Spicy Italian Sausage (Vegan)

I'm not going to lie. One of the things I miss about not eating meat is barbequing. There's nothing better than sitting out in the sun with family and friends, barbequing up a whole slew of goodies. I'm sorry but slapping on a Boca burger just doesn't cut it for me and my homemade burger would fall right through the grate. So I needed to come up with something else for this summer - and boy did I find it.

I LOVE these sausages. They are a little time consuming to make considering you cook the beans (or you can buy canned and save some time), cook the vegetables, mix it all together, shape them into logs, wrap them in foil, steam them, and then put them in the refrigerator overnight to firm up. Let me tell you though, it is worth it. I have made these sausage twice now. The first time I made a small batch (one listed below) but we ate though them way too fast. So the second time I made them I tripled the batch and stuck them in the freezer. I figured if I'm going to go through all the trouble of making them, I might as well make enough to last a while.

These are delicious. The fennel seeds definitely give them that distinct sausage flavor. They hold together beautifully on the grill. We have both done them at home on the grill and in a pan, as well as bringing them to a party where the grill master there grilled them up. They neither stuck nor fell apart. I no longer feel left out at barbeques and I feel a heck of a lot healthier knowing I'm not eating mystery meat. I always, ALWAYS, got that one sausage that had cartilage in it. I've gotten it with hot dogs, too. I guess I was always the lucky winner. Thankfully, that will no longer be the case. Even though my one year of being a vegetarian was up a couple of weeks ago, I will still pass up on the burgers and sausage and instead grill up these babies.

*Sorry I don't have any amazing photos of the sausages. Every time I've made them, I've devoured them in seconds. I will update this post later with better photos but I just REALLY wanted to share this recipe with you guys.*

recipe adapted from The V Word

spice mix
  • 1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. fennel, crushed
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice

  • 2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • ¼ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups cooked or 1-15 oz. can of black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbs. sun-dried tomato paste
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 3 Tbs. of gluten-free, vegan Worcestershire Sauce
  • A few drops of Liquid Smoke
  1. Prepare spice mix in advance. Set aside.
  2. Heat a skillet with 2 tsp. of olive oil. Sauté the onions, mushrooms and garlic until softened. Set aside and let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, add the black-eyed peas and mash them up. You can use a fork, a potato masher or just get your hands in there. If you want to use a food processor, do a rough chop. You don’t want a puree. Then add the tomato paste, nutritional yeast, spice mix and brown rice flour. Mix well.
  4. Sprinkle the xanthan gum over the mixture and incorporate it well.
  5. Add the cooled veggie mixture to the bowl and mix it into the dry ingredients. Add the Worcestershire sauce to the bowl and mix it all up well. If you are using the Liquid Smoke, add it in now too.
  6. Divide the mixture into 4 parts. Shape each part into a log. Wrap the logs individually in foil and steam them for 15-20 minutes. I use a metal steamer that sits atop a large stockpot of boiling water. Let them cool. Then refrigerate for a few hours or overnight, if possible. This will help them firm up even more.
  7. When ready to use, unwrap and cook them however you desire. We cooked them on a grill pan and topped them with mustard and sautéed bell peppers and onions. Yum!

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