These delicious, wholesome, vegan sausages are the perfect addition to a mid-week meal, BBQ, or potluck. With a soft and flavorful interior and slightly crisp exterior, this vegan Italian sausage is sure to leave an impression. Plus, this recipe is meat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, low-fat, plant-based, and can be made nut-free, too, if preferred!
Gluten Free Vegan Sausage
When it comes to meat alternatives, I err on the side of ‘it doesn’t have to taste exactly the same to be delicious.’ This vegan sausage recipe (aka vegan Bratwurst) combines beans, nuts, oats, and several seasonings to create a delicious vegetarian sausage that definitely isn’t trying to emulate meat, but doesn’t need to when it tastes this good.
This recipe is everything that a veggie sausage needs to be in my eyes; hearty, healthy, and packed with flavor! It’s amazing what white beans, walnuts, oats, and seasonings can do for creating a meatless sausage.
Plus, this recipe doesn’t contain wheat gluten (seitan) like most other vegan recipes which makes it perfectly safe for people who have a gluten allergy!
This vegetarian sausage recipe is also incredibly versatile – allowing you to adjust the seasonings to your own tastes too and even swap out ingredients for your dietary needs (such as swapping the nuts for seeds). Want sausages that are spicier, or smokier? – No problem!
And, of course, they taste delicious anywhere that you would use any other sausage (or vegan Bratwurst, as I call them). Serve as a vegan hot dog, at a BBQ, in wraps, with mash, etc. In fact, there are so many options that I’ve included a list of potential serving ideas below if you want some ideas.
This Recipe Is:
- Can be made soy-free
- Can be also made nut-free
- Packed with fiber, protein, and several vitamins & minerals (from the white beans)
- Hearty & satisfying
How To Make The Best Vegan Sausage
The recipe simply relies on some blending, forming, steaming, and frying! There are even different ways of cooking these veggie sausages, depending on how you prefer them.
Step 1: Mix the ground chia seeds and ¼ cup water in a small bowl and allow to thicken for five minutes. If you don’t have ground chia seeds, then you can grind them yourself with an electric spice/coffee grinder or blender for a few seconds.
Step 2: Meanwhile, rinse the canned white beans thoroughly in a sieve, then drain and pat dry with a paper towel.
Step 3: Pulse the oats and walnuts in a food processor or blender. Only pulse, rather than run the machine continuously as you want the ingredients to retain texture rather than turning into a ‘flour.’
Step 4: Add all the remaining ingredients to the food processor/blender and pulse again to combine.
Step 5: Form 6-7 sausages with your hands. The mixture shouldn’t be too sticky, but if it is, then a sprinkling of oat flour should help. Once formed, place the vegan brats on a dish lined with parchment paper and leave to chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Step 6: Wrap each sausage in some parchment paper and tin foil and twist the ends, like a candy wrapper. Then, place in a steamer basket/pan (I cooked them in a large pot with a sieve and lid on) and steam for around 35 minutes. See step-by-step photos.
Once cooked, you can serve immediately, pan-fry, or even grill for a crispy result! You could also add a vegan sausage casing (see method below).
Brush the sausages with a little oil on each side and then add to your preheated skillet. Lightly fry for around 7-10 minutes, turning a few times, until lightly browned and enjoy!
For sausages that really hold up to BBQ grilling:
After steaming the sausages, allow to cool to room temperature. Chill in the fridge for a bit until they firm up, and then grill. This method really helps them to maintain a firm texture and not fall apart on the grill.
Vegan Sausage Casing
This step is totally optional, however, you can easily make a sausage casing with rice paper sheets!
Yes, the same ingredient used to make delicious summer rolls/spring rolls can also be used as a fantastic vegan sausage casing.
Rice paper sheets completely transform in texture, when fried, and add that delicious light crisp. Plus, rice paper wrappers are gluten-free! Meaning this will still remain a gluten free vegan sausage, to fit multiple dietary needs.
You have the choice of using the classic white rice paper or brown rice paper wrappers that will affect the look and, subtly, the taste of the sausages.
How To Make The Casing (Optional Method)
Follow steps 1-6 as stated above.
- To make the casing add lukewarm water to a large bowl. Dip a rice paper sheet into the water, one at a time, for 5 seconds, and allow the excess water to drip off. Then place the sheet on a cutting board lined with oiled parchment paper.
- Place a steamed sausage onto the damp ripe paper sheet and fold it over the sausage once, then fold the sides in and continue to roll it, like a cigar. Repeat this step with the remaining sausages.
- Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Brush the sausages with a little oil on each side and then add to the pan. Lightly fry for around 7-10 minutes, turning every minute or so, until heated through.
How To Serve
If you want to serve these ‘vegetarian bratwurst’ style, then you can serve as a sandwich or vegan hot dog in a bun with mustard (lots of it!), onions, and several other options of toppings and sides.
You can also serve these veggie sausages for breakfast and brunch dishes. Such as alongside Vegan Scrambled Eggs, and with other breakfast favorites.
You could also slice and serve with salads and pasta dishes, on top of pizza, or prepare and vegan casserole dish, along with tons of other options!
How To Store
Store any leftover vegan sausages in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to six days.
I haven’t yet tried to freeze these, so I can’t guarantee results upon thawing. However, they should be freezer-friendly (just make sure that they’re steamed and not touching when being frozen).
Recipe Notes & Variations
- You can use canned beans or soak and cook dry beans, e.g. in an Instant Pot. See this method, how to cook dry beans.
- You could also experiment with the type of bean you use. I love white beans for their neutral flavor and versatility. However, kidney beans or pinto beans could also be delicious.
- Replace the walnuts with another nut or seed of your choice, i.e., sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
- You could also use breadcrumbs (regular or gluten-free) in place of the oats. Buckwheat groats should be fine too.
- Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your taste. For more spice: add some crushed chili or more cayenne pepper. More smokiness: add a few drops of liquid smoke.
- For even more of a vegan Italian sausage flavor, then you could add some sun-dried tomatoes alongside the tomato puree.
- You can also serve these as burger patties by shaping into patties. In fact, this recipe was adapted from my Vegan Black Bean Burger.
If you give this vegan sausage recipe a try, I’d love a comment and recipe rating below. Also, don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan – I love seeing your recreations.
- 1 1/2 cups (270 g) white beans from one 15 oz can, drained and rinsed (*see notes)
- 1 cup (90 g) oats (gluten-free if needed)
- 1/2 cup (60 g) walnuts (*see notes)
- 1/2 medium (60 g) onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3 chia eggs (3 tbsp ground chia seeds + 1/4 cup water)
- 1 flat tbsp tomato paste
- 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari or coconut aminos
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 3/4 tsp sea salt or less/more to taste
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 pinch of cayenne pepper or more to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds optional
- In a small bowl, mix the ground chia seeds with 1/4 cup of water and set the mixture aside for 5 minutes to thicken. Note: You can blend whole chia seeds in an electric spice/coffee grinder or blender for a few seconds if you don't have ground chia seeds.
- In the meantime, rinse the canned white beans very well in a sieve, then drain them and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Process the oats and the walnuts in a food processor or blender (use the pulse function, as they should still have some texture and not turn into fine flour).
- Add all the other ingredients to the food processor and pulse again.
- Form 6-7 sausages with your hands (I used 1/3 cup of the mixture per sausage). The mixture shouldn't be sticky, but if it is, simply add a little oat flour. Place the sausages on a large plate lined with parchment paper and put the plate into the fridge for about 20 minutes.
- Wrap each sausage in some parchment paper and tin foil and twist the ends, like a candy wrapper. Then, place in a steamer basket/pan (I used a large pot with a sieve) and steam for around 35 minutes. See step-by-step photos in the blog post. Do not throw away the tin foil and use it again in the future.
- Once cooked, you can serve immediately, pan-fry, or even grill for a crispy result!Pan-Fry: Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Brush the sausages with a little oil on each side and add them to the pan. Fry for around 7-10 minutes, turning occasionally until browned and heated through.
- Enjoy with mustard, BBQ sauce, or serve in a burger bun like a hot dog! Read the blog post to find out how you can grill them or make a vegan sausage casing.
- Beans: You can use canned beans that are already cooked or cook dry beans until soft.
- Walnuts: You can use nuts of choice or seeds like sunflower seeds.
- Chia eggs: Flax eggs (3 tbsp ground flax seeds with 1/4 cup water) should be fine too but you'll most likely need to add a little more oat flour because chia seeds absorb more water.
- Oats: You could use buckwheat groats instead of oats.
- Add a few drops of liquid smoke for a smoky flavor.
- Store leftover sausages in an airtight container in the refrigerator (up to 6 days).
- Read the blog post above for more helpful tips, serving suggestions, step-by-step photos, etc.
- Recipe adapted from my Vegan Black Bean Burger. Rice wrapper inspiration (optional method) from Nutmegnotebook
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