These sausages are a hearty, vegetarian protein that can be added to just about any meal. They’re enjoyed straight from the grill, mixed into your favorite holiday, stuffing, or added into a tomato sauce atop spaghettini. Sausage adds a rich, salty element to all of these dishes.
For vegans and vegetarians, there are several varieties of alternatives available at the grocery store. Most fall a little short in the flavor and texture department, and many of these alternatives contain gluten, making them a no-go for anyone with celiac disease or a gluten-sensitivity.
What makes this tofu sausages recipe so delicious is the addition of red wine, creating a rich depth of flavor that you can’t find in store-bought versions. We’ve also kept it gluten-free to make it friendly to most dietary restrictions.
Fresh garlic, fennel seeds, and dried Italian spices make these vegan sausages taste like the real-deal mild Italian sausage. Still, you can experiment with ingredients to play around with the flavors.
This recipe is ready from start to finish in 30 minutes and is simple enough that even the most amateur chefs can nail it. Press your tofu while you chop and prep your veggies, add in the spices, and you’ll have some sizzling vegan sausage ready in no time.
How to make tofu sausage scramble
- 1 block firm or extra firm tofu
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- ¼ cup cheap red wine
- 2-3 tsp fresh garlic, minced
- 1.5 tsp fennel seeds, whole
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp dried basil
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika, or ¼ tsp liquid smoke
- ¾ tsp salt
- black pepper, to taste
- fresh sage, chopped
- Press your block of firm tofu in a tofu press for 15 mins.
- While you wait for the tofu to press, dice your onion and bell pepper. Mince the garlic.
- In a large-sized pan over medium heat, add and heat up 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil.
- Add the diced onion and bell pepper. Cook the vegetables for approximately 5 mins or until soft, stirring frequently.
- Remove the tofu from the press and cut into a few big pieces. Crumble all of the tofu into the pan. Cook the mixture for another 2-3 mins, stirring gently.
- Add and heat the last tablespoon of sunflower oil into the pan. Then, add in the garlic, oregano, fennel seeds, sage, basil, salt, smoked paprika, and pepper.
- Cook for an additional 2-3 mins and stir gently.
- Slowly pour the red wine into the pan. Scrape up the browned bits on the pan’s bottom, and continue cooking for another 2-3 mins.
- Preheat your oven to a medium broil. Spread the sausage mixture evenly onto a large baking sheet.
- Broil the tofu on the top rack until it’s lightly browned, stirring once. This will take approximately 8-12 mins, depending on your broiler. Keep a close eye on the tofu sausages, so they do not burn.
- Add more salt and pepper to taste, and top the tofu sausages with fresh chopped sage if desired.
Tofu sausages - FAQ
Are tofu sausages healthy?
Vegan sausages have a bad rap with health critics because of the often high salt content in the pre-packaged versions.
This homemade recipe is low in salt content and includes a serving of veggies between the bell pepper and onion. Tofu itself is a healthy, low-fat protein that is safe to eat in moderate amounts.
What is vegan sausage made of?
You can make vegan and vegetarian sausage with a few different bases. Vegan breakfast sausage and other formed sausages from the grocery are usually made from vital wheat gluten, seitan, or tofu.
We prefer to use tofu as its mild flavor takes on the taste of the herbs, spices, and other ingredients you add. Vital wheat gluten works well, but it’s a celiac-sufferer’s nightmare - it contains even more gluten than regular wheat flour.
How do you cook tofu sausages?
These sausages are first pan-fried with the veggies and spices and then followed up with a quick broil. Frying infuses the red wine and browns the ingredients, while broiling gets the tofu nice and crispy and removes its excess water.
Do you need to press the tofu?
Yes, it would be best if you pressed your tofu before you cook it. Tofu naturally has high water content, and that can lead to a soggy meal.
Press your firm tofu for 15 minutes in a tofu press. If you don’t have a press, you can press your tofu, wrapped in a towel, between two heavy plates for a minimum of 2-3 hours. You can leave the tofu pressed in plates for up to 24 hours.
What is firm tofu, and can I use another type?
Firm tofu is a pressed block of soybean curds. The curds are created from coagulating and condensing soy milk. It contains less water than silken and soft tofu, which are far too soft to be used in this recipe.
We suggest using firm tofu for this tofu sausage recipe, but you can also use extra-firm if that’s more readily available for you.
What can I use this sausage recipe for?
You can use this recipe in so many dishes, like:
- vegan stuffing
- vegan breakfast sausages
- topping for pizza
- breakfast potato hash
- topping for avocado toast
- stuffed zucchini boats
- tomato sauce with pasta
- a bowl of roasted veggies
- breakfast or Mexican wraps
Switch up the ingredients and try adding smoky barbecue flavors, like chipotle and mesquite.
You can add some heat and make these sausages for soft or hard tacos by mixing in fresh cilantro and jalapeno.
Or try a honey garlic flavor by adding real honey, a dash of ketchup, and fresh, minced garlic.
Final notes on making tofu sausages
These sausages are fun to eat for your breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
The crumble will keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 days but doesn’t freeze super well due to the tofu's water content.
The tofu will continue to release a bit of water over time, so it's best to eat up and enjoy it fresh out of the oven.