Looking for a plant based sausage recipe that has the taste and texture of its conventional counterpart? You’ll love these easy seitan vegan sausage links!
Plant based sausage can be divisive in the vegan world. Some people love it and want it to taste like its meaty counterpart, and some people hate it.
But the thing is, it’s actually quite easy to make your own vegan sausage! In this way, you can control the seasonings and make them taste exactly the way you want, whether you are missing their meat counterpart or have never had a true Italian sausage.
The process is a bit lengthy, but it’s truly simple. If you’ve tried my Seitan Pepperoni, then you’ll be familiar with the technique. The “sausage dough” is simply steamed to help it hold its shape, and then dropped on the grill for those authentic vegan Italian sausage grill marks.
I think it’s the perfect way to enjoy a cookout with friends. Both vegans and meat eaters alike can enjoy these tasty links!
Ingredients for Vegan Italian Sausage
There aren’t too many crazy ingredients here, and the few you might not already have will definitely turn into new favorites!
- Vital Wheat Gluten: Gluten gives structure and elasticity to these vegan sausage links. Buy it in some health food stores or online here.
- Vegetable Broth: This holds everything together. If you’re going for an even meatier flavor, you can use this vegan pork broth!
- Tomato Paste: Tomato paste gives both that rich color, along with an umami (savory) taste.
- Soy Sauce: This is our umami and salt!
- Seasoning: The selection in the recipe card gives a basic pork sausage flair.
- Liquid Smoke: This secret ingredient adds the perfect smoked flavor as well as some color.
Vital Wheat Gluten might be something new to your pantry. Breadmakers use it to increase the gluten levels in bread without adding excess flour. Gluten is also the base for things like seitan which is why we are using it here. This gluten gives structure to help the sausage links hold their shape as well as give a nice bite.
How to make Vegan Sausage Links
It’s a little lengthy here, but super simple. Get all your wrappers set up first and you’ll be a sausage making pro in no time.
Step 1: Dough
Add all ingredients to a large bowl and combine well. You may want to dig in with your hands to make sure everything is mixed in – because then it’s time to knead! Knead on a clean surface until elastic (though it may still have lumps, which is ok!)
Step 2: Shape
Divid the dough into 15 equal-sized pieces and form into logs. Wrap each log tightly in parchment and then in foil. Twist the ends well to make sure they won’t come undone during cooking!
Step 3: Steam
Set the wrapped sausages in the top of a steamer basket over a pot of water, cover, and steam for about 30 minutes. Make sure to watch the water level so it doesn’t completely evaporate, adding more water to the pan as needed.
Step 4: Grill
Gently remove the steamed sausages from the parchment and foil wrappers. Transfer to an oiled grill pan or fire up the grill! Cook for about 5 minutes, until they look perfectly charred.
Mise en Place: Cut out your parchment and foil and have them all set up! This way you can set each sausage link right on top as you go. It’s easy to form them all and then twist them all at once.
Grill it Up: You can head outside to grill these, grab a cast iron grill pan, or even fire up the George Forman. Grilling them is a crucial step to give them a little bite.
Pig Out: I use vegetable broth, but you can also grab some vegan pork flavored base for even more sausage authenticity.
Serve It As Kebab: Serve these vegan sausages as a kebab type recipe on our vegetarian cevapi!
Try these other seasoning options
It’s easy to change up your flavor because these are all ingredients that are safe to eat raw. Nip a small pieces and adjust seasonings before you cook them to get the flavor just right.
- Vegan Italian Sausage – add Italian seasoning
- Vegan Chorizo – add chorizo spice blend
- Vegan Breakfast Sausage – check out our breakfast sausage spice blend here
Nothing beats burgers and sausages on the grill, especially when feeding a crowd!
- Seitan Burgers can maximize your ingredient purchase by using similar pantry items.
- Baked Avocado Fries add a creaminess that you didn’t know you were missing.
- Mediterranean Roasted Veggies can be made in the oven or on the grill.
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries won’t heat up the house!
- Frozen Watermelon Daiquiris will wash everything down and cool you off.
- 1 ½ cups vital wheat gluten 180 g
- ½ cup vegetable broth* 120 mL
- ¼ cup tomato paste 50 g
- ¼ cup soy sauce 60 mL
- 1 tsp each smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, coriander, black pepper
- 1 tsp liquid smoke 5 mL
- Dough: In a large bowl stir together all ingredients until a ball forms. Transfer to a clean surface and knead for about 2 minutes, or until dough is elastic and cohesive (it will still be lumpy, that's okay!)
- Shape: Divide into 15 even pieces, then shape each piece into a log. Each log should be about ½ inch thick. Wrap each log tightly in parchment paper and aluminum foil**, making sure the foil overlaps so it doesn't open during cooking, then twist the ends to secure.
- Steam: Bring a pot of water with a steamer basket to a boil, then place wrapped sausages into the basket. Cover and let steam for 30 minutes. (Keep an eye on the water level to make sure water doesn't all evaporate.)
- Grill: Remove plant based sausages from the basket and gently unwrap. Transfer to a well-oiled hot grill pan (or grill) and cook for about 5 minutes, turning often, until charred on the outside.