October 24, 2012

tempeh "sausages"

What could be better than a brunch on a Sunday morning? A vegan brunch! Usually involving standard breakfast fares like eggs, sausages, bacon, ham and quiche, brunch meals can make you feel sluggish, like you need to go right back to bed. How about making it all vegan so it won't weigh you down? Eggs can be easily replaced with scrambled tofu, cole slaw can be made with vegan mayo and tempeh sausages can be served instead of sausage links! Add some home fries and you're good to go.

Meat substitutes such as vegan sausages are now widely available at grocery stores. I don't buy them as they are highly processed and I prefer to know what I'm putting in my mouth.

Here's a recipe for made-from-scratch vegan sausages using tempeh. The texture is not quite like the real deal to be honest, but the added herbs make the flavor pretty close. Don't let the long list of ingredients overwhelm you. Small amounts of herbs and spices can be purchased from the bulk section of natural foods stores.


1 8-oz package tempeh

Herb/spice mixture
2 TBS vegan Worcestershire sauce (I make my own but you can use the one from Wizard's or replace it with shoyu.)
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp sage
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp smoky paprika
pinches of cayenne pepper

1/4 cup water or vegetable stock

1/3 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 TBS vital wheat gluten
1 TBS shoyu
1 TBS ground flax seeds 
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp brown rice syrup (or maple syrup)

safflower oil for frying

  1. Cut the tempeh into chunks. Steam for 20 minutes.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the herb/spice mixture.
  3. Place the steamed tempeh in a pan and pour half of the spice mixture along with water or vegetable stock. Cover and let it come to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and mash the tempeh with a fork.
  5. Add the test of the ingredients and the remaining spice mixture. Mix well.
  6. Form the mixture into sausages and pan fry them in shallow oil for about 3 minutes each side or until golden brown.
The sausages can also be shaped into patties and pan fried on a cast iron skillet like shown below.

Cut up into small pieces, the sausage makes a great pizza topping, too!

Enjoy and have fun!


  1. I can't wait to make these!!!!!!!! You're my hero!!

    1. Hehe, thank you, Shauna. Hope you enjoy!

  2. These are really good. I especially like to break them into chunks while they're cooking in the pan, add some gravy, and then pour it all over some grits. Yum! (Oh, and they also freeze well, so you can just pull one out of the freezer whenever you want one. I freeze them before pan frying.)