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Entrees/ Recipes/ Vegan Recipes/ Vegetarian Recipes

Grilled Vegan Banh Mi Sandwiches

Grilled Veggie Banh Mi Sandwiches Recipe

Grilled Veggie Banh Mi SandwichesMost vegan banh mi sandwich recipes use tofu, but this one is different! It’s a Grilled Veggie Banh Mi, made with marinated summer vegetables.

Farmer’s Market Veggies

This weekend I went to check on my garden and all the squash plants were limp, brown, and crispy. Curse you, vine borers! I was pretty much expecting it to happen though, because a) it happens every year, and b) I had my first actual encounter with vine borers this summer, which I enumerated in detail here and then deleted because maybe writing in gory detail about vine borers isn’t the best way to start a recipe post? Maybe?

Heirloom Eggplant
But that’s okay because the farmers market is full of crazy summer squash right now. And crazy eggplant! Crazy peppers! Crazy everything! As you might have noticed, I’m a sucker for offbeat and heirloom veggies, so whenever we go to the farmers market, I stock up. I can’t really say that yellow zucchini tastes any different than the green kind, but hey, it’s yellow! Yellow!

About the Recipe

If you make this Grilled Veggie Banh Mi sandwich (oh, and you should, because it’s delicious), you can use any veggies you like for it. I used 3 little round speckled eggplant and a skinny white one, the aforementioned yellow zucchini, and a purple bell pepper. But anything works, just as long as it adds up to 1 1/4 pounds. This is adapted from a Cooking Light recipe that I made earlier this summer that used eggplant only—in addition to using a variety of veggies, I also added the extra step of marinating the veggies for a bit.

Grilled Veggies for Banh Mi Sandwiches
My favorite part of this recipe, though, is the peanutty spread that goes on the baguette. When I’ve seen vegetarian banh mis in the past, most of them were made with tofu and most of them were made with mayo. Tofu is good, but I am not a fan of mayo! (Unless it’s cashew mayo, of course.) The spread is kind of like peanut sauce in flavor, but it’s less saucy. (But if you do want peanut sauce on a sandwich, I have one like that too!)

We had these with corn-on-the-cob and thick slices of Sugar Baby watermelon. I can’t think of a better dinner for a hot August day. (Even if I didn’t grow the veggies myself!)

Grilled Veggie Banh Mi Sandwiches Recipe

Grilled Vegan Banh Mi Sandwiches

Vegan banh mi sandwiches made with grilled marinated summer vegetables. Adapted from Cooking Light's Grilled Eggplant Banh Mi Sandwich.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 sandwiches


Grilled Veggies

  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 1/4 lb assorted vegetables I used eggplant, zucchini, and bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • salt and pepper to taste

Banh Mi Sandwiches

  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp yellow miso
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 16 oz baguette, halved lengthwise
  • 1 small cucumber thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper thinly sliced (optional)


Grilled Veggies

  • Whisk together the sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, tamari, and garlic in a large baking dish. Place green onions and vegetables in dish and toss to coat. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Heat indoor grill to Sear or, if your grill doesn't have a Sear setting, to High. Carefully place marinated veggies on the grill and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, until tender, brushing with extra marinade as they cook. (You can also use an outdoor grill or a grill pan over medium-high heat if you don't have an indoor grill.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Banh Mi Sandwiches

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Whisk together the rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Add the shredded carrots and let the mixture marinate for 15 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid.
  • Hollow out the top and bottom of the baguette, leaving a 1-inch thick shell. Place the baguette halves on a baking sheet with the cut sides up and bake until crisp and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
  • In another small bowl, combine the peanut butter, green onions, ginger, miso, and lime juice. Spread this mixture onto the bottom half of the baguette. Arrange the grilled veggies on top of this, then the carrots and cucumber, and finally the cilantro and jalapeño slices (if using). Place the top half of the baguette onto the sandwich, then cut into 4 pieces.
Craving more veg-friendly recipes? Shop our collection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks!

This post was originally published on 12 Aug 2013.

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  • Reply
    Kiran @
    August 14, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Totally in love with your bright photos — can never resist cute and small eggplants 🙂

    • Reply
      August 15, 2013 at 9:16 pm

      I love tiny eggplants–I think they taste better too!

  • Reply
    August 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    What a creative take on banh mi! I love the more traditional tofu version that I’ve made a couple times, but I do find it very filling – it would be nice to try it with just veggies, and I think a peanut sauce would definitely be tasty, even if it’s not necessarily traditional!

    • Reply
      August 15, 2013 at 9:15 pm

      Yeah, sometimes a whole sandwich with tofu can be a little much–I have to cut the slices really thin to make them go further!

  • Reply
    Katie (The Muffin Myth)
    August 15, 2013 at 1:45 am

    You know, I actually love the flavours of grilled or fried tofu and mayo together, but that peanut sauce sounds delish. My city has *just* licensed food trucks, and there’s one that does bahn mi sandwiches and has a veggie option, but I haven’t tried it yet. I’ll have to make this one for comparison’s sake! Thanks for another great recipe!

    • Reply
      August 15, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      Yay for food trucks! You’re definitely going to have to hit up that banh mi truck now. 🙂

  • Reply
    August 15, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    yes! thank you for not using tofu or tempeh or seitan! i’ve always wanted to try bahn mi, but am so adverse to veg meat alternatives. this is exactly what i need 😉

    • Reply
      August 15, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      I made it for you! Just kidding, no I didn’t, that’s creepy, but I’m glad I could help! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 17, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    These look so good!! I love banh mi, but the fat and salt content isn’t so healthy so I like the sound of this alternative. And I feel your pain — I can’t grow a zucchini to save my life. I just picked up some at the farmers market too, along with an eggplant that stuck me with its tiny thorns. I’d forgotten eggplants have thorns. Anyway, bookmarking this to try!

    • Reply
      August 18, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      I don’t fret about anything else as much as that zucchini because not being able to grow zucchini just makes me feel inadequate. Other people grow so much that they can’t even give it away! Arrgggh! Oh, and I always stick myself with eggplant too.

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom
    August 18, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    I love this combination of flavors you have here! I’ve never tried a traditional sandwich so this one looks awfully tempting.

  • Reply
    October 11, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    This looks amazing. Do you have an idea of what I can substitute for the yellow miso? I can’t find it in my little grocery store

    • Reply
      October 16, 2017 at 7:26 pm

      Hi Ami! Both red and white miso can be used as substitutes for yellow miso. However, red miso is likely to affect the color of your final dish.

  • Reply
    June 3, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    5 stars
    This is one of our go-to guest recipes. As vegans we need an ace in the hole to serve omnivores and this fits the bill. One of our favorite recipes.

  • Reply
    August 23, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    5 stars
    This was delicious! Thanks for the recipe. I was a long-time subsciber to Cooking Light and miss the CLBB!

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