These vegan breakfast sausage is made with hearty lentils, protein-packed seitan, and flavorful spices. The perfect savory accompaniment to your vegan breakfast!
Here's a recipe that has been in the works for quite some time now. Vegan breakfast sausage took me multiple attempts, which began, sadly, on a day that I invited some friends over for brunch and promised them some amazing homemade vegan sausage.
This happens every now and then. When you promise to feed someone some experimental recipe that you're working on for a food blog, you quickly learn that backup plans are essential.
On the brunch occasion in question I tried making a breakfast style sausage out of lentils and seitan, but the result was incredibly dry and gritty. Luckily, my husband make his famous deep dish pancake that day, so a good brunch was had by all. And to be real, there's not much room for sausage when you've dining on a massive eight-serving pancake.
Anyhow, I kept at it with the vegan breakfast sausage recipe. I was pretty determined.
I realized that the trouble I was having with my previous batches of veggie sausage was in the ratio of wheat gluten to liquid. There's quite a delicate balance going on here, and what I finally ended up doing was working an adaptation from Isa Chandra's Italian Sausage Recipe.
You'll need some vital wheat gluten to get started. What's this you ask? It's the protein that's found in wheat, and it's what seitan is made from. (Learn more about that here.) You can find vital wheat gluten in powdered form at places like Whole Foods, or you can buy it online. Add some spices, cooked lentils, and a seasoned broth. Mix everything up to form a dough.
Shape your dough into a log and place it on a sheet of parchment paper or foil. Roll it up tight! Next you're going to steam it. I used a bamboo steamer, which worked great! But any steaming device that'll fit your logs will work. If you've got something small like a metal steaming basket, you'll just need to make smaller logs and perhaps steam them in batches.
Once the steaming is done, slice the logs and pan-fry your vegan breakfast sausage patties until crisp.
- You're probably going to have a few lentils fall out of your dough when you shape it into logs. Just a warning! It's totally normal.
- The sausage is freezer friendly! I like to freeze the patties before pan-frying them, and but after works too.
- Is there a way to make this sausage gluten-free? Unfortunately, not that I know of, since wheat gluten is the main ingredient. The tempeh patties used in these sandwiches have a very similar flavor profile though.
- Is there much difference in using parchment paper vs. foil? I find the foil easier to roll, but the patties made with parchment paper came out sturdier and had a denser texture.
Lentil & Seitan Sausage Patties
This vegan breakfast sausage is made with hearty lentils, protein-packed seitan, and flavorful spices. The perfect savory accompaniment to your vegan breakfast!
- 1 ¼ cups vital wheat gluten
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¾ cup cooked brown lentils, drained
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- About 2 tablespoons canola oil, or high heat oil of choice
Begin by setting up a steaming apparatus, such as a wok and bamboo steamer or a pot fitted with a steaming basket (see my tips above).
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, paprika, pepper, onion powder and thyme.
Stir the broth, soy sauce, maple syrup and garlic together in a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup.
Add the lentils to the dry mixture, then stir in the broth mixture to form a dough. Mix it up well, using your hands if needed.
Divide the dough in two and roll into two 6" logs. Wrap each log tightly in a sheet of parchment paper or foil and steam for 30 minutes.
Remove the logs from the steamer and give them a few minutes to cool.
Once they're cool enough to handle, remove the parchment paper or foil and slice the logs into about ½ inch thick slices (or your preferred thickness).
Coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil and place it over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add the sausage slices and pan-fry for about 4 minutes on each side. Cook in batches if needed. Transfer the cooked sausage patties to a paper towel-lined plate.
Makes 20-24 patties.