To me, the revelation of this vegetarian sausage roll recipe was like traveling back in time to the happy days of childhood, when my mom would serve fancy appetizers, hot out of the oven, to guests on special occasions.
You may share a similar memory. But now you’re committed to a healthier diet, and at first you thought that meant bidding farewell to your beloved sausage rolls.
But what if you had a recipe for vegetarian sausage rolls that tasted just like meat, but was loaded with healthy, non-controversial ingredients you’d feel good about eating?
And, instead of it just being a fun appetizer (which it is), imagine that you could also enjoy it as meatless main dish. Perhaps with mashed potatoes, braised veggies, and a vegan gravy, for a festive holiday meal or Sunday dinner.
This recipe for vegetarian sausage rolls—made with soaked almonds, walnuts, onions, garlic, lemon, parsley, oats and spices—involves zero cooking to prepare.
There’s no tofu here. No cheese. No mushrooms. No miso. No beans or lentils.
This recipe can easily be soy-free or entirely vegan, but wheat-free requirements would take some fancy footwork due to the puff pastry.
In just 30 minutes or so of active cooking time you’ll have four substantial sausage logs.
Enjoy all you want the day you make it (perhaps that meatless dinner?), and stick the rest in the freezer to have on hand for your own special occasion appetizer that’s sure to impress the guests.
Below, you’ll find an easy recipe for a homemade honey mustard to serve as a dip with the rolls, but you could get as creative as you like with the dips.
Ranch dressing, chipotle mayo, mango-mustard dip, spinach dip, and garlic dip would all pair beautiful in an appetizer situation.
Want to see the recipe now? Hit the button below.Jump to Recipe
Read on to learn a few tips and tricks about vegetarian sausage rolls and ingredients.
What Are The Healthy Ingredients In These Rolls?
The ingredient lineup for this recipe is chocked with healthy fats, antioxidants, and nutrient-dense whole foods.
Soaked almonds and walnuts are the main ingredients.
Soaking the almonds makes them infinitely more digestible, and there’s a whole section on that below.
Walnuts are always a treat because of their superfood status, and yet how often do you actually eat them?
Walnuts are high in antioxidants and Omega-3s, and that brain shape of theirs really means they are brain food.
This recipe also contains ground flax seeds and nutritional yeast.
These two ingredients are a little less common, but they are nutrient dense and worth getting to know. There are substitutes for both if you don’t have them.
The ground flax seeds are soaked in warm water. It becomes mucilaginous just like egg whites, so it is effectively an egg substitute. You could just use an egg if you prefer.
Nutritional yeast is used by vegans as a substitute for parmesan cheese. This ingredient is optional if you don’t have it.
Many of the other ingredients are known nutritional blockbusters, like extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, fresh parsley, onions, garlic, and rolled oats.
I think you’ll love the spice combo of black pepper, cumin, cayenne, and smoked paprika.
The smoked paprika really adds to the meaty flavor, but if you don’t have it, leave it out, or substitute with liquid smoke or more cumin.
Soy sauce is an ingredient, but use soy-free if eliminating soy is important to you.
The final ingredient tip to share with you is a favorite. Worcestershire sauce is an umami-rich fermented condiment typically made with anchovies, molasses, tamarind, onion, garlic, and more.
Obviously, a vegetarian sausage roll cannot use the typical Worcestershire sauce.
Luckily, I have found a vegetarian version that is really off-the-charts amazing. It is made by Annies Homegrown, and it’s organic and vegan, and so tasty it is worth splurging for.
Buy Annies vegan Worcestershire sauce here.
Of course, if a little anchovy doesn’t bother you, use the regular stuff.
Sausage Rolls Puff Pastry
Puff pastry is a fun subject. Almost nobody makes it from scratch, so we will use store-bought too.
I think puff pastry is fun, because it is so easy to use, and the results feel like something grandma made. It’s always a treat, even if you mess up on the execution.
The most important tip I can give you is to work with the puff pastry cold. Keep it in the refrigerator until you need it, and work quickly.
If the pastry gets too soft, put it back in the fridge and try again.
Now, what kind of puff pastry should you buy?
I always recommend the brand with the least number of ingredients, and I personally prefer butter over refined oils, because it is better for your health.
Trader Joe’s brand contains: wheat flour, butter, water, salt, and vinegar, and it’s made in France. (Where else?)
To compare, Pepperidge Farms’ brand contains: Unbleached Enriched Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), Water, Vegetable Oils (Palm, Soybean, Hydrogenated Cottonseed), Contains 2 Percent Or Less Of: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Salt, Mono And Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin, Malted Barley Flour, Turmeric And Annatto Extracts For Color.
Now that is quite a list!
Finally, there are vegan puff pastry options out there.
Just go for it! Buy some puff pastry and enjoy yourself a vegan sausage roll already!!Jump to Recipe
Why Should You Soak Your Almonds?
Both eastern and western perspectives agree that soaking your almonds for at least 8 hours before eating them is a good thing to do.
Why? It helps to remove a harmful coating from the outer brown peel of the almond that can inhibit nutrient absorption in the body, and lead to digestive distress for some people.
The coating consists of enzyme inhibitors that nature put there to prevent the almond from sprouting until it gets really wet, which would be the right condition for it to grow into a tree.
After soaking, you’ll find that the skins come off really easily. Imagine. That skin would have to burst for the almond to sprout.
Now you might wonder what you should do with the skins?
An eastern view from Ayurveda recommends removing the skins because they are difficult to digest.
To remove the skins, squeeze a soaked almond between your fingers to reveal the shiny white almond within. The almond will slip right out.
A Western view is to keep the almond skins on because the skins are a prebiotic. This is another way of saying “food for the non-human (and good) bacteria in your gut.”
The choice of what to do with the skins is up to you. I removed half the skins and continued with the recipe.
Recipe for Vegetarian Sausage Rolls
Ingredients for the almond feta cheese
- 2/3 cup whole almonds, soaked
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium garlic clove,
peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon water
Ingredients for the sausage roll mix
- 1 recipe almond feta cheese, (from above)
- 2 tablespoons ground flax meal, (mix with 1/4 cup warm water – see notes)
- 1 large brown onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons parsley (or another herb, such as basil), coarsely chopped
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce,
(for soy-free, see notes)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes,
(optional; see notes)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, finely ground
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- pinch smoked paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs ,
(or as needed)
Ingredients for the sausage rolls
- 1 package puff pastry (18.3 ounces), thawed and refrigerated
- 2 tablespoons plant-based milk, (or water)
- 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds, (for garnish; see notes)
Before you begin – 6 hours prior
- Cover almonds with water and soak for 6 hours in cold water, or overnight. Discard the soaking water and rinse with cold water. If you like, at this stage you can remove some (or all) of the almond skins by pinching each almond between your fingers. See the post for more details on why you should, or should not, remove the skins.
- Transfer 1 package of puff pastry from the freezer to the refrigerator to defrost. This will take at least 2 hours, but you can do it as early as the day before.
Method for the almond feta cheese
- Blend the prepared almonds with the rest of the ingredients for the almond feta cheese in a food processor until smooth. Leave it in the food processor and proceed to the next step.
Make the sausage roll filling
- Mix flax meal and warm water in a small bowl and let it rest for about 15 minutes while you gather the rest of the ingredients. (Use a regular egg if you prefer.)
- Add onions, parsley, walnuts, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to the food processor, and process for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the container and process briefly again.
- Add nutritional yeast flakes, black pepper, cumin powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper, and process for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the container and process briefly again.
- Add rolled oats, breadcrumbs, and prepared flax meal-water mixture (or egg), and process until well combined.
- Transfer the sausage roll filling to a bowl. Taste, and adjust for salt, or for any other flavor you want to taste more, such as smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, or lemon juice. Mix well if you choose to add something.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken up and become easier to handle. The filling should be firm enough to hold its shape when rolled inside the puff pastry. If it is too soft, add more breadcrumbs.
Make the sausage rolls
- Preheat oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Ensure that the puff pastry is fully defrosted, but still at refrigerator temperature. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep it ready. Plan to work quickly with the puff pastry, because once it gets warm it is impossible to work with.
- There are two pieces of pastry in a package, and each piece of pastry will make two rolls, so you are making a total of four rolls. Remove the first piece of puff pastry from the refrigerator. Carefully open up the pastry and cut down the middle of the long edge so you have two pieces. Spread a quarter of the mixture along the long edge of the first piece, and then the next, about an inch in from the edge. Brush the opposite long edges with plant-based milk.
- Starting with the first piece, start rolling the pastry over the filling and continue to roll away from you. Seal the seam with the milk. Roll back and forth gently to shape it into a cylinder. Transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet and place seal-side down. Repeat this step with the second piece.
- Carefully brush the tops of the rolls with plant-based milk, and sprinkle a few black sesame seeds on top.
- Repeat steps 2 and 4 with the second pastry sheet. When you are finished, you will have four sausage rolls.
- Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, or until golden brown on the tops and sides.
- Serve with honey-mustard sauce on the side for dipping. To make a quick honey-mustard sauce, mix a 1/4-cup dijon mustard with 1 tablespoon honey and 2 tablespoons of a vegan mayonnaise of your choice.
- You can also freeze the rolls before baking, and cook them from frozen when needed. If you choose to freeze the rolls, be aware that thawed puff pastry is very delicate. You will want to freeze the rolls uncovered, or cover them very lightly with plastic wrap. Once the rolls are frozen, you can wrap them up tightly for long-term storage. The rolls will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.