Vegan Italian Sausage Crumbles

This recipe for Vegan Italian Sausage Crumbles is savory and sausage-y with spices like fennel seeds, sage, and thyme. Make this recipe to add to a number of dishes like pastas, pizzas, chilis and more.

Vegan Italian Sausage Crumbles by Pasta-based. A metal baking pan on a white marble countertop with vegan italian sausage crumbles scattered onto a piece of parchment paper on the pan. To vintage spoons lean against the top of the baking pan with vegan italian sausage crumbles scooped into one of the spoons.

The main ingredient for these Vegan Italian Sausage Crumbles is Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP). If you’ve never heard of it before or cooked with it before, don’t worry! It’s really not intimidating at all. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll be dreaming up all kinds of recipes to make with it.

We already used these vegan sausage crumbles in a number of recipes including these delicious jalapeño poppers — that creamy, ricotta cheese mixed with the crumbles filling is soooo tasty.

We found a bag of TVP from Bob’s Red Mill at our local grocery store. I’m sure you can order it online if you can’t find it near you. It will look like this:

Vegan Italian Sausage Crumbles by Pasta-based. Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) from Bob's Red Mill spills out of the bag onto a clean marble countertop. The TVP is a yellowy-brown and looks crunchy in texture.

Facts About Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP):

  • It’s a highly nutritious soy product rich in complete proteins.
  • TVP contains no fat, so it is an excellent alternative to meat.
  • It is also a good source of dietary fiber, iron, magnesium and phosphorus.
  • It is easy to prepare and takes on the flavor of the spices in your recipe.
  • TVP has a long shelf life and can sit in your pantry or cupboard for at least a year.
  • It’s super cheap! I bought this bag for about $2.50!

*sources: Bob’s Red Mill, USA Emergency Supply

Vegan Italian Sausage Crumbles by Pasta-based. The camera zooms into the vegan Italian sausage crumbles which look mouthwatering straight out of the oven. They are darker in color, crispy in texture, and loaded with aromatic spices like dried fennel seeds which you can see in the photo. Two spoons overlapping lay on the pan with a pile of vegan Italian sausage crumbles in the top spoon.

Please tell me we’re not the only people who have a gazillion spices in our cabinet. We miiiight have every spice we would ever need and… maybe… I’m always looking for more?. I mean, going to the spice market is seriously the best ♡!

This recipe for vegan sausage crumbles calls for a lot of aromatic and earthy dried spices like garlic powder, onion powder, dried sage, fennel seeds, dried thyme, and black pepper. We also include a bit of nutritional yeast to make it even more delectable.

We can’t wait to continue using it in different recipes – we’re thinking a warm sausage bread would be amazing. If you make this recipe, let us know what other recipe you paired it with in the comments (or if you ate it straight-up, that’s cool too!)

3.83 from 68 votes
Vegan Italian Sausage Crumbles
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins

This easy recipe for Vegan Italian Sausage Crumbles is savory and sausage-y with spices like fennel seeds, sage, and thyme. Make this plant-based recipe to add to a number of dishes like pastas, pizzas, chilis and more.

Course: Ingredient
Cuisine: American, Italian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Italian Sausage, Textured Vegetable Protein, TVP, vegan
Servings: 8 servings
Calories per Serving: 57 kcal
wet ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
dry ingredients
  • 1 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F/230°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. In a medium pot, stir together wet ingredients: water, liquid smoke, soy sauce and maple syrup. Heat on medium until the mixture comes to a light boil.

  3. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl mix dry ingredients: TVP, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, sage, fennel, thyme and black pepper. Stir into pot and lower the heat.

  4. Cover the pot and heat on low for 5 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Then, transfer to the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until crispy. 

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Italian Sausage Crumbles
Amount Per Serving (0.25 c)
Calories 57
% Daily Value*
Sodium 255mg11%
Potassium 56mg2%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Calcium 47mg5%
Iron 1.7mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

December 16, 2018



  1. Reply


    October 14, 2018

    Growing up in an Italian household I remember the sausage bread. I haven’t made it for myself in forever but I think it sounds wonderful. Bob’s is expensive where I live at almost 7.00 a bag for the same one. If you use it a-lot I found it on it is also NON-GMO.
    I hope this helps if you cannot find it or it’s expensive. Thanks for the recipe I am glad.I am not the only thinking sausage bread.

  2. Reply


    January 12, 2019

    Do you grind the fennel seeds or leave them whole. I am glad I found your site. I to grew up on the east coast and love Italian food and have been a vegan for the last 5 years and always look to perfect the same Italian foods. Thanks so much John

    • Reply


      January 16, 2019

      Hi John! Thanks for the comment. We leave the fennel seeds whole for this recipe.

  3. Reply

    Jen GJ

    January 24, 2019

    Couple questions, can I omit the nutritional yeast (don’t care for the taste), and how do you store it after it’s baked? I’m assuming it should be cooled and refrigerated. Excited to try this recipe for a weekend away with a bunch of meat-eaters! I want to show them not everything needs meat! 🙂

    • Reply


      February 2, 2019

      Yes, you can omit the nutritional yeast, for sure! Cool and refrigerate to store.

  4. Reply


    May 10, 2019

    Can this be frozen to use later?

  5. Reply


    June 14, 2019

    5 stars
    OMG this was so good! The best recipe for TVP I’ve tried so far. I haven’t made that many but they were all just so-so. (I especially disliked the one for vegan sausage that uses flour as a binder – it was mushy and pasty). Anyway, I did make a few minor adjustments to suit my personal taste – I reduced the sage, added a little marjoram and smoked paprika and a splash of angostura bitters. I love fennel and agree it’s best left whole for this recipe. (If you don’t have fennel or a reasonable substitute, make something else). I also cooked it for about 5 minutes in a skillet with a little olive oil to simulate the fat in sausage and keep it from drying out in the oven. I’ve been nibbling at it as it bakes and it for sure resembles sausage. Next time I think I’ll play with a way to make the crumbles larger, maybe by adding an egg or vegan egg to the mixture before browning it. I know I tinkered with the original recipe but I think I stayed close enough to it that I can recommend trying it. (But it IS annoying when people change recipes and then give NEGATIVE reviews!)

    • Reply


      June 20, 2019

      Appreciate your comment and glad you were able to make the recipe work for you! Cheers!

  6. Reply


    June 17, 2019

    Hi Paula, I know it’s late. I have frozen it with great results. If you are worried about it sticking together just separate it and pop it on a cookie sheet with some parchment on it. When its frozen just divide meal size portions. I am making it again today and also making a southwestern version to use. Hope this helps.

  7. Reply


    October 30, 2019

    5 stars
    These are awesome! Easy and tasty. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’ve never really like the vegetarian Italian sausage options out there. This makes my Italian Chili so much better.

  8. Reply

    Rossella Promontorio

    November 14, 2019

    Hi Paula, I was wondering if I want to make this receipe and use it for a marinara sauce can I just skip the oven part all together and once it’s finishes to cook down in the pan add a jar of tomatoes and cook for further 10-15 minutes?Thank you!

  9. Reply


    November 17, 2019

    Would this work well as a substitute for sausage in a stuffing for Thanksgiving? Ina Garten has a great recipe that I make with soaked figs and cranberries that calls for sausage. My daughter is vegan so we’d like to give this a try.

    • Reply


      November 17, 2019

      Yes! We actually did that last Thanksgiving. It came out perfect!

  10. Reply


    November 22, 2019

    5 stars
    Hello!! Just an amazing recipe! So glad I found this and just in time for Thanksgiving. Made it today as a trial run and it’s so good! Quick question about storage after the sausage is prepared. How long can it be stored safely in refrigerator? Freezer? Thank you so much for sharing! Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Reply


    December 25, 2019

    Would this work well when added to a soup? I’ve been looking for an alternative to Italian sausage so I can make Zuppa Tuscana for my best friend.

  12. Reply


    December 29, 2019

    5 stars
    I love this recipe! I used to use frozen Morning star sausage crumbles and lately they have been getting a bad rep with round up use. I looked for an alternative where I can control the ingredients and found this recipe! Tastes delightful! Just for fun used some leftover from the holidays Bell’s seasoning mix in place of the sage and it tastes like the sausage stuffing I make my meat eaters for the holiday. I’m going to try freezing using as needed. Thank you!

  13. Reply

    Ellie Jaderholm

    February 15, 2020

    Has anyone put this in the dehydrator and stored it dry? I have limited fridge and freezer space, so I’m looking for something I can make and have on hand in the pantry.

  14. Reply


    March 8, 2020

    I cannot wait to make this! One question: there are only two of us so 8 servings will definitely leave leftovers. How do you store leftovers and for how long?

    • Reply


      March 21, 2020

      Yes! You probably will have leftovers, we usually do. What we do is store the leftovers in a tupperware in the fridge. We find that it lasts for a week or so in the fridge like this.

  15. Reply


    May 8, 2020

    Can I substitute soy curl crumbs for the TVP?

    • Reply


      July 14, 2020

      Hey Alocasia,

      Referring the same response from the same question from another reader –

      Good question – we have not personally experimented with soy curls yet, so we cannot comment on whether that would work or not. You may not need as much water since the curls would be dehydrated while the TVP is dry. If you do try an altered version of this with soy curls, please let us know how successful it was!

  16. Reply


    May 15, 2020

    Can I replace the TVP with rehydrated soy curl crumbs?

    • Reply


      July 14, 2020

      Hey Shanna,

      Good question – we have not personally experimented with soy curls yet, so we cannot comment on whether that would work or not. You may not need as much water since the curls would be dehydrated while the TVP is dry. If you do try an altered version of this with soy curls, please let us know how successful it was!

  17. Reply

    Audrey Bean

    August 15, 2020

    I was wondering if you could share why you added maple syrup. I don’t think of traditional Italian sausage being sweet at all, let alone with a maple flavor. Intriguing.

    • Reply


      August 18, 2020

      Hey Audrey,

      Great question! The liquid smoke is quite bitter so we add the maple syrup to balance/cancel that out. Hope that helps!

  18. Reply


    August 24, 2020

    Hi! I make vegetarian empanadas and excited to try this recipe for a new filling. What is liquid smoke?

    • Reply


      August 25, 2020

      Hi Rose,

      That is so exciting! I bet this recipe will work perfectly for the filling. Liquid smoke is just a liquid you can buy at most stores that is made by condensing the smoke from wood into that liquid. It’s very potent, so just a little bit added to any recipe will give it an awesome wood-smoked flavor!

  19. Reply


    August 31, 2020

    5 stars
    This is so delish! I made it with soy curls, just make sure you use a nut milk bag to squeeze out excess water, and then coarsely chop to resemble ground sausage. I made this for my pumpkin “sausage” soup. Instead of cooking it in the soup I just topped each serving with a couple of tablespoons of the sausage crumble and let the guests stir it in. This was one of my favorite soups prior to going vegan and this was just the thing that it was missing. Thank you so much for this recipe

    • Reply


      August 31, 2020

      Hi Sandra,

      That is awesome, we are so glad to hear it completed your soup!! I hope you continue to make it and find even more ways to use it 🙂 Good to know it works using soy curls as well. Do you mind letting us know the soup recipe that this paired so well with?

  20. Reply


    December 6, 2020

    5 stars
    This is an amazing recipe! Thanks. I used it in a lasagna and it turned out fabulous; even the meat-eaters in my family liked it. I just wanted to say that I didn’t have any liquid smoke or nutritional yeast, but I saw on another website that a good substitute for the yeast is miso, so I tried it and it turned out well. Can’t wait to get some liquid smoke and try this again!

    • Reply


      December 6, 2020

      So awesome to hear that you liked the recipe, Lisa! And such a good tip about the miso substitution. Thank you!

  21. Reply

    Francesca Surowiec

    March 10, 2021

    Have you or can you use the Bob Mills TVP and Nutritional Yeast to make taco meat? I could just change the spices. Thanks!

    • Reply


      March 10, 2021

      Yes you can! We do it all the time. We add cumin and chili powder 🙂

  22. Reply


    April 19, 2021

    I’m looking to try this in a sausage and lemon pasta recipe that i loved before going vegetarian. However, in the recipe it’s more of a one-pan dish so the sausage is the base in the pan and the sauce is cooked around it. Just wondering if this can be cooked all in the pan or does it need to go into the oven to bake?
    Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer!

    • Reply


      April 19, 2021

      Hi Phoebe, so glad you found the recipe. What I would do in this situation is still follow the first part of the recipe and boil the TVP for 5 minutes so that all the flavors get absorbed. It will be a little wet at this point, so you can squeeze out the excess moisture if you want. Then, skip the baking part — the reason that I bake it is because it makes the texture more crispy. You can always fry it in a little bit of oil first, just so it’s a bit crispy and not too mushy — but either way I think you’ll be just fine without baking. Sausage and lemon pasta sounds amazing!! Do let me know how it comes out!


Recipe Rating