This Hawaiian Sweet Potato Sandwich is a healthy summer barbeque recipe! This vegan sandwich is bursting with flavor thanks to two sauces!
There was a sandwich.
A sandwich that was regularly on rotation on the Cornwell House Summer Menu when I was growing up, beloved by all. It was a Hawiian Chicken Sandwich with marinated and grilled chicken, sweet sweet Hawaiian Bread that was buttered and grilled until golden brown, juicy grilled pineapple, and the sauce… oh the sauce. It was a sweet and creamy concoction that dribbled down your chin when you took a big bite, but no one cared, because it tasted SO good. The dribble was a badge of honor.
I am willing to bet this was the most highly requested meal in the Cornwell House. But, since the switch to a plant based diet, we had to wave sayonara to our beloved sandwich and walked away with heads hung. That is, until now!
Before I sing the praises of this Hawaiian Sweet Potato Sandwich, let me tell you another sad story involving a SERIOUS lapse in judgement. Prepare yourselves.
This Hawaiian Sweet Potato Sandwich did not actually start out as a sandwich. I tried to duplicate all the flavors of the original version and add them to a salad, because #health
The sauce floated on top of the greens, the warm potatoes made everything a touch soggy, my childhood sandwich was done no justice.
But looking at the sad salad, I realized, hello! this has always been a sandwich meal. These big flavors need to be hugged by golden brown buns, not a few lettuce leaves. So I reassembled all the ingredients between buns. I even left a few greens on there for crunch. See #health after all.
Now, lets talk details of this Hawaiian Sweet Potato Sandwich in layers:
- bottom bun – the golden brown, perfectly grilled, vehicle to get this all this flavor to your mouth
- greens – optional, but they add nice crunch and good color
- teriyaki grilled sweet potatoes – smoke from the grill, soft and meaty, and full of teriyaki flavor
- grilled pineapple – sweet, juicy, tart. The perfect compliment to our teriyaki sauce
- sauce – sauce so good it doesn’t have a name
- top bun – same as the bottom bun
Did you catch it from the description? This is a double sauce situation, which means double the flavor.
The first sauce is our homemade teriyaki sauce which we use to marinate the sweet potatoes in after they are grilled. We marinade them after they are grilled because those hard orange rounds are not going to soak in any flavor, but once they are softened by the grill, all that good taste can soak right into the potatoes and lend all its teriyaki goodness.
The second sauce is the sandwich sauce itself. It is a cool and creamy sauce that is flavored with… apricot jam. Hold up. I know this sounds strange, bordering on crazy, two fruits in my sandwich?! But, you have to taste it to believe it. Trust me on this one, and remember that the sauce dribble was a badge of honor.
Those two sauces though….
- 2 large sweet potatoes (, cut into 1/4 inch rounds)
- 1 small pineapple (, peeled and cut into rounds)
- 4 gluten free hamburger buns
- Handful of mixed greens
For the teriyaki sauce:
- 1/2 cup liquid aminos
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup no sugar added apricot jam
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic (, minced)
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon arrowroot starch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
For the Hawaiian Sauce:
- 1/2 cup raw cashews (, soaked overnight)
- 1/4 cup no sugar added apricot jam
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- Pinch salt
- In a saucepan, combine all of the teriyaki sauce ingredients, except the arrowroot starch mixture. Bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the arrowroot starch and water mixture. Return to the heat and bring back to a simmer. Remove 2 tablespoons of the teriyaki for the Hawaiian Sauce and set aside.
- Light the barbeque and set it to high heat. Oil the grill grates and place the potato rounds over direct heat. Cook 7-10 minutes per side or until the sweet potatoes are softened and have good grill marks. Remove from the grill and place in a pan. Pour the warm teriyaki sauce over the hot potatoes and set aside to marinate.
- While the potatoes are marinating, place the pineapple slices over direct heat on the grill. Grill 7-10 minutes per side or until the pineapple is cooked through and has developed grill marks. Remove from the barbeque and set aside.
- While the pineapple is grilling, drain and rinse the cashews. Add them to a blender with the remaining Hawaiian Sauce ingredients. Blend until silky smooth. Set aside.
- Add the buns to the grill, cut side down, and cook until gently toasted, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the grill and spread the Hawaiian sauce on both sides of the bread. Add a handful of spring mix to the bottom bun and then top with several sweet potato rounds. Top with a slice of pineapple and then the top bun. Serve immediately.