Suppose you are a vegetarian or just do not have sausage on hand but have a favorite recipe that calls for sausage. In that case, you may be left wondering what you could use instead.
Do you need to use a vegetarian sausage package that you buy from the store, or can you use something that you already have in your fridge instead? If there is a good substitute, how do you use it as a substitute?
Keep reading, and you will find the answer to all of those questions, and more so you can make your favorite sausage recipe without the actual sausage.
Vegetarian sausage substitute
The best vegetarian substitutes are firm tofu, chickpeas, or a veggie combination including mushrooms. Tofu is always a great option to substitute for any meat or vegetarian meat as it is fairly flavorless, so you can cook whatever flavor you want into it.
Other great substitutes include chickpeas and hearty vegetables that have protein in them and hold up well. You do not want an overly mushy vegetable as that will not give you the same effect as sausage.
You can just make some recipes without the meat, such as lasagna, but other recipes are simply not complete without the meat. If your recipe is one of those recipes, here are a few options you can try.
Read also: Vegetarian Substitute For Chicken Broth
How to cook tofu like sausage
The easiest way to cook tofu like sausage is if you are cooking a crumbled sausage rather than a sausage patty or link, but there are methods for that that we will go cover below.
For a sausage crumble, you will need extra firm tofu, some vegetable broth, and then whatever flavoring you typically put in your sausage. Tofu really takes on the taste of whatever flavor you add, so you can really do whatever you want with the taste.
You want to start by pressing the tofu, and this will get all the excess moisture out and really allow it to take on a sausage-like, crumbly texture. After the tofu is pressed, you should crumble it by hand into a bowl are you mix in your different spices.
From there, you will spread out evenly on a baking sheet and put it in an oven heated to 375 degrees for around 40 minutes. You will know that it is done when the tofu sausage crumbles are browned and drier.
If you are looking to make a sausage patty or link, you are going to start with the same general instructions. Take extra firm tofu and press the liquid out of it. Crumble it into a bowl of your already chosen spices and some flour and an egg.
After the mixture is created, roll it into small balls and flatten them out for patties or roll them into links. If your mixture is not holding, it could be because it’s too wet, so you should add more flour. After your sausage patties and links are made, cook them in a pan with butter over medium-high heat.
How to cook vegetables like sausage
You can also make sausage without any tofu. There are a couple of different vegetables that you need. First of all, you need dried mushrooms that are cooked in hot water and then chopped. Cook your green lentils in the reserved mushroom liquid.
Fry up some onion and garlic until softened. Then you will take your vegetables and your other ingredients, which include the spices that you choose, oil, bread crumbs, tomato puree, and eggs.
You can use cling wrap, parchment, or foil to give your sausage their shape. You can use this recipe to make all sorts of sausage, such as Italian sausage, breakfast sausage, or Indian style sausage.
You can store vegetarian sausage made this way and your refrigerator for up to four days, or you can choose to make enough that you want to store it in the freezer.
To freeze, you place the sausages wrapped in either cling wrap or parchment paper into a freezer bag and then place them into the freezer. They will store here for up to three months, and you can get them out and cook them as needed.
The best way to cook these sausages is to steam them for twenty minutes, though you can pan fry them after you steam them if you are looking for a more crispy outside.
How to cook chickpeas like sausage
Using chickpeas or any other kind of bean as a meat substitute is fairly common. The difference between chickpeas and some of the other options on this list is that they don’t really take a sausage shape. Rather they are just a good protein substitute that can take on the flavor of whatever recipe you are trying to make.
Chickpeas do have a certain chewiness that can mimic some meats. A great way to make sausage patty or links with chickpeas is to mash them up and blend them with bread crumbs add whatever spices you like. If you are using the chickpeas as a direct substitute for a recipe that calls for meat, replace the meat that the recipe calls for in one to one ratio.
Just like tofu, one of the great things about chickpeas is that they take on the flavor of whatever food you are making. That means if you are making an Italian dish, add Italian spices, and your chickpeas will take on that flavor. On the other hand, if you are making a Mexican dish, add Mexican spices, and your chickpeas will take on that flavor.
Some people also like to pan fry up whole chickpeas, cover them in spices, and just use them instead of whatever meat they were going to use. This gives whatever you’re eating some added crispy texture, but it definitely does not take on the form of sausage, especially if your recipe does not call for a crumble. But suppose you are willing to sacrifice having the texture of a sausage. In that case, pan-frying chickpeas whole is a really great and easy option.