Sausage tofu crumbles are made with extra firm tofu, seasonings like fennel seed, Italian herbs, garlic, and onion powders. Add in some surprise ingredients like nutritional yeast, tahini, and soy sauce, and you’ve got a delicious bowl of sausage-flavored tofu crumbles!
This recipe for Vegan Sausage Tofu Crumbles only looks and tastes like sausage. It is 100% plant-based and oil-free too! When tofu is pressed and seasoned, it takes on the flavor of any seasoning or spice you mix in with it. The Sausage Tofu Crumbles are light enough in flavor and seasoning that you know you aren’t getting the “fake” vegan meats that are full of oil and sometimes just a little…weird.
Tofu crumbles add in a whole food plant based meaty nugget of flavor to your favorite recipes. Sprinkle on top of salads, pizza, or baked potatoes. They aren't the main even of your meal but a tasty add-on that will have them begging for more!
Sausage tofu crumbles are probably my favorite tofu crumble recipe. They are super yummy on pizza or sprinkled on roasted vegetables or vegetable lentil soup.
If I’m not in the mood for sausage flavor on top of my pizza, I make classic pepperoni tofu crumbles. For a chopped salad, there is nothing like bbq flavored tofu crumbles sprinkled on top and drizzled with jalapeno ranch dressing!
Ingredients needed to make the sausage tofu crumbles recipe:
- extra firm tofu – You will be pressing the tofu before seasoning and cooking it. Pressing the moisture out of the tofu gives it a better texture.
- tahini paste – tahini gives this dish a savory taste and “full-mouth taste”. Tahini is ground sesame seeds and really is a staple in a plant-based kitchen. It is considered a healthy fat (check your label to make sure it only contains sesame seeds and no added oil). You will see some oil on the top when you open your jar. Don’t worry. That’s the natural oil from the sesame seeds
- Vegetable Broth –
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- Coconut Palm Sugar – Can sub in other sugar if that is what you have
- nutritional yeast – Adds to the savory umami flavor
- a WHOLE BUNCH of seasonings including smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, fennel seeds, dried oregano, Italian herb blend, salt, pepper, a little cayenne pepper
- It would also be helpful if you had a tofu press.
How to make sausage tofu crumbles
The exact ingredients with measurements can be found in the recipe card below along with more concise abbreviated instructions. Read on for more details, tips, and tricks so that you will feel confident making this recipe.
Step 1: Press the tofu
Use a tofu press to squeeze the moisture from the extra firm tofu. The more moisture you are able to squeeze out, the better the texture your tofu will be. Thirty minutes in a tofu press should do the trick.
If you don’t have a tofu press you can do it the old-fashioned way by putting the block of tofu between two plates and placing something very heavy on top. This will take up to two hours though and is not included in the timing on the recipe card below.
Step 2: Mix the seasonings
Each tofu crumbles recipe is seasoned just right to emulate a certain meaty flavor. Taco tofu crumbles are flavored with commercial taco seasoning and paprika. And you won’t believe the flavors and seasonings in Korean BBQ tofu crumbles. So good!
Yes, we know they aren’t meat. They aren’t meant to be meat, but only add a hint of flavor to your plant-based meals. The seasonings in sausage tofu crumbles honestly taste like how I remember sausage tasting. It’s almost magic.
So let’s get started… While the tofu is being pressed you should preheat the oven and mix the seasonings.
Press the fennel seeds
To get the full flavor effect for your vegan sausage, put the seeds between wax or parchment paper and crush slightly to release the oils. Crushed fennel smells a little bit like licorice!
Don’t worry, your tofu sausage won’t taste like licorice! Releasing the oils from the fennel seeds might be extra work, but the results are worth it.
Step 3: Crumble the pressed tofu and mix
Crumble the tofu by hand into your bowl of already mixed ingredients. It takes a few minutes but hand-crumbling will give you the best-size crumble that looks more “natural” than if you just cut it into small pieces
Mix together the pressed crumbled tofu with the other ingredients. Stir well so that all of the little tofu pieces are well covered.
Step 4: Baking the Tofu
When the seasonings and tofu are well mixed and the tofu is evenly coated, turn onto a silicone-lined baking sheet – or baking sheet lined with parchment paper – and spread evenly in a single layer.
You will be baking the tofu crumbles in a 375° oven for 35-45 minutes. But there is an important procedure you MUST follow!
You must open the oven and stir and turn the tofu at 15 minutes and then at 30 minutes. Move the more dried outer edges to the center and the centerpieces out to the edges. After 30 minutes, check every two minutes to make sure it’s not drying out too much.
The tofu crumbles are done when the little pieces are a little browned and somewhat dried. Note: The Sausage Tofu Crumbles will not brown as much as they would if they were really sausage and while they are crispy and so have a slightly chewy texture – for tofu – they don’t have an actual chewy meaty texture- because lucky for us this is a clean and cruelty-free dish! No “real” sausage included:)
How to Use Sausage Tofu Crumbles
You might be wondering what you can do with these super delicious tofu crumbles. Well…besides eating them with a spoon. If you can actually stop eating these tasty morsels, you can use tofu Crumbles in dishes like my Breakfast Potato Hash, as a topping on pizza, veggies, avocado toast, potatoes, or pasta. These sausage tofu crumbles are also a major ingredient in my Italian Stuffed Zucchini boat recipe. In our house, we may or may not sometimes just eat them with a spoon…
If you liked these Vegan Sausage Tofu Crumbles then you should try my Trail Mix Tofu Crumbles! They are salty-sweet, full of flavor, and great to use as a topping too! Or, for a plant-based topping or filler for Mexican dishes, try my Tofu Taco Crumbles. For a tofu crumble recipe that adds in a savory-sweet bacony flavor, try my Tofu Bacon Bits recipe. It’s so good!
Recipe for Sauage Tofu Crumbles:
Did you make this recipe? Want to share the love? It would thrill me if you could leave a comment and stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ! Plus, when you leave a great rating it helps other people who are searching for this type of recipe more easily find it. Thanks so much! Cindy 💜
Sausage Tofu Crumbles
- 16 ounces tofu extra firm
- 2 Tablespoons tahini
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce low sodium
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable broth
- 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian herb blend
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper less or more to taste
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Press and drain the tofu, pouring off liquid as necessary. This will take about 10 minutes using a tofu press. If pressing between plates with weights, it might take up to an hour.
- While the oven is preheating and tofu is pressing, stir together all other ingredients into a medium-large sized mixing bowl.
- When tofu is fully pressed and drained, crumble into small pieces directly into the mixing bowl with other ingredients. Toss and stir to evenly coat.
- Turn onto a silicone baking sheet – or baking sheet covered with parchment paper and put in the oven for 35-45 minutes, checking at intervals (see next instruction).
- After putting in the oven, set the timer for 15 minutes. Open the oven and turn and stir, moving the more dry tofu on the outer edges to the center and the center out to the outer edges. Put back in the oven and check again in 15 minutes.
- After stirring the second time, put back in the oven and check every 2 minutes for 5-10 minutes. This tends to dry out fast. It will be done when it’s a little browned and dried.
51 thoughts on “Sausage Tofu Crumbles (Vegan)”
I am not a vegan, but I do not eat meat (only seafood). I had this at a luncheon, and it is amazingly delicious!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for stopping by and commenting:)
I can’t stop eating this. It’s amazing.
Thanks! Addicting huh? 😆 Have you tried the Trail Mix Tofu Crumbles? I make it and have to hide it or it’s gone!
I used your seasoning and substituted soy curls. Your seasoning is spot on! I used the seasoned curls to make pizza and kale “sausage” soup. Thank you!
That is such a great idea! I don’t know why I didn’t think of that. I think it would be really good with soy curls on pizza. How did you do it? Did you soak the soy curls in water/broth with the herb and seasoning mixture? Or did you toss with the seasonings after you soaked and drained?
Thanks for the idea of using soycurls. I am going to try that.
This is so awesome! The best!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Have you tried the Trail Mix Tofu Crumbles? Weird name, but really good too!
This recipe is spot on! Absolutely delicious and I will be making again! Thank you 😊
I am so glad you liked it! It’s probably my favorite too:)
I absolutely love this recipe, I have made it several times as is and even fed it successfully to my non vegetarian family members!
I use it as a meat substitute in Italian meals and without the Italian seasons using sage and fennel seeds to put in breakfast (sausage) gravy!
I am beyond thrilled to hear that! Thank you for letting me know. And I am missing sausage gravy so much. I’ll have to make some now.
Cindy, what brand of Tahini did you use??
I couldn’t make out the brand name on the jar.
I think this will be something my tofu-phobic husband will eat on occasion. Sounds delicious. Thank you for sharing your recipe.
Hello – I took out the link because Amazon stopped carrying that brand. I’ve used several others and they pretty much taste the same – especially in the small quantities used in this recipe. Just make sure you read the ingredients to make sure only sesame seeds are included. You don’t need any extra preservatives, emulsifiers, or oil added. Also, if you are new to tahini, just be aware that when you first open the jar, you will see a lot of oil on top. As long as you’ve checked your ingredients and there is no added oil, then this is just the natural separation that happens with the sesame seeds are ground (just like with natural nut butter). Simply give it a stir and then keep in your fridge. You may have to re-stir as time goes on. Thanks for your question and I sincerely hope you enjoy this sausage tofu crumbles as much as we do. And stay tuned because I’m working on a bacon tofu crumble recipe that is soooo good too! Cindy
OOOOOH YES!! I love all your tofu crumbles and this one is no exception. I really like the chewy texture you get from baking the tofu and of course, the spices are spot on! Thank you Sam!
I’m so glad you liked the sausage tofu crumbles! I agree the spices and flavoring is perfect. In fact, I’ve heard from others that they are using the same flavor combo and using it with things like soy curls and such. Good luck on your plant-based journey. Cindy
I need to make this non-fat because of a medical issue. How will eliminating the tahini affect the taste? Do you think it would still be delicious without it? Thanks I’m advance!
Hi – so the use of tahini is two-fold. One, it does at a layer or depth of savory flavor. I have never made this recipe without tahini, so I can’t guarantee that the flavor will be as fabulous. I think it will still be good because there are a great many other seasonings added. The other reason we use tahini is that it is a whole-food fat. In other words, it’s not processed empty calories like oil is and still provides a few benefits with the protein and (limited) fiber. With tahini, we still get the cooking benefits too – i.e. really crispy tofu, but without the processed oil. If you don’t add the tahini, your tofu may not crisp up quite as well. I would say give it a try, and please let me know what you think! Also, something to keep in mind if you are trying for a no/low-fat diet, the tofu itself does have fat in it and so might not work for you anyway… Please let me know if you decide to make this without the tahini. I’m curious as well.
FAN-tastic! I followed the recipe for the ingredients, but toasted in a skillet in the stovetop, and it worked perfectly. This is a keeper recipe!!!
Oh wow I’ve never made these on the stovetop! Thank you so much for letting me know.This will give my readers another option. I’m definitely tying it the next time I cook it too.
I paired this with my husbands Vegan pesto, what a freaking combo. This recipe is incredible with no alterations and we’ve devoured the entire thing just the two of us. The fennel was a perfect amount and it really had those sausage seasonings down. This made it to the big book immediately and it’s now a staple recipe. Thank you so freaking much for this! My craving is permanently curved.
I just want it with you one thing. The food is so delicious. Thanks you!
So glad you like it:)
Oh … I’m addicted to this. Can you ask me how do I stop this dish? It was so delicious and I couldn’t stop it.
Haha! This comment makes me so happy! When you get tired of this one you should try the snacking tofu crumbles. Pretty tasty too!https://veggiefunkitchen.com/trail-mix-tofu-crumbles/
The flavours were spot-on! I was a little sceptical, with all the different flavours coming together. But it worked! And, so well!
I fried this in a little bit of olive oil instead, and used it on top of my vegan pizza. Thank you!
That sounds amazing! Thank you so much for letting me know:) Cindy
Just another person popping in to share how addictive this stuff is!! I almost didn’t have enough to put on our vegan pizza last night – I kept munching away! It’s cheaper, healthier and tastier than the mock meat crumbles you find in the store. Thank you for this fool proof recipe!
sometimes just a little…weird. But i like it
How long does it last in the refrigerator?
That’s a great question. It really depends on the expiration date of your tofu. Tofu can turn funky quickly. So I would never go past a day or two of that. If your tofu doesn’t expire then you’d be quite safe to keep it in your fridge tightly covered for up to a week. It never really lasts that long in our house though…
Addicting and taste great on your lentil soup.
I’m so glad you liked it! And YES it’s great with the lentil soup 💜
I cannot get nutritional yeast…will it affect the flavor a lot? or can i make it without it?
Hi- Nutritional yeast add a depth of flavor. Will it still be okay without it? Yes. Will it be better with the nutritional yeast? Yes! I’d say to go ahead and make it for now and then work on sourcing some nutritional yeast for the future.You will find it very useful in plant-based cooking. I buy mine on amazon.
Do you use roasted or raw tahini?
Hi, this looks great and this afternoon I plan to make it but! The last time I made tofu crumbles and baked them so long they got very dry, hard and crispy. Not a success. Are they supposed to be hard or was that just a bad recipe (lots of those on the net too of course!). Or I don’t like crispy tofu crumbles :-)))))
Hi Cindy, thank you so much for your prompt answer to my question. As it always seems to go, my menu changed and so instead of baking the crumbles I formed 4 patties, changed the spices a bit (I DO NOT like smoked paprika:-) and baked them in the oven…the end result was luuuvly! A tad dry but I will make a nice sauce today to go with them. My last abortive effort was NOT your recipe. Thank you for this one. I will definitely make it again: this time it was all a bit too finely ground so next time I will watch out for that but the combination of ingredients is great!
Wow! This is the closest to real sausage that I’ve tried in 3 years! I LOVE IT!
I can make my traditional Thanksgiving stuffing again! As well as lasagne, stuffed shells, pizza, stuffed mushrooms, etc, etc. I can’t tell you how over the moon happy I am right now. I’ve missed these dishes so much. Other recipes were good, but this is the absolute best I’ve tried!! Thank you for making an old lady happy!
Your spices are spot on. I made this over the weekend and the whole house smelt like pizza!! My daughter came downstairs asking where the pizza was 🙂
The tofu tasted very good. I will try using the same spice mix with soycurls as one of your readers suggested doing.
My daughter originally made these for me for brunch with hash browns and toast. They have a really authentic sausage flavour (as clearly as I can recall sausage tasting). Those herbs all came together in such a pleasant combination. The crumbles have a nice resistance to the chew. So easy to make as well. Great job!
Thank you so much for letting me know! Cindy
Excellent flavor and easy to whip up!
Can regular cane sugar be used instead of the coconut sugar?
The whole house smells like Italian sausage right now – excellent recipe! Mine didn’t turn out as firm as I would like, but that was totally user error; I had firm tofu instead of extra firm… oops… That just means that I’ll have to make this again, real soon! Oh, and I didn’t have coconut sugar, so I used maple sugar (and we all know that maple goes so well with sausage!).
Delicious! Added this to peppers, onions, mushrooms, and potatoes!
This is literally one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten and I’ve now made it twice in one week. I threw some into pasta fagioli soup, some into spaghetti, and some into breakfast tacos with roasted sweet potatoes and onions. The taste and texture are so satisfying!
This looks so good. Bet it would be amazing on pizza! Thanks for the inspiration 😊
I am amazed at how well this works! It really mimics sausage crumbles. I used the convection setting on my toaster oven and checked and stirred about every 10 minutes. It was ready in about 30-ish minutes. I will be making this again.
Thank you for letting me know how much you enjoyed this recipe! And I’m so happy the tofu sausage crumbles worked well in a toaster oven. This will give options to people who want to use this cooking method. Cindy