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Learning how to make vegan sausage using seitan is actually pretty simple. Seitan can definitely seem intimidating, but once you get in there and start trying out recipes, you'll be so happy you did! This vegan breakfast sausage is a little sweet (hey maple syrup) and a little spicy (thanks chili flakes) and a LOT delicious.
Vegan Breakfast Sausage Links
I'm the type of person that loves to jump around and try new recipes ALL THE TIME. It's rare that I actually eat the same thing over and over again...unless we are talking about mashed potatoes...or these vegan breakfast sausage links. They've been on my plate almost every single day since I perfected the recipe. Cannot get enough.
The texture is excellent, they fry up so nicely in a pan with a little oil (but you can also just eat them steamed), and the flavors are totally THERE. The best part is that my omnivore husband AND my picky 4-year-old really enjoy these.
These seitan sausages remind me a lot of Field Roast's vegan sausages, which we really like. (The Apple Sage flavor is BOMB and I love adding it to potato hash.)
What is Seitan?
Seitan, also known as "wheat meat", is made using vital wheat gluten. You might have read an article or two full of fear mongering about how unhealthy seitan is. However, unless you have a gluten allergy/intolerance, seitan is absolutely fine to eat and does have many health benefits. Making your own seitan means you can be certain that yours doesn't contain ingredients like a crap ton of sodium, MSG, artificial coloring, etc.
Health Benefits of Seitan
- Seitan is totally cholesterol-free, unlike animal products
- It is PACKED with protein (when compared to beef and chicken, it actually has more protein per calorie)
- Seitan is extremely low in fat (½ gram per serving) and contains no saturated fat
- 1 serving has 10% DV of iron
Here is the nutrition label for more information on vital wheat gluten.
Unfortunately, there really is no suitable replacement for the vital wheat gluten in this recipe to make it gluten-free. You can check out this vegan sausage patty made from pinto beans or this crumbled tempeh sausage for other ideas.
How to Make Vegan Seitan Sausage
This method is pretty basic and becomes easier the more you make it.
First, you'll need to blend together some chickpeas, veggie stock, soy sauce, and maple syrup. In separate bowl, whisk together some vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, and the seasonings (there a lot, but TRUST ME, it's worth it!) If you hate spicy foods, just leave out the chili flakes.
Combine the chickpea + stock mixture with the gluten mixture and form into a ball. Divide into 8-10 pieces and form into sausage links. Next, you'll just roll up the sausages like you would a piece of candy - with the ends twisted - in foil. Don't want aluminum foil directly touching your food? I get it. You can roll it up in parchment paper with the foil on the outside.
Next, steam for 45 minutes. They should absolutely be done at this point, but if for some reason your sausages come out gummy or stretchy - they are not cooked through and need more time.
At this point, the sausage is done. If you want to take it another step, you can fry them up with a little oil for some crispiness.
Store them in the fridge. If you want to make a double batch or know you won't eat 8 sausages within a few days, you can freeze these sausages for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave or on the stove.
Go here for more vegan breakfast ideas!
Vegan Maple Breakfast Sausage Links
- ½ cup chickpeas cooked
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten
- ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon sage
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon red pepper/chili flakes optional*
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- pinch of black pepper
- Blend together chickpeas, vegetable stock, maple syrup and soy sauce until there are no large chunks of chickpeas.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Stir in the chickpea/veggie stock mixture.
- Knead with your hands just until it forms a dough ball.
- Divide the ball into 8-10 pieces and roll into sausage links.
- Wrap the sausage links in foil and twist the ends like you would a piece of candy (think Tootsie Roll style - see photo above)
- Steam the sausages for 45 minutes.
- You can serve them just steamed, but if you want some crisp on your sausage links, fry them in a little oil.
- Store the remaining sausage links in the fridge. Or, freeze for up to 3 months.
Elle-Michelle Henry says
I had a bad experience with seitan, tried to make bacon out of it and it was grainy and over seasoned, tasted like eating a mouthful of thanksgiving spices. But this recipe is the best.I was scared of adding the sage and cloves but it was delicious!!! The texture is amazing I thought it would taste like a mouthful of rubber but it was soooo good, the chickpeas really help with the texture.And the maple syrup doesn’t make it too sweet. And isn’t over seasoned, I added some salt because I only had the fake maple syrup so I put more to increase the maple flavor.10 out of 10 would 100% make again!
Elle-Michelle Henry says
I’m about to try this right now. I already have my ingredients measured out.Was reading the comments and saw two comments about the cloves being too strong. So currently digging through my dry ingredients to take out some of the clove out. lol
Miss. Vi says
I think I over mixed this, and made them too firm. Otherwise, this was a FANTASTIC recipe!
Carol Smith says
Delicious, thank you! We add extra 1/4 cup chickpeas to make them tender, and steam them unwrapped, to cut down waste... they pulled apart just fine & are only a little oddly bent from snuggling around each other. Taste is fantastic.
I wonder if you could use an instant pot to pressure cook them instead and cut some time out of the steam?
Barbara Cohen says
This is fantastic! I made a few changes....extra spices, no fennel and about 2 tablespoons of oil. Thanks so much!
Hello! I am so excited to try your recipe! Any way I could leave the maple syrup out? Or Is it crucial for the “sausage” taste? I don’t like sweet meats, or sweet anything really unless it’s fresh fruit but I love spicy and salty. If it’s possible, do the other measurements stay the same? Thank you!!
I wouldn't say the maple syrup adds an overwhelming sweetness to this recipe, mostly just maple flavor. However, you can leave it out and add an additional 2 tablespoons of vegetable stock.
Amber Malave says
I made these but I added spinach to the blender too to sneak some extra veggies in for my son. I changed a couple of the seasonings and doubled the ones I kept. Very solid recipe with room for variations!
We LOVE these. If you are going to freeze them, do you freeze them, then brown when you are going to use them...or brown them, then freeze them?
I freeze before browning and then put them in a pan to thaw & brown.
These were very good, next time I will add more of each spice to get a really bold flavor but non the less the were delicious.
Tiffany Sonterre says
I am DYING for some vegan sausage. Do you think I could make these in patty form?
I am anxious to try your recipe, what can I substute for the Gluten, I am GF.
Unfortunately seitan cannot be made without vital wheat gluten. So sorry!
Good but a little firm for me! Can I use half cup of potatoes or should I use more chickpeas?
Hands down my favourite seitan recipe! Something went horribly wrong with the last seitan recipe I tried and I dreaded trying to eat it. It wasn't steamed in rolls like this and I wonder if that affected the texture because it was soooo gluey I felt sick chewing it! Even frying it couldn't rescue it. Perhaps it was over-mixed, as I put it all in my food processor.
Anyhow I love the spice mix in these! The more flavours the better for me. And so glad I doubled up on this recipe 🙂
Couldn’t find vital wheat gluten anywhere so I looked up how to substitute and let’s just say that a cup of flour and an egg is not an acceptable substitute (it turned out like a chewy bread texture) but it did taste good! I may play around with it a little and see if I can find a better solution but until then I’ll say if you can find the wheat gluten, then use it but if you can’t it’s probably not a good idea to try to substitute it out.
Btw sorry, meant for that to be it’s own comment not a reply to yours
Elise van Dam says
Delicious and easy!! Thanks for the recipe 🙂
I haven't made these yet but when I do I want to try to use corn husks to steam them, like how tamales are made, to cut down on the waste. The link shape might be compromised a bit, but you could compost the wraps when you're done.
Vital wheat gluten isn't readily available where I live. There are many recipes out there for seitan using flour and water but they are all pretty basic, so I was so excited when I found your recipe. Is there a way to make it using regular wheat and water? After rinsing the flour and water mixture (like all the recipes call for) I'm left with a rubbery dough that os the gluten... can I then add to it the chickpeas and spices and all the other ingredients?
Hi, Maria. I am not sure if that would work. Can you order from Amazon? That is where I usually order vital wheat gluten.
Hello again Karissa
Again, I love this recipe! I’ve used the base liquid ingredients and changed a few spices to make Italian style sausages. Total hit, some people even thought they were the Field Roast sausages! Anyways, have you done any other variations & how do you recommend going about measuring new spices? It’s not something you can try before cooking so I never know what to do. Maybe I missed it but do you have any seitan meatball recipes?
So glad you're loving them. I have not tried other variations, but I can definitely add that to my to-test list! I don't have any seitan meatballs.
Ok...well I tried Italian style and Jerk seasoning. Both came out great.
Also, I had success with making 1 roll for the breakfast sausage, steamed for 60 mins and then sliced for patties.
I guess the flavors are endless.
Thanks for all your replies!
Hello, can you sub chickpea flour instead of processing chickpeas? If so is the measurement the same?
Hi, Jenn! I have not tried it that way, but I'd recommend using about 1/4 cup of chickpea flour and a little extra veggie stock (maybe 2-3 tbsp). Let me know how it turns out!
Thanks Karissa.. I decided to use some white beans. Also the cloves are a little strong, but otherwise these tuned out great. Semi new vegetarian here, and I like to add in some vegan dishes.
LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe!!!
Instead of links, can I make 2 rolls so they can be cuts in patties? If so would the cooking time be the same?
Hey Jenn! So glad you love it! I haven't tried it that way, but I would recommend increasing the cooking time - maybe an hour instead of 45 minutes. Let me know if you try it and how it turns out!
Once they’re done steaming, do you remove them from the foil right away and store them in a container in the fridge? I’ve tried making my own seitan before, and no one ever explains the steps of what to do after they’re done steaming. I’ve left them in the foil before and they turn out mushy, but I’ve also taken them out and stored in a container and those also didn’t have a great texture.
That's a great question. I wait for them to cool a bit - probably 5-10 minutes, just so they are cool enough to handle - then remove from the foil before storing in the fridge.
Can these be frozen? If so for how long?
Yes, up to 6 months.
Doubled the recipe and made a big batch so I could share, and good thing I did because my vegan and meat eating friends couldn't get enough! In the future I might do half the amount of ground cloves (because I used freshly ground) but the flavorings take this sausage to a whole new level!
Hey Karissa! This looks delicious and I'm excited to try the recipe tonight. Do you know if I could sub the chickpeas for black beans? It's what I have on hand.
Hey! I think that would work just fine 🙂
These are amazing! Any idea the nutrition facts ?
I'd recommend plugging the ingredients into https://cronometer.com/ 🙂
These look awesome but I have a couple of questions... Do you think there is anyway to steam them without wrapping them in foil or parchment paper? I am trying to live as waste free as possible so I always try to find a substitute reusable option to disposable products. Also, do you think these would be good shaped into patties instead of links?
Thanks so much for the yummy recipes!
Hi, Katie! Another wrapping option would be cheesecloth - I haven't tested this method myself, though. And yes, they can be made into patties! They are delicious that way, too.