Flaky and light, these vegan croissant sandwiches prove that good pastries don’t need butter. Vegan croissants are sliced in half and then filled with a handful of spinach, slices of creamy avocado, strips of tangy roasted red pepper, and a thick spread of vegan cream cheese.
These sandwiches are as tasty as they are colorful. This is a brunch dish you can serve to your vegan and non-vegan friends alike.
Vegan croissant sandwiches are hearty and savory, perfect for a late-morning brunch with a tall glass of iced tea or lemonade. Serve this alongside a chopped salad with cucumbers and tomatoes and dressed with a light citrus vinaigrette or with a simple, smooth soup like gazpacho or puréed butternut squash.
Vegan butter is a little bit more challenging to use than regular butter in croissants. You must, must, must keep the butter and the dough cold. If your dough warms up while you are handling it, put the dough back in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. You need to keep your dough cold.
Also, make sure that you seal your dough well when you shape the croissants. Vegan croissants are best the day you make them, but the croissants, unsliced, can last for 2-3 days. For a brunch, this means you can make the croissants the night before and assemble the sandwiches right before your guests arrive.
What You Need to Make Vegan Croissant Sandwiches
This recipe requires active yeast, salt, cane sugar, all-purpose flour, roasted red peppers, vegan butter, spinach, avocado, vegan milk (almond, oat, soy), and vegan cream cheese spread.
Look for a high-quality vegan butter in block form made to be used in baking. Vegan butter spreads will not have the right consistency to work in this dish. I used salted vegan butter, but if you use unsalted, add an extra pinch of salt to your dough.
Also, make sure you look for sugar that is vegan-friendly, like many organic sugars and cane sugar.
- All-purpose flour
- Cane sugar
- Table salt
- Vegan butter
- Active yeast
- Vegan milk (almond, oat, soy)
- Roasted red peppers
- Vegan cream cheese spread
Vegan croissants require a stand mixer with a dough hook, a rolling pin, a ruler or tape measure, a baking sheet, two bowls, a cutting board, a paring knife, a pastry brush, a candy thermometer, and a whisk. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can make the croissant dough by hand or use a hand mixer with a dough hook attachment.
How To Make a Vegan Croissant Sandwich
Make the croissant dough: Proof the yeast in water warmed to 105ºF-115ºF with a pinch of sugar.
Stir together the flour, cane sugar, salt, and 3 tablespoons of vegan butter, cubed. Put it in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook on low speed. Slowly add the proofed yeast once it has gotten frothy, followed by vegan milk. Increase the speed of the mixer and allow the machine to knead the dough for 5-6 minutes.
Allow a few extra minutes if using a hand mixer. If you are not using a stand mixer or hand mixer, knead by hand. The dough will be a little sticky. When it is finished, it will be soft and will bounce back when you poke it. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and shape it into a ball.
Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge and roll out the dough to a 9 x 15-inch rectangle. Make sure to very lightly flour your surface. I recommend doing this on a baking sheet or large cutting board to make it easier to move the dough in and out of the fridge. Put the shaped dough in the fridge, covered, for 4 hours, up to overnight.
Make the vegan butter block: 30 minutes before you remove the dough from the fridge, make the butter block. Beat the vegan butter with a little flour in a stand mixer using a paddle attachment or with egg beaters until the flour and butter are combined.
Place the butter onto a piece of parchment paper and cover it with another piece of parchment. Working quickly, roll the butter into a rectangle, roughly 6 x 11-inches. Allow it to chill for 30 minutes. Remove the block from the fridge and trim the edges so that the block is a rectangle.
Laminate the dough: Remove the dough from the fridge and place the butter in the center of the dough.
Fold the edges of the dough over the butter. Then fold the dough ‘hamburger style’ into thirds. Then roll out the dough again into a 9 x 15-inch rectangle. Fold the dough again in thirds. Chill the dough for 4 hours up to overnight. Roll out the dough again into a 9 x 15-inch rectangle. Fold the dough again in thirds. Roll out the dough again into a 9x 15-inch rectangle, and fold again. Allow the dough to chill for 4 hours up to overnight.
Shape the croissants: Roll out the chilled dough into a 9 x 15-inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, slice the dough in half lengthwise. Slice each half into fourths, creating eight rectangles. Cut each rectangle in half diagonally. This should create 16 right triangles.
Stretch each triangle a bit with your hands. Using your knife, create a 1-inch notch at the base of the triangle. Roll the triangles up from their base to their tip. Refrigerate for 60 minutes up to overnight.
Bake the croissants: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Remove the croissants from the fridge. Brush a vegan milk wash over the exterior of each croissant. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Allow them to cool.
Prepare the veggies: Slice the avocado into thin wedges and cut the roasted red pepper into strips. Pat the roasted red pepper with a paper towel to remove any excess liquid. Wash and dry the spinach.
Assemble: Slice the croissants in half. Spread the vegan cream cheese on both sides. Add a layer of spinach, followed by roasted red pepper, followed by avocado. Enjoy!
I don’t have time to make croissant dough. What can I do?
You can’t beat the taste and satisfaction of homemade pastries, but there is no doubt these are time intensive. If you’re short on time, look for packaged crescent rolls. Many of them are specifically packaged as vegan and/or are not made with any dairy or animal products. You can also visit a local vegan pastry shop and purchase their croissants for the base of this sandwich.
Do you recommend other veggie fillings?
Of course! You can use roasted squash, eggplant, or mushrooms in place of the roasted red peppers if you prefer. I really like the acidity of roasted red peppers, so recommend that you marinate your roasted vegetables if you use them instead. You can also use other greens in the sandwich. Microgreens would add a nice texture to the top if you prefer them to spinach.
What is lamination?
When we roll the dough with the butter block, we laminate the dough to create those flaky layers. Every fold or “turn” in the dough creates more layers of butter and dough.
Vegan Croissant Sandwich
- 3 2/3 cups + 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cane sugar
- 2 teaspoons table salt
- 3 tablespoons + 1 ½ cups of vegan butter
- 2 teaspoons active yeast
- 1 cup + ¼ cup vegan milk (oat, almond, or soy milk)
- 4 oz vegan cream cheese
- 8 oz roasted red pepper
- 2 avocados
- 2 cups of fresh spinach
- Proof your yeast with 1 teaspoon of cane sugar and ¼ cup of water heated to 105-115ºF. Wait until the mixture becomes foamy before using.
- Whisk together 3 ⅔ cups of flour, 2 tablespoons of cane sugar, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Mix in 3 tablespoons of vegan butter cubed.
- Place into the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment and start on a low speed.
- Slowly pour in the proofed yeast, then 1 cup of milk into the dough.
- Increase the speed of the mixer and allow it to knead the dough for 5-6 minutes, until the dough pulls away from the bowl and is soft.
- Turn the kneaded dough out onto a floured surface, shape it into a ball, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the fridge. Roll out the dough to a 9 x 15-inch rectangle, cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours, up to overnight.
- Beat 1 ½ cups vegan butter and 2 tablespoons flour in a stand mixer using a paddle attachment.
- Place the vegan butter onto a piece of parchment paper and cover it with another sheet of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to roll out the butter into a 6 x 11 rectangle.
- Chill for 30 minutes.
- Remove the vegan butter block and dough from the fridge. Place the butter in the center of the dough and fold the dough over the edges. Fold the dough into thirds.
- Roll out the dough into a 9 x 15-inch rectangle. Fold the dough in thirds. Roll out the dough again into a 9 x 15-inch rectangle, and fold again into thirds.
- Chill for 4 hours to allow the vegan butter to harden, then repeat the folding and rolling process two more times.
- Chill the dough for 4 hours up to overnight.
- Roll out the dough into a 9 x 15-inch rectangle.
- Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, slice the dough in half lengthwise.
- Cut each half of the dough into fourths. Cut each resulting rectangle in half diagonally to create triangles.
- Stretch each triangle a bit. Then create a 1-inch notch at the base of the triangle. Roll the triangles up into crescents starting from the notched base of the triangle.
- Refrigerate for 60 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Using ¼ cup vegan milk, glaze the exterior of each croissant.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Allow the croissants to cool.
- Slice two avocados into thin wedges and cut 8 oz of roasted red pepper into strips.
- Pat the roasted red pepper to remove any excess liquid with paper towels.
- Wash and dry the spinach.
- Slice the croissants in half. Spread the vegan cream cheese on both sides. Add a layer of spinach, then a layer of roasted red pepper, and finally, a few slices of avocado.
- Serve immediately.
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