Vegan Cucumber Sandwiches are a light, healthy, and satisfying snack that's perfect for tea time! Crisp sliced cucumbers, smooth dairy-free cream cheese, fresh herbs, and soft white bread come together in a simple-yet-elegant recipe. Serve them at brunches, tea parties, luncheons, and picnics for a delicious hand-held snack!
🥒 The Best Vegan Tea Sandwiches
Vegan Cucumber Sandwiches are a light and refreshing dish that originated during the Victorian era in England. Wealthy individuals began enjoying them as a light bite to eat with afternoon tea, and they eventually caught on! Traditionally, these British tea sandwiches are made with buttery white bread, cucumbers, cream cheese, and mayonnaise.
This vegan version is just as elegant and creamy, only without the dairy! All you need is a touch of lemon juice, vegan cream cheese, fresh herbs, and a few simple seasonings.
Vegan tea sandwiches are perfect to make when you’re in need of a healthy, light, and tasty snack that still offers some elegance. Serve them for Mother’s Day brunches, afternoon tea parties, luncheons, picnics, and more!
Why You'll Love It
- Easy: It only takes 9 simple ingredients and minimal prep work to make these easy cucumber sandwiches. No cooking required!
- Healthy: Vegan finger sandwiches are relatively low in calories but filled with many nutrients. Dairy-free cream cheese lends the same texture and mouthfeel without saturated fats typically found in dairy-based cheese.
- Quick: Prepare this simple snack in 20 minutes or less! Vegan Cucumber Sandwiches are great for those days when you’re short on time.
- Bread: For the most traditional flavor and texture, use white sandwich bread with the crusts removed. If you’d prefer a healthier option, opt for soft whole-wheat bread.
- Cucumber: I prefer English cucumbers for vegan tea sandwiches. They contain fewer seeds, less water, and have relatively soft skin compared to field cucumbers. If you don’t like cucumber skins, peel them before slicing.
- Vegan cream cheese: Use your favorite plain variety - mine is Trader Joe's. More popular brands include Kite Hill, Violife, Miyoko's, or Daiya. Each brand is different so you may need to play around with the seasonings to get the right flavor and texture. Make sure to use room temperature cream cheese for easy blending.
- Olive oil: Optional - if your vegan cream cheese is on the firmer side, a splash of oil will thin it out into a spreadable consistency.
- Lemon: Provides a tangy element that usually comes from mayo. I recommend freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Garlic powder: For an extra punch of savory flavor that rounds out the lightness of the cucumbers.
- Fresh herbs: I love the zesty combination of dill and chives. Whichever herbs you choose, make sure they are fresh. Dried herbs won’t be as a delicious for these sandwiches. Too much leftover dill? Use it in Lemon Dill Hummus or Vietnamese Turmeric Fish with Dill!
Substitutions & Variations
- If you don’t have cucumbers on hand or want to bulk your sandwiches up, add sliced tomatoes, avocados, onions, or radishes.
- Instead of garlic powder, try onion powder. Or use a mixture of both! I wouldn't recommend raw garlic as it'll overpower the delicate flavors in the spread.
- For a lighter option, try open-faced vegan cucumber tea sandwiches.
- Make a traditional version by swapping out the vegan cream cheese for regular cream cheese. You can still mix it with olive oil, or try using mayo instead.
- No food processor? Use a blender, hand mixer, or whisk. Also, ensure the cream cheese is at room temperature to make mixing easier.
👩🏻🍳 How To Make Vegan Cucumber Sandwiches
⬇️ Please scroll down to the recipe card to see full ingredient amounts and instructions.
STEP ONE: First, place thinly sliced cucumbers on a paper towel-lined plate. Lightly sprinkle with salt and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
STEP TWO: Then use a clean paper towel to press and remove excess water. Season with black pepper, then set the cucumbers aside.
STEP THREE: In a food processor, add room temperature cream cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth, scraping the sides as needed.
If the spread is still firm, add a splash of olive oil until it reaches mayo consistency. Then use a spoon or spatula to fold in the fresh dill and chives .Do not blend the fresh herbs - this will bruise them, resulting in less than idea flavor and presentation.
STEP FOUR: To assemble, schmear cream cheese mixture on both sides of sandwich bread. Add 2-3 layers of cucumbers and place the other slice of bread on top.
STEP FIVE: Cut into four squares or diagonally for larger sandwiches.
💭 Top Tips
- Use a mandolin: For the thinnest and most consistent cuts, I recommend using a mandolin for the cucumbers. I set mine to 3 millimeters.
- Salt the cucumbers: To prevent soggy sandwiches, lightly salt the cucumbers for at least 10 minutes before assembling. The salt draws out water, which you can blot and remove with a paper towel.
- Perfect sandwich cuts: For clean cuts, use a sharp chef’s knife and cut with one rocking motion, rather than see-sawing. Don't press too hard or else the sandwich bread will be squished.
- Let the spread sit: The longer the spread sits, the more the flavors develop. I would recommend making the cucumber sandwiches the night before.
- Save the crusts: Don't throw away the sandwich crusts! Use them to make homemade croutons or bread crumbs.
What To Serve With Vegan Cucumber Sandwiches
Vegan Cucumber Sandwiches are a delicate and refreshing finger food perfect for brunches and tea parties. Make a complete spread by serving them alongside other refreshing snacks like:
- Blueberry Goat Cheese
- Summery Berry Salad
- Watermelon Beet Salad
- Pork Pâté Chaud (Vietnamese Meat Pies)
- Korean Broccoli Salad
🥡 Storing & Freezing
Storing: Cucumber sandwiches will always taste best when freshly made. But if you have leftovers, you can store them in the fridge in a zip-top bag or container covered with plastic wrap for up to 3 days. Try not to use an air-tight container as it will trap moisture.
Freezing: I do not recommend freezing these sandwiches.
Make Ahead: Prepare your vegan finger sandwiches ahead of time to let the flavors develop. I would suggest making them only 1 day in advance for the best flavor and freshness. When you’re ready to serve them, let them come to room temperature for about 20-30 minutes.
📖 Recipe FAQs
Yes, to make vegan and gluten-free tea sandwiches, just swap out the white bread for your favorite soft gluten-free bread.
The best way to keep your Vegan Cucumber Sandwiches from turning soggy is to use cucumbers with low water content. The two best choices are Persian and English cucumbers. Also make sure to salt the cucumbers for at least 10 minutes.
Yes, it’s possible to make this recipe without vegan cream cheese. Instead, you can use vegan butter, egg-free mayonnaise, or even hummus.
🍽 Looking For More Vegan Recipes?
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below and consider leaving a comment. It's always greatly appreciated!
Vegan Cucumber Sandwiches
- 1 English cucumber thinly sliced
- 8 oz vegan cream cheese room temperature
- Zest from 1 lemon about ½ tsp
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2-3 tablespoon fresh dill chopped
- 2-3 tablespoon fresh chives thinly sliced
- 1½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)
- 18 slices white sandwich bread crusts removed
- Salt and pepper
- Place a single layer of cucumber slices on paper towel-lined plates. Sprinkle lightly with salt and let sit 10-15 minutes. Then pat with a clean paper towel to absorb excess moisture and set aside.
- Meanwhile, add cream cheese, lemon zest and juice, garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to a food processor. Blend until smooth. If your cream cheese is on the thicker side, gradually pour in olive oil with the processor running until soft and spreadable (mayonnaise consistency). Each brand is different so the amount of oil needed will vary.
- To the cream cheese mixture, gently fold in dill and chives with a spoon or spatula. Season to taste.
- Spread cream cheese mixture onto every slice of white bread. Lay cucumber slices on half the bread and sprinkle with pepper. Then assemble sandwiches, slice into quarters or halves, and serve.
- Cucumber: English cucumbers contain fewer seeds, less water, and have relatively soft skin compared to field cucumbers. If you don’t like cucumber skins, peel them before slicing. Alternatively, use Persian cucumbers. For the thinnest and most consistent cuts, I recommend using a mandolin for the cucumbers. I set mine to 3 millimeters.
- Vegan cream cheese: Each brand is different so you may need to play around with the seasonings to get the right flavor and texture. For example, Trader Joe's is firmer than most so it'll require more olive oil to reach spreadable consistency. On the other hand, Kite Hill is already quite soft and won't need any oil.
- Make Ahead: Prepare your vegan finger sandwiches only 1 day in advance for the best flavor and freshness. When you’re ready to serve them, let them come to room temperature for about 20-30 minutes.
- Do not blend the fresh herbs - this will bruise them, resulting in less than idea flavor and presentation. Instead, fold them into the cream cheese with a spoon or spatula.
- Serving size will vary, depending on how much cream cheese spread you use.