entrees/ snacks

Vegan Lunch Meat

Everyday I’m lunchin’. Lunchin’, lunchin’. 

I have noticed something missing from the prepared vegan food world. That is a lack of vegan and gluten free lunch meat. There are some really great vegan meat substitutes out there, but all of them seem to be a seitan like lunch meat. Which I love and is great, but what about my gluten free friends? This vegan lunch meat is so insanely simple, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before. It is just tofu processed until smooth in a food processor with spices that make it taste meaty! 

Just process tofu, then spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread really thin, I like to roll mine out with a rolling pin to get it really thin and even. Just place another piece of parchment paper on top, then roll. Bake until firm and brown. Then just cut into whatever shape you want. Make sandwiches immediately, or store in the fridge for all your lunch and snack needs!

Not only is this vegan, gluten free and easy, it is a really cheap way to get vegan lunch meat! I just got my usual tofu at Trader Joe’s for 2 bucks, and I already had the spices on hand. You may too! One block of tofu makes quite a few of these tasty meatless slices! 

So now you may be wondering, how do they taste? The answer is, really damn good. Like surprisingly good. My husband has been crisping them in a pan then putting them on toast with vegan cheese and toppings and says it tastes just like a fried bologna sandwich! I always hated bologna, but my husband loves it, so I feel like this is a great complement! 

If you have also found a need for some delicious, easy, gluten free and vegan lunch meat, look no further. A top notch sandwich is just around the corner! 

Vegan Lunch Meat
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins

Vegan and gluten free lunch meat. Super simple and just a few ingredients and you will have a super tasty sandwich! 

Course: Main Course
Author: Lauren Hartmann
  • 1 Block Extra firm tofu
  • 2 tsp. Tamari or soy sauce(depending on if you want it gluten free)
  • 2 tsp. Liquid smoke
  • 2 tsp. Poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • Black pepper to sprinkle on top
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. While the oven is preheating, place the tofu on some paper towels, place more paper towels on top, then place something heavy on top. Press for about 10 minutes or so until the oven is preheated. 

  2. Now in a food processor, add all the ingredients except the black pepper. Process on high, scraping down the sides as needed until the tofu is completely smooth. It may take a few minutes. 

  3. Then, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop the tofu mixture onto the parchment paper, and start to smooth out with a spatula. Then I recommend placing another piece of parchment paper on top, and rolling it out with a rolling pin. 

  4. Roll out until it is really thin and evenly spread. Should be as thin as you would want the slices to be. About an 1/8 of an inch thick. If your baking sheets are small, use two, to make sure you can get it thin enough. 

  5. Now remove the top piece of parchment parchment paper, sprinkle the top with black pepper, and more paprika of desired. 

  6. Bake at 450 degrees for about 25 minutes or until the tofu is firm and a bit brown on top. 

  7. Once done, remove from oven, let cool. Then cut into large circles using a biscuit cutter or into rectangles or squares. What ever you like! Make a sandwich immediately, or store the slices in the fridge in a bag or plastic wrap for use later. 

Recipe Notes

If you want the slices a little thicker, just cook a bit longer.

When you remove the top parchment, some of the mixture will stick, but it shouldn't be enough to matter. 

Make sure the mixture isn't spread too thin, or it will crack. However, if that happens it still tastes great, just doesn't look as pretty. 

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  • Reply
    Trena Danbrook
    December 6, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    OMG this is Genius 🙂 sounds easy peasy!! and of course delicious – thank you so much for sharing!! 🙂

  • Reply
    December 6, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    I can’t wait to try this!! Thanks for making gluten free!!

  • Reply
    January 29, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    I love your blog!

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      January 30, 2018 at 12:17 am

      Thank you so much!❤

  • Reply
    Collette Turner
    February 23, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    Yummy! I just made this and put it in a sandwich. I cut it into strips and made a BLT out of it and it was truly delicious!! It was quick and easy to make…thank you!

  • Reply
    March 13, 2018 at 11:47 pm

    Looks YUM! I may make it this weekend! Thank you.

  • Reply
    March 19, 2018 at 12:47 am

    This was awesome! I made all the mistakes you warned about and more. It still turned out well enough for me to add this to my Keeper list. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      March 20, 2018 at 5:42 pm

  • Reply
    March 22, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Lauren, love your rabbit/wolf name…so cute. Thank you for being vegan. The inherent cruelty of the animal farming industry is terribly disturbing. Going to make this today.

  • Reply
    Larry Nocella
    March 26, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    I love this idea. I tried it but failed. The batter tasted great. A lot more than I hoped stuck to the top parchment paper, so I scraped it off. When I put it in the oven for 450 @ 25 mins. At 10 mins it was smoking and the paper was black. LOL.

    I was able to peel off parts of the recipe and they taste great – but I think I was also eating paper. Anyway, it’s good and I’d like to try again – should I perhaps coat the baking sheet and put the mix on the baking sheet directly? Also, maybe cook for a goal of 10 minutes?

    Any advice you have would be great. I’m used to botching things my first few goes – but I’m persistent. Thanks for the great recipe and any help you can provide!

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      March 26, 2018 at 4:49 pm

      Hmmmm….maybe try spraying both sheets of parchment paper with non stick spray. Perhaps it won’t stick as much. I’m not sure why it didn’t work out for you.😔 But yes, try checking it sooner and see if it is cooked through around 10 minutes or so. Maybe your oven runs a bit hotter? You can try reducing the oven temperature a little as well. Let me know if that helps, and I will think of some other suggestions!

  • Reply
    Larry Nocella
    March 26, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Wow! Thanks for the speedy reply! Yes I believe our oven runs hot. I meant spraying the pan and putting the mix directly on it – ignoring the parchment paper. I will try both methods (direct on pan as well as parchment with lower temp). The messy one I did is delicious – just have to make sure I’m cracking off the mix and not the paper LOL! Thanks! I love your recipes and your mission and the name of your blog, too. You rock!

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      March 26, 2018 at 5:14 pm

      You may be able to just press it into the sheet pan just use a lot of spray so it doesn’t stick. It may still stick I’m not 100% sure. I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you the first time! Let me know if you need anything else, and thank you so much for your kind words!!

  • Reply
    April 18, 2018 at 2:18 am

    Yum, these look so good!!!! This looks so much like Plant Based Kindness’s recipe! She has the best bologna! I will try this, it looks so good! Its the same technique so I know the recipe will be a success! Its often hit or miss with GF isn’t it!?

  • Reply
    July 2, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    Made this yesterday, and it turned out wonderful, actually way better than I expected! Great instruction and awesome recipe. The flavor was perfect. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      July 4, 2018 at 12:13 pm

      Yesss! That is wonderful to hear!

  • Reply
    August 3, 2018 at 7:45 am

    How long does it last before spoiling?

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      August 3, 2018 at 8:39 pm

      I usually put mine in a ziploc bag, and have used it for over a week.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    If you don’t do soy can you switch vital wheat in place of tofu will this recipe still hold? Thank you

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      September 29, 2018 at 8:20 pm

      I don’t think you can just replace the tofu with vital wheat gluten. It would need to be a totally different recipe. The liquid content and method would be totally different.

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