Tempeh Reubens with Caramelized Onions Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Tempeh Reubens with Caramelized Onions

Layers of tempeh, sauerkraut and caramelized onions give this warm sandwich a rich, well-integrated flavor. Although you can spread the bread with mustard, the Russian dressing is delicious and takes just minutes to make—you can do it while the tempeh is simmering. If you like, top the assembled Reubens with slices of soy cheese, then run the sandwiches under the broiler just until the cheese melts. Two brands that melt nicely: Soy Moon Gouda or Veggie Slices American cheese. The Russian Dressing makes 1/2 cup.


Ingredient Set Name: 

Russian Dressing


Ingredient Line: 
4 Tbs. eggless mayonnaise
Ingredient Line: 
1 Tbs. tomato paste
Ingredient Line: 
¼ cup minced dill pickle
Ingredient Line: 
2 Tbs. minced red onion
Ingredient Line: 
1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Ingredient Set Name: 

Tempeh Reubens


Ingredient Line: 
1 8-oz. pkg. tempeh
Ingredient Line: 
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
Ingredient Line: 
2 Tbs. tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
Ingredient Line: 
1 Tbs. black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
Ingredient Line: 
1 Tbs. caraway seeds
Ingredient Line: 
2 ½ Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
Ingredient Line: 
4 cups thinly sliced onions
Ingredient Line: 
1 ½ cups sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
Ingredient Line: 
4 to 6 slices hearty whole grain bread
Ingredient Line: 
1 bunch arugula, stemmed, rinsed and dried


  1. To make Russian Dressing: Mix all ingredients in bowl until thoroughly combined. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. To make Tempeh Reubens: Using sharp knife, cut tempeh crosswise at 45-degree angle into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Combine 1 1/2 cups water, vinegar, tamari, peppercorns and caraway seeds in large saucepan. Add tempeh, spooning mixture over it. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions and salt, and cook, stirring often, over medium-low heat about 10 minutes, or until juicy. Increase heat to medium, and cook 5 minutes more, stirring often, until well browned. Remove pan from heat.
  4. Heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and add tempeh slices, in batches if necessary. Cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  5. Warm sauerkraut in saucepan over medium-low heat. 
  6. To assemble sandwiches, spread each bread slice with 1 heaping Tbs. of Russian dressing. Layer bread with arugula, tempeh, sauerkraut and onions. Serve warm, either open-faced or topped with another slice of bread. 

Nutrition Information: 

13 g
Total Fat: 
14 g
Saturated Fat: 
2 g
38 g
920 mg
7 g
6 g
Serves 6

Comments on this Recipe



ummmm ... This was absolutely DELICIOUS!!! DO NOT skip the Russian Dressing part and think you're gonna short-cut with some store-bought stuff. The dressing MAKES this sandwich. This is on our "To do again!" list!

I made these last night - they were awesome! Bill is right - the sauce is terrific. I didn't add the cheese and didn't miss it at all. Also I didn't have caraway on hand so I added the brine of my kraut to the water mixture. It smelled like a real reuben while the tempeh was cooking. Delicious.