These fun and delicious Vegan Pigs in a Blanket are surprisingly easy to make and are the ultimate appetizer or party food. Make from scratch using my vegan sausage recipe or substitute store bought vegan meat if preferred.
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Hey Internet, when I was testing my vegan sausage recipe a few weeks ago, I accidentally grabbed too little seitan and thought… could I make vegan pigs in a blanket?
Spoiler alert, I could. And I did. I mean, you’re reading the blog post for them right now…
Not to mention, they’re pretty dang easy to make.
You can use store bought vegan meat if you’d like--can’t say I’ve seen too many vegan mini sausages but I know they exist.
You could also shortcut and use canned dough to make these, but it only takes an extra 6 or 7 minutes to make your own and it tastes soooooo much better. That’s like, quantifiably better.
Moving on from my nonsense, I highly recommend you make both from scratch. You can even make the sausages in advance. They’re just so good.
And they’re impressive, and you can show them off to your omni friends, at least I plan to.
These little vegan pigs in a blanket are the perfect party food or appetizer, even if it’s a party of 1 and you’re just playing video games or watching a movie. I’m an introvert, so that sounds kinda good lol.
Alright, let’s just roll right into the recipe. See what I did there? No? :(
What You’ll Need
So let’s start with the dough part, since it’s the fewest ingredients.
You’ll need flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and canned coconut milk. Instead of the coconut milk you could use vegan butter or vegan butter with a plant-based milk (to lower the fat), but I really like the coconut milk in this recipe.
I promise it doesn’t make the dough taste like coconut, it just enriches the dough and makes it nice and soft, making it both easier to work with and more enjoyable to eat.
Okay, next. The sausages.
This is a pretty similar recipe to my vegan sausage, only halved and I left out 1 or 2 ingredients because it just wasn’t necessary for these vegan little smokies.
The vegan sausage in my vegan pigs in a blanket is made from seitan, a vegan/vegetarian meat alternative made from vital wheat gluten. This is flour that has been stripped down to the protein of the wheat. It’s what makes this recipe so high in, you guessed it, protein!
Once mixed with liquid and the other things in this recipe, the vital wheat gluten will form a dough. Some people knead seitan dough to form it, however...
I actually don’t like to knead my seitan dough too much. Overworked seitan is rubbery and gross. Let’s not do that.
Unfortunately this recipe is not gluten-free and I do not have a substitute for the vital wheat gluten. Thus why I didn’t bother testing a gluten-free flour for the “blanket” that goes around the mini sausages later.
Standard seitan is ALMOST a complete protein, but it’s missing one of the essential amino acids: lysine.
To add lysine to make seitan a complete protein AND to add more of a tender, meaty texture, I like to blend my seitan with beans.
For this seitan sausage recipe, I used kidney beans (but any would work), mostly for color, but also for nutrients! Kidney beans are very high in antioxidants. Black beans would also work well in this recipe.
You’ll need a liquid to blend everything together.
To really make it taste like rich sausage, I highly recommend you use a vegan beef broth. My favorite is Better Than Bouillon Vegan Beef Base--which gets mixed with hot water.
The Better Than Bouillon brand is much more economical than prepared broth, tastes amazing, and lasts forever in the fridge.
Vegan beef bouillon cubes or prepared vegan beef broth will also work.
If you cannot find any of these, just use vegetable broth but you’ll need to go heavier on the other spices--you’ll need to add salt too. I recommend adding a bit of soy sauce for flavor if you use the vegetable broth.
To get that slightly tangy and smoky flavor, I recommend something a little strange: kalamata olives and their brine. This does NOT make the seitan taste like olives, but rather just gives it an extra kick of flavor.
The fat in the olives also helps the texture and mouthfeel of the seitan. Don’t worry, the food processor will blend up the olives so your seitan won’t be chunky.
Maple syrup adds a much needed sweetness to the seitan. The seitan won’t taste sweet. It just balances out the other flavors to compose a beautifully flavored mock meat.
So as far as spices, I used a combination of garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, sea salt, black pepper, and ground mustard. Like I said, flavor.
For a little spice, I also added a bit of sriracha, but this is completely optional.
I do, however, recommend the tomato paste both for color and flavor.
And that’s it! Phew. I know it sounds like a lot but it really is seriously so worth it. Please try it! And let me know if you do!
Tips for Making Vegan Pigs in a Blanket
Let’s split this into two sections. The little vegan pigs and their little vegan blankets. So cute.
Mini Vegan Sausages: Making the Seitan Dough
- Add beans, olives and brine, maple syrup, spices, tomato paste, sriracha if using, and broth (basically everything except the vital wheat gluten) to your food processor and blend until mostly smooth. Some specs of the bean skin may remain and that’s OK.
- Now add the vital wheat gluten and pulse until mostly combined.
- Add the dough to a medium bowl. Press it into one lump. If it looks a little powdery still, wet your hands and smooth the areas. Don’t knead the dough.
Rolling the Seitan Sausage
- Set up a station with prepared sheets of aluminum foil (I recommend heavy duty aluminum foil). Each sheet should be about 6” x 9”. A little less or more is fine, but I like to be able to roll the mini sausage a few times to keep it from coming apart later. This recipe makes about 32-34 sausages, so prep at least 30 sheets.
- Start by laying out your first sheet of foil and taking your first portion of seitan. Take about 1-2 tablespoons worth Using your hands, form it roughly into a mini sausage shape. I like to joke about them being the size (and shape) of my fingers, which have always been a little chunky, lol.
- Roll it up: starting at the bottom, roll the sausage and foil up, smoothing the sides as you go. Roll fairly tightly, but don’t be overly concerned about it. Now take the edges and twist them, kind of like a piece of hard candy. Fold the ends in so they stay and repeat this step with the remaining seitan.
Steam the Sausage
- In a large steamer pot or pot fitted with a steamer basket, add 1-2” of water to the bottom of the pot. Bring it to a boil without the basket part in. Place your sausages in the basket. If you have a smaller steamer basket, you may need to do two rounds of cooking. You can leave out the wrapped sausages for an hour if you do this, or throw them in the fridge for up to 24 hours. But this is one of the reasons I recommend a large steamer pot (also great for veggies, potatoes, etc.)
- When the water comes to a boil, place the steamer basket with sausages in the pot and place on a lid. Steam (at full heat) for 20 minutes.
- After the sausages have steamed, remove the pot from heat, take off the lid, and let the sausages cool for 10 minutes in the foil. They’ll settle, so this step is important. After the 10 minutes is up, remove the foil carefully. You can make the dough while they’re cooling.
Make the Blankets:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Create a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour in your canned coconut milk (using only the white part of the can, not the clear part… Try shaking the can really well before opening, then you should just be able to use whatever is in there) OR melted vegan butter (and non-dairy milk, if you prefer). Mix together with a large wooden spoon or strong spatula until the dough comes together. If it’s just too dry, add a teaspoon or two more of coconut milk. If it’s too sticky or wet, sprinkle in a tablespoon of flour and mix again.
- Add the dough lump to a lightly floured work surface and use a rolling pin to roll it into a rectangle-ish shape. It doesn’t need to be perfect, and we can re-roll dough scraps later. Make the rectangle about ⅛” thick.
- Take one your vegan mini sausages and use it to measure a guide. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut a rectangle that’s the width of your sausage, or just a hair shorter if you want the ends to poke out a little (which is what I did). If you want to make it look fancy, you can cut the strip in half lengthwise as a long triangle, then roll it up. This crescent roll look is optional though. You could also roll the sausage in the dough up until the point where the cut end meets the other side of the dough, cut it there, and pinch the ends. Then place it seam side down on a parchment paper or silicone baking mat lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining sausages, re-rolling your dough scraps if necessary.
- Optional step: Lightly brush the tops with leftover coconut milk or melted vegan butter and sprinkle just a pinch of flaky sea salt on top. Delicious! This will also help brown the tops but it’s not necessary.
If you didn’t say that in a Great British Baking Show voice, we can’t be friends. Just kidding. :)
- Bake the vegan pigs in a blanket for 14-18 minutes, until lightly browned. Switch or rotate the trays halfway through.
- You can also cook these in the air fryer! Add them to the air fryer in a single layer, leaving a little breathing space between each one. Cook at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (or 191 degrees Celsius) for 5-7 minutes.
- You can serve them warm or let them cool and store them in the fridge or freezer for later--just throw them back in the oven to crisp them up a bit!
- These can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- To freeze: Freeze them on a tray for an hour, then put them in a freezer bag and press the air out. Can freeze for up to 3 months. If you prefer to use a container, choose one that doesn’t allow a whole lot of extra air in, but doesn’t smash them together either.
More Vegan Party Food or Appetizers
Finger foods and dips are so fun, party or not. It’s hard to find vegan options for these so I started making my own! Here are a few of my favorites:
- Vegan Pierogi
- Seitan Chicken Nuggets
- Vegan Brie
- Vegan Cheddar
- Teriyaki Cauliflower Wings
- Vegan Drumsticks
- Spinach Artichoke Latkes
- Vegan Garlic Bread
- Nacho Fries / Loaded Potato Nachos
- Spinach Artichoke Dip
As always, I hope you love this recipe–I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too. I definitely got the coveted reaction from him when he first tried it: eyes closed and “Mmmmpppphhhh” while chewing. I just love that.
Well technically the first tray I burnt. But the second tray… oh that was devoured in less than 10 minutes.
These vegan pigs in a blanket are:
- Moist (sorry)
- Meaty (but without the cruelty!)
- And perfect for a party, snack, appetizer or whatever!
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!