I love a good vegan toastie, A.K.A a grilled cheese sandwich (for all the Americans reading this), and I am always playing around with plant-based fillings. It is vegan comfort food at its best.
Toasties are traditionally made using cow’s milk cheese, but there is absolutely no reason why we can’t make them dairy-free using all of the incredible vegan cheese alternatives out there. And since we are getting creative, we may as well have some fun with the other fillings too!
In this guide, I am going to take you through some of the most delicious vegan toastie ideas, including savoury and sweet options from a whole variety of cuisines. At the end of the article, you’ll even find some handy tips and tricks to create the most amazing grilled sandwiches of all time.
So, prepare yourself for the most delicious vegan toastie fillings that you’ve ever imagined, brought to you from a range of vegan food bloggers and food brands. For each idea I have linked through to the relevant vegan toastie recipes so you can get cooking up your favourite grilled sandwich, pronto!
1. Vegan Kimchi Toastie
This one is for all kimchi lovers out there! There are many awesome ways to cook with vegan kimchi, but this is my absolute favourite way. The kimchi adds a lovely spicy taste and the melted vegan cheddar cheese slice brings an umami balance to the grilled sandwich.
Simply slather on some vegan mayonnaise to the bread and top with plenty of vegan kimchi and a slice of vegan cheddar cheese (like these from Violife). For an extra dose of spice, consider adding some chilli sauce or sriracha.
2. Vegan Ploughman’s Toastie
One of the most classic British sandwiches is a Ploughman’s. It consists of cheese and pickles, but it can also include slices of cold meats like ham. This vegan version from Quorn is made using vegan cheese, vegan ham slices and red onion relish.
You could also use the pickle that is traditionally added to a Ploughman’s sandwich, Branston Pickle, since it is accidentally vegan!
The sandwich is then toasted on a pan or under the grill to bring a whole new toasted element to this traditional dish! It is absolute genius.
3. Vegan Haggis Toastie
This creative vegan toastie recipe utilises the popular Scottish food, Haggis, to create a meaty sandwich. Haggis isn’t vegan, but there are plenty of vegan haggis alternatives you can buy in most supermarkets.
It is a great way to introduce yourself to Haggis, but also a really handy recipe for when you have leftover Haggis in the fridge. This may not be very often, particularly if you aren’t Scottish, but you never know!
4. Vegan Sloppy Joe Toastie
The Sloppy Joe is a sandwich originating from America. It consists of ground beef, onion and tomato sauce all of which is dolloped into a sandwich roll. And yes, it is as messy as it sounds.
Thankfully, PETA’s take on this sandwich is a lot neater and fully vegan, of course. They use vegan mince meat to create the filling, but you can easily make this toastie whenever you have leftovers of any mince-based dish, like a ragu, chilli non carne, or bolognese.
It is spread onto a slice of bread and topped with grated vegan cheddar cheese before being fried in a pan on the stove.
5. Vegan Peanut Butter & Banana Toastie
If you are looking for something a little bit sweeter and you love the popular combination of peanut butter and banana, then you’ll love this vegan toastie idea. It is made using a mix of sliced banana, peanut butter and jam (or jelly, if you are American). And obviously, no vegan cheese here…
It is really simple and quick to rustle up and utilises a lot of store cupboard ingredients. You can also experiment with it and use different nut butter, like almond butter, or you could even substitute it for a vegan nutella. Yum!
6. Vegan Black Olive & Tomato Toastie
This Mediterranean-style toastie packs a punch with its delicious olive tapenade filling. They provide you with a delicious and easy tapenade recipe to make at home, but you can also use a shop-bought one. Just be careful as many olive tapenades in the supermarket contain anchovies (which aren’t vegan).
The tapenade pairs perfectly with the slices of fresh tomato and vegan mayonnaise. When sandwiched in-between wholegrain bread, you get a really healthy vegan toastie alternative. Making it the perfect lunchbox filler!
7. Smoked Vegan Cheese & Onion Toastie
For a more traditional cheese toastie recipe, I recommend you try out this smoky cheese and onion toastie by Veganuary. It makes the most of the delicious smoked cheese by Applewood. It is my favourite smoked cheese and I regularly use it to make cheese on toast and cheese toasties.
Paired with some caramelised onions, you have the perfect punchy toastie. You could also top it with some pre-bought pickle to achieve a similar result.
Toastie hacks and tips
A vegan toastie is quite a simple dish to make and when you mix bread with vegan cheese and yummy fillings it really is hard for it to go wrong. But that doesn’t mean you can’t elevate the dish to ultimate nomminess.
Follow my handy hacks and tips to create the most delicious plant-based grilled sandwiches.
Picking the best bread options for vegan toasties
The best bread for a toastie completely depends on what you want your toastie’s taste and texture to be like. Here are some bread options you can choose depending on your wants and desires:
- For a more substantial toastie with more luxurious flavours try using slices of sourdough bread
- For a softer more junk-food-esque toastie try using slices of normal white bread
- For a healthier nuttier tasting toastie try using slices of wholemeal or brown bread
Cooking the perfect vegan toasties
There are a few different ways in which you can cook your vegan toasties to perfection. Here are some of the best methods:
- Use a toastie maker (like this one by Breville).
- Place the toastie under the grill and cook it on both sides for a few minutes each, but do watch over it carefully as the grill does cook quickly!
- Fry it in a frying pan with a little bit of butter spread on the outside of the bread. This is usually how grilled cheese sandwiches in America are cooked, but it isn’t the healthiest option.
- Cook it in your toaster using these nifty toastie bags.
Choosing the right vegan cheese alternative
In order for a savoury toastie to truly be a toastie it needs to have a load of melting cheese oozing out of the middle. Thankfully, there are now loads of vegan cheese alternatives that melt just like their animal-based counterparts. Here is a list of my favourite options to suit your favourite toastie idea: