Delicatessen Vegan Corned Beef on Rye

If you’ve got a craving for a serious deli sandwich, this recipe will make your day. Shaved delicatessen vegan corned beef topped with sauerkraut and deli mustard hits the spot any day of the week.

Vegan Corned Beef on Rye

The aroma from brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice will take over your kitchen while the loaf bakes. After baking the loaf, a beet powder broth is quickly prepared to color the shaved slices a brilliant red, while a final pinch of salt adds that nostalgic cured taste.

You can often find beet root powder in the bulk spices section of your grocery store or health food store, or you can find it online.

Delicatessen Vegan Corned Beef on Rye

Delicatessen Vegan Corned Beef on Rye


Vegan Corned Beef Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup wheat gluten flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon dry yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup kidney beans white or red
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Beet Broth Ingredients (for each sandwich)

  • 1/4 teaspoon beet powder or more to desired color, some beet powders are darker than others
  • 2 tablespoons water not too much or you’ll over-dilute the color
  • pinch of salt


  • Preheat the oven to 325° F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients (wheat gluten flour through allspice) and mix well. In a separate bowl, mash kidney beans until no whole beans remain. Then stir in water, oil, ginger, garlic, and brown sugar. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients all at once, stir for a few seconds with a large fork until all wet and dry ingredients are incorporated. Then, using your hands, knead the dough for one minute to activate the gluten. Shape into a log with about a 3-inch diameter, wrap tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil and twist the ends to seal. Bake on a pan 1 hour and 15 minutes, flipping the loaf once half-way through cooking. Let cool about one to two hours after baking.
  • Make the Vegan Corned Beef on Rye Deli Sandwich
  • With a sharp knife, slice thin layers of vegan corned beef from the loaf. In a non-stick skillet, stir together beet powder and water, then add the layers of vegan corned beef and stir to evenly apply color. Once the liquid and color are absorbed and distributed, sprinkle on a pinch of salt. Optionally warm up sauerkraut in another skillet until most excess liquid is removed. On rye bread, layer vegan corned beef, sauerkraut, and deli mustard (such as dijon, brown, or yellow mustard).
  • Serve warm (or cold) and enjoy!



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  1. Mel Avatar

    This looks so good and the recipe sounds great. I have some beet powder hiding away in the pantry so I’ll have to give this a try soon.

  2. inspiredeats Avatar

    Thanks, Mel! I hope it turns out great!

  3. Shadé @ oneveganfatty Avatar

    This is definitely “inspired”…WOW! Now…if only I can find some beet powder in the boonies of London…lol

  4. inspiredeats Avatar

    You could probably use a small amount of juice from a fresh red beet (just not so much that the beet flavor becomes overpowering), or even another dark red food color source if you have one. Let me know if you try something different!

  5. Barbara Avatar

    What could be used for flour other than a gluten based flour for those with gluten intolerances.

  6. inspiredeats Avatar

    Great question, Barbara – you have a couple of options.

    A company called Orgran makes a gluten free gluten substitute. I’ve never tried it (or even seen it in stores), but you can read about it on their website. If you’re really interested, you can purchase a case of it from

    Another option would be to search the web for a suitable “gluten free seitan” or even “gluten free gluten” recipe. I’ve seen a few out there that use bean and rice flours to mimic the properties of gluten to make seitan, and I’ll probably try them out myself!

  7. […] floated through my head after I saw the spice combo). I combined this recipe from Vegan Dad and this recipe from Inspired Vegan Eats to make my corned seitan, mainly because I had no prior experience […]

  8. Peter C Avatar
    Peter C

    I wonder if it is possible to add the beet powder so the whole loaf would be colored before baking. I am thinking of making this for a friend who wants “corned beef” and cabbage for St Paddy’s day and who is also a vegetarian. Any try this or have any thoughts?

  9. inspiredeats Avatar

    Hi Peter! I’ve made this a couple of times with a pretty large amount of beet powder in the seitan’s wet ingredients. It went into the oven bright red, but almost all of the color was lost by the time it’s finished cooking. In fact, I’ve tried to use beet powder as a red coloring in other baked goods like cupcakes, and the initial bright color always “cooks out” by the time it’s done baking.

    If you’re looking to serve it as a main dish, I’d suggest slicing it, cooking it in the beet powder broth (add more powder to the broth if your beet powder isn’t super dark), and serving those slices warm.

  10. […] than red meat, making it a perfect vegan substitute for this traditional Irish-American dish. To make the “corned beef” mixture, you’ll want to combine kidney beans, wheat gluten flour, dry yellow mustard, coriander, […]

  11. natalie Avatar

    is “wheat gluten flour” the same as “vital wheat gluten”?

  12. cindy Avatar

    Could I use Annato for coloring?

  13. Peter C Avatar
    Peter C

    Everyone at the table loved this. I served it as a main dish with the traditional boiled potatoes, carrots, and cabbage on the side. Also, since I could not find any beet powder I used red food coloring that I put in the boiled veggie water when I took the veggies out and put the “corned beef” in the water to color it. I think next time though I would reduce the amount of cloves, it was a little overpowering, imo. Thanks for the recipe.

  14. […] Or, just maybe… if I’m still enjoying my flexitarian diet next year, I’ll try this vegan corned beef sandwich recipe. […]

  15. […] Delicatessen Vegan Corned Beef on Rye | Inspired Eats […]

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