Looking for something special to add to your sandwiches? Try homemade tomato & olive vegan deli slices, they're easy to make and delicious.
If you are getting a bit bored with your sandwiches, you should try these vegan deli slices.
These tomato and olive vegan deli slices, which might also be called seitan slices, vegan deli 'meat' or vegan lunch 'meat' add both texture and flavour to your lunchtime sandwiches.
- 📋 Ingredients
- 💭 Are these vegan deli slices seitan?
- 👩🏻🍳 Seitan FAQs
- 💭 What is vital wheat gluten?
- 🧾 Where can you buy vital wheat gluten?
- ⏲️ Is there lots of kneading involved?
- 📖 Variations
- 🥪 How to serve vegan deli 'meat'
- ⭐ Why are tomato and olive deli slices so good?
- 🌡️ Storing these plant based deli slices
- 🌡️ Freezing deli slices
- ⭐ Hit the heart (NEW)
- 🥪 More vegan sandwich fillers
- 👩🏻🍳 How to make easy vegan deli slices
- 📖 Recipe
Here are the simple ingredients you need to make these plant-based deli slices.
- vital wheat gluten
- sundried tomato paste
- tomato puree
- black olives
- garlic powder
- black pepper
- vegetable stock
- olive oil
See the printable recipe card for full quantities and method at the bottom of the page.
💭 Are these vegan deli slices seitan?
They are a type of seitan.
Made in a similar way with vital wheat gluten.
For a similar vegan lunch 'meat' try my easy vegan pepperoni, which is made the same way as these vegan deli slices and can be cooked in the air fryer or oven.
It's gorgeous on pizza and sandwiches.
👩🏻🍳 Seitan FAQs
Seitan is a protein-packed meat substitute made from vital wheat gluten.
It is also called milgogi, wheat meat or just gluten.
Not necessarily, although it is a common method.
Steaming helps to great that chewy, spongy texture, but if there is enough liquid and oil in seitan, you can just wrap and bake it, skipping the steaming.
Unfortunately seitan is never gluten-free as the flour used is high in gluten, which is what gives the springy texture.
They are both a great source of protein and amino acids, but seitan is slightly higher in protein and often lower in fat.
💭 What is vital wheat gluten?
VItal wheat gluten looks like flour but if it's super boosted.
It starts with flour but most of the starch is removed, so it is super high in gluten.
High gluten means you end up with a very stretchy dough, which when cooked has the perfect texture for a vegan deli slice.
Totally unsuitable for gluten-free diets unfortunately.
Read more about it in the article What is Vital Wheat Gluten by the Happy Herbivore.
🧾 Where can you buy vital wheat gluten?
Health food shops or online vegan supermarkets are the best places to buy vital wheat gluten.
If all else fails you can buy it on Amazon.
⏲️ Is there lots of kneading involved?
Not much at all and it's super quick to bring this dough together.
The dough is super stretchy very quickly with very little kneading.
All you need to do is bring it together into a ball, then fold it over on it'self a few times, then shape it into a sausage shape..
It's not too sticky either, unlike many bread doughs.
Here are a few simple variations you can make to these meatless deli slices.
- Olives - use green olives instead of black, or if you don't like olives, you can leave them out
- Sundried tomato paste - can't find sundried tomato paste, then you could use red pepper paste or red pesto
- Herbs - you can vary the herbs you use, but stick to dried
🥪 How to serve vegan deli 'meat'
Here are a few ideas on how to serve these easy but delicious vegan deli slices.
- Sandwiches - with salad and slices of vegan cheese (and chilli garlic chutney)
- Wraps - with vegan mayo, salad leaves, grated smoked vegan cheddar and mustard
- Pitta bread - in toasted pitta with pesto and salad
- Bagel - in a toasted sesame seed bagel with mustard, vegan cheddar and slices of dill pickles.
- Pizza - this works on pizza too, although have you tried my simple vegan pepperoni?
⭐ Why are tomato and olive deli slices so good?
Here are the reasons I think this is the best plant based deli slices.
- Easy to make
- The slices taste much better than shop bought vegan deli slices, which can be quite bland.
- It has a great texture.
- These vegan sandwich slices give you that wonderful savoury flavour
- They are packed with protein and amino acids
🌡️ Storing these plant based deli slices
Swaddle it like a baby (in non-stick baking paper) and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Just slice some as you need it, then wrap it up and pop it back in the fridge.
🌡️ Freezing deli slices
The good news is you can also freeze this vegan lunch 'meat'.
Before slicing it, wrap it well, pop it in a freezer bag or tub and freeze for up to 3 months.
Leave it to defrost in the fridge for a wee while before slicing it.
⭐ Hit the heart (NEW)
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Hit it to like the recipe.
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🥪 More vegan sandwich fillers
Here are some bloomin' gorgeous vegan sandwich fillers to add to your next sandwich or wrap with this vegan deli 'meat' to take it to the next level.
- Black Olive Tapenade
- Cashew Pesto
- Coronation Coleslaw
- Creamy Italian Dressing
- Creamy Sriracha Dip
- Easy Hummus
- Ranch Dressing
- Tahini dressing
- Whipped Feta with Lemon & Herbs
For more easy vegan recipes, check out my recipe index.
👩🏻🍳 How to make easy vegan deli slices
Step-by-step photos. Keep scrolling for the full printable recipe (with full ingredient list and nutritional info).
- In a large mixing bowl add the vital wheat gluten.
- Add the dried herbs, garlic and salt.
- Give a good mix.
- Add the pitted, chopped black olives and mix in well. The coating of flour will make sure they don't sink and have a good distribution through the deli slices.
- In another bowl add the vegetable stock, sundried tomato paste and tomato puree.
- Add the olive oil and mix well.
- Now add the tomato mixture to the dry mixture and mix well to combine.
- Knead the dough or fold it over on itself a few times. You will find it is already springy.
- Shape into a sausage shape, thinking of the size of slices you want, the wrap in baking paper, followed by foil.
- Bake in the air fryer or oven.
- Leave to cool in the foil, then slice and enjoy!
Tomato & Olive Vegan Deli Slices for Sandwiches
- 250 g vital wheat gluten
- 2 tablespoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons dried sage
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 4 tablespoons garlic powder (or granules)
- 1 pinch salt and pepper
- 70 g black (pitted) olives (sliced)
- 200 ml vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 6 tablespoons sundried tomato paste (you could use red pepper paste or red pesto, see notes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- In a large mixing bowl add all the dry ingredients (vital wheat gluten, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper) and mix well.
- Mix in the olives.
- In another bowl, add the stock sundried tomato paste, tomato puree and olive oil and mix well until well combined.
- Pour the tomato mixture into the dry mix and mix together well.
- Knead (or fold over on itself a few times) in the bowl for one or two minutes (with clean hands). You will feel how elastic it is right away. It really doesn't need a lot of kneading.
- Shape and roll into a sausage shape, then roll firmly in non-stick baking paper.
- Now roll in tin foil and twist the ends like a cracker.
- Pop in the air fryer at 200c/400c for 45 minutes (middle shelf, if you have shelves) or in a preheated oven at 200c/180c fan/400f/gas mark 6 for 45 -50 minutes.
- When it's ready it should have started to brown on the outside and be firm, yet springy to the touch.
- Leave to cool, in the wrapping.
- Slice and use in sandwiches and wraps/
- If you are using red pesto and it is oily, you may want to reduce the olive oil.
- If you don't like olives, you can skip them.
- Swaddle it like a baby (in non-stick baking/greaseproof paper) and pop it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Just slice some as you need it, then wrap it up again and pop back in the fridge.
- Before slicing it (or slicing what's left, wrap it well, then pop it in a freezer bag or tub and freeze for up to 3 months. Let it defrost in the fridge for a wee while before slicing it.