No matter how much you might love or hate it, vegan meat replacements are on the rise. 10 years ago, we had the option between a dry veggie burger made from beans or the delight that is a nut roast but everything has changed over recent years…
Amongst the amazing creations, vegan sausages stand out as something pretty revolutionary for vegans. Gone are the vegetable-stuffed sausages to make room for vegan sausages that taste like meat sausages!
What is a vegan sausage?
A vegan sausage is a plant-based alternative to a meat-based sausage. It’s designed to mimic the taste, texture, and appearance of the traditional sausage without the cruelty.
Most vegan sausages derive their protein from soy, seitan, legumes, mushrooms, and peas and add a variety of herbs, spices, and seasonings including garlic, onion, fennel, and paprika.
What makes a good vegan sausage?
What makes a good vegan sausage is subjective to the person who eats it. However, it generally needs to ensure that it meets the expectations of those seeking vegan alternatives and stands out. Some vegans love it when their vegan sausage alternative tastes authentic, while on the other hand, it freaks others out.
Taste and texture
Generally, a vegan sausage alternative should provide an authentic flavor that confirms that vegans don’t miss out on good food. This can be done with a good balance of seasonings, herbs, and spices.
Potential health benefits
While vegan sausages aren’t whole foods and are not 100% healthy, they are healthier than traditional meat sausages. Vegan sausages typically contain little to no saturated fat and no cholesterol. A diet that is low in these two factors is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Vegan sausages also have a higher fiber content from legumes, whole grains, and vegetables. This can help improve digestion, keep you fuller for longer, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Some vegan sausages are even fortified with essential nutrients such as vitamin B12, iron, and zinc. These are crucial for many things including metabolism, immune function, and red blood cell formation.
Choosing vegan options in general is a big part of a more sustainable and planet-friendly diet. Vegan alternatives often have a lower carbon footprint compared to meat production. On top of this, no animal is dying for the sausage!
Common ingredients in vegan sausages
Typically, vegan sausages contain a plant protein which is usually soy, wheat gluten (seitan), lentils, or black beans.
Onions, garlic, and mushrooms are all commonly used in vegan sausages to enhance the flavor and texture. Mushrooms are actually the reason why a lot of them have a meaty texture!
Herbs and spices
The chosen herbs and spices are what usually make or break a vegan sausage. Fennel seeds, paprika, thyme, rosemary, sage, and black pepper are commonly used.
What vegan sausages are available on the market?
As the demand for vegan products continues to increase, the market for vegan sausages has boomed! Well-known brands like Beyond Meat, Tofurky, and Field Roast have all become household names, offering unique twists on their version of a plant-based sausage.
While Beyond Meat is known for its innovative plant-based meat that provides a huge resemblance to traditional meat, other brands like Field Roast focus on artisanal sausages that embrace bold flavors.
Beyond Sausage – Hot Italian
Beyond Meat has been running the meat replacement game for many years now, with their Beyond Burger starting it all… The Beyond Sausage – Hot Italian has 40% less fat than a leading brand of pork sausage, and 0mg cholesterol with no added hormones or antibiotics. Each serving is 180 calories, 11g fat and 16g protein.
Tofurky Italian Sausage
Much like Beyond, Tofurky makes incredible meat substitutes that have changed the game for vegans and vegan-curious folk… Add this Italian sausage to your pasta, or pizzas, or slice it into sandwiches! Each serving is 270 calories, 15g fat and 24g protein.
Field Roast Sausage
Field Roast Sausages are crafted with eggplant and seasoned with zesty garlic and fennel, creating bold flavor profiles that replicate traditional sausage. Enjoy these sausages straight off the grill, or crumbled into sauces, pastas, and scrambles. Each serving is 220 calories, 8g fat, and 25g protein.
Plant Boss Organic Italian Plant Sausage
With the perfect blend of organic seasonings including garlic, black pepper, and fennel, these meatless sausage crumbles can be used on pizza, in soups, and pasta dishes. They’re made with yellow peas, which means people who are soy-free can enjoy these too! Each serving is 90 calories, 1.5g fat and 15g protein.
Made from wheat-gluten (seitan) and seasoned with the perfect blend of spices, this makes the perfect addition to your cooked breakfast. Gardein doesn’t use hydrogenated fats, high fructose, or synthetic nitrates or nitrates. Each serving is 170 calories, 10g fat and 13g protein.
What can you use vegan sausage for?
Vegan sausage is extremely versatile and can be used in many meals and snacks!
- Pizza Toppings – Sliced vegan sausage can add a lot of flavor and texture to a boring frozen pizza, or even a homemade one.
- Pan frying or grilling – Doing so will cook them while adding a crispy exterior. Enjoy them with anything, especially creamy mashed potato.
- Breakfast – Add to classic recipes like a cooked breakfast alongside a tofu scramble or breakfast burritos.
- In pasta and other dishes – Sliced or crumbled vegan sausages can be a huge addition to dishes like pasta and casseroles.
From delicious Italian-style vegan sausages from Tofurky to breakfast sausages from Gardein, the possibilities are endless when it comes to taste, texture, and ethics. Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or someone who’s simply intrigued by the lifestyle, now you have your complete guide to vegan sausage brands and where to find the best out there!