Chewy, smoky, and a little spicy, these Vegan Sausage Crumbles are made from TOFU and are so versatile yet incredibly easy to make. They’re gluten-free, sugar-free, nut-free, and, of course, utterly delicious.
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Hey Internet, I have a confession to make. I already have a vegan sausage recipe.
BUT, that’s seitan. And it’s delicious, but I’m not going to lie that there’s a little labor involved.
If you want to grill that sausage and throw it on a bun or in some pasta, it’s definitely worth it.
But if you’re looking for a simpler process--or if you need gluten-free vegan sausage, I’ve got a new recipe for you today that you might love.
I mean the flavor here is just so spot on and delicious! And did I mention it’s easy to make?
Really, it is. Basically all you have to do is crumble the tofu, make the sauce in a bowl with a fork or whisk, combine them, and then bake the crumbles in the oven until they’re nice and chewy. That’s really it.
Now keep in mind that these are just crumbles. If you need whole sausages, I bet you probably could bind these together with a vegan egg replacer and stuff them in some vegan sausage casing… but I haven’t tried it. Though I should--and I’ll update this post when I do.
How to Use Tofu Sausage Crumbles
Anyway, there’s so many different ways you could use these vegan sausage crumbles. I’m publishing this post so I can use it in future recipes, but the reason I even created it now is that I featured in my new soup: Vegan Zuppa Toscana. Now that’s what I call zesty.
You could also use them in a plant based omelette, in pasta (like this vegan ragu or vegan baked ziti), with some air-fried potatoes and tofu scramble for a delish breakfast, or even biscuits and gravy (coming soon!)
They’d also be great instead of the tempeh in my vegan sausage stuffing.
I bet they’d be an awesome addition to my kale potato au gratin or any vegan breakfast skillet (coming soon!).
ANYWAY, let’s get into the recipe.
What You’ll Need
- Super firm tofu: I’m talking about the kind vacuum sealed in plastic, not in the plastic tub filled with water. If that’s what you got, I highly recommend using a tofu press or wrapping it in paper towels and pressing it with heavy objects on top for 20-30 minutes. You want the tofu to be super dry so it can absorb those flavors but also so it won’t be soggy. You can also use this method with TVP (just rehydrate it with broth first), crumbled tempeh, or the bits at the bottom of a bag of soy curls (no waste, lol).
- Soy sauce or gluten-free tamari: This adds some meaty flavor and much needed saltiness. I used the reduced sodium version, but you can use what you have. Soy sauce or gluten-free tamari will both work.
- Neutral flavored oil: This is to make the sausage taste rich and get somewhat chewy in the oven. If you are oil-free you can omit it, but you may have to cook the tofu sausage longer to get the desired texture.
- Nutritional yeast: Don’t skip it unless you don’t have it--adds nice savory flavor but the nutritional yeast flavor isn’t strong or dominant.
- Spices: I used the following spices to get a really sausage-like flavor: fresh ground fennel, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, fresh cracked black pepper, and a bit of cayenne pepper (ground red chili flakes are good too).
A Note on Equipment
If you don’t have a spice grinder I highly recommend one to grind the fennel. It can be a crappy texture to get a large fennel seed in your mouth when eating the vegan sausage crumbles.
Alternatively, you can use a mortar and pestle, but it took a while for even Paul to get it finely ground enough.
A half sheet pan is a great size to spread out the crumbles.
I recommend lining your pan with either a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. The silicone mat seems to work particularly well browning the sausage and giving it a nice texture. You can even roll it into a funnel to transfer the sausage to a bowl or a pot or wherever it’s going.
If you don’t have either of these, make sure to spray or wipe the pan well with oil to keep the tofu from sticking--it tends to do that.
How to Make Vegan Sausage Crumbles From Tofu
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius). Line your baking tray with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. I find that the silicone mat works a little better in browning the tofu and creating that somewhat chewy texture, but either will work. If you don’t have either, oil the pan well because tofu tends to stick.
- Mix the soy sauce or gluten-free tamari and oil in a bowl or measuring cup with a small whisk or a fork. Then add the nutritional yeast and spices and mix again.
- Crumble your tofu into a large bowl. You don’t want to make the crumbles too small, but not too large either. Keep in mind that when you stir the sauce in, you’ll probably break up the largest clumps.
- Stir the sauce into the crumbles using a spatula or a spoon. Make sure it’s well mixed.
- Spread out the crumbles in a single even layer on the lined baking tray. Try to spread out the mixture as much as possible.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, stirring and rotating the pan halfway through. If you want it even chewier, lower the heat to 375 Fahrenheit (191 degrees Celsius) and bake until desired texture is reached.
- Let cool completely on the pan, it will dry out a little more.
- The tofu sausage crumbles are best when used in something immediately, but you can also refrigerate it for about 2-3 days in an airtight container (I recommend sticking a paper towel in there to absorb a bit of the moisture. Reheat in the oven or in a skillet, preferably not the microwave. It does seem to hold up in a soup.
More Gluten-Free Meat Alternatives
Don’t get me wrong, I love making seitan. But I also know some of you can’t eat it or prefer not to. So here’s some of my other meat alternative recipes, sans gluten.
- Vegan Chorizo
- Vegan Bacon Bits
- Portobello Bacon
- Vegan Shredded Chicken
- Vegan Meatballs
- Portobello Steaks
- Meatless Crumbles (substitute for ground beef)
As always, I hope you love this recipe–I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too. He kept snacking on it while we were trying to take photos.
This vegan sausage is:
- A little spicy (omit cayenne if you don’t want it to be spicy)
- Moist (sorry)
- Protein packed
- And perfect for a variety of applications, especially breakfast related.
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!