Spicy Italian Vegetarian Sausage

Julie Julie Hasson is the author of 9 cookbooks, including 125 Best Chocolate Chip Recipes, 125 Best Chocolate Recipes, 125 Best Cupcake Recipes and 300 Best Chocolate Recipes, Vegan Diner, Vegan Pizza and Vegan Casseroles. You can visit julie at www.juliehasson.com

vegan diner   vegan pizza  Vegan Casseroles

4.9 from 11 reviews
Spicy Italian Vegetarian Sausage
Recipe type: Seitan
Cuisine: Sausage
Serves: 8 Links
This sausage recipe has become a "Must have" in our fridge at all times! Try it and you'll see what we're talking about. We want to hear about your own concoction and creations!
  • 2¼ cups vital wheat gluten
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • ¼ cup chickpea flour
  • 2 tbsp Bills Best Chik’Nish Seasoning (if using another brand which is salty, or saltier than Bill’s Best, you’ll want to greatly reduce the amount you use)
  • 2 tbsp granulated onion
  • 1 to 2 tbsp fennel seed, optional
  • 2 tsp coarsely ground pepper, preferably freshly ground
  • 2 tsp ground paprika
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes, optional
  • 1 tsp ground smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp ground allspice
  • 2¼ cups cool water*
  • 6 to 8 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  1. In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients. Whisk together the water, garlic, olive oil and soy sauce and using a fork, gently stir into the dry ingredients. Stir just until ingredients are mixed. If dough mixture is too dry, you can add another tablespoon of water or as needed.
  2. Scoop ½ cup dough mixture at a time and shape into logs. Place logs on piece of aluminum foil and roll up, twisting ends. Place sausages in steamer and steam for 30 minutes. Once sausages have cooled, remove from foil and refrigerate until ready to eat. After cooling, the sausages may feel a bit dry on the outside. Don’t worry, as they will soften and firm up considerably after chilling.
  3. Variation: You can shape the dough into little patties instead of links. If you don’t want to use aluminum foil, you can wrap the links in damp muslin or tea towel and tie ends with cotton twine.
  4. Copyright © 2008 Julie Hasson


50 Responses to “Spicy Italian Vegetarian Sausage”

  1. Maureen September 22, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

    Hi Julie, I am new to vegetarian cooking, can you explain what the English version is of the following items? Vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast flakes and Bills best chi knish seasoning. Your veg Italian sausage looks great, I look forward yo making them and would be grateful for your help. Kinds regards Maureen.

    • Julie Hasson September 22, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

      Hi Maureen! Thanks! Bill’s Chicknish is just a flavoring, so you can omit it. Here is a link to find out more about nutritional yeast flakes (which are awesome!) http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2011/10/what-the-heck-is-nutritional-yeast.html, and vital wheat gluten is the protein extracted from wheat flour. You buy it in powdered form. Here’s a link for more info on vital wheat gluten http://www.bobsredmill.com/vital-wheat-gluten.html. The sausages won’t work without the vital wheat gluten. Once it’s steamed they become very sausage-like in texture.



    • David November 26, 2014 at 8:45 am #

      Do you have a version of this recipe using TVP?

    • Phil July 12, 2015 at 2:11 pm #

      You can get gluten and nutritional yeast from amazon. I just used a little veggie stock power instead of the bills best. Just put my first lot in the steamer. Can’t wait to see how they come out!

  2. Chaven Yenketswamy October 5, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    Hi Julie,

    The local quality of vegetarian sausage has dropped over the years. I am keen to make my own product knowing their is consistency in the formulation. Is there an alternative recipe that uses whole wheat flour as a substitute for wheat gluten?

    Thank you

    Thank you

    • Julie Hasson October 5, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

      Hi Chaven,

      Unfortunately this recipe won’t work with regular wheat flour. The Vital wheat gluten has almost magical powers, and is essential to make the sausages. I wish that I could find a way to make it without the gluten, but have not figured out a way yet.



  3. Diane October 6, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

    They are in the steamer now! Wish me luck! They smell amazing….thank you!!

    • Julie Hasson October 6, 2014 at 10:26 pm #

      Good luck Diane! Let me know how you like them.


  4. dean October 21, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    This is a good technique for sietan, I switched out the spices and put ones from doner kebab in instead and shaved the sausage – worked surprisingly well

    • Julie Hasson October 23, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

      That sounds awesome Dean! If you feel like sharing it here, we’d love to see it. Thanks for letting us know!

  5. Michelle November 22, 2014 at 2:25 am #

    This vegan sausage preparation is so good and so innovative! This basic method allowed me to make vegan Andouille sausage for my blog’s recipes for Cajun gumbo and Creole jambalaya.

    One tip is that if any readers are having trouble finding chickpea flour in stores, I’ve substituted soy flour and it works fine, likely because they’re both high protein flours. Thanks again for such a great idea–vegans and omnivores alike love my sausage!

  6. Eric December 11, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

    If I omit the Bill’s Best, as you say, should I add more salt to compensate?

  7. Liv December 11, 2014 at 5:26 pm #

    This recipe looks just perfect, Julie! The thing is I don’t have access to vital wheat gluten flour where I live currently (not even online). Is there any way how to make it without it? I can make seitan from scratch, but I guess it won’t help me in this particular recipe…maybe dry it and grind it? haha I am trying to figure it out somehow, I want to make them so bad for Christmas! 🙂 Do you happen to have any tip for me by any chance? 🙂 I would be more than glad… Thank you very much, and all the best!

    • Julie Hasson January 15, 2015 at 11:43 pm #

      Thanks Liv! Unfortunately I don’t know how to make this without vital wheat gluten. One of these days I’m going to figure out how to make them without it, so they can be gluten-free.

      Sorry it took me so long to answer you. I just saw everyone’s questions.

    • Diane Kennedy February 5, 2015 at 2:46 am #

      I buy Vital Wheat Gluten from Bob’s Mill through Amazon.com. It is a good quality gluten with great results, and it is less expensive to buy it this way, particularly in the 3-package deal.

  8. jack February 1, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

    Hi Julie,
    My wife loves this recipe!
    Do you happen to know the nutritional information, calories, etc?
    Thank you!

    • Julie Hasson March 23, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

      Hi Jack! Unfortunately I don’t have the nutritional stats for the recipe. I would imagine that they are low fat and very high protein though.

    • Julie Hasson December 13, 2015 at 11:25 pm #

      Unfortunately I don’t have the nutritional info for this recipe Jack.

  9. Dwight March 4, 2015 at 4:57 pm #




    • Julie Hasson March 23, 2015 at 7:48 pm #

      Dwight I just got mine at an Asian grocery store. It was around $25.00

    • Julie Hasson December 13, 2015 at 11:26 pm #

      Hi Dwight! I found mine at a local Asian grocery store. It was very inexpensive. Maybe $35 or so.

  10. Ginger March 16, 2015 at 6:38 pm #


    I will start making these sausages today. I’m a little nervous. About the Chikn’ish seasoning, I’m not able to find it in stores. Is there an alternate seasoning that I can use? I went ahead bout a Bragg’s 24 seasoning bottle. I know you said that if we were to use a different seasoning, to put in a little bit of it into the sausage recipe.

    • Julie Hasson March 23, 2015 at 7:46 pm #

      Hi Ginger! I stopped using the Chicknish seasoning all together, as it became harder to find. You can use any seasoning you like, and then add more or less salt to taste (depending on the seasoning). We have more recipes for seating sausages and roasts on our membership side. None of them call for the Chicknish. I hope that helps!

  11. rosemary freitas March 24, 2015 at 10:26 pm #

    Hi. i love this recipe. this is the 3rd time I’ve done it. It is super. i did not have a steamer and substituted a spring form pan turned upside down in a tall pot with a vegetable steamer on top of that.

  12. Andrew May 26, 2015 at 11:31 pm #

    Just made this recipe this weekend. It is AMAZING! Thank you very much for sharing!

  13. Morgan July 9, 2015 at 3:27 am #

    Wow! It worked! This is a truly fabulous recipe. And you’re right – it’s open to infinite variations. I am so happy to have found this. Flavor and texture are superb. I did use the fennel since I love fennel seed and the flavor is spot-on to real sausage (which I admittedly miss!).

    • Julie Hasson December 13, 2015 at 11:24 pm #

      Awesome, thanks Morgan!

  14. Story Moreno July 12, 2015 at 2:33 am #


    These sausages look soooo yummy and I can’t wait to try the recipe!!! Is it possible for me to omit or minimize the use of olive oil or with this greatly impact how the sausages turn out?


    • Julie Hasson December 13, 2015 at 11:24 pm #

      Hi Story! Yes, you can omit or reduce the oil in this recipe.

  15. Ivan September 1, 2015 at 2:32 am #

    Will these hold up to the freezer? With just two of us, I don’t know how quickly we could eat eight.


    • lee September 23, 2015 at 6:48 pm #

      yes, they do.
      if you have a bag sealer you can also seal the mix in sausage shapes in boilable plastic bags (without the foil and leaving expansion room) they can then be boiled (or steamed) and they keep in the ‘fridge for ages (they were fine when eaten after a couple of weeks) – or freeze.

    • Julie Hasson December 13, 2015 at 11:23 pm #

      They will hold up fine in the freezer Ivan!

  16. Caroline Polis October 21, 2015 at 10:55 pm #

    I have a quick question. Our family stays away from foil. Is there another way to avoid the foil but still able to get the same results. Thank you for your recipe .

    • MarthaLA November 23, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

      Caroline Polis, at the end of the printed recipe, par headed ‘Variations’, she states that you can wrap the sausages in damp muslin or tea towels. Just something to hold its shape through steaming. Possibly parchment paper would serve? Or waxed paper? If you try either of the latter, I’d make sure you have enough paper to go around each link at least a couple of times or three, in case it wants to disintegrate under the steaming. A bit harder to tie off the ends though.

      • Sandra Leigh August 19, 2017 at 11:20 pm #

        Re: using parchment paper to wrap the sausages – I tried that, and it didn’t work for me. I went back to using foil. However, I never noticed the muslin recommendation until now. I think I will buy a package of muslin shop cloths, give them a good wash, and try them next time.

        Also, I am experimenting this time. I added 1/4 cup of soy milk powder to the batch that’s steaming now. I got the idea from a video on Connie’s Rawsome Kitchen (on YouTube). Connie added it to her seitan recipe, and it enriched the flavour. All my seitan has soy milk powder in it now – so why not my sausages?

        That said, this sausage recipe has been a mainstay in my kitchen since the first time I tried it. I use different seasonings pretty well every time.

  17. Salona November 14, 2015 at 1:13 am #

    Hi, thx for this recipe. My family and I are loving it. We’ve made it 4-5 times now and it turned out great every time. But now we’ve moved to india and we can’t find vital wheat gluten flour. I’ve been thinking about making my own seitan at home. Do you think it will work for this recipe ? Can I still add the chickpea flour to it? Not sure how easy the homemade seitan would be to work with. Welcome in out before I try it out. TIA

    • Julie Hasson December 13, 2015 at 11:21 pm #

      Thanks Salona! I don’t think that this particular recipe will work without vital wheat gluten.

  18. Alicia December 13, 2015 at 10:58 pm #

    These look amazing. What is the process for freezing them. Do you steam them first or freeze straight away? How long do they last for in freezer? Thanks, can’t wait to try them!

    • Julie Hasson December 13, 2015 at 11:20 pm #

      Hi Alicia! Thanks! You steam them first, let them cool completely, and then freeze them in zip top bags.

  19. Basu September 13, 2017 at 10:52 am #

    Is there something I can use instead of Nutritional Yeast

  20. Barbara Gross November 17, 2017 at 6:27 pm #

    This sausage was fabulous! Easy and best tasting I have had. Thank you so very much for sharing.

  21. Jeff Ritchie December 30, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

    Julie- I’ve been a vegetarian for nearly twenty five years. I’m so grateful to have discovered your recipe. This recipe is one of my standards. My family loves it. I’ve used this recipe as a base for other vegetarian sausages. Thank you for the joy you’ve brought to my family’s table.

    • Julie Hasson January 26, 2018 at 11:31 pm #

      Thank you so much Jeff!

  22. Phil January 31, 2018 at 8:13 pm #

    So I had a rev elation with this recipe today. I instead of sausages I cooked it as a big log wrapped in muslin in the steamer for 1hour 15 mins. Let it cool then used a very sharp knife to shave thin strips off. Fried these in a little oil to crisp one side and hay preseto, vegan donner kebab 🙂 it looks just like the real thing and tastes pretty good too


  1. Vegan Jambalaya with Sausage and Chicken - Rivels & GritsRivels and Grits - November 22, 2014

    […] Andouille sausage. The vegan sausage preparation method that Bistro Katie used is from Julie Hasson (see her Spicy Italian Vegetarian Sausage recipe) and Isa Chandra Moskowitz (see her Spicy Pinto sausage […]

  2. Day 3: Sausage and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps | - December 3, 2014

    […] something substantial. I had mushrooms sitting in the fridge as well as Julie Hasson’s delicious vegan sausages leftover from Thanksgiving. I chopped ‘em up, sweated out the mushrooms in a pan with some olive […]

  3. 26 Vegan Italian Recipes That'll Make You Say "That's a Spicy Meatball!" - Vegan Food Lover - June 23, 2015

    […] #14. Spicy Italian Vegetarian Sausage […]

  4. Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup - Letty's Kitchen - November 9, 2015

    […] No bones about it ;-), meat alternatives are processed, faux food. I think it’s worth citing the “everything in moderation” clause, and adding vegetarian soysage. If you’d prefer to make your own–try these recipes for tofu “chorizo” or vegan “sausage.” […]

Leave a Reply

Rate this recipe: