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Easy Oil Free Vegan Pepperoni

4.24 from 17 votes

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This easy vegan pepperoni will totally fulfill your cravings for pepperoni. And it’s totally free of oil! In addition to using as a pizza topping, enjoy this pepperoni as a meat substitute for sandwiches and paninis.

Vegan Pepperoni sliced on a platter with basil garnish

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Growing up, my favorite pizza topping was pepperoni. Oh, how I loved those smoky, spicy slices on top of the melty cheese! And I wasn’t alone. Pepperoni is the most popular pizza topping in America.

But those crispy, spicy slices come with a price to your health. The highly processed meat slices are full of saturated fat and nitrates.

These days I usually eat my pizza with lots of vegetables, and some of my Oil Free Vegan Mozzarella Cheese on a Whole Wheat Pizza Crust. A vegetable pizza is delicious! But I still sometimes miss the pepperoni.

There are a couple of vegan pepperoni substitutes on the market. While they’re healthier than the meat pepperoni, they still have more processed ingredients than I like. So, I decided it was time to make my own.

My healthier pepperoni has no oil or preservatives, and contains only 1 gram of fat per serving. So you can enjoy it without guilt or the health risks of the meat based counterpart.

A whole pizza with sliced vegan pepperoni, sitting on parchment paper on a wooden board

What is This Vegan Pepperoni Made From?

This pepperoni is made from seitan. What is seitan? It is a vegan meat substitute made from wheat gluten, the main protein in wheat. Wheat gluten is available in the bulk section in many grocery stores. It can also be ordered online or in packages in many natural food sections of grocery stores.

Gluten itself has almost no flavor, but when combined with different ingredients it can be absolutely delicious! And cooked seitan has a texture very similar to meat and is quite high in protein.

This pepperoni seitan is flavored with vegetable broth, tomato paste, liquid smoke, rice wine vinegar, and a combination of flavorful herbs and spices!

There are various methods of cooking seitan: simmering, steaming, and baking. I use the baking method with this recipe.

How do you make seitan pepperoni?

Begin by stirring together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the liquid ingredients.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix with a rubber spatula to combine. Then knead the gluten dough for a minute or two until it begins to become elastic.

Pepperoni seitan dough after mixing and kneading

Divide the dough in to two roughly equal portions and form it into sausage shapes. The shapes do not have to be perfect.

Wrap them in parchment paper and then a double layer of foil with the ends twisted tootsie roll style. The parchment paper is not critical, but I use it to prevent the seitan from having direct contact with the aluminum foil.

Pepperoni seitan dough formed into a log before baking

Bake the pepperoni for an hour at 325° degrees Fahrenheit. Turn it over half way through the baking time.

For the best texture, allow the pepperoni to completely cool in the refrigerator before unwrapping and slicing.

Ways to enjoy this vegan pepperoni

  • Slices on a vegan pizza
  • As a sandwich or panini filling
  • On a party platter
Sliced pizza with vegan pepperoni

How long does this vegan pepperoni keep?

You can store this seitan in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

For other vegan meat substitutes, see

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Vegan Pepperoni sliced on a platter with basil garnish

Vegan Pepperoni

Teresa Sklenicka
This vegan pepperoni will totally fulfill your cravings for pepperoni. And it’s totally free of oil! In addition to using as a pizza topping, enjoy this pepperoni as a meat substitute for sandwiches and paninis.
4.24 from 17 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 108 kcal


Liquid Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 5 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 3 cloves garlic minced

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup vital wheat gluten
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon whole fennel
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Whisk together the liquid ingredients.
  • Stir together the dry ingredients.
  • Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until completely combined. Knead the dough for a two or three minutes until it forms some elasticity.
  • Divide the dough into two roughly equal pieces and form into logs. Wrap the dough in a layer of parchment paper and then a double layer of aluminum foil, twisting the ends of the foil tootsie roll style.
  • Bake the rolls in the oven for one hour and 15 minutes, turning them over half way through the baking time. Allow the pepperoni to cool overnight in the refrigerator before unwrapping. Cut thin slices with a mandolin or a sharp knife.


These pepperoni slices are great on a pizza, and make a wonderful meat substitute for a sandwich or a panini.


Calories: 108kcalCarbohydrates: 8.6gProtein: 17.2gFat: 1gSodium: 385mgFiber: 1.9gSugar: 2.6gVitamin A: 500IUVitamin C: 4.1mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Meat Subsitutes, Pepperoni, Seitan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Nutrition calculations are approximate.

By on June 27th, 2019

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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