Fake Italian Sandwich 

Myo-friendly Food!

I found this recipe on Food 52, credit where credit is due. It is easy, delicious (even the carnivore likes it, as-is), and I can see substituting ham, bacon, sausage, or chicken for the tempeh strips. For true vegans (looking at you Myo) this should become a fan-favorite.


  • 1/2 (6-ounce) package Lightlife Smoky Tempeh Strips
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons plant-based or regular mayonnaise
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-5 tablespoons sliced pepperoncini, brine reserved
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and lightly crushed if you have it – not necessary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 vegan roll (about 8 inches long), halved horizontally
  • 2 slices plant-based cheese or cheese of choice
  • 1/4 to 1/2 beefsteak tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 to 4 pieces iceberg lettuce
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Red wine vinegar, for drizzling

Fry the tempeh strips in oil until crispy on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Combine the mayonnaise, garlic, 1½ teaspoons of the pepperoncini brine, fennel seeds, oregano, and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Season with more brine to taste.

Spread the mayo on the inside of the sub roll. To the bottom piece of bread, stack in this order: smoky tempeh strips, cheese/fake cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pepperoncini, sprinkle of salt and pepper, drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar, top half of bread. Press down with your hand so all the ingredients get acquainted.

This is a knife and fork recipe – really messy.

About Elliecoo 493 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.


  1. Before @hannibal gets here, I want to be the first to say that this is as much a “fake” Italian sandwich as raisins in a potato salad are to “fake” cookouts.

    Jokes aside, my professional Italian chef/friend actually perfected a vegan mayo for his macaroni salad just for me. Then he stuck with it for everyone else because, “I can do things with it to make it taste better than I can with egg-based mayo.”

    Bookmarking this to try. Thanks for taking into consideration those who live by the correct set of ideals are vegan.

    • I find that plant based cheese which mimic Kraft Singles to be ok because that stuff is so fake anyway.

      I also really like some nut and plant based spreadable cheeses. These ones are fantastic if you can find them. They are kind of like Boursin.

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