If you’ve decided to quit eating meat, staying away from salami might be challenging. After all, this food is a huge part of much-loved meals like sandwiches, pizza, and pasta.
Fortunately, not eating meat doesn’t mean saying “no” to salami. There are ways to replicate the intense flavor and distinctive appearance of salami.
You can choose from several great vegetarian options when you’re craving salami.
If you go the homemade route, seitan may be your No. 1 choice due to the many recipes featuring this staple ingredient. You can also opt for other alternatives like tofu and lentils.
However, if you’d like something quicker and more convenient, you can choose a pre-made alternative.
Keep reading to learn which vegetarian substitute for salami might become your go-to choice.
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Why Choose a Vegetarian Substitute for Salami?
There are several reasons you might be looking for a vegetarian substitute for salami.
First, you could be steering clear of meat to avoid harming your health, animals, or the environment.
As mentioned, consuming meat may affect your health negatively. Processed meats like salami can be especially harmful, and the WHO (World Health Organization) has classified them as carcinogenic to humans.
Apart from that, the sodium content of most processed meats is dangerously high, and too much sodium can elevate blood pressure, leading to heart disease or a stroke.
Additionally, animal cruelty may be a significant factor in your decision to stop eating meat.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as humane practices in the meat industry, so the only option is to avoid meat altogether.
Finally, the meat industry drives climate change by emitting potent greenhouse gases, destroying forests, and contributing to air and water pollution.
By avoiding meat, you can reduce your impact on our planet.
Is There a Vegetarian Substitute for Salami?
One of the best things about salami is the various options. Luckily, vegetarian salami seems to have followed suit.
If you’re up for the challenge, you can cook up a copycat salami using ingredients with which you’re probably well-familiar.
There are also excellent pre-made alternatives for when you don’t feel like cooking.
Additionally, if you’re a fan of the American variety of salami, you can buy a notable pepperoni alternative.
When looking for the best vegetarian salami, make sure it’s as flavorful as the original.
If you’re making it yourself, choose ingredients that can be easily infused with flavor.
The salami’s appearance also plays an important role when assembling a sandwich or a charcuterie board.
Luckily, the shape isn’t hard to achieve, but the color might be. Try to choose ingredients that can be colored using natural food coloring.
Salami lovers might find it easier to quit meat knowing there are several worthy vegetarian alternatives to consider.
Let’s take a look at my recommended vegetarian substitutes for salami.
Seitan is a versatile vegan protein made by rinsing the starch from the wheat dough.
Although it is made from wheat, it isn’t similar to bread or flour. When cooked, seitan is surprisingly similar to meat, making it a popular vegetarian meat substitute.
While seitan perfectly imitates the chewy texture and the appearance of meat, it falls short in the flavor department.
You’ll need a variety of spices to achieve the distinctive taste, which is also true for meat-based salami.
For the salami’s authentic dark red color, you’ll need to add a red hue. This won’t affect the taste but will prevent the seitan from turning brown.
Beet powder, tomato paste, and red wine will add rich color to your salami.
If you’re having trouble keeping the seitan red, try using beetroot. Even if you’re not a fan of this vegetable, you won’t be able to taste it here.
Not only is seitan mainly used for home-cooked versions of salami, but most pre-made products include it as well.
If you’re gluten intolerant, the bad news is that it can’t be swapped, as gluten is vital for most recipes to work.
However, the good news is that you can use other vegetarian ingredients and still create the best vegetarian salami.
Tofu has replaced meat and other animal-based proteins as a staple ingredient in vegetarian cooking.
Moreover, it can be used to replicate different styles of meat, and vegetarian salami is no different.
Since tofu has a neutral flavor, it will soak up the salami spices. It also holds its shape well while cooking, making it the perfect choice for the salami’s texture.
In addition to being relatively easy to make, tofu salami is also significantly healthier than its animal-based counterpart.
Tofu is low in saturated fat and high in protein, making it the overall better option.
Lentils are a vegetarian favorite for their short preparation time and versatility.
It’s protein-packed, so it is commonly used as a meat substitute.
In addition, the right seasoning blend will produce an excellent vegetarian substitute for salami.
If you don’t want to make vegetarian salami but replace its flavor in sandwiches and other meals, you should consider cheese.
Cheese is often featured in sandwiches and charcuterie boards together with the salami, but it can also stand on its own perfectly.
It’s easy to use, and you can cut it to match the salami’s thickness.
Choose an intense and salty hard cheese variety such as gouda or Toscano to replace the salami’s flavor.
Pre-Made Vegetarian Substitute for Salami
Meat-based salami is available in many varieties, and the good news is that the same goes for vegetarian salami.
The pre-made products are great for when you want a quick and easy meal, and you can find them in many supermarkets.
One of your options is Yves Veggie Salami. It’s a seitan-based salami with no trans-fat, cholesterol, or artificial coloring.
The same brand offers Veggie Pepperoni if you’re missing its signature smoky flavor on top of your pizza.
Another excellent option to consider is Worthington Plant-Powered Meatless Salami Deli Slices. They’re made from non-GMO soybeans and wheat gluten.
Finally, Nicholyn Farms offers Veggie Salami with no soy but wheat protein.
As spices do most of the work, finding a convincing vegetarian substitute for salami is a reasonably simple task.
There isn’t a wide array of ingredients you can use to make it yourself, but the available ones make up for it in quality.
So whether you’ll set off on this cooking adventure or grab something from the store, the options mentioned in this guide will satisfy your salami cravings.