meatless bbq sandwiches

by Stacy

Let’s get straight to the point here: barbecue sauce is delicious. As a vegetarian, I feel that my opportunities to eat barbecue sauce are disappointingly limited. For our first wedding anniversary my husband and I drove to Kansas for a friend’s wedding where they served some of the best BBQ in Kansas City. I ate a single slice of bread and a solitary piece of cake. Even the corn had ham in it. But it smelled so good, and I was hungry — and sad. Any chance I have to make myself a vegetarian dish with barbecue sauce I will take.

bbq seitan with coleslaw

When I saw this recipe in the latest issue of Vegetarian Times, I perked right up. I made these for dinner, then I was so excited to have leftovers for lunch the next day I almost had a sandwich for breakfast. I also may have eaten these for lunch three days in a row.

Don’t be scared if you don’t want to make buns, BBQ sauce, seitan, and coleslaw from scratch. Heck, if you have some leftover chicken you could probably use that. Once you have all the elements made (even if you follow the recipe to make the sauce), it only takes 10-15 minutes to come together into a tasty meal. For lunch I had the sandwich alone, for dinner I sauteed up some veggies on the side.

When was the last time you couldn’t wait to eat leftovers? Maybe you should make these.

Carolina-Style BBQ Sandwiches

Adapted from Vegetarian Times
Serves 4

The original sauce recipe calls for “Louisiana-style hot sauce.” I left it out and made some other minor adjustments and it tastes fine. Depending on the type of buns you use this recipe is also vegan.


  • 4 hamburger or sandwich buns
  • 1 cup coleslaw
  • 12 ounces seitan (packaged, or homemade), cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • pickles if desired


  1. Combine vinegar, ketchup, mustard, sugar, molasses, pepper, salt, and ground mustard in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Remove about half the sauce from the pan and set it aside.
  2. Add seitan to the remainder of the sauce and stir well. Cook about 10 minutes until the sauce is thickened and mostly absorbed. Divide among buns, top with additional sauce, coleslaw, and pickles.

bbq seitan with coleslaw

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

tater1112 June 12, 2010 at 8:29 pm
Stacy June 12, 2010 at 8:34 pm

This is Carolina-style sauce! I still have the KC one bookmarked from a million years ago. Obviously I am poky, we know this.


Kate H. June 16, 2010 at 7:44 am

Sounds yummy! I gave Ben a subscription to Vegetarian Times for his b-day and we’re both looking forward to the arrival of the first magazine. :) (We use the website, too, but I like looking through food mags!!!)


Stacy June 16, 2010 at 11:23 am

What a great idea. =) I was (wrongly) opposed to VT for a long time and am sad that I missed out on years of potential good stuff.


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