These sausages are firm enough to hold up on the grill. When you cook them, they are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside but not mushy, and filled with spicy, Italian flavor. Using black-eyed peas instead of pintos removed the “beany” taste and provided a neutral background for the spices to shine through. The same recipe can be used with different spice mixes to make breakfast sausages, chorizo sausages, or apple sage sausages. They can be sliced up to use in other recipes or eaten whole on a hero with sauteed peppers and onions. You can shape them into links or patties.
Homemade Spicy Italian Sausage [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Spice Mix:
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
For the Sausage:
- 2 teaspoon + 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups cooked or 1-15 ounce can of black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 3 tablespoons of gluten-free, vegan Worcestershire Sauce
- A few drops of Liquid Smoke (optional)
- Prepare spice mix in advance. Set aside.
- Heat a skillet with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Sauté the onions, mushrooms and garlic until softened. Set aside and let cool.
- In a large bowl, add the black-eyed peas and mash them up. You can use a fork, a potato masher or just get your hands in there. If you want to use a food processor, do a rough chop. You don’t want a puree. Then add the tomato paste, nutritional yeast, spice mix and brown rice flour. Mix well.
- Sprinkle the xanthan gum over the mixture and incorporate it well.
- Add the cooled veggie mixture to the bowl and mix it into the dry ingredients. Add the Worcestershire sauce to the bowl and mix it all up well. If you are using the Liquid Smoke, add it in now too.
- Divide the mixture into 4 parts. Shape each part into a log. Wrap the logs individually in foil and steam them for 15-20 minutes. I use a metal steamer that sits atop a large stockpot of boiling water. Let them cool. Then refrigerate for a few hours or overnight, if possible. This will help them firm up even more.
- When ready to use, unwrap and cook them however you desire. We cooked them on a grill pan and topped them with mustard and sautéed bell peppers and onions. Yum!