Tempeh Reuben with Sauerkraut

Vegan or Vegetarian + Probiotic

Ahh Reubens, my favorite sandwich from my days of eating meat. I never imagined that I could recreate it vegan style and that it would actually taste way better than the meat version. Plus this version is definitely better for health. 

I've been spoiled with only having Reubens with my own sauerkraut on them. The first time I had a Reuben wasn't until I made one at home when my first ever batch of homemade sauerkraut was finished. Being the nerd/hippie that I am, I had just learned how to make sauerkraut and how to monitor it through a four week process to identify the stages it was going through microscopically... of course I had to start making it at home.

When you google recipes using sauerkraut, Reubens, hot dogs, and other processed meat dishes are the first things to pop up. And processed meat is not microbiome friendly.  Even when I did eat meat, I never ate a lot of it so eating a sandwich loaded with corned beef, swiss cheese, and crunchy sauerkraut was rich, heartburn inducing, salty, but somehow still delicious. Fast forward through a journey to optimum health, the starting of a blog and the beginnings of a fermented foods company. We were checking on our almost-done-fermenting 200 pounds of sauerkraut the other night. When We opened up our barrel a perfect smell and appearance made us so happy, and all I could think about was Reubens. 



I tried finding some recipes for vegan Reubens online, but I decided I wanted to wing it and make our own recipe. Well, lets just say WORTH IT. This recipe is SO good, and it is unique with  little deviations from the traditional that make it healthier, better tasting, and an actual good for your gut microbiome food! Not only is this recipe probiotic from the use of our Sauerkraut, but the sauce in the recipe is also probiotic via use of our Pickle Brine. We even changed up the bread to a pumpernickel bread we absolutely love from Trader Joe's. This recipe can be either vegan or vegetarian depending on the cheese you choose. Wholefoods has a pretty great selection of vegan cheeses that work great for this recipe, or you can stick to swiss. We utilize an ingredient from the Asian market that we also used in our Ma Po Tofu blog, the Lee Kum Kee brand of Black Bean Garlic Paste. This can be found at most Asian markets, on Amazon and in ethnic grocery stores. You do have to start working on this sandwich a night before you plan to make it though, because the tempeh has to marinate overnight. Hope you all enjoy! 

Tempeh Reuben


  • 8 oz of Organic Tempeh
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Aminos
  • 1/2 Cup Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Himalayan Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Black Bean Galic Paste
  • 1/2 Head of Purple Cabbage Chopped
  • Cheese of your choosing (Vegan or Swiss)
  • Cultured Guru Fermented Sauerkraut
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegan Mayo
  • 2 Tablespoons Organic Ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons Cultured Guru Fermented Pickle Brine
  • 2 Teaspoons Everything But the Bagel spice (from Trader Joe's)



  1. To marinate the tempeh over night: Slice the tempeh lengeth wise into wide but thin slices. Be very careful while doing this. Whisk together the Coconut Aminos, Salt, Pepper, Black Bean Garlic Paste and Rice Vinegar. Place the thinly sliced tempeh into a shallow container with a good sealing lid that will allow for the tempeh to be submerged in the marinating mixture. Pour the mixture over the tempeh. Shake well and let it soak in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.
  2. Once the tempeh is done marinating, heat a skillet over medium with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  3. Remove tempeh from the marinating mixture and place directly into the hot skillet. Pan sear on both sides until brown and crisp.
  4. While the tempeh cooks, toast two pieces of pumpernickle bread, and being preparing the sauce.
  5. For the sauce combine the vegan mayo, ketchup, pickle brine, and Everything But The Bagel Spice and mix well.
  6. Construct your sandwich by placing the chopped purple cabbage, sauerkraut, sauce, cooked tempeh and cheese in between two pieces of the toasted pumpernickle bread.  
  7. Now you've got yourself a vegan or vegetarian, nutritous Reuben that's full of flavor and probiotics!

Peace, Love and Probiotics,

Kaitlynn Fenley