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. This 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. Add mustard (lots of it!), onions, and several other options of toppings and sides.
Some of my favorites for serving alongside vegetarian brats include German Sauerkraut, Potato Salad, and this Keto Coleslaw.
You can also serve these veggie sausages for breakfast and brunch dishes. Such as alongside Vegan Scrambled Eggs, and with other breakfast favorites.
I also often add them to a number of my favorite hearty mid-week meals, including this Vegan Mushroom Risotto, Lentil Stew with mashed potatoes, and alongside this Quinoa Pilaf with vegetables.
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 #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 tamari or soy sauce 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
- You can watch the video in the post for visual instructions.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. Make sure they aren't wet at all.
- 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. Don't over-process the mixture, or it will be mushy. The mixture shouldn't be sticky, but if it is, simply add some flour (e.g. oat flour).Tip: You could freeze the mixture for about 10 minutes, then it will be easier to shape it into sausages.
- Form 6-7 sausages with your hands (I used 1/3 cup of the mixture per sausage). 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
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically
IF YOU ARE USING PINTEREST, FEEL FREE TO PIN THE FOLLOWING PHOTO:
Is it necessary to soak walnuts or you use them dry?
No need to soak them (I didn’t). 🙂
Where do we find the post about the casing?
In the middle of the blog post. The heading is “VEGAN SAUSAGE CASING”
I”m looking forward to trying these! Have you ever made them without any nuts?
Not yet, but I definitely recommend them, as they add healthy fat and improve the taste. 🙂
We love these, my 9 year old asks for them to go with her roast dinner and as a lunch.. So good to find a healthy alternative to sausages that taste delicious.
So happy to hear this, Laura! Thanks for your feedback. 🙂
Incredible!! My husband has been making vegan wheat gluten sausages for 7+ years now and we’ve become less and less tolerant of gluten these days. I was very hopeful in finding a gluten free sausage recipe that held up to chopping and cooking in cast iron. These were perfect and exactly what I had been searching for! I used them last night to make a vegan sausage-tofu bagel cheeze toasty and it was amazing! Thanks so much! I look forward to cooking a whole lot of your recipes which I’ve bookmarked on my phone.
That’s awesome! I am so glad you like my recipes. 🙂
Namaskar beautiful, totally love you and your recipes, I’ve made a lot. now I’m trying this but I don’t eat onion not garlic and I don’t know if this is going to ruin the texture. Do you have something in mind? Thanks for you attention you are amazing, soon I’ll buy your book haha.
Could you put the mixture in pastry raw to make sausage rolls?
Haven’t tried it, so not sure. It might work.
We loved this! I want to try it again with the rice wrapper for casing. The cool thing is, this has ingredients I had on hand. I want to tinker with spices and try a chorizo style and other types. I am allergic to onions (and wheat, among other things), so I use shallots and omitted the onion powder. My husband is salt sensitive, so I used Yondu rather than the tamari and decreased salt, which personally I miss the salty stuff, but he loves it. I can see this being very easy to freeze after steaming and pulling out of freeze when you want them. I used my Ninja Foodie XL grill on air crisp, 10 minutes, turning halfway through. I prep everything before I even start a recipe ala mise en place, and it really comes together easily.
I cannot wait for your cookbook that is coming out! I am so grateful a news article highlighting the new book brought my attention to you. This is a godsend for us.
Aww, this makes me so happy, Skye! Thanks for your wonderful feedback, I am so glad you like this vegan sausage recipe.
Do you, by any chance, still have a link to the news article? Thank you dear. 🙂
Ack! I can’t find it now. It wasn’t too recent. I am having to rebuild my cookbook collection as we auctioned off/gave away just about everything we owned earlier this year; then decided to NOT go full time RVing and hunkered down. I know it intrigued me due to the gluten free, allergen free write up. Most of the vegan cookbooks I have found that are gluten free were just not that great. I have got good at substituting and reworking recipes. We had been vegan for years, then stopped due to life stresses losing our son and grandsons earlier this year. Now that I feel better mentally, I have the where-with-all to start back cooking. I am a gourmet cook who is an older very fit athlete. It just was easier and far more detrimental to live off of charcuterie boards all summer. But the ship has been turned around! I will keep looking for it.
Aww, no worries, Skye! Thanks for replying. 🙂
Hi, I was wondering, do these sausages have a similar texture to actual meat sausages?
Maybe slightly similar, but definitely not identical. There is no saitan (gluten) which would slightly mimic the texture.
i make these all the time.
thank you..they are delicious.
5 stars not 4 my fingers do not work!
Thank you very much for your great feedback, Anne. 🙂
I made the sausage just now and OMG OMG OMG 😊
It is perfect: holding shape, firm, and soo tasty! I am in love.
Thank you for the recipe!
I made 2 batches, one for steaming and one in the oven. Both turned out perfect, but the oven is more convenient for me, so I will use it.
Thanks again, I am in loooove
That’s awesome, Zsuzsanna! So glad they turned out delicious, both ways. Thanks for your helpful feedback. 🙂
I have made these multiple times and have now invested in a silicon sausage mold which I use in the oven instead of steaming with great results. I’ve even rolled the raw mixture in puff pastry and made sausage rolls with them which were a huge hit.
I have one question about the chia eggs though, when I put the 1/4 cup in water in with the 3 tablespoons of ground chia seeds the mix set’s like concrete almost immediately and is very hard to mix thoroughly.
I have just made your granola bars which uses 1 tabsp of ground chia to 3 tablespoons of water and the consistency was perfect.
Would the sausages work with just the one tablespoon of chia? Or am I mixing something wrong?
Thanks for sharing all these great recipes.
Hi Michelle, I think 1 Tbsp isn’t enough. But you could use a little more water. 🙂
If I want to prepare the sausages for a bbq, would I freeze them after steaming?
Yes, I would do it after steaming.
Thank you Ela!
I did as suggested and froze the steamed sausages after they cooled down completely. Then I thawed the sausages a few hours at room temperature before pan frying.
Turned out great!
Yay, happy to hear. Thanks for getting back! 🙂
I’m looking forward to trying this recipe! I was wondering if the sausages could be frozen?
Yes, they can. 🙂
These look delicious. I might experiment with the seasoning maybe making a country breakfast sausage using sage, cayenne, fennel, black pepper, coriander & crushed red pepper flakes. My mouth is already watering.
Sounds great, Lois, I hope you will like them! Enjoy! 🙂
I made it numerous of times. I wrap them in chickpea flour tortillas (your recipe). Heaven! Very filling.
Hi Stephen, that’s such a great idea! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Hi Ela, Do you know if it would work with real eggs. We eat eggs out of our backyard =) Thanks!
Hi Amber, I am not sure, since I don’t eat eggs. You would need to experiment. 🙂
Tasty sausages but isn’t there a way not to use resources such as the foil and grease proof paper?
Hi David, maybe you will find this comment from “Sabine” helpful:
If you want other options that’s on you. So kind of her to point out an option for you.
Thank you, Thyme. 🙂
Yes! So kind of her. You deserve our gratitude and thanks Ela. 💛 Your recipes are delicious and so helpful as I switch out old ways of eating. Love, Debra
You are so sweet, Debra! Thanks for your kind comment. 🙂
Hello! We don’t steam anything and don’t have any way to steam things.. Could this be done without steaming some other way like in the oven? Thanks 🙂
Hi, I don’t have a steamer either. I cooked them in a large pot with a sieve and lid on. You can see it in the step-by-step photos and in the video.
I love this recipe. Thank you. I steam them in my instant pot
So good to hear! 🙂