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 in a bun with your favorite toppings, on a pizza, in your pasta, or anywhere you would use regular Italian sausage.
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Whether you’re new to a vegan lifestyle, or simply enjoy eating meat-like substitutes on occasion, you’re going to love this absolutely delicious 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. The liquid smoke, fennel seeds, and other delicious seasonings in the recipe result in the perfect flavor to please even meat eaters.
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.
- Vital wheat gluten
- Ground fennel seeds
- Smoked paprika
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Dried thyme
- Black pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- Vegetable broth
- White beans
- Soy sauce or tamari
- Vegan Worcestershire sauce
- Liquid smoke
- Red pepper flakes
- Sun dried tomatoes
How do I make these Vegan Italian Sausages?
Begin by combining the dry ingredients in a large 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.
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!
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. 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.
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.
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.
Place a steamer basket in a large pot and bring to a boil. Then place the wrapped sausage in the steamer basket 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.
After 50 minutes, remove the sausages from the steamer and allow them to cool. The texture will be best if you place them in the fridge overnight before unwrapping.
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 sautéed onion, green bell pepper, and marinara sauce
- Sliced and added to pasta with pasta sauce
- 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
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.
These sausages are considerably healthier than their animal based counterparts. Since they are oil free and made from plant based ingredients, they are also healthier than most of the store bought vegan versions. This is a great recipe for new vegans who miss familiar foods, as well as anyone who enjoys the taste and texture of vegan meat substitutes.
Since the main ingredient in this sausage recipe is gluten, this particular recipe cannot be made gluten free. There are, however, gluten free vegan sausage recipes on other sites.
For more vegan meat substitutes, see:
- Vegan Pepperoni
- Vegan Breakfast Sausage Links
- TLT Sandwich (Tofu Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato)
- Vegan Andouille Sausage
- Vegan Glazed Ham
- BBQ Tofu
- Vegan Bacon Bits
- Vegan Beef Seitan
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Vegan Italian Sausage
- 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.
Nutrition calculations are approximate.