05 October 2011

Gluten-Free Vegan Sausages -- From Scratch!! Toddler friendly! Tasty!

I have posted a little about making vegan sausages from scratch before, and I thought I ought to share my gluten-free method, as well.  I'll start with the method (no measurements) and follow with the simplified version (with measurements).  It's pretty easy once you get your head around it.  My toddlers are craaazy about these.

The first thing you need is (cooked) beans.  You want something like white beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, navy beans, pinto beans, or black beans.  You could probably do lentils, too.  The first thing you do is mash those suckers up.  Once they're good and mashed, add your herbs and spices.  There are plenty of websites full of loads of information on different flavour conbinations for veggie sausages, but I use ground fennel seeds, sage, thyme, pepper, paprika, a dash of cayenne, a glob of prepared mustard (make sure it's GF), some shredded onion, and some minced garlic.  You should also stir in some cornstarch, oil (this is optional, but it does improve the texture), and salt and/or tamari (wheat-free soy sauce).  Might I suggest some lemon juice?  A few drops of Worcestershire sauce? —Yes, there are vegan versions!  I use LIFE brand.

This is also the appropriate time to add extras, like cashew butter or tahini, nutritional yeast or brewer's yeast, mushed up broccoli or cauliflower, ground [flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds], etc.  They bulk-up your sausages, as well as adding nutrition and flavour.

I taste a nibble now and then or else I get the hose again to make sure I have the seasonings right.

If you want your sausages to have a bit of a texture to them (rather than 'smooth'), it's cool to stir in some cooked millet, too.  Millet really gives the sausages a great texture.

Now you want to stir in some rice flour.  Adding a few tbsp buckwheat flour is cool, too, but don't over-do it with the buckwheat.  You want the final texture to be kind of a wet dough (rather than a stiff dough or runny batter).  Go for the wettest you can without having the dough stick too much to the sides of the bowl.

Are you the kind of person who likes measurements, rather than a method?  Okay, try this:
1.5 c mashed beans, 1 c rice flour (or 3/4 c rice flour and 1/4 c buckwheat flour), 1/4 c cooked millet, juice 1/2 lemon, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 c finely diced onion, 1 minced garlic clove, 4 tbsp nutritional yeast (or 4 tbsp brewer's yeast or anywhere in between), 1-2 tbsps cornstarch, 1 tsp ground fennel seeds, 1 tsp sage, 1/4 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp paprika, a pinch of cayenne pepper, 1 tbsp prepared mustard, salt and pepper to taste.
Okay, now that you have your dough,  roll it into links (you know, sausage shapes -- they don't have to be perfect -- and if your dough is too sticky to roll, use a spoon and kind of smoosh/scoop into a sausage shape), wrap in foil (twist up the ends like a Tootsie Roll), and steam for about 40 minutes. For the record, I totally nicked the bean-sausage idea from here: http://www.theppk.com/2011/05/smoky-maple-sausages/
If you don't fancy steamin' your weenies,* you can broil them or just shape them into patties and fry them in a little oil. 

I am trying to come up with a way to make these without using aluminium foil.  I read in an old cookbook you can pack the dough into an old tin can and steam those, although that seems a little weird.  Does anybody have any ideas?  (I tried baking parchment, but everything got too mushy.  I am also trying to avoid using plastic.)

*  Steamin' Weenies would make a great band name.


  1. I love methods but REALLY appreciate the ingredient suggestions, too. I can't wait to try these!

  2. gluten free sausages??? i will so try these - thanks!!!

  3. Oooh. Bean-based sausages? How wonderful! "Sausage" is one of the only foods my 2 year old will reliably eat at home now and while he's fine with gluten, I'd just like him to be eating a little more variety... so definitely bookmarking this to try it out.

    Could you wrap the sausages in cheesecloth? It wouldn't keep as much heat in as tin foil but would still help them keep shape while cooking.

  4. These sound fantastic! Love making sausages but I always include gluten flour so this sounds perfect for when my gluten flour supply runs out or if I am in the mood for something healthier. Bookmarked!

  5. these look great! i'm not GF, but i'm incredibly intrigued. pinning this for later.

  6. Corrinadarling, I'm not GF, either, but I have some friends who are. (And I try to eat a wide variety of grains.)

    Mel, I totally made these because most veggie sausage recipes seem to include vital wheat gluten, which I totally could not find anywhere for years (until a fortnight ago, actually).

    Coldandsleepy, I think cheesecloth would work if I broiled them instead of steaming them, although they would probably get too mushy if I steamed them in cheesecloth.
    Also, re. 2 year olds, you can sneak all kinds of stuff into these sausages. I've even made them with shredded carrot and seaweed. I bet they would be nice with mashed parsnip in them, too, although my husband is super anti-parsnip.

    Also, I bet you could make these with polenta or grits instead of rice flour.

  7. I love sausages but am not such a fan of seitan so this is a great alternative - and I appreciate the measurements - I usually change them but it just helps me know I am on the right track.

  8. Maybe using corn husks would work.

  9. Yum. I added turmeric for the spices as I didn't have any fennel. I used lentils and millet grits.
    I used Xanthan gum instead of corn starch as my hubby tries to stay away from corn products.

    We fried these in a little oil in the patty form, and on bread with sauerkraut and mustard- my fave.
    Thanks for this!

  10. Update! I started making bigger versions of the sausages and steaming them in muslin/cheesecloth. So now I don't have to use aluminium foil. :D

  11. I have intended to make these more times that I remember but I finally made a version of them for Vegan MoFo - loved them - tried chickpea flour but wasn't keen - quinoa flour worked well and psyllium husks were good in them - thanks for a great recipe

  12. Just an FYI. Prepared mustard is not gluten free!

    1. Oh! I was under the impression it depended on the brand and their ingredients. I've seen some labeled 'gluten-free' and some that have the 'may contain gluten' on them.

    2. I edited this to note that the prepared mustard should be GF.