This delicious vegan tofu sausage crumbles recipe will quell your sausage cravings with bites of savory satisfaction.
Once you learn how to make this easy combination of crumbled tofu, wet ingredients, and spices, you'll be whipping up vegan sausage quickly - and often.
This post contains helpful tips and tricks to ensure success on your first attempt. Below, you'll find a handy table of contents with links. But if you're in a rush, please use the link at the top to jump to the recipe card at the end!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Tofu is the perfect palate for sausage crumbles because it takes on any flavor you give it.
- Marinate tofu for as little as 30 minutes or overnight.
- Unlike commercial vegan sausage, there is no added oil or additives.
- There's no need for a binder like vital wheat gluten or chickpea flour, so it's easily gluten-free.
Ingredients, Notes, and Substitutions
Tofu. Firm or extra-firm tofu works best for this recipe. Silken tofu won't crumble or retain enough texture for tofu crumbles.
Tahini. Tahini adds natural fat and makes smooth and binding marinade. Be sure your brand of tahini doesn't add oil during processing (yes, this is a thing). It's easy to make your own sesame seeds tahini paste.
Soy sauce. The umami flavor of soy sauce is heads above adding salt. Use Tamari for a gluten-free option.
Nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast, ‘nooch' adds savory flavor plus B12. You can omit it or check out my nutritional yeast substitutes.
Fennel seeds. Fennel is a classic sausage flavor. Look for fennel seeds at the grocery store or substitute with 1 teaspoon of ground fennel. The closest substitutions for fennel are anise or caraway.
Italian seasoning. Use your favorite Italian herb mix with an added teaspoon of oregano. You can also add a pinch of sage or marjoram if you want more of those flavors pronounced in your sausage.
Smoked paprika. Smoky, peppery flavor. You can also use a combination of sweet paprika and liquid smoke. Chipotle chili powder is another option.
Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions.
- You can also make vegan sausage crumbles using simmered tempeh crumbles. Other options include soy crumbles (TVP) or soy curls.
- Add a teaspoon of maple syrup for a sweeter breakfast sausage.
Step 1: Press the block of tofu for 15 minutes while you gather the rest of the ingredients.
Step 2: Mix the marinade ingredients in a medium bowl.
Step 3: Crumble the tofu into the marinade bowl.
Step 4: Use your hands to massage the crumbled tofu with the marinade.
Step 5: Marinate tofu for 30 minutes or longer.
Step 6: Bake crumbles on a lined baking sheet until brown and slightly crispy.
- Pressing the block of tofu removes excess water that dilutes the flavor of the sausage. It also helps tofu firm and crisp.
- Use parchment paper or a silicon mat to line the baking tray. This keeps the tofu from sticking to the tray, making it easier to toss as it bakes.
- Baking is my preferred method for cooking sausage crumbles; however, you can pan-fry them using a non-stick pan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Store baked sausage crumbles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Yes! Bake sausage crumbles, then let them cool to room temperature. Place them in a freezer bag or airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator, then separate them. Reheat on the stovetop or in the oven if you want them firmer.
It's best practice to cover marinating tofu and pop it in the refrigerator. Covering tofu ensures that other odors won't influence it in the refrigerator. Place marinating tofu where it won't get super cold. You want it to absorb as much marinade as possible.
Do you have a question or recipe request or need a cooking tip? Leave a comment below or contact Denise. I’m here to help! If you want more healthy vegan recipes, please subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on Facebook or Pinterest for the latest updates.
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Vegan Tofu Sausage Crumbles
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- 16 ounces firm tofu
- 4 tablespoons tahini
- ¼ cup soy sauce - or tamari for gluten-free
- 2 tablespoons vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds - 1 teaspoon ground
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper - more for spicer sausage
- Press the tofu using a conventional tofu press. Alternatively, wrap the block in paper towels and put it between two flat surfaces and with something heavy on top to weigh it down. Press for 15 minutes.
- Combine the rest of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk so the marinade is smooth.
- Crumble the tofu into small pieces adding it to the marinade bowl.
- Use your hands to massage the marinade into the tofu and break up any large pieces.
- Cover the bowl and marinate the tofu for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Spread the tofu in a single layer over the baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix the tofu so it cooks evenly on all sides. Bake for another 15-20 minutes until the crumbles are brown and slightly crispy.
- The nutritional value is based on 4 servings. This will vary depending on how you use the crumbles.
- Tofu is recommended for this recipe; however, you can use crumbled tempeh, TVP (textured vegetable protein), or soy crumbles.
- Marinate the tofu for up to 2 days before baking them.
- Baked sausage crumbles can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for 3 months.
- Add a little liquid smoke if you want smoky sausage or maple syrup for a breakfast sausage vibe.
Nutritional information is an estimation only.