Is it possible to find meatless sausage that isn't a disappointment and that contributes good texture and flavor to a dish?
Hounds say that there are an abundance of options. Field Roast is a brand that comes to mind. "I'm rather suspicious of faux-meat products, but I do love Field Roast (vegan) sausages," says DuchessNukem. "They are delicious, [have] nice spicing, texture is appropriate, they hold together in sauce. I used the Italian ones in sausage/onions/peppers in tomato sauce one Christmas, and no one realized." meatn3 likes them, too: "I really like all their sausage varieties. The flavor is quite good and the texture better than most fake meat products. I tend to chop or take them apart for recipes rather than serve as a sausage."
herring, who has been a vegetarian for 15 years, loves the taste and texture of meat, and generally shies away from the fake meat products since "they're so often disappointing." But herring loves Trader Joe's meatless Italian sausage. "It definitely has a meaty texture, and browns nicely," herring says.
jlhinwa also recommends MorningStar Farms Meal Starters Grillers Recipe Crumbles as an all-around fill-in for meat. "Basically, it is a substitute for ground beef and can be used in a wide variety of things—spaghetti sauce, enchiladas, tacos, pretty much anything you would use ground beef in," jlhinwa says. "I even use it in beef stroganoff (now beefless stroganoff) and it is honestly better than my version using beef strips."
Vegetarian pepperoni-lovers are also in luck. "I've actually had good luck with assorted veggie pepperonis over the years if you're a DIY pizza type," says beachmouse. "I think it's the case where the main point is well-spiced grease so the underlying protein source doesn't matter so much."
DuchessNukem also offers some hope for vegetarians who miss eating bacon. Spiced strips of eggplant can be dried at low temperature in a food dehydrator or a low-heat oven to achieve a chewy texture. "[D]ehydrator eggplant bacon can be surprisingly bacon-satisfying," she says.
Discuss: Vegetarian sausage?