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Vegetarian Sandwiches to Take to Work

I'm looking for a few awesome vegetarian sandwich recipes, ideally for sandwiches that can be prepared in the early morning and will keep (i.e. not get soggy) until the afternoon. Any ideas?

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  1. This is EXACTLY what I have been trying to figure out too, lately. Hoping some people can give ideas that don't include tofurky or other substitute meats!

    1. We recently invested in some small plastic washable containers (think tupperware ramekins). That way I can take roasted peppers, olives, marinated veggies, condiments, etc. to work and put my sandwich/wrap together there. Eliminates sogginess entirely.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mojoeater

        We made the mistake of washing tupperware type containers with Dawn dish washing liquid. No matter how much the containers were rinsed, the food smelled and slightly tasted like the dish washing liquid. We've found that Ivory dish washing liquid is not so heavily scented and doesn't seem to leave an odor or taste in the stored food.

        1. re: Antilope

          Yes, I had the same problem -- I now use Ajax Liquid -- Grapefruit -- scent does not stay on dishes.

        2. re: mojoeater

          I do this exact same thing. I chop up several veggies and pour some cider vinegar on them with salt and pepper, and by lunch time, I assemble the sandwich and it is wonderful

        3. That can be rough with veggie sandwiches, the sog factor, since veggies have such a high water content and adding seasoning will often make them give off even more water. I would suggest, if you can, to assemble as you're ready to eat.

          Here are some of my faves:
          - Hummus (homemade if you have a recipe you like) with roasted veggies (I like red peppers, onions and zucchini roasted with olive oil, lemon and garlic) and sprouts on multigrain bread.
          - Avocado, muenster cheese and tomato on whole wheat.
          - Greek salad (diced cucumbers, tomatoes and red onion tossed with olive oil and fresh oregano...salt and pepper) with some feta cheese and plain yogurt in a pita.
          - Grilled portobello mushroom and grilled onions with mesclun greens tosed in olive oil and lemon juice on a nice crusty flatbread like ciabatta.
          - Goat cheese and cucumber with fresh dill on sourdough.

          Don't forget a little salt and pepper when you're putting together veggie sandwiches...especially if you've just gone veggie. Coldcuts are pretty salty, as are most processed and pre-prepared foods, if you're making it yourself from whole ingredients you'll miss a touch of salt.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ballulah

            Hummus is really, really good with marinated beets and arugula.

            I also like to make a spicy chickpea salad, with slightly mashed chickpeas, yogurt, onion and harissa or curry paste. Sandwich with tomato and lettuce, or thinly sliced apples.

            Ginger-marinated baked tofu with peanut sauce, cilantro and shredded cabbage. Great in a pita or wrap, but can work in a sandwich too.

            Artichoke spread (artichoke hearts roughly blended with yogurt-cheese, garlic and herbs) with cucumber slices, red onion and tomato.

            Almond or peanut butter and mango chutney.

          2. These clever lunch boxes came to mind and I remembered that they had some great ideas. Hope it helps.


            1 Reply
            1. re: EWIOBR

              Thanks for the link to this site. I just started packing lunch for my daughter this year and while she's a great eater, I'm always looking for new ideas!

            2. Is it possible to keep roasted veggies separate from the bread and assemble at work??

              If so, roasted sweet peppers, sweet onion and feta cheese. Add a bit of balsamic vinegar for a bit of punch.


              2 Replies
              1. re: Davwud

                That might go really nicely with a white bean spread, for protein.

                1. re: littlegreenpea

                  white bean spread is a great suggestion. you can use a basic recipe and change it up w herbs & spices: "italian white bean spread" w rosemary & thyme, "curry white bean spread" w garam masala and coriander. . .

              2. Other than on site assembly of tomato or cucumber on 9 grain, hummus on an everything bagel is a nice alternative. PB&J passes the test too >{:-)

                1. I've been enjoying hummus and sprouts sandwiches lately. I like the Sabra/Trader Joes Mediterranean hummus with pine nuts, and broccoli sprouts rather than alfalfa. It's a simple combination that's tasty and should last (since I work at home I can't verify this).

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: drgreg

                    If you can find them, try sunflower sprouts. They're addictive.

                    1. re: piccola

                      If you can find radish sprouts, try those too! They have a really great peppery kick.

                      1. re: ballulah

                        I'm lucky enough to have an organic sprout farm at my local farmers' market. I've mostly stuck to the various beans and seeds sprouts, but I'll look out for radish.

                        Black onion seed sprouts are pretty tasty too.

                        1. re: piccola

                          love 'em both. radish sprouts have a spicy kick, but it's distinctly different from onion sprouts...peppery as opposed to oniony.

                          they're pretty easy to identify...just look for sprouts with ends/ tips that have that typical pink/red radish color [no, really?] in the same place the onion sprouts are usually black.

                          1. re: piccola

                            mmm. . . try sunflower sprouts if they have them.

                    2. Not so great for taking to work, but a good veg sandwich is the "mock tuna salad " recipe from www.allrecipes.com on a whole wheat english muffin, topped with cheddar cheese and toasted. While I'm not sure that it really tastes like tuna, it does make a tasty meatless "melt".

                      1. For this sandwich you'll **want** the sog factor. I was a skeptic too at first. Grilled portobello mushroom (oil & balsamic), fresh mozzarella (very milky), marinated pickled peppers (vinegar, fresh minced garlic, herbs, and evoo). My goodness, you have no idea! The marinated peppers really make all the difference here. In this instance, the sog factor makes this sandwich taste even better -- granted you've used a quality baguette, of course.

                        1. Its a simple sandwich but I love avocado and tomato on wheat bread topped with caeser dressing, whether its homemade or store bought i think the garlic and cheese highlight the flavor of the vegetables and give it a nice creaminess when paired with the avocado. hardly gourmet but it got me through some lean budget days when i was a teacher.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: switters

                            Sounds delicious, but just make sure that Caesar dressing is actually vegetarian. Most are made with anchovies.

                            Also, to combat some sogginess, I like to toast my bread a little. I find that it holds up a bitter better that way.

                            I also like caprese sandwiches with pesto and arugula! On a harder bread (think rustic ciabatta), the sandwich won't get soggy. Brie and apple sandwiches are also very flavorful and do not need any dressing. (You can ad some balsamic though, if you want dressing).

                          2. as so many others have already stated, your best bet is to bring the components separately and assemble at work.

                            having said that, you can spread, pile, or wrap any of the following fillings/toppings onto or into your bread of choice. or for a change every once in a while, some of them are perfect with crackers, flatbread or crudités.

                            hummus with shredded carrots, sprouts, tomato, cucumber, & shredded red cabbage
                            grilled eggplant & zucchini with either feta, roasted red pepper & tomato, or mozzarella, pesto & tomato
                            grilled portobello with goat cheese, basil & sun-dried tomato
                            avocado, onion, lettuce, sprouts & tomato
                            black bean spread with salsa or tomato, avocado or shredded jack, & fresh cilantro
                            white bean spread with spinach & roasted onions

                            whipped/thick cottage cheese [i recommend friendship, or sub fat free fromage blanc, farmer cheese or quark] with:
                            sliced fruit
                            tomato, cucumber, black pepper & dill
                            nut butter [surprisingly excellent combo]
                            tj's pumpkin butter, cinnamon, crystallized ginger

                            goat cheese with:
                            cranberry chutney
                            sliced roasted beets
                            honey & sliced figs
                            maple syrup, tj's pumpkin butter & chopped crystallized ginger
                            sliced strawberries & balsamic

                            your favorite seed or nut butter [pb, almond, cashew, hemp, pumpkinseed, sunflower] with: honey & roasted sunflower seeds
                            apricot preserves
                            apple, banana, peach or nectarine slices

                            if you're ovo-lacto, egg white salad [or make it with chopped tofu instead] - i 'dress' mine with nonfat yogurt, dijon mustard, chives, capers, paprika, plenty of fresh pepper, salt, and sometimes fresh thyme or dill; i also do a curried version

                            jazz up all of the above with whatever additional condiments/dressings/sauces/seasonings you prefer.

                            happy lunching!

                            1. This thread inspired me! I went to whole foods and bought Zingerman's country wheat loaf, tiny piquant roasted red peppers, some great feta, and some red onions. I also made a white bean spread with canned northern beans, garlic, and penzey's extra-hot red pepper flakes.

                              I am bringing this to assemble for my lunch tomorrow. Thanks so much for these great ideas!

                              1. My favorite kind of veggie sandwich is: butter on multigrain bread, with lettuce, avacado, tomato, cheddar cheese, and grilled onions with salt and pepper and grill this sandwich on a grill pan with pam spray. It becomes crispy on the outside. Its divine with some chips!

                                Another favorite is: butter and cilantro mint chutney on wheat bread with sliced tomatoes, cucumber, boiled potato, red onions slices and salt and pepper. It is as tasty as it can get! For the cilantro mint chutney recipe it is on my blog.

                                Olives, roasted red pepper, parsley, extra virgin olive oil paste like an olive tapenade on a baguette with mozarella, roasted red peppers, grilled zucchini and grilled onions.

                                1. I'm sure I posted this elsewhere, but I like the following sandwich:

                                  whole grain bread
                                  goat cheese
                                  shredded carrots
                                  sliced red bell peppers


                                  assemble at work, cause there is no way that this sandwich would make there and not be soggy

                                  1. Fresh Rolls are the way to go. By using spring roll wrappers (rice paper) instead of bread you solve the soggy problem. You can get creative and fill them in any manner you like and even make them the night before. Additionally you save a lot of calories by using spring roll wrappers (rice paper) instead of bread. Fresh Rolls are a great way to eat foods in a "wrap" manner that you would typically eat with a fork. For instance, fill you fresh rolls with vegetarian potato salad or fruit salad - you would want to include lettuce/spinach to give the fresh roll some structure.

                                    If you are dedicated to using bread, I would suggest you try using Naan or Pita bread, it won't become as soggy as quickly as a traditional sandwich bread.

                                    Another option is to toast or grill your bread, basically make a crostini then make your sandwich.

                                    Fun sandwich ideas;

                                    Chutney, white cheddar and stone ground mustard additionally add some thinly sliced boiled potato on crostini or Naan

                                    Sliced jicama, red onion, cabbage and cilantro with lime vinaigrette, great in a fresh roll

                                    Sliced fennel, carrot, zucchini and spinach with a tarragon/lemon vinaigrette, also great in a fresh roll

                                    Hummus (or any thick bean dip), sliced tomato, cucumber, red onion, feta, olives in pita

                                    Roasted eggplant, roasted bell pepper and goat cheese on crostini

                                    1. This thread is really great...thanks, all.

                                      While it's not a sandwich...: I bring veggie to work, and my trick lately has been to make a big container of brown rice on Sundays when I have the time - and flavor it well (make with veggie stock and add some spices like saffron or bay leaves) and then add whatever I had around throughout the week to have brown rice "salad" at work.

                                      The other day, I needed to get rid of some veggies that had about a day left before they soiled, so i chopped them all finely and tossed them with the brown rice and brought it to work. today i have brown rice topped with black beans and salsa, and sometimes i just add some edamame and veggies. it's easy, doesn't have to go in the fridge, and is a nice alternative to sandwiches.

                                      But some of these sandwiches sound yummy.

                                      1. Check the original Moosewood and Mollie Katzen's books for endless variations on cool, inventive veg sandwiches.

                                        I was a veg for almost ten years and went crazy with the veg sandwiches, salad,s, all sorts of imaginative lunches.

                                        How about thinly sliced pear or apple with cheeses and interesting spreads, that you bring separately in those cute tiny Tupperwares, and then assemble on-site? An ALT (apple-lettuce-tomato) with a cool spread, or PLT (pear-lettuce-tomato) can be great and surprisingly tasty. :)

                                        I like to do baba ghanoush for wraps, or follow that recipe but add some chili and sesame oil for an East Asian version, and put in a wrap with julienne carrot, red pepper, cucumber, maybe some celery.

                                        Burritos if you have access to a micro. Roasted veg with goat cheese or feta or blue cheese.

                                        Eggplant parm if you have a toaster oven. Sauce separately. This is also excellent for a veg option on camping trips, cooked in foil :)

                                        Roast some garlic and spread it, alone or combined with a little mayo, on bread, then pile on the veggies.

                                        Little containers of cold salads really punch up the lunch flavors, too, and make the meal feel more complete: pasta salad, potato salad, all sorts of slaws, quinoa, Israeli couscous, orzo...

                                        1. You've got so many great suggestions already, along with variations on my favorite veggie sandwich. The deli downstairs makes an awesome sandwich of:
                                          sun-dried tomato
                                          thin sliced red onions
                                          sliced cooked sweet potato
                                          sliced tomatoes

                                          On request, they'll add in grilled eggplant. Nothing in the sandwich gets soggy, unless you have a really juicy tomato. My favorite part is the sweet potato because I've never seen it in a sandwich before.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: leanneabe

                                            scroll down for recipe on:

                                            it got me and my husband through grad school.

                                          2. One thing I like to do is simply spread hummus on a whole-wheat tortilla, add some slices of red bell pepper, green onion, and whatever else appeals, and roll it up. The tortilla doesn't get soggy.

                                            There are some nice sandwich spread recipes in the old American Wholefoods Cooking book from Nikki and David Goldbeck. There's one for a tuna salad-like stuff made with chickpeas that's real nice. I made a big batch of that once and took it when I and a couple of church folks were heading to a weekend assembly in an RV together. They ate it enthusiastically, even though they weren't vegetarian.

                                            1. Omelettes make great sandwiiches - and of course you can make them with any additions you like.

                                              1. I really think that the key to preventing soggy sandwiches is making sure to coat your bread with a water repellant and then layering appropriately. Really. Think about using butter for this. A thin coating of butter (or margarine if vegan) will prevent liquids from seeping into the bread and help keep the bread at the right consistency. In addition, you'll want to use your leafy greens on the next layer closest to the bread, this way any juicy fillings won't seep. I learned this in an article somewhere about an artisan sandwich maker some time ago (maybe in the New Yorker?) and it really works.

                                                Sandwich Layers
                                                Marinated/juicy fillings

                                                1. I like making "pressed" sandwiches- it is best made the night before. You'll need a round loaf of dense, rustic bread that will hold up well. I like to bake my own small loaves but a good bakery or higher-end grocery store should have something that will work.

                                                  Cut the bread like you would carve a pumpkin: cut a medium sized slice off the top, hollow it out, leaving the sides fairly thick, as it will be compressed later.

                                                  Make sure the first thing you put on the bread is fat-based: that will create a lipid barrier that prevents moisture from soaking the bread. I like to use pesto, but plain olive oil or mayonnaise works. It doesn't matter how thin the layer is, as long as you cover the bread surfaces lightly.

                                                  Then just add whatever veggies you want- raw, sauteed, roasted, whatever. I like hummus, sprouts, pickled onions and cucumber, or sometimes goat cheese with roasted vegetables or olives. Build your perfect sandwich (Note: very tender lettuces may bruise or wilt- I like to use spinach or arugula, or have a small salad on the side).

                                                  Put the bread top back in place (remember to spread the bottom with your oil or whatever) and squish it down a bit if you need to. Then wrap very tightly with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for tomorrow.

                                                  Cut in quarters and enjoy! (Though if it is too big to eat all at once, it should keep for a couple of days, or you could always share)

                                                  The Vegetarian Times website has some great sandwich recipes. Here are couple of links:

                                                  1. wow, this thread is making me drool! soo many good ideas. here are 3 that i like to make:

                                                    1) whole grain/seed bread with sliced beets, avocado, tomato, rocket, grated carrot and thai sweet chili sauce. if you eat dairy, you could add some jack/cheddar cheese

                                                    2) inspired by a pan bagnat/nicoise salad: black olive tapenade, cooked potato (cut into small cubes) and green beans (cooked and cut into 2 inch pieces), thin sliced red onion, and fresh sliced tomato - drizzle with olive oil and season well with sea salt and freshly ground black peper

                                                    3) on focaccia bread - really ripe and juicy sliced tomato, basil (or pesto), fresh mozzarella cheese, season with olive oil and sea salt

                                                    1. PB, lettuce and mayo is always good.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: mucho gordo

                                                        I like that sandwich on toasted multi-grain.

                                                      2. Mock tuna salad is surprisingly authentic tasting. I've come up with two recipes but have to say the burnt rosemary version is my favorite of the two: http://food-worthy.com/?p=2269

                                                        1. Radishes and thinly sliced turnips both make wonderful sandwiches and don't sog quickly. I just use butter salt and pepper, but a little goat cheese never hurts. Especially good with a seedy whole wheat or chocolatey pumpernickel.

                                                          1. Refried beans take seconds in the microwave. And with bread and butter pickles on french bread. any handy cheese, good god.

                                                            1. I have taken partially-split pitas and a container of cut-up vegetables bound with a little cottage cheese (or you could use any dressing or skip the dressing). When you are ready to eat, just shovel the filling into the pita.

                                                              1. Fava bean and herb spread on whole wheat pita. Take dried fava beans (you can use any bean actually). Soak them over night and then cook in water with some salt. Drain the beans and then saute some onion and garlic. Combine the beans, onions, garlic and fresh herbs of your choice (dill and parsley are a good combo) in a food processor, or use a stick blender. Blend to a paste. This will keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator, so you can make a big batch and eat through out the week. If you want a spicy sandwich, you can spread some ancho chile in adobe sauce on the bread before adding the bean paste. Or if you want it salty and tangy, you can add a little feta cheese into the paste before putting it on your bread.

                                                                1. Cream cheese, paper-thin cucumber slice and very thin red onion slices, light spribkling of kosher sale, heavier on fresh ground black pepper on the best, dark, dark pumpernickle bread you can find.

                                                                  You can make and pack ahead, or prep all items and assemble on site. I'm a carnivore and this is one of my most favorite s'wiches.

                                                                  Works well with polish style garlic dill pickles and a big glass of mint iced tea.

                                                                  1. I like cream cheese mixed with diced shallots, spread on raisen bread with sliced cucumbers.