The Surprising Ingredient Swap To Make Vegan Pulled Pork Sandwiches

All you need are veggies for this savoury meal.

Just because her diet is plant-based, that doesn’t mean hot for food blog’s Lauren Toyota eschews comfort food. In fact, she couldn’t live without it.

For Chatelaine’s video series, Vegan It! with Lauren Toyota, the former MuchMusic VJ and current YouTube star and cookbook author, demonstrates how to create vegan versions of everyone’s favourite comfort classics — like grilled cheese and caesar salad — without elaborate recipes or compromising on taste.

vegan cookbookThis Vegan Comfort Food Cookbook Will Win Over Diehard Carnivores

In this episode:

Lauren makes meaty, smoky and saucy vegan pulled pork sandwiches. Here’s her tips for:

Making the vegan pulled pork meaty

Many vegan pulled recipes call for jackfruit, but instead of using this sometimes hard-to-find ingredient, Lauren makes hers with mushrooms and marinated artichokes. Artichokes, she says, have a stringy, almost meat-like texture when chopped and pulled apart, so she was inspired to use them to replicate the texture of pulled pork.

Creating a smoky BBQ sauce

In this one-pan recipe, Lauren simmers her veg in a homemade BBQ sauce made from smoked paprika, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, tomato paste and brown sugar. She pours all the ingredients straight into the pan with the mushrooms and artichokes and lets everything cook up (and get nice and brown) together.

Adding a crunchy slaw

While her faux-meat is delicious on its own, Lauren piles it on a toasted bun along with some crunchy slaw. Instead of shredding a cabbage herself, she relies store bought bagged slaw. This cuts down on food waste since it can be difficult to use up a whole head of cabbage. She mixes her slaw with vegan mayo, apple cider vinegar and Dijon and recommends making it advance. That way it gets extra tangy and adds a nice contrast to the sweet, saucy pulled pork.

Recipe: Vegan Pulled Pork Sandwiches

MAKES 4 sandwiches

PREP TIME 30 minutes

COOK TIME 30 minutes

Vegan Pulled Pork Filling

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups sliced)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 10 oz cremini mushrooms, roughly diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup marinated artichokes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground mustard powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Creamy Slaw

  • 4 cups bagged slaw mix
  • 1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper

Sandwiche Assembly

  • 4 multigrain burger buns
  • 2 dill pickles, thinly sliced


  1. Heat a large pan over medium high heat with vegetable oil. Once hot, add the sliced onions and sauté for 5 minutes until softened and slightly browned. Add mushrooms and minced garlic and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes until most of the water from the mushrooms has evaporated.
  2. Add the roughly chopped artichokes and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add smoked paprika, ground mustard, sea salt, ground pepper, tomato paste, soy sauce, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar and stir to combine well.
  3. Spread out the mixture into an even layer in the pan and cook for 15 more minutes only stirring once or twice. You’re trying to caramelize the mixture a little bit so don’t stir it too much. It will reduce and get much darker in colour.
  4. Serve immediately on lightly toasted buns. Top with slaw and pickle slices.

Watch: How to make vegan cheesecake

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