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Vegan Italian Sausage

5 from 7 votes

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You’re going to love this Vegan Italian Sausage recipe. These sausages are meaty, spicy, smoky, flavorful, and oil-free! And they’re so easy to make! Enjoy them anywhere you would use regular Italian sausage.

White platter with whole and sliced seitan Italian sausages

Whether you’re new to a vegan lifestyle, or simply enjoy eating meat-like substitutes on occasion, you’re going to love this vegan Italian sausage recipe!

Most veggie meat substitutes are quite expensive. But you can save a lot of money on these products by making your own. All you need is a little bit of vital wheat gluten and some flavorings. You can make up a batch of these vegan sausages at a fraction of the store cost!

Another wonderful thing about making your own sausages is that you can control the ingredients. Most store bought vegan sausages are high in fat. But not these! There’s not a drop of oil in this recipe. There are also no strange chemical or preservative ingredients.

You can make these vegan seitan sausages so easily, and have a tasty meat substitute ready to enjoy in about an hour! The texture is better, however, if you let them completely cool before unwrapping, but I usually can’t wait that long, and unwrap and enjoy a bit of it as soon as I’ve finished cooking them!

What is vegan sausage made of?

The main ingredient in my vegan sausage is vital wheat gluten. Vital wheat gluten is the protein that has been extracted from wheat flour. Gluten is often added to yeast bread recipes to improve the elasticity of the dough. It is sold as a powder, and when combined with wet ingredients, it becomes stretchy and cooks up to have a very meaty consistency.

Vital wheat gluten doesn’t have much flavor, but when combined with the right ingredients you can make it taste very similar to various meat products.

Where can I find vital wheat gluten?

Vital wheat gluten can be found in many grocery stores in the baking section, and often in the bulk containers. If you are not able to find it locally, it can be ordered online through Amazon, or from Bob’s Red Mill.

Ingredients in this vegan sausage recipe:

This looks like a long list of ingredients, but most of them are dried herbs and spices. You probably already have most or all of these ingredients in your pantry.

How do I make these Vegan Italian Sausages?

Step 1:

Begin by combining the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.

Bowl of dry ingredients for vegan sausages

Step 2:

Add the beans and liquid ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Add the sun dried tomatoes and blend on low for a few seconds to chop them up.

When I made the recipe for these photos, I forgot the step of adding the sun dried tomatoes to the blender, so my tomato chunks are a bit larger. The sausages still turned out great!

Step 3:

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together until well combined.

Bowl with wet ingredients being stirred into dry ingredients for seitan sausages

Knead the dough for a few minutes until the dough becomes stretchy.

Bowl of seitan dough for Vegan Italian Sausages

Step 4:

Divide the dough into 6 or 8 pieces, depending on how large you want your sausages to be. I divided mine into 6 pieces, and my sausages are about 6 inches long. For sandwich sized sausages, you will probably want to divide it into 8 pieces.

Step 5:

Form each piece of dough into a log shape. The shape does not have to be perfect, because the seitan will expand and fill the wrapping, forming a sausage shape as it cooks.

Seitan dough formed into a sausage shape, on parchment and foil, ready to be wrapped and cooked

Wrap each piece of dough in parchment paper and then in aluminum foil. The foil should wrap around the sausage dough at least twice. This is to prevent it from bursting when the seitan expands as it cooks. Twist the ends of the foil tootsie roll style.

Seitan sausages wrapped in foil, ready to be cooked

Step 6:

Place the wrapped sausage in a steamer, and steam for 50 minutes. Check the steamer every 15 to 20 minutes to make sure the water has not all evaporated. You do not want the steamer to boil dry.

Step 7:

After 50 minutes, remove the sausages from the steamer and allow them to cool. The texture will be best if you refrigerate them overnight before unwrapping.

White platter with seitan sausages, one still partially wrapped

Can this Italian sausage recipe be made gluten free?

Since the main ingredient in this sausage recipe is vital wheat gluten, this particular recipe cannot be made gluten free. There are, however, gluten free vegan sausage recipes on other sites.

Can I freeze these sausages?

Yes! They freeze very well. I have frozen seitan sausages while they were still wrapped, or you can unwrap them before freezing. Place them in a Ziploc freezer bag and they will keep in the freezer for several months. When you want to eat them, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature before you cook them.

How do I serve vegan Italian Sausage?

Serve these meatless sausages anywhere you would use regular sausage. Some ideas are:

  • As a main course with some potatoes and vegetables
  • In a sandwich with peppers and onions
  • Sliced and added to pasta
  • In soups or stews
  • In a rice or grain dish, or in a casserole
  • On a vegan snack board with some vegan cheese, crackers, and fruit

If you like this recipe, you might also like:

And come join my Oil Free Vegan Recipes and Support Facebook group, where you can share your favorite oil free vegan recipes, and give and receive support on your plant based journey.

White platter with whole and sliced Vegan Italian Sausages
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5 from 7 votes

Vegan Italian Sausage

These Vegan Italian Sausages are meaty, spicy, smoky, flavorful, and oil-free! And you're going to love how easy they are to make! Enjoy them anywhere you would use regular sausage.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Meat Subsitutes, Oil Free, Seitan
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 139.3kcal
Author Teresa Sklenicka

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 2 teaspoons ground fennel
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup white beans
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes

Instructions

  • Begin by combining the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  • Add the beans and liquid ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Add the sun dried tomatoes and blend on low for a few seconds to chop them up – you want to have small bits of tomato.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together until well combined. Knead the dough for a few minutes until the dough becomes stretchy.
  • Divide the dough into 6 or 8 pieces, depending on how large you want your sausages to be.
  • Form each piece of dough into a log shape, and wrap in parchment paper and then in aluminum foil. The foil should wrap around the sausage dough at least twice. This is to prevent it from bursting, since the sausage will expand as it cooks.
  • Place the wrapped sausage in a steamer, and steam for 50 minutes. Check the steamer every 15 or 20 minutes to make sure the water has not all evaporated. Do not let the steamer boil dry.
  • After 50 minutes, remove the sausages from the steamer and allow them to cool. The texture will be best if you refrigerate them overnight before unwrapping.
  • These sausages can be heated by sauteing them in a nonstick fry pan, warming in a microwave, or briefly grilling.

Notes

These sausages will keep for at least a week in the refrigerator, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 139.3kcal | Carbohydrates: 11.3g | Protein: 21.3g | Fat: 0.8g | Sodium: 568.8mg | Fiber: 3.7g | Sugar: 1.1g | Vitamin A: 276.23IU | Vitamin C: 1.62mg | Calcium: 57.34mg | Iron: 2.7mg

Nutrition calculations are approximate.

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By on February 23rd, 2020

About Teresa Sklenicka

I love creating tasty, oil-free, vegan recipes that everyone will love (even non-vegans)! Here you'll find vegan versions of your favorite comfort foods, as well as some new tastes! Join me on a path to improving your health, helping the planet, and saving animals.

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19 thoughts on “Vegan Italian Sausage”

    • No, cracked bulgur won’t work. It really needs to be vital wheat gluten, which is the protein from wheat. It come in a powder form, and gets stretchy when combined with a liquid.

      Reply
  1. These are absolutely amazing. I will probably bump up the salt a tiiiny bit next time I make them but only because I am a salt fiend. One of the only foods we still eat that contain oil is Field Roast Italian sausages maybe once or twice a month, and these are the perfect oil-free replication. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Reply
  2. Can’t figure out where I went wrong, followed the recipe to the letter, they were like chewing on a lump of latex rubber. An hour and a half of my life I will never get back, and a ruined meal.

    Reply
    • Oh, no! I’m so sorry they didn’t work out for you. I’d love to help you troubleshoot, but I don’t know what might have happened. How many sausages did you make? If you made more smaller sausages, they might have been over cooked.

      Reply
      • It also might be an environmental issue. Where I live it is so dry I often have to add more liquid to my Seitan than the recipe calls for. No amount of steaming is going to compensate for a dough that hasn’t been hydrated enough in the mixing stage.

        Reply
    • You may have over-kneaded and/or cooked at too high a temperature. Both of these things can cause hard, rubbery seitan. It’s a fickle food—I usually have to make seitan recipes two or three times to get the texture right since each recipe is a bit different.

      Reply
  3. are the sun-dried tomatoes supposed to be added to the blender before rehydrating them or are we supposed to use them as is (dehydrated).

    Reply
  4. I am not able to have gluten at all. Would you be able to recommend an alterative that might work in this recipe? So many faux meats contain gluten, so I’m not able to partake.

    Reply
    • I don’t know of a good alternative to gluten for this recipe, since it is a seitan recipe that is based on wheat gluten. I have seen other recipes online for gluten free vegan sausages.

      Reply
  5. This looks so wonderful! I’m making these tomorrow. What kind of “Steamer” do you use? Can I use an Instant Pot for this?

    Reply
    • Thanks! I have a large pot (stock pot size) with a steamer insert. You can use a large pot with a steamer basket. I haven’t tried them in my Instant Pot, but I’m sure it will work. Just add a steamer basket and a cup of water to the pot and follow the recipe directions.

      I hope you enjoy these! Be sure to let me know!

      Reply

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