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Slow Cooker Vegan Italian Beef

This easy slow cooker vegan Italian beef recipe combines shredded young jackfruit and thinly sliced seitan with a super savory au jus loaded with red miso, reduced sodium soy sauce, onions, garlic, and Italian herbs and spices. Slow cooked in a crock pot for hours, it makes such a delicious filling for vegan Italian beef sandwiches!

So, what’s Italian beef? A Chicago classic, a U.S. Midwestern favorite. Scraps of meat are slow simmered in au jus, served in a hearty roll, and topped with hot giardiniera, a Chicago-style relish of spicy peppers and pickled vegetables.

Traditionally, it’s not the type of sandwich you eat on a first date. As you’re eating it, the bread gets soggy, juice runs down your hands and some of the insides fall out. It is definitely the type of sandwich you eat with loved ones!

A few notes about topping your sandwich...

  • Mild giardiniera is much easier to find at most grocery stores in the U.S. It isn’t Chicago-style, and it isn’t the same as the hot stuff, but it is still good.
  • ・I prefer giadiniera packed in oil, rather than packed in water and vinegar. Nevertheless, either variety will work.
  • ・Not into giardiniera? Some people like Italian beef topped with pepperoncini. Other people don’t top it with anything at all and just dip it in the au jus.

Let’s get cooking! And then, get ready to load up a hoagie bun with vegan seitan Italian beef, add an extra bit of the rich broth, top it generously with giardiniera (or not!), and most of all, enjoy!

Learn how to make vegan Italian beef in a Crock Pot! Easy and makes the best hot vegan Italian beef sandwiches!

Slow Cooker Vegan Italian Beef

1 medium onion, thinly sliced into crescents

10 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

Black pepper, to taste

2 Tbsp olive oil (OR 2 Tbsp oil from the giardiniera)

¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

1-2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp onion powder

3 cups water

1 ½ Tbsp red miso

14 ounce can of young jackfruit packed in water, drained and shredded (I used Native Forest Young Jackfruit)

1 lb of thinly sliced seitan (OR two 8 ounce packages of seitan, thinly sliced – I like Upton’s Naturals Traditional Seitan or make your own seitan and slice it thinly)

16 ounce jar of giardiniera (hot or mild) packed in oil, to top (see note above)

8 hoagie buns

1. You’re going to start by making delicious vegan Italian beef au jus. In a large, heavy pot or dutch oven, add onions, garlic, black pepper, and oil. Sauté over medium-low heat until the onions are translucent or for ~7 minutes.

2. Add reduced sodium soy sauce, oregano, basil, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and onion powder. Sauté for another 3 minutes.

3. Add water and red miso. Simmer for 3 minutes, and then, taste. Adjust seasonings, if necessary. Maybe more red pepper flakes? Maybe a little more soy sauce?

4. Add jackfruit and seitan to the slow cooker. Pour the entire contents of the pot or dutch oven over the jackfruit/seitan. Combine. Secure the lid on the slow cooker, and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours. Serve vegan Italian beef on hoagie buns, drizzle with some au jus and top with giardiniera.

A delicious, easy recipe for vegan Italian beef sandwiches

By uglyvegankitchen

Ugly Vegan Kitchen is a vegan blog with recipes for plant based comfort food inspired by many cuisines, including American, Slavic, Mediterranean, Mexican and more.

6 replies on “Slow Cooker Vegan Italian Beef”

We have only green miso powder (with seaweed) where I am. Can I use that? If not, anything else I can use in place of it? Also, can I use Bragg’s aminos in place of soy sauce?

No matter what, if you make any substitution, it will not taste the same as the recipe listed above. You will end up with something different. Having not tested these substitutions myself, it might taste good or it might taste bad. Keep this in mind while reading my best guesses below…
I am unfamiliar with green miso powder with seaweed, so I hesitate to tell you if it will work. I would recommend using fake beef bouillon. If you are located in the U.S., Edward and Sons Bouillon Cubes or Better Than Bouillon are both good varieties. I would add 1 1/2 tsp bouillon, instead of the 1 1/2 Tbsp for red miso. If it doesn’t taste strong enough, add a little bit more. Bouillon can be quite salty and concentrated, so you’ll want to use it less liberally than you would red miso. If you can’t find miso or fake beef bouillon, my third choice is vegetable bouillon. I don’t think it would be as good as the original recipe. I don’t think it would be as good as fake beef bouillon, but it might still taste ok. Bragg’s aminos don’t taste the same as reduced sodium soy sauce. Using them will change the way the flavors work together, but it might not be bad, per se.
You’ll have to report back on how these adjustments impacted the overall dish, because it is a departure from the original recipe. Good luck!

I did complete this recipe and I must say, it was fantastic. It was a little on the saltier side because I had to adjust the flavors due to no green miso, so I will adjust next time using less veggie boullion. I may leave out the seitan as well as I like the jackfruit texture and natural ingredients better. Thank you for this recipe! It was FABULOUS!

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