Carnitas Sandwich

Succulent seitan, avocado, hot sauce, and a nice soft bread with just a touch of crust make this one of my favorite sandwiches I’ve ever created. I ended up making this because I had some seitan sitting around and I wanted an excuse to eat some avocado with my new roasted garlic chile piquin hot sauce. I got that excuse and way more!


Time to Make: 10 minutes
Yield: 2 sandwiches


2 cups of beefless seitan strips (the ones from Trader Joe’s are my favorite to use for this recipe)
1 tbsp. of olive oil
1 tsp. of dried Mexican oregano
1 tsp. of ancho powder
1/4 tsp. of salt
1/4 cup of water
1 avocado, sliced
2-3 tbsp. of Chile Piquin Hot Sauce, or your favorite hot sauce, per sandwich
2 sandwich rolls (my favorites are par baked ciabatta rolls and bolillo rolls)


Crisp the Seitan

Bring the olive oil to a medium high heat. Add the seitan and let it sauté for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until it is browned and slightly crisp.

“These carnitas are crisped on the outside, which browns the seitan and develops its flavor, then they are made succulent and infused with flavor by simmering them in a chile broth. It’s basically a sear followed by a braise to create multiple dimensions to the seitan, and it only takes a few minutes to make them outstanding. I love that.”

Flavor and Soften the Seitan

Add the Mexican oregano, ancho powder, and salt and quickly stir for about 30 seconds. Add the water and let it cook out, then remove it from the heat.

Assemble the Sandwich

Slice the avocado. Cut a pocket into each sandwich roll. Fill with the seitan, then the hot sauce, and top with sliced avocado.

“I usually make these with the par baked ciabatta bread from Trader Joe’s, which is right by my house. The par baked bread is extra soft and the ciabatta has a sourdough quality that contrasts nicely with the sandwich.”

Low-fat Version

Omit the olive oil and don’t sauté the seitan. Add the water, seitan, spices, and salt, and simmer it over a medium heat for 7-8 minutes, replenishing with a touch of water as needed until you are ready to cook out the water at the 7-8 minute mark. Omit the avocado and top with 1/4 cup of shredded cabbage for each sandwich.

Making It Simple

Don’t worry about crisping the seitan and just simmer the seitan as you would in the Low-fat Version.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 459
Calories from Fat 135
Fat 15 g
Total Carbohydrates 55 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Sugars 1 g
Protein 27 g
Salt 609 mg


Saute Pan
Stirring Spoon
Measuring Cup
Measuring Spoon
Cutting Board