Tofu sausage crumbles bake in the oven without oil for savory, spicy vegan sausage flavor bombs ready to dress everything from pizzas to stews.
Delicious, additive-free, and oil-free vegan sausage crumbles not possible? Oh, ye of little faith. I’m here to dispel that rumor here and now!
The secret of great-tasting sausage is the same, no matter if it’s made from tofu, tempeh, textured vegetable protein, or some unspeakable products.
The secret? It’s all in the flavors, and more specifically, the spices.
You probably have most of the spices you’ll need for sausage crumbles hanging around in your spice cabinet. Or perhaps lingering in the back of a cupboard. There are a few things to consider if you make tweaks.
If you use onion or garlic salt rather than powder, be sure to use a low salt veggie broth.
Smoked paprika gives tofu sausage a better depth of flavor than regular paprika. I made a pinch of cayenne pepper optional because I like using hot smoked paprika. You may want to use both.
Italian herb blends are at the mercy of the maker. The jar I pulled off the shelf has oregano, basil, red bell pepper, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, sage, and parsley. Then, I added an extra dose of oregano. My point is that you want 2 teaspoons of this herby mixture. You can tweak, add a pinch of any of these combinations. You don’t need an official bottle of Italian blend for this recipe.
Fennel might be the spice that causes you a pause. It’s one of those spices that I use 'know' I have but can't ever find when I need it. But I persist because the sweet, subtle licorice flavor of fennel is a sausage essential.
Fennel seeds add a bit of texture and flavor, but it isn’t as concentrated as the ground stuff. If you substitute with ground fennel, add half as much. The closest substitutions for fennel are anise or caraway.
The final dry ingredient isn’t an herb or spice. It's nutritional yeast. It adds a savory, somewhat cheesy flavor. And heck, an extra bit of B12 is always a good thing. Right? (https://veganhealth.org/vitamin-b12-vegan-sources/)
Add few turns of ground black pepper. The dry ingredients are ready. Let’s get our sausage-making on!
Tips for making sausage crumbles
- Dry tofu crumbles better. Press the tofu first. Use a tofu press or place the tofu on a plate with something flat and something heavy on top. The idea is to get out excess moisture. Since we’re ultimately crumbling the tofu, try cutting the tofu into quarters before pressing. That gets more moisture out of the middle of the block.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in one small bowl. Add them after you mix all the wet ingredients. Resist adding more liquid until you crumble the tofu.
- Since your hands will be covered with tofu, the quickest way to mix your sausage is with your hands. Do this gently.
- Resting builds strength. The longer you let the tofu sit with the rest of the ingredients, the more of the flavor that it takes on. You can even leave it for up to 2 days, covered in the fridge.
- Baking is my preference for tofu sausage crumbles. Although it takes a bit longer than frying, baking builds better flavor and results in firmer tofu pieces. Use a baking mat or parchment paper, and be sure to toss the crumbles a few times along the way.
Yes! Bake them first, let them cook, then add them to a freeze bag or container. They will keep for 3 months.
If you prefer, try using tempeh crumbles. If you use soy crumbles or TVP (textured vegetable protein), be sure they are rehydrated before you use them.
This is one time when you can use the phrase ‘how the sausage gets made’ toward the positive. Admit it – it’s kind of fun to dig your hand in a bowl of crumbled tofu. Ok, not as fun as eating the baked result. And although you probably had something in mind when you decided to make sausage crumbles, I'll just plant one thought – quinoa pizza crust. Enough said. Peace.Print
tofu sausage crumbles
Tofu sausage crumbles bake in the oven without oil for savory, spicy vegan sausage flavor bombs to add to your favorite recipes.
- Prep Time: 60 minutes (mostly inactive)
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Essential Ingredients
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 large block of firm tofu (16 oz./454 gm.)
- 4 heaping Tbsp. tahini
- ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp. onion powder
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. Italian herb blend
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 2 tsp. fennel seeds (1 tsp. ground)
- ½ tsp. of ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (or more)
- Press the tofu before crumbling. Cut it into quarters and use a tofu press. You can also place it between two flat surfaces and put something heavy on top to weigh it down. Press for 20 minutes. Drain off excess moisture before crumbling it.
- In a small bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In a larger bowl, combine the tahini, soy sauce, and vegetable broth. Mix until smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.
- Crumble the tofu directly into the bowl and begin mixing the pieces with a spoon or by hand until all the crumbles are well-covered.
- Allow the tofu to rest in the ingredients for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 4000 F. (2000 C.).
- Spread the tofu crumbles on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a baking mat.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring the crumbles a few times to ensure even baking. When the crumbles are dark and firm, remove them from the oven.
- Now, add crumbles wherever you feel the urge!
- 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, if you want to use tempeh, follow the instructions for making tempeh crumbles.
- Make the tempeh crumbles a day (or 2) before baking them. Baked crumbles can be kept in the refrigerator for 4 days or frozen for 3 months.
Keywords: tofu sausage crumbles