Eggplant Teriyaki Sandwich

Last Updated:
July 20, 2023

Using a homemade teriyaki sauce (which swaps the standard soy for gluten-free Tamari), this sandwich is poised to delight the whole family and/or your next dinner guests—no matter how finicky the eater.

Jump to recipeEggplant Teriyaki Sandwich

As summer winds down, you might find yourself a little reluctant to devote lots of time to the kitchen. It's also reached that period of the year where—traditionally—parents, teachers, siblings, and employees find themselves drained. This year, we're under a whole other slew of concerns that make it exceedingly difficult to find the time, energy, and resources to spend in the kitchen.

Even when life is hectic, we believe in making vegan eating easy. Today, we're keeping things short, simple, and flavorful with this delightful eggplant teriyaki sandwich! Now is the perfect time to add eggplant to your weekly meal rotation, as it's currently in season. Although the teriyaki marinade remains the same, you can choose whether you opt for a grill or stovetop when preparing this dish. Whatever your decision, the result will be delightful!

Eggplant Teriyaki Sandwich

Using a homemade teriyaki sauce (which swaps the standard soy for gluten-free Tamari), this sandwich is poised to delight the whole family and/or your next dinner guests—no matter how finicky the eater.

Prep time
15 minutes
cook time
20 minutes
total time
35 minutes


  • 4 ciabatta rolls (or gluten-free equivalent)
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 bunch romaine
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 1/2 cup tamari
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegan brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced, 2 teaspoons powdered)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (minced, 1/2 teaspoon powdered)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


  1. Wash and prepare your eggplant. Cut off either end, and then slice them into 1-inch discs. Salt generously on both sides and set aside on paper towel to drain. Wash and prepare your other vegetables. Clean and separate romaine into large pieces (about the side of the ciabatta bun). Slice red onion into thin disks.
  2. For the teriyaki sauce, start by whisking tamari, water, pineapple juice, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and pineapple juice in a small pan over medium heat. Prepare a cornstarch slurry by covering 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with water and whisking it with a fork, until no lumps remain. When sauce begins to simmer and sugar has dissolved, add the cornstarch and stir. Sauce should thicken considerably. If the sauce is still thin and incredibly runny after a couple of minutes, add another tablespoon of cornstarch slurry. Once the sauce has thickened, take it off the heat and seat aside.
  3. In a shallow dish or ziplock bag, coat eggplant generously with sauce, reserving some to brush onto the slices. If you're preparing this in advance, you may allow the eggplant to marinade for a few hours. Otherwise, it can be cooked immediately.
  4. Preheat stovetop pan or grill on medium heat. If using stovetop pan, drizzle the bottom of the pan with olive oil to prevent sticking. Eggplant takes roughly 5 minutes per side to cook (depending on how high your heat it). While grilling or pan-searing, baste the sides of eggplant with teriyaki before turning. Once eggplant has softened and has brown curst (searing) or defined marks (grill), then you're ready to go!
  5. Before putting the sandwich together, we highly recommend toasting the bread! You can halve it and stick it in a 400-degree Fahrenheit oven for 5 minutes or spray both halves (on the inside) with olive oil and grill them. When plating your sandwich, start with a layer of romaine, followed by one or two slices of eggplant (depending on the amount you have), then red onion, and finally more romaine. The softened eggplant will be accompanied by the crunch of the bread and vegetables! You may add whatever condiments you like—or more of the teriyaki sauce.

Additional Notes:

Pro Tip: If you've already got the grill going, throw some fresh-sliced pineapple alongside the eggplant for a delicious (and complimentary) side or an additional sandwich topping. You can keep the garnish simple with salt and pepper, or slap on more teriyaki sauce. Our recipe for sweet potato fries will round out the rest of the meal seamlessly!

When you're running short on time, feel free to grab your favorite vegan teriyaki sauce on your next grocery run. It may not be quite as satisfying as making it yourself, but the sandwich will still be great!

Pantry Items Used

No items found.

Did You Try This Recipe Yourself?

Snap a pic and let us know by tagging us on Instagram @vegangrit with the hashtag #vegangrit.

About Vegan Grit

Welcome to Vegan Grit.

Our goal is simple -- to inspire! "Together, we can create a world with more love, more understanding, and more compassion."