Vegan Pastrami

Updated: May 26, 2020

Yield: 2-4 servings


Total Time: 7 hours - 1 day


Beet Puree Ingredients:

  • About 8 ounces of beets thoroughly blended with 2 ½ cups of water - this puree will be used in every step for this recipe so start by making it and transferring it to a convenient container for easy access, measuring, and storing


Seitan Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten

  • 3 tablespoons flour

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • ⅓ cup coconut oil - melted

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon cumin

  • ½ teaspoon onion powder

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon allspice

  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder

  • ½ cup of beet puree


Rub Mixture Ingredients:

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder

  • ½ teaspoon allspice


Brine Ingredients:

  • 2 dried bay leaves

  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder

  • 1 tablespoon coriander

  • 1 tablespoon pepper

  • 3 teaspoons dried dill

  • 1 tablespoon dried pepper flakes

  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds

  • 1 ½ cups beet puree


Part 1 - Make that seitan loaf and cover it with the rub mixture:

  1. Whisk together the gluten, flour, and spices and then fold in the beet puree and coconut oil - knead until loaf is as smooth as possible

  2. Form the loaf into a log shape and and evenly cover with the rub mixture

  3. Tightly wrap the loaf in plastic wrap and put in fridge to set for at least one hour or up to overnight - I let mine set for about 2 hours


Part 2 - Prepare the brine and let that loaf simmer:

  1. Combine all the brine ingredients into a pot and turn the heat on to low

  2. Unwrap your seitan loaf and add it to your pot with the brine - spoon some of the brine onto the top of the loaf

  3. Cover the pot and let simmer for 2 hours, flip the loaf, let simmer for an additional 2 hours - check on the loaf every 30 minutes to make sure it isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pot

  4. Once your loaf has 15 minutes left, preheat the oven to 275 degrees and grease a baking dish - I used ceramic 9’’ dish

  5. Save the brine liquid for the final step


Part 3 - Bake that loaf:

  1. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of pepper and 1 teaspoon of seasalt onto the bottom of the baking dish, transfer the loaf to the baking dish, sprinkle with additional 1 teaspoon of pepper and 1 teaspoon of seasalt

  2. Pour ½ of the remaining beet puree and ½ of the remaining brine liquid onto the loaf

  3. Bake for 45 minutes, flip, pour remaining beet puree and brine liquid onto the loaf, bake for additional 45 minutes


Part 4 - Eat that loaf:

  1. Allow for the loaf to cool for at least 15 minutes - I let mine cool for 30 minutes so it was easily to cut into slices

  2. Give yourself a pat on the back for all your patience and enjoy!








Spending a day making some fake pastrami might seem really intense but I promise it isn’t terribly complicated. The actual hands-on parts of this recipe are very easy and all the slow cooking will make your space smell so good. SO. MANY. SPICES. I decided to work out this recipe because my husband just made a bunch of sauerkraut and a reuben sandwich sounded delicious. Usually when I make a vegetarian reuben I just double-down on the cheese as a meat replacer but I wanted something more special this time. This sandwich was really something special! This loaf would also be totally delicious served with some mashed potatoes and greens. I hope you all feel confident enough to tackle this recipe and that you enjoy it as much as I did!


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