Open or closed, that is often the question I have these days when it comes to making vegan sandwiches. On the one hand a regular closed sandwich is delicious and it has the potential to get really messy, which only makes a vegan sandwich even more enjoyable. On the other hand, an open-faced vegan sandwich allows you to get more sandwich insides without increasing the amount of bread on your plate.
So the question then becomes, open-faced or closed-face sandwiches?
In our house, it depends. When it comes to burgers I am strictly a closed-faced, two-handed juicy burger with the works kind of girl while The Hubs will almost always ask for me to split is Beyond burger into two small diner style patties and serve them open, which I’m happy to do. For him.
But when it comes to things like lentil Sloppy Joe sandwiches or Spinach & Artichoke Sandwiches, I prefer to keep it open face so I can have more creamy, spicy, Sloppy Joe goodness.
So when I found the most beautiful pack of oyster mushrooms I have ever seen, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. Vegan barbecue shredded mushroom sandwiches. They’re like pulled pork but without the suffering.
This is an easy to make vegan recipe that can be ready in 40 minutes…or less.
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This vegan sandwich recipe is really easy and it doesn’t require a long list of ingredients, unless of course you choose to make your own barbecue sauce, which is totally up to you, but kind of defeats the purpose of this quick & easy vegan recipe.
Oyster Mushrooms (405g or 1 package)
Onion, sliced (150g)
Brioche Burger Buns (watch out for butter on the ingredients list)
Potatoes (400g) rinsed & cut into wedges
Vegan Barbecue Sauce
Vegan Cheddar Slices (Verdino brand is what I used)
Ketchup, Mustard or BBQ Sauce for dipping (optional)
Step 1: The first thing you want to do is rinse & scrub your potatoes. I like to bake or air-fry them with the skin on which means I use a nail brush to scrub away all the dirt, eyes and impurities because it’s a little tougher than your standard vegetable cleaning brush.
Step 2: Chop potatoes into wedges or whatever style you prefer. Lay them on a baking sheet and toss with your favorite flavor blends. For this recipe I used a grill seasoning along with smoky paprika, garlic, salt, white pepper and cayenne pepper. Bake on 200c/400f for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden & crispy.
Step 3: Slice oyster mushrooms the long way so you end up with long slivers that resemble pulled pork and toss with salt and pepper. Add to a pan on medium-high heat and cook until crispy but not burnt, and still soft. It will take about 20 minutes or so, with continuous stirring to get them right.
Step 4: As soon as the mushrooms start to brown, add sliced onions to the skillet as well. Stir frequently, about 7 to 10 minutes or until the onions seem to caramelize and the mushrooms are crispy on the edges but still soft and chewy.
Step 5: Add barbecue sauce and stir until the sauce begins to bubble and remove from heat.
Tip: Check the labels of your favorite barbecue sauce because many are accidentally vegan!
Step 6: Toast Brioche buns using your preferred method. I added them to the baking tray with my potatoes for 3.5 minutes and they were firm but still soft.
Step 7: Assemble. If you choose to add the cheese to one side of the open-faced vegan sandwich, prepare one side first and pop it back into the oven to let the cheese melt. Or if you’re cool like that, break out the kitchen blowtorch. Make sure each side of the bun has enough filling to reach the edges and plate up the baked potatoes.
Step 8: Get your nom-nom on!
And that’s it. A quick and easy vegan BBQ sandwich recipe that’s perfect for warm weather. And a bonus is that this dish reheats well so you can bring it to all manner of summer barbecues where there’s not likely to be many (or any) vegan options.
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And if you’re feeing thirsty, wash it down with an ice cold beer. This particular brand I tried recently on a stop (Mila 23) during a trip on the Danube Delta. Kozel is a dark or semi-dark Czech lager.