If you’ve decided to stop eating meat, you might miss sausage. And who could blame you? It’s right up there with our most loved foods, like pizza, tacos, and hoagies.
Fortunately, you won’t have to miss it for long, as finding a perfect vegetarian substitute for sausage is pretty easy.
Nowadays, plant-based sausages are widely available.
You can choose one of the many store-bought options or go the homemade route. There are great veggie combinations for making a vegetarian sausage from scratch.
Other than that, the familiar favorites like seitan, tofu, and chickpeas always have your back.
Check out all your options below.
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Why Choose a Vegetarian Substitute for Sausage?
There are several reasons you may be on a hunt for an excellent vegetarian substitute for sausage. You could be aiming to save time, get healthier, or help the planet.
Cooking real meat takes time as you have to get it to a specific temperature or tenderize a tough cut. You don’t have to worry about any of that when dealing with plant-based meat.
Additionally, processed meats like sausages are strongly linked to an increased risk of health conditions like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
The vegetarian alternatives offer the taste and the protein without the growth hormones.
Finally, cutting back on meat, in general, is one of the best ways to reduce your impact on planet Earth.
Raising animals for food leads to deforestation and air and water pollution. The meat industry is global warming’s most significant contributing factor.
What’s a Good Vegetarian Substitute for Sausage?
Together with patties, plant-based sausages have been around for a while. This means your choices look great in both homemade and pre-made departments.
Homemade vegetarian sausages might take a little longer to make than their store-bought counterparts, but the final result will be worth it.
A good sausage is all about the spices, so when looking for a reasonable substitute, choose products that can be easily infused with flavor.
On the other hand, if you want your vegetarian sausage to look like the real deal, go for softer ingredients that you can shape effortlessly.
Let’s take a look at my recommended vegetarian substitutes for sausage.
If you’ve looked into vegetarianism, you’ve probably heard of seitan. It’s a widely-used plant-based meat substitute made from vital wheat gluten.
As with vegetarian sausages, you can make it yourself or buy it in a store.
Seitan is made by removing starch from wheat flour. You can use the resulting mass for different meat styles for various recipes.
Seitan is an excellent choice for sausages as gluten gives them their meaty texture and mouthfeel.
Add your favorite seasoning mix to achieve the familiar flavor, and you’re good to go.
Many people turn to seitan because it’s high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
However, it might not be a feasible option if you suffer from gluten-related disorders. In this case, consider other plant-based options below.
I love seitan because you can use it to substitute almost any meat product, as long as you have the right seasoning. You can even use it to make vegetarian chicken liver!
Tofu is another highly versatile vegetarian ingredient. It has replaced meat and other animal-based proteins, and it can serve as a perfect vegetarian substitute for sausage.
Seasoning is what the sausage is all about. Tofu is known for its neutral taste and taking on the flavor of other ingredients it’s cooked with.
With the right seasonings, you’ll get all the taste and protein but none of the fat.
A crumbled sausage is the easiest to make when using tofu, but plenty of other recipes feature vegetarian sausages in all shapes and sizes.
Chickpeas are another staple ingredient in vegetarian kitchens.
Like tofu, they take on the flavor of the food you’re making, making them a perfect choice for plant-based sausages.
Note that chickpeas won’t take a sausage shape, so you should stick to a crumbled sausage.
Unlike other more complex meat cuts or textures, like steaks and pulled pork, it’s relatively simple to replicate a sausage because everything is ground up. This means a variety of vegetable combinations can do the trick.
Most recipes feature beans, in particular white beans.
Mushrooms are another great and versatile vegetarian meat alternative, and sausages are no exception.
Of course, you can also go for black-eyed peas or pepper; it all boils down to your preferences.
Pre-Made Vegetarian Substitute for Sausage
Meat-based sausages come in an endless variety of forms, but the good news is that so do the vegetarian ones.
In addition, textures and spices will be significantly different from one product to the next so that you can take your pick.
Vegetarian meat substitutes are becoming increasingly easier to find in local grocery stores (you can even find vegetarian pork rinds these days). They’re usually located in the frozen food aisles or health food refrigerated sections.
As of recent, some products by companies like Beyond Meat can even be found in the meat section.
Speaking of Beyond Meat, they offer several breakfast sausages, Italian sausages, and a Brat original.
They contain no gluten, soy, or GMOs. The sausages are also 100% plant-based, making them excellent for vegans.
Another great option for pre-made vegetarian sausages is Field Roast. They offer a wide variety of types and flavors like bratwursts, frankfurters, and breakfast sausage patties.
In addition, the manufacturer uses traditional sausage-making practices, leading to a taste and texture that can trick even meat-lovers.
You can also check out Impossible Foods. They offer their ground sausage and patties in two delicious flavors: savory and spicy.
Vegetarian Substitute for Italian Sausage
If you’re craving Italian sausage in particular, there is also a quick pre-made option.
Tofurky offers a great Italian sausage in their assortment. The fragrant basil and sweet sun-dried tomatoes are the right flavor to perk up your pasta, soups, and sautés.
When you’re in a do-it-yourself mood, there are many excellent recipes for vegetarian Italian sausages to use.
They mostly feature mushrooms, black-eyed peas, and white beans, but the seasoning is what truly makes it a viable substitute.
Incorporate some freshly chopped basil and sun-dried tomatoes, and you’ll have a delicious Italian feast on your hands.
Vegetarian Substitute for Andouille Sausage
Andouille sausage is known for being spicy and flavorful. Most people make it by using pig’s intestine, stuffed with pork meat and other ingredients such as chili, onion, and garlic.
Mexican chorizo is the next best thing if you can’t get your hands on an andouille sausage.
Luckily, you can find several vegetarians alternatives for chorizo.
For the homemade version of andouille sausage, you can use tofu.
As it takes on the taste of whatever flavor you add, you can easily play with spices to get it just right. Tofu can also be smoked, just like these tasty sausages.
Thanks to its forgiving texture, finding a convincing vegetarian substitute for sausage is a reasonably simple task.
Whether you’ll run to the store or do it yourself, the options I’ve provided are everything a vegetarian sausage should be – hearty, healthy, and packed with flavor.