one green planet
one green planet

It’s almost time for the Superbowl (and Puppy Bowl) and that means it’s time to think about food. Yes, it’s also time to think about football (and puppies!) but we still have to eat, right? Whether you’re having a huge Superbowl Party or just a few friends over to watch the game, everyone will be expecting great munchies and fun food. Superbowl food should be easy to eat. After all, people will be trying to balance their dishes, drinks, phones and even the remote control! It’s better if silverware is not required.

Sandwiches are the perfect party food. They are easy to make, you can make them as small as tea sandwiches or as large as 6-foot submarines, and you can serve a variety of different kinds. Everyone loves sandwiches. But before you just go stick some boring vegan cold cuts between two slices of bread, read on. Sandwiches can be friendly yet exciting. Here are 7 super sandwiches for the Superbowl that will score you big points.


1. Curried Tofu and Butternut Squash with Spicy Vegan Feta Aioli


One day I was in the mood for a sandwich. I was thinking about making butternut squash and caramelized onions sandwiches but then I asked hubby what he would like and he wanted tofu in the sandwiches. That’s how this sandwich was born. The sweetness of the squash just begs for it to be cooked with spicy flavors like chile powder, paprika and curry powder. The tofu is crisp, the onions soft and sweet and a salty/spicy dressing balances it all.  To make 4 of these sandwiches, start by making the caramelized onions: In a skillet or deep saute pan with a lid, heat 1 Tbs. vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add 2 large onions that have been halved and thinly sliced to the pan and cook, tossing frequently, until they just start to soften, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring frequently, while the onions shrink in size and soften. You do not want them to turn brown. Cover the pan to help them along. It should take about 30 minutes for the onions to become shrunken, soft and sweet. When they are done, transfer them to a bowl and set aside.  To make the butternut squash: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel the butternut squash. Cut the squash in half so that you separate the long neck from the round part of the squash. We will only use the long part; you can chop the round part into cubes and freeze for later use. Cut the tip off the neck of the squash and then cut the neck into 4 slices. If you are using a really big squash, you can cut the neck into 8 thinner slices. Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the slices with oil and season with 1 tsp. each curry powder and paprika and salt and pepper.  Roast the squash until browned and tender, about 20 minutes, flipping the slices halfway through. You want the squash to be tender but not super-soft. When it’s done, remove from the oven and set aside.

To make the tofu: Cut a pressed and drained block of extra-firm tofu in half, width-wise, and then cut each half into 4 slices for a total of 8 thin slices. Place ¼ cup flour in a shallow dish or bowl and season with 2 tsp. curry powder and 1 tsp. salt. Lightly coat the tofu slices in the seasoned flour. Heat 2 Tbs. oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the tofu slices in the skillet until browned and crisp, about 4 minutes per side. You will need to cook the tofu in batches. Transfer the tofu to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.  To make the aioli: In a small bowl, mix 1/3 cup mayo and 1/3 cup vegan feta. Stir in 2 tsp. hot sauce and taste for seasoning adjustments. Add salt if necessary. Toast 8 slices of bread to your desired crispness. To assemble the sandwiches: Slather the aioli on the toasted bread. On one slice of bread, layer some greens, a slice of butternut squash, two slices of tofu and the caramelized onions. Top with another slice of bread. Repeat to make the remaining sandwiches. For another amazing tofu sandwich, try this Grilled Buffalo Tofu Po’ Boy with Apple Slaw.


2. Vegan Reubens

Vegan-tempeh-reuben (1)

I never had a Reuben until I became vegan so I have no previous experience to compare to but I can tell you I love the vegan version. Marinated tempeh, pungent sauerkraut, and creamy Russian dressing all layered between crispy slices of toast. Yum! Try my Tempeh Reuben Sandwiches, The Magical Tempeh Reuben or Mayam Bialik’s Vegan Reuben Sandwich. Another tempeh sandwich you’ll love is this Vegan Tempeh Tomato Herb Sandwich.

3. Mediterranean Panini


I love Mediterranean flavors.  This sandwich combines grilled and roasted veggies with bright pesto, green spinach and gooey vegan cheese. Cut 1 large eggplant, 1 large yellow squash, 4 roasted red peppers and 1 large tomato in long slices, about ¼ inch thick. Brush one side of the veggies with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook eggplant, squash, red pepper, and tomato on grill pan, oiled side down. While they are cooking, brush the top side with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until they are softened and browned on both sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Cut 4 rolls in half and spread your favorite pesto on both sides of bread. On the bottom half of the roll, layer eggplant, squash, roasted red pepper, tomato, and spinach. Drizzle balsamic vinegar on top. On the top half of the roll, sprinkle vegan mozzarella on the pesto. Press down so the cheese doesn’t fall off. Put sandwich together. Heat the sandwich on the grill pan. Press down with another heavy pan and a weight on top, for just a few minutes to melt the cheese. Cut in half and serve. Another recipe with similar ingredients is this Roasted Eggplant Sandwich with Caramelized Onions.


4. Portobello Mushroom Philly Cheesesteaks


Philly Cheesesteaks were my favorite sandwich in the whole world, although I never had an authentic one from Philly. Crispy bread and melted cheese…yum! When I went veg, the first sandwich I had was a vegan version of a Philly made with mushrooms. It wasn’t long before I made my own version and now you can make it too. Preheat the broiler. Heat a deep skillet with 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add 8 sliced large Portobello mushroom caps and let brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add 4 minced garlic cloves, 1 tsp. dried thyme and ½ tsp. black pepper. Mix well. When the mushrooms are browned and shrunken, add ½ large onion, sliced and salt to the skillet. Don’t add the salt until after the mushrooms are browned as it slows down their cooking. Cook about 5 minutes until the onion is caramelized and softened. Add 1 tsp. liquid smoke (optional) and 1 Tbs. vegan Worcestershire sauce and mix well. Continue to let cook about another 3-4 minutes.

Slice open 2 long or 4 short loaves of bread and place on a baking sheet. Apply the cooking spray (or drizzle olive oil) on the bread. Take a clove of garlic, cut the tip off, and rub the garlic on the bread (you may also use dried garlic powder). Spread vegan mayo on the bread, if using. Fill the loaves with the mushrooms. Top with vegan cheddar or Pepper jack cheese. Put the heroes in the broiler for about 4-5 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Cut the heroes into halves. Get a lot of napkins. You may also like this Jackfruit Philly Cheesesteak for another version of this favorite and this Best Ever Vegan “Steak” Sandwich on the Planet.


5. Vegan “Chicken,” “Egg,” and “Tuna” Salad Sandwiches


Growing up, we all had chicken salad, egg salad and tuna salad sandwiches. Well, just because you’re eating a plant-based diet, it doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy them. It’s easy to make vegan versions of all them. Some recipes use tofu or tempeh while others use chickpeas. If you miss tuna sandwiches, try this Chickpea “Tuna” Salad Sandwich, Tuna-Free Salad Sandwiches, and this Chickpea Tuna Melt. Maybe chicken salad was more to your liking. In that case, make these Potato Chip-Encrusted “Chicken” Salad Sandwiches or these Crunchy Cranberry Chik’n Sandwiches. Egg salad sandwiches can be yours again with this Eggless Egg Salad Sandwich and these “Egg” Salad Sandwiches.


6. Eggplant Parmigiana


What’s more delectable than getting a big Italian hero filled with delicious eggplant, tasty marinara sauce and topped with gooey cheese? That’s what I thought. Read on. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Cut the ends off 1 large eggplant (peeling is optional). Standing it upright, cut the eggplant into thin slices, about ¼ inch thick. Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the eggplant slices on the grill pan, oiled side down. Cook until tender about 5 minutes. While the slices are cooking, brush the top sides with olive oil. Turn the slices over to cook on the other side. Depending on the size of the grill pan, you probably have to cook the eggplant in batches. Transfer the cooked slices to a plate and set aside. Cut 2 loaves of Italian bread in half and then cut them open so that you have 8 pieces of bread. Place them on a baking sheet. Cut off the end of a garlic clove and rub the garlic on the bread (or sprinkle some garlic powder). Brush some olive oil on the bread. Put the bread in the oven for just a couple of minutes; you just want the bread to get toasted. Remove the bread from the oven. On one hero, layer some eggplant slices. Top with marinara sauce and vegan mozzarella cheese. Add the top piece of bread. Wrap the hero in foil. This will not only hold it together while it cooks but will create steam to help melt the cheese. Repeat to make 3 more heroes. Place the wrapped heroes in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Carefully unwrap the hero (be careful of the steam) and serve. For another favorite Italian sandwich, try this Meatless Meatball Sub and for a different flavor profile, try this BBQ Lentil Meatball Sandwich with Sweet Miso Coleslaw.


7. Friendly “Fish” Sandwiches

fillet o fish (1)

One of my favorite lunches in high school was the fish sandwich they served on Fridays. It was breaded and fried and topped with tartar sauce. My vegan version of fried fish is so delicious, I use it as a base for other recipes. Make my Tempeh “Fish” Fillets and then use them to make Vegan “Fish” Tacos with slaw and a dill remoulade. Sometimes I also put the tempeh filets on a bun with tartar sauce if I want to recreate my high school sandwich or that famous fast-food fish sandwich you may have eaten. Also make these Bad Ass Vegan Fish Sandwiches.

There are so many mouthwatering sandwiches you can make and these are just a sample of them. For more ideas and recipes, check out 5 Steps for Making Incredible Sandwiches and 50 Monster Burgers and Sandwiches (because burgers are sandwiches too).

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By the way, check out our Ultimate List of Super Bowl Party Recipes!

Lead Image Source: Rhea Parsons