Tell us, do you absolutely love Thanksgiving leftovers like we do? If you do, we’re here to make your dreams come true! Our epic vegan Thanksgiving air fryer sandwich is the best you’ll ever make and we’re dying to share our recipe secrets with you.
Imagine two slices of your favorite crusty bread (or use a squishy white bread if you wish, no judgement!) air-fried until golden brown and crispy and then filled with a scoop of each of the most savory and scrumptious dishes from your Thanksgiving feast. To finish it off, you can top it with a generous spoonful of warm and peppery plant-based gravy. Are you drooling yet?
If it’s not quite Thanksgiving yet, do yourself a favor and bookmark this page (or better yet, share it on social media!) so that you will have it for future use. You’ll be glad to have it on hand the day after the enticing event. Also, don’t forget to check out our full vegan Thanksgiving guide for more ideas and recipes!
Are you ready to make the most out of your luscious leftovers? Let’s get cooking!
Why This Recipe Is So Awesome
On the whole, sandwiches are really versatile and are perfect for personalization. We have dozens of reasons why this recipe is a must-make, but read below and judge for yourself. (We bet you’ll agree!)
- Quick and easy
- Great way to use up leftovers before they spoil (Yay, less food waste!)
- Super tasty and fun to make
- Perfect for meal prepping or on-the-go lunches
- Dairy-free (and also nut-free and soy-free, depending on which ingredients you use)
Tips for Serving Up Your Savory Vegan Thanksgiving Sandwich
Because this meal is such a mishmash of mouthwatering ingredients, the best approach for serving it is simplicity. That way, you can easily appreciate the individual elements as you bite into them without confusing your plant-based palette. Which of the vegan sandwich ideas below tempt you the most?
- Opt for Open-Faced – Grab your fork and make the choice to have a vegan open sandwich for a change. Instead of a single sandwich, you can top each slice with as many toppings as you wish, toast, and then slather with gravy. So decadent and delicious!
- Pile on the Pie – Thanksgiving dishes never seem complete without a slice of apple, pumpkin, pecan, or chocolate pie. Serve your succulent sandwich alongside a sweet slice of warm and wonderful pie. Heaven!
- Supplement With Salad – We know, we know…this is not the most exciting side, but it would be the most filling and nutrient dense. If you’re worried about overdoing it with leftovers, then adding a heavy dose of fiber from the salad greens will help to balance out the rest. Try this out with tahini dressing—it’s incredible!
How To Make This Vegan Air Fryer Sandwich
If we’re being totally honest here, you can pretty much make this sandwich by slapping everything you like between two pieces of bread. But, (hear us out) we feel that the arrangement of the yummy Thanksgiving leftovers makes a big difference in the enjoyment of this vegan sandwich. Trust us just this once and you’ll be so happy you did!
- Gather all Thanksgiving leftovers and two slices of bread.
- Preheat the air fryer at 400 degrees for 5 minutes (or turn on your oven/heat up the skillet).
- Spread the cranberry sauce on one side of the bread, add the mashed potatoes (and/or stuffing), and smoosh it down. Sprinkle with corn and peas. Add the slices of vegan deli turkey, plant-based meat, or lentil loaf. Finally, spread the gravy onto the other slice of bread and place it on top (with gravy on the inside). Season with salt and pepper. Spray the top of the bread with a little bit of oil.
- Place the sandwich in the air fryer and cook for 5 minutes at 350 degrees. Turn, spray the other side with oil, and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Slice diagonally or vertically (let us know which one you like better in the comments!) and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I make this a vegan gluten-free Thanksgiving sandwich?
Great question! Consider three things: the bread, the stuffing, and the vegan meat. If you’re able to use a vegan, gluten free bread and stuffing—yay! Many vegan Thanksgiving roasts are made with vital wheat gluten, so try to find a substitute by choosing a slice of lentil (or bean) loaf, gluten-free vegan turkey slices, or even marinated slices of tofu or tempeh flavored with parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, and black pepper. You can easily make a vegan tofu cutlet to put into the sandwich.
Absolutely! This vegan sandwich can easily be heated up in the microwave for 1-2 minutes (warm, but soft), in the oven at same temperature for 10-15 minutes (or until desired crispiness), or on the stovetop using a non-stick skillet. Bring heat to medium high and fry on one side for approximately 4 minutes and then 2-4 minutes on the other. Keep a careful eye on it while cooking because it really does depend on your skillet and the heat from your stovetop.
Adding oil is not an option for me. How can I adapt this vegan thanksgiving turkey recipe?
No worries at all. You can completely eliminate the spray oil if you wish. The sandwich will still toast up and taste amazing, though it might not have the same crispiness or golden color.
Equipment You’ll Need
There’s no need to stress about the kitchen equipment you’ll need for this recipe. No matter which method you use (air fryer, microwave, skillet, or toaster), we can promise that it will be the best vegan sandwich you’ve ever made.Print
Possibly the messiest and most mouthwatering air fryer sandwich you’ll have all year! There’s no end to the luscious leftovers that you can add to your vegan Thanksgiving sandwich. Say goodbye to food waste and say hello to quick and easy lunches all week long. Warm, savory, and absolutely delicious!
- 2 slices of bread (your choice)
- 1 tablespoon of cranberry sauce
- ¼ cup of mashed potatoes and/or bread stuffing
- Sprinkling of corn and peas (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of vegan gravy
- A few vegan turkey deli slices or a thick slice of veggie roast or lentil loaf
- ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper (or to taste)
- Oil spray
- Place all of your Thanksgiving leftovers on the kitchen counter and place the slices of bread on a plate.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F for 5 minutes.
- While the air fryer is heating up, assemble the sandwich. Spread the cranberry sauce evenly on one slice of bread, add the potatoes (and/or stuffing), and smoosh it down a bit. Top with corn and peas, if using. Add the slices of vegan deli turkey, plant-based meat, or lentil loaf on next. Finally, spread the gravy onto the other slice of bread and place it on top (with gravy on the inside). Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
- At this time, you can include anything else that you like—just make sure that you don’t make the finished sandwich too big so that it will be difficult to turn halfway through cooking.
- Carefully place the sandwich into the air fryer basket.
- Spray the outside of the top slice of bread with a little bit of oil.
- Cook for 5 minutes at 350 degrees until the outside looks crisp and golden and then gently flip the sandwich over, use a little more spray oil on the other slice of bread, and cook for another 3 minutes. Check often once you flip the sandwich over so that it doesn’t burn. Once done, use a spatula to remove the sandwich. Slice in half or diagonally and enjoy immediately!
- Other Cooking Methods – This sandwich can easily be heated up in the microwave for 1-2 minutes (warm, but soft), in the oven at same temperature for 10-15 minutes (or until desired crispiness), or on the stovetop using a non-stick skillet. Bring heat to medium high and fry on one side for approximately 4 minutes and then 2-4 minutes on the other. Keep a careful eye on it while cooking because it really does depend on your skillet and the heat from your stovetop.
- Gluten-Free Version – Use a gluten-free, vegan bread and also choose a vegetable, soy, or bean-based loaf (such as lentil, chickpea, etc) instead of the vegan roasts, which are often made solely of wheat gluten.
Keywords: leftovers, easy, lunch, holidays, meat-free, sandwich, gravy
If you try this vegetarian sandwich recipe, let us know what you think by leaving a comment and rating below! Be sure to follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Fa
Because this recipe is all about the leftovers, you can keep making this vegan turkey sandwich fresh any time you have the urge. If you’re planning on making the sandwich to eat later, make sure to wrap it up well in either a plant-based wax paper, recycled aluminum foil, or covered container. (Adding a paper napkin around your sandwich does help a little to absorb excess moisture.) It’s best if you heat it up right before eating, but if you don’t mind your sandwich a little soggy, then you can air fry it before storing.
You can technically freeze this meal, but it’s not recommended. If you’ll never be able to get through all of your Thanksgiving leftovers in time, just freeze each food separately and then defrost before making into a sandwich. Individual items should last 2-3 months in the freezer, if stored correctly.
More Tantalizing Thanksgiving Recipes to Try:
- Garlic and Kale Potato Cakes
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- Quick and Easy Mushroom-Free Gravy
- Sweet Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Simple Roasted Delicata Squash (with Air Fryer option)
- Vegan Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins
- Herbed Air Fryer Kabocha Squash
- Sweet Squash Bisque
This air fryer sandwich recipe made with vegan Thanksgiving leftovers toasted was created and written by Gina House for World of Vegan. Vegan food photography by JJ Steele. Edited by Amanda Meth. Please note that this article may contain affiliate links which supports our work at World of Vegan.