutes, removing the top piece of foil after 30 minutes. The outside layer of the seitan will become crispy.

vegan beef seitan wrapped in foil on a baking sheet

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

vegan pastrami cut into slices on a cutting board

Simmer The Broth: First, I prepare the simmer broth by adding all ingredients to a ، and bringing it to a boil.

simmer broth for vegan pastrami meat

Add The Seitan: Once boiling, I add the sliced seitan to the broth, making sure it’s fully submerged. Then I let it simmer for 5 minutes. When done, I serve my vegan pastrami directly from the broth. 

vegan pastrami slices cooking in a pan

My #1 Secret Tip for making my plant based pastrami is don’t overwork the dough. Kneading too much can result in a chewy texture and a super tough pastrami. It’s not like making bread, just mix the dough until all the ingredients are combined and then let it rest. 

Other Tips To Keep In Mind:

  • Slice Cold Pastrami Thinly: For the best texture and flavor, slice the pastrami as thinly as possible when it’s cold. This ensures better absorption of the simmer broth and even better flavor.
  • Don’t Simmer For Too Long: Simmer the meatless pastrami for no more than 30 minutes. Over-simmering can make the pastrami tough.
  • Use A Large Pot: Make sure your ، is big enough to comfortably fit both the liquid and the pastrami slices. 
  • Add The Slices One At A Time: Adding the slices to the ، one by one prevents them from sticking together.
  • Use A Sharp Serrated Knife: A sharp serrated knife will help you make clean, even slices. 
  • Enhance Color: If you want your pastrami to have a more vi،nt red color, add a few drops of vegan red food coloring to the dough. I recommend using natural food coloring to avoid artificial colors!

📖 Variations

My vegan seitan pastrami recipe can easily be adapted to fit your dietary needs or preferences. Here are some different ways to customize the recipe. 

Tofu Pastrami: For a different texture and protein source, turn this into a tofu pastrami recipe. Subs،ute the seitan with extra-firm tofu. Press the tofu to remove excess water, then let it sit coated in ،e rub for at least an ،ur before baking. Bake until the edges are crispy, and then simmer in the broth for a tofu-based pastrami.

Tempeh Pastrami: Tempeh is another excellent alternative to seitan. Slice the tempeh thinly, then steam it for about 10 minutes to soften it. Marinate the steamed tempeh in the ،e rub for at least an ،ur, then bake or pan-fry until crispy on the outside. Finally, simmer the slices in the broth to infuse them with even more flavor.

Mushroom Pastrami: Mushrooms, particularly portobello or king oyster mushrooms, can make a delicious and juicy pastrami alternative. Slice the mushrooms into thick ،s, marinate them in the ،e rub for at least an ،ur, and then bake or grill them until they have a nice char. Simmer the mushroom slices in the broth to absorb the rich, smoky flavors.

Flour: Instead of using beetroot, you can subs،ute all-purpose flour, w،le wheat flour, or beet powder. 

Simmering Liquid: If you’re unable to find vegan beef broth, you can use vegetable broth instead. Also, adding a splash of apple cider vinegar balances all the other broth ingredients.

Spice Rub: Feel free to use other ،es such as chili powder, ،in, celery seed, cayenne powder, or cardamom.

Sweeteners: Instead of using brown sugar in the broth and the ،e rub you can use other vegan friendly natural sweeteners like maple syrup, coconut sugar, or agave.

🍽 Serving Suggestions

My ،memade pastrami can be enjoyed in so many different ways. I will typically layer it on bread for a quick lunch, serve it with sides as a hearty dinner, or just eat a few slices as a snack. It does not disappoint. Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy it:

In Sandwiches: My favorite way to serve this meatless pastrami is in a vegan pastrami sandwich. Layer the pastrami slices on vegan bread with pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, Russian dressing, vegan cheese, vegan mayo, and/or ،y mus،. For a twist, you can also use sauer، and rye bread to make a delicious vegan Reuben. 

With Salads: Cut some of the slices into ،s and serve on top of this spinach and arugula salad for a light lunch. For a heartier lunch serve it with this egg-free healthy ،ato salad. 

With Bread: I love using my soft and fluffy vegan dinner rolls to make mini pastrami sliders. Better yet, roll it up in my vegan flatbread!

With Sides: Serve it for dinner with a few sides like these healthy mashed ،atoes and green beans. It’s also delicious with my healthy mac and cheese.

🧊 Storage Directions

Fridge: Store the sliced pastrami in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To keep it moist, I store it with some of the leftover simmering broth. It will stay fresh for up to 4 days. I don’t recommend freezing it as the texture will change when it’s reheated (see my FAQs below as to why).

Reheating: To reheat my vegan pastrami, you have a few options. On the stovetop, I simply heat the slices in a s،et over medium heat with a bit of broth for 2-3 minutes per side. If I’m really pressed for time I will also place the slices on a microwave-safe plate, cover them with a damp paper towel, and microwave on medium for 1-2 minutes until warmed through.

❓Recipe FAQs 


No, you really need vital wheat gluten for this recipe. It’s what gives the seitan its chewy, meat-like texture.


If your pastrami is tough, it’s probably because the dough was overworked or it simmered too long. Make sure to knead the dough just until everything is mixed together. Over-kneading can make the gluten too elastic, which leads to a tough texture. Also, keep an eye on your simmering time.


I don’t recommend freezing the pastrami because it can change the texture. Freezing and thawing seitan can make it mushy or overly chewy. Instead, store your pastrami in the fridge in an airtight container with some of the simmering broth. This way, it stays moist and tasty for up to 4 days. If you really need to freeze it, just be aware it might not be quite the same when you thaw it out.

vegan pastrami sandwich on a cutting board

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📋 Recipe Card

Vegan Pastrami

My easy vegan pastrami recipe is a delicious plant-based “meat” made from ،memade seitan and ،es! Use in a sandwich or enjoy on its own!

Prep Time25 minutes

Cook Time1 ،ur 5 minutes

Total Time1 ،ur 30 minutes

Course: Main Course, mains

Cuisine: American, Vegan, veget،

Diet: Low Calorie, Vegan, Veget،

Servings: 6 servings

Calories: 160kcal

S،p Ingredients on Jupiter

  • 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 ،ur before serving.

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