I had one veggie burger left over, and while cooking up our usual weekend brunch the next day, I was craving some sausage. So, I decided to crumble up the veggie burger and sauté it with some spices including red pepper flake, cayenne, and fennel, and it was kind of amazing. That’s when I realized a vegan sausage recipe was in the making.
I went to the drawing board, inspired by our black bean burgers. I simplified the ingredients down to the essentials, tweaked the flavors, and came out on the other side with a seriously delicious vegan sausage recipe. Wanna know how it’s done? Let’s do this!
What is Vegan Sausage Made Of?
One of my least favorite things about vegan sausage at restaurants or grocery stores is the ingredients. They often contain gluten or processed soy, which doesn’t sit well with my digestive system. So, I was excited to make a soy-free and gluten-free version that makes the most of:
- Pinto Beans
Basically, we made a vegan sausage with whole food ingredients that’s easy to digest.
How to Make Vegan Sausage
Vegan sausage can be made a variety of ways, but usually in a food processor with a combination of tofu, tempeh, or beans. It can be chopped and mixed by hand, but a food processor speeds the whole process up!
Our version is quite simple — requiring 10 whole food ingredients you likely have on hand right now — and is made in the food processor.
- Prepare and cool quinoa (or use leftover quinoa!)
- Cook beans in the oven (helps the sausage texture be less mushy)
- Cook mushrooms in coconut aminos (or tamari, which is gluten-free soy sauce)
- Pulse the quinoa and pecans (or other nut or seed)
- Add the beans, mushrooms, spices, and herbs
- Add red pepper flake (optional for heat) and a date (optional for binding / flavor balance)
- Pulse and form into patties
How to Cook Vegan Sausage
Vegan sausage can be formed into patties and baked or pan-fried (pan-frying being our favorite) or crumbled and cooked in the pan for a quicker, less fussy option.
For those who are oil-free, the patties should cook up nicely in a non-stick pan or be baked on parchment paper, although a bit of oil does go a long way in helping them brown and form a crust.
You’ll find all cooking options outlined in the recipe below!
What to Serve with Vegan Sausage
This recipe is incredibly versatile and delicious alongside simple things like cooked eggs, roasted vegetables, greens, Vegan Breakfast Potatoes, Vegan Frittatas, Vegan Scrambled Eggs, or Breakfast Salads! It would also be a delicious addition to our Vegan Breakfast Burritos and this Grilled Corn Salad with Vegan Chipotle Ranch when crumbled and pan-fried.
It would also be amazing with a fried egg or vegan scrambled egg on a breakfast sandwich! Basically, the options are endless.
We hope you love these vegan sausages! They’re:
Quick & easy to make
Customizable (swap out spices, herbs & beans!)
& Super delicious
These sausages would be the perfect thing to serve for brunch! Or, make ahead, freeze or refrigerate, and enjoy throughout the week alongside an egg or vegan egg.
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Easy Vegan Sausage (Soy- & Gluten-Free!)
Easy vegan sausage made with pinto beans, quinoa, nuts, and spices! Flavorful, comforting, and perfect for breakfast, brunch, and beyond!
- 1 cup cooked + cooled quinoa (see notes for cooking instructions)
- 1 15-ounce can pinto beans (rinsed and dried // or sub black beans)
- 2 heaping cups thinly sliced cremini or button mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp coconut aminos (or sub tamari, but start with less as it's saltier)
- 2/3 cup raw pecans (or sub other nut such as walnuts, or seed such as sunflower seeds)
- 1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper (plus more to taste)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme, rosemary, or sage (or sub half the amount in dried)
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper or red pepper flake (optional // omit for less heat)
- 1 pitted medjool date (optional // for binding — offsets the spice)
- Oil for cooking (optional)
If you haven’t done so, cook quinoa and set aside to cool (see notes for instructions).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and spread rinsed, dried beans onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake beans for ~10 minutes. They should appear dry and cracked open (when cooked this way, they do not become mushy in the sausage mix). Set aside to cool.
In the meantime, heat a medium to large cast-iron or metal skillet over medium/medium-low heat. Once hot, add the sliced mushrooms and coconut aminos and cook on medium/medium-high for about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently or until they’re browned, fragrant, and cooked down to half their original size (see photo). Set aside.
To a food processor, add quinoa and pecans and blitz/pulse into a loose meal (some texture is good — you don’t want a powder).
Next, add cooked beans, cooked mushrooms, sea salt and black pepper, garlic, fresh herbs, paprika, fennel, cayenne or pepper flake (optional), and date (optional for binding and well-balanced flavor). Pulse a few times to combine (some texture is good — you're not going for a purée).
The texture should be moldable when squeezed in your hands. If too dry, add more coconut aminos. If too wet, you can stir (not blend) in some extra quinoa. NOTE: The more you pulse / blend, the wetter the texture will become. So pulse just until combined to preserve the texture.
Taste a small amount and adjust flavor as needed, adding more cayenne pepper or red pepper flake for heat, salt to taste, coconut aminos for more depth of flavor / saltiness, or paprika for smokiness.
Form the mixture into patties (about 8 as the recipe is written) using your hands first to form into balls and then pressing to form into discs. NOTE: At this point you can arrange the sausage between layers of parchment paper if stacking and refrigerate up to 4-5 days in advance for quick + easy cooking throughout the week. After 2 days, transfer to the freezer to keep fresh.
TO COOK: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add just enough oil to coat the surface (or use a non-stick or seasoned cast iron pan) and add only as many patties as will fit comfortably in the pan. Sprinkle the tops with a bit more salt and black or red pepper. See notes for baking instructions.*
Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the underside is browned (turn down heat if browning too quickly). Then gently flip with a spatula and cook on the other side for 3-4 minutes more, or until the underside is browned.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. You can also make patties ahead of time (up to 1 month), freeze (uncooked), and thaw before cooking. Cook as instructed.
*Prep time does not include cooking and cooling quinoa. To cook quinoa: Add 1 part rinsed, drained quinoa to a small saucepan and toast for 3 minutes over medium heat. Then add slightly less than 2 parts water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 18 minutes or until water is absorbed. Then fluff with a fork, remove from the heat, and crack the lid so the quinoa can cool. (As this recipe is written, the amounts should be 1/2 cup quinoa : scant 1 cup water.)
*To bake sausages: Place patties on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F (176 C) for 15-23 minutes (will depend on preferred doneness) or until hot and slightly crispy on the outside.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.
Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 8 sausages)
- Calories: 140
- Fat: 7.4g
- Saturated fat: 0.7g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 2.3g
- Monounsaturated fat: 3.9g
- Sodium: 294mg
- Potassium: 279mg
- Carbohydrates: 15.1g
- Fiber: 3.6g
- Sugar: 1.9g
- Protein: 4.8g
- Vitamin A: 200%
- Vitamin C: 1.7%
- Calcium: 40%
- Iron: 1.3%