The world’s best vegan sausages may be a bold claim to make but I can honestly say that I have never tasted better vegan sausages… anywhere. These sausages are moist, firm, and tremendously full of flavour; they really are better than anything you can buy in the shops!
The World’s Best Vegan Sausages Recipe
Although for most of my adult life, I have not eaten meat, before I ditched it from my diet, I used to enjoy it. When I stopped eating meat, I never actually thought about what I was giving up (as in, would I miss anything) but if someone had pressed me for an answer, I’d have probably said sausages.
I’m not talking about those plastic-wrapped flaccid pink things you find in supermarkets, I mean proper sausages, made with real meat, herbs, and spices. The ones which small, independent butchers – the ones who still wear straw boaters – make.
When we lived in Thailand, there were sai oua (sausage) sellers everywhere, and many was the time I mused that if I ate meat, I would probably live on them. Not that I ever tried any but if the smell was anything to go by… let’s just say that my tummy rumbled an awful lot when the food carts came out in the evenings!
Vegan Sausages in Thailand
Fortunately, I did find a few vegan street carts and cafés, where they sold vegan sausages (sai oua, that is, not Western-style vegan sausages!) – they were every bit as good as I imagined their meaty counterparts to be.
I ate rather a lot of them!
Why eat vegan sausages?
I’m not the type of person who is disgusted by the mere sight and smell of meat. It generally doesn’t bother me (unless it’s rotting, of course).
And I’m certainly not of the meat-is-murder mindset: having lived all over the world, among a diversity of people, I am acutely aware that not everyone has the luxury of choosing their diet (or their ethics). Those of us who do have the luxury of not only eschewing certain types of sustenance, yet still have the widest choice on the planet of what to eat instead, are truly, truly privileged.
Vegan sausages and other plant-based meats
I’m also not the type of person to turn their nose up at plant-based meats which resemble their animal counterparts. I won’t call vegan sausages, for example, fake meat, or meat analogues, or any of the other monikers that people use because to do so implies that the animal version is in some way superior… and I don’t believe that to be true. Food is food, and as far as I am concerned, it should all be treated with respect.
(Unless we are talking about American ‘cheese’ – you’ll never convince me that that’s real food.)
I do not believe that a beef burger is better than one made from beans, for example, and I don’t believe that a bean burger is superior to one made from beef.
Logically-speaking, there is merit in all foods, and just because I choose to not eat sausages made from animals, it doesn’t mean that vegan sausages are intrinsically ‘better’ – merely that they fit in better with my views and tastes.
While I would love for people to stop eating meat, I realise that it’s not going to happen any time soon (or ever), so it would be a waste of time and energy to get upset about it. I believe a far better use of my talents is to show people that plant-based food is not all twigs and leaves.
Unless you’re a beaver. A beaver called Nora…
Check out these other vegan sausage & seitan recipes too!
My vegan sausages are awesome though!
I have been asked on occasion, why, when I don’t eat meat, do I make foods which look and taste similar to meat, and my answer is always the same – why should I not?
I have never claimed to not like meat, although there is some I’ve never been keen on – steak for example, is not something I’ve ever held in any regard – so why be squeamish about eating something which is animal-friendly, just because it happens to resemble something traditionally made from flesh?
As I mentioned before, meaty sausages can be delicious, so why would I not want to make vegan sausages?
And being brutally honest, if the only food available to me was meat, I’d have no hesitation in eating it. Fortunately, I live a privileged life where I do have the luxury of not only being able to choose which foods to eat but also have the ability to be creative with them. As I said earlier, many people are not as fortunate.
What are vegan sausages made of?
These vegan sausages are made from vital wheat gluten, which is the protein left after the starch has been removed from wheat flour. Vital wheat gluten is used to strengthen flour for bread-making, and also to make plant-based meat, known variously as seitan, mianjin, and wheat-meat.
Seitan has been made in Asia for centuries, and is well-known in Buddhist culture, where meat-eating is not always a thing. If you’ve seen tins of mock duck or mock chicken in Chinese supermarkets, you’ll be familiar with at least a couple of its uses!
One of the great things about living in SE Asia was the abundance of seitan, especially in George Town, Penang (Malaysia), where there’s a huge Chinese community. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend Lily’s Vegetarian Kitchen, where you’ll find a veritable feast of seitan dishes!
How to make vegan sausages
It’s really easy to make vegan sausages; first you need to blend all the wet ingredients (I use my VAC2), then mix them well with the dry ingredients (the vital wheat gluten, etc.) in a large bowl, until you have a dough.
Knead the dough, then set aside for a few minutes to rest. While it’s resting, tear off eight sheets of aluminium foil (about 30cm long).
When you’re ready to make the sausages, divide the dough into eight equal pieces; take one piece, roll it into a rough sausage shape, and then plonk it onto a piece of foil, close to the edge. Roll it up tightly, and twist the ends closed. Don’t worry about making the dough neat – it will expand as it’s cooking, to fill the foil, and come out perfect!
Once you’ve done the same for the remaining seven pieces of dough, place into a steamer, and cook for 40 minutes. When they’re done, remove from the steamer, and set aside to cool before placing in the fridge for a few hours to firm up.
Do I need to do anything else with the vegan sausages?
If you plan to use them as an ingredient in, for example, a casserole, then no, they can just be cut up and used as is. If you’d like to serve them in their own right however, then gently warm and brown them in a skillet before serving.
Don’t microwave them though – they can go hard very quickly!
Notes for making vegan sausages
Where can I get sausage seasoning from?
Either make your own seasonings (good places to start looking are blogs dedicated to traditional sausage-making), or buy ones which are already made up.
My favourites are the Premium Pork Sausage Seasoning from Butchers Sundries and the Premium Pork & Herb Sausage Seasoning from Tongmaster. Prices are excellent, and delivery is very fast. And they are vegan, of course.
What can I use instead of coconut aminos?
If you’re fine with soy, then do feel free to use a tablespoon of light (aka all-purpose) soy sauce instead. Or you could use Asian seasoning sauce, such as Golden Mountain, Healthy Boy, or Maggi.
What can I use instead of buckwheat flour?
Many people use chickpea flour (besan) to make seitan with but I have found that buckwheat gives a more robust texture, which is especially useful if using seitan in casseroles, curries, and tagines, for example.
Can these vegan sausages be made gluten-free?
I have been asked repeatedly whether these can be made gluten-free, and the short answer is no!
Gluten is the main ingredient, and it’s what gives these vegan sausages their meaty texture and mouthfeel.
If you want gluten-free sausages, why not try these ones from Rhea, over at The V Word? I haven’t made them myself but they are apparently, rather lovely!
I don’t like the idea of foil touching my food, what can I do?
If you don’t want foil touching your vegan sausages, you could wrap the sausages in silicone baking parchment or muslin first, then foil. Don’t use non-silicone parchment though, or your sausages will stick.
Which kind of beans should I use?
Any white beans are fine. Or you could use chickpeas. My preference is for cannellini, or butter beans (Phaseolus lunatus – lima beans).
Can I use different flavours and seasonings?
You certainly can – check out the recipe notes for a few ideas.
You’ll love the world’s best vegan sausages
- really easy to make
- full of flavour
- packed with protein
- tastier and healthier than store-bought
- totally more-ish
Enjoy the world’s best vegan sausages!
The World’s Best Vegan Sausages
- Blend the wet ingredients together until smooth. (I use my trusty Froothie Optimum Vac2.)
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then add the liquid.
- Mix well, making sure that everything is completely incorporated. (The mix will be quite wet.)
- Knead for a couple of minutes, then divide the dough into 8 equal parts.
- Cut 8 strips of tin foil, roughly 30cm (12″) long.
- Place a vaguely sausage-shaped piece of the sausage dough onto the centre of the long edge of each piece of foil, and roll up into a sausage shape. Twist the ends tightly.
- Place into the steamer, reduce the heat, and steam for 40 minutes.
- Once cooked, remove the sausages from the steamer, and set aside to cool.
- Put the sausages, still wrapped, in the ‘fridge for at least five hours to firm up. Overnight is better.
- To heat: gently fry for a few minutes on each side (I recommend either a non-stick skillet with no oil, or a cast iron one with a little oil). If you’re going to use them in a casserole, or with a sauce, etc., there’s no need to fry – simply add them to your dish five minutes before the end of the cooking time to warm through.
- To store: keep in the ‘fridge, in the wrapping for up to a week. They also freeze well.
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried basil
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mesquite liquid smoke
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp poultry seasoning
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp mesquite liquid smoke
- 8 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 cup = US cup = 240 ml
- 1 tbsp = US/UK = 15 ml
- 1 fl oz = US = 30 ml