Going vegan does not mean having to give up eating sausage. Vegan brands are delicious, satisfying, and widely available. Unlike meat-based sausage, these products are free of animal cruelty, nitrates, and large amounts of saturated fat. But you won’t miss out on the familiar flavors, textures, and satisfaction of eating a heavier protein-rich food.
Next to veggie burgers, sausages are probably the most popular kind of vegan meat. Just as meat-based sausages come in an endless variety of forms, you can find vegan versions of all the most popular varieties. As with meat-based sausage, textures and spices vary dramatically from one vegan brand to the next.
Meat-based or vegan, sausages take three forms:
- Most of the time they’re in an edible casing—a hot dog is the classic example. These sorts of sausages are often called links.
- Breakfast-style sausage are small patties that are fried up on each side, usually served with potatoes, pancakes, or eggs.
- Some sausage is removed from its casing prior to cooking. This style is most commonly used as a pizza topping. Mexican chorizo is another popular style of sausage eaten without its casing.
Any good natural foods store will stock all of these varieties. Links are often sold in the refrigerated section near the cheese, while breakfast sausage typically in the frozen section.
Since processed meats like sausage are strongly associated with increased risk of cancer, vegan alternatives are a fantastic choice for vegans and meat lovers alike.
Vegan Sausage Brands
Here are some top brands that are widely available in North America:
- Beyond Meat: Beyond Sausage (six varieties of links & breakfast style)
- BirdsEye: Green Cuisine Meat-Free Sausages (UK only)
- Field Roast: Sausages (five varieties)
- Frieda’s: Soyrizo (Also sold by Trader Joe’s, branded as, “Soy Chorizo”)
- Lightlife: Gimme Lean Sausage
- Meatless Farm: Breakfast Sausages & Sausage Patties
- Pure Farmland: Breakfast Patties
- Tofurky: (five varieties)
You may also be able to find locally-made offerings, thanks to the fact that vegan butcher shops are cropping up in cities all over the world. Every self-respecting vegan butcher sells sausage.
In mid-2019, Little Caesar’s introduced pizza topped with Impossible Foods’ Beyond Sausage. You can count on other top chains following suit before long.
You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make a totally plant-based sausage from scratch that delivers meaty, spicy flavors. There are a ton of these recipes on the web. Here are a few of the best:
- Karissa’s Baked Breakfast Sausage Patties
- Beyond Meat’s Beefy Lentil Breakfast Sausage
- Seitan Based Breakfast Sausages
- Walnut/Mushroom/Miso Easy Sausages
Vegan sausage recipes lend themselves well to experimentation, so dial up the spices if you’re a fan of hot food, and experiment with various cooking methods from pan-frying to steaming to oven-roasting. Serve them alongside pancakes or hash-browns, or slice them up and add to your favorite tofu scramble recipe.
Sausages are of course only the start of your meaty vegan options, and there’s plenty more where that came from. Head on over to our vegan meats page for additional ideas.