Tuesday 22 April 2008

Vegetarian Sausage Rolls

On the weekend I had a yen for sausage rolls. I mean the vegetarian variety, of course. Perhaps my neb at nut roast event has made me nostalgic for food from my childhood. Some might even argue that a vegetarian sausage roll is just a nut roast in pastry.

When I was too young to know any better and ate meat, sausage rolls were eaten at parties or just for light meals (or even sitting in a dressing gown in front of a soap opera, but I can’t mention names)! They were often offered as an alternative to meat pies which we called plasma pies (shudder of horror)! We usually had small sausage rolls that lots of little hands could grab and dunk in tomato sauce.

When I posted about making my version of vegetarian sausage rolls for party food last year, Cindy from Where’s the Beef kindly pointed me in the direction of the recipe she has been using for years. In her post Cindy remembers trips to the local bakery for sausage rolls. Such memories make me nostalgic for a time when I could stop at a bakery and eat any baked goods. I am of course nostalgic for the choice rather than the taste.

Many pie displays now include some sort of vegetarian pie but you still rarely find vegetarian sausage rolls when eating out. Cindy comments that this recipe should be shared with the world and, after finally making them, I can’t help but agree. It is easy and so delicious that I am sure there would be many takers if some enterprising person tried selling these. I thought the raw mixture was unbearably salty but when cooked it tasted so good. They are darker and richer than mine; closer in texture to that of their meaty cousins and packed with flavour.

The main problem is that these sausage rolls look so like the meaty ones that you could be mistaken for thinking they actually were. I mention this problem because it is easy to become paranoid about eating out when a vegetarian. Some meat eaters think it is hilarious to tell me the food they have just served up has meat in it, but it is too close to the truth to seem funny. Most vegetarians will have had the experience of being told that the stock is vegetarian, only to find bits of meat (or a ham bone) floating in the soup.

My mum has embraced the idea of choice and begun to make me some vegetarian sausage rolls when she makes meat sausage rolls but I worry she might mix them up. So I was inspired by the seeds on Cindy’s sausage rolls. I am now wondering if I should suggest my mum puts sesame seeds on my sausage rolls so it is easy to recognise the good ones! I know it seems obvious but it has just never occurred to me before.

Cindy’s sausage rolls with a mug of leftover mushroom stew were wonderful warming comfort food after a lazy Saturday. We even had a few for lunch the next day. This is an excellent version of a classic snack that I would recommend everyone try. Don't ask me who Liz O'Brien is because not even Cindy knows.

Finally, if you are looking for other ideas for filling vegetarian sausage rolls, you might like to try using the nut roast mixture from one of the recipes in the neb at nut roast round-up and baking it in pastry using the same method as in the recipe below.

Updates: I make these sausage rolls regularly so here are a few different versions:
  • Update Nov 2009: If you want a vegan version, see Cindy's vegan sausage rolls where she substitutes tofu for the egg and cottage cheese - I still mean to try it some time.
  • Update 2011: I have tried a vegan version of these sausage rolls that was very good.  I have also tried a gluten free version that worked but the pastry needs work.
  • Update 2014 - made another GF version with gluten free pastry and used GF oats and GF breadcrumbs but needed more oats and breadcrumbs to make the mixture firm enough.
  • Update 2015 - made them using a mixture of walnuts and pistachio.  Took some photos to update the ones I took back in 2008 but left in the old photo with the purple mug.   
  • Update August 2015 - made great gluten free sausage rolls with quinoa flakes and gf breadcrumbs (needed more flakes and breadcrumbs to make the mixture firm enough) and used supermarket gf pastry (Genius).    
  • Update June 2016 - made a vegan version: sausage rolls with cauliflower, tofu and aquafaba.

Liz O’Brien’s Vegetarian Sausage Rolls
(from Where’s the Beef)
Makes about 28 x 5cm (2 inch) sausage rolls

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (125g) pecans, finely chopped
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 medium to large onion, finely chopped
250g cottage cheese
3 tablespoons soy sauce (I used 2 tbsp tamari)
1 vegetable stock cube (I used 1 tsp of stock powder)
1 clove of garlic, crushed

To assemble:
3 to 4 sheets of ready-rolled 25 x 25cm puff pastry
Beaten egg for glaze
Sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)

To Make the Filling:
Combine all filling ingredients in a mixing bowl.

To Assemble:
Thaw 3 to 4 sheets of ready-rolled puff pastry. Place the first sheet on a flat surface and cut it in half, into two rectangles. Spoon the non-sausage mix down the centre third of each rectangle. Brush one long edge with beaten egg and fold in the long edges so the one with beaten egg overlaps the other edge.

Repeat with other pieces of puff pastry. Place sausage rolls seam down on a greased or baking-paper lined baking tray. Brush with beaten egg (or milk) and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Make deep marks with a sharp knife marks to indicate where to cut them after cooking (halves, thirds or quarters).  (You can alternatively cut into rolls and/or make decorative slashes.)

To Bake:
Bake sausage rolls at 220C for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cut into individual sausage rolls using marks you made before baking as a guide.  (These marks make it easier to cut.  Cutting sausage rolls partway through baking keeps the filling from drying out.)

At this point you can return sausage rolls to oven to bake another 10 minutes until golden brown and serve hot or set aside and bake for 10 to 15 minutes when you are ready to serve.  Sausage rolls can be frozen and baked straight from the freezer (about 15 minutes at 220 C).

Serve with tomato sauce.

On the stereo:
Cross: Tom Hall


  1. I have never craved a sausage roll until now!! =D

  2. They sound wonderful. I do vaguely recall Cindy's post.

    Once Passover is 'over', I'll be back into pastry and the like. It's the perfect weather for it.

  3. Sounds like such an interesting combination of ingredients--I love the idea of encasing it in pastry! (Such things are called "pigs in blankets" over here--can you imagine??). Funny, most of the vegetarian "sausages" I see are seitan-based; I think I'd like the nutroast-base much better.

  4. These looks lovely and moist and tasty. Have to say, I've never had a veggie sausage roll that could compare to a real one. Think these might just be in with a chance!

  5. i love real sausage, but am trying to cut down on meat. these look like a good stepping stone for me - they really do look meaty! yum.

  6. Sausage rolls are such good comfort food! I've made a Delia Smith version which is very nice, but much unhealthier than yours - they're full of cream, cheese and all sorts of other calorie-laden things. Having said that, I made them at Christmas and they went down well with all the non veggies too! I like the idea of labelling them with the seeds!

  7. thanks Romina - sounds like you have joined the club :-)

    thanks Lucy - I am sure passover will make you appreciate the pastry and all the other wheaty dishes when you have them

    thanks Ricki - Pigs in blankets are a little different because they are an actual sausage in pastry, as I understand them here but very similar. I usually buy rather than make sausages but the nut roast mixture would make good sausages.

    thanks Wendy - I reckon these ones would give the meat ones a run for their money

    thanks Michelle - I think these are a good alternative (but honestly it is so long since I had a meat sausage roll I probably shouldn't make claims of similarity)

    thanks Lysy - haven't seen the deliah smith version but would be interested to see it - am sure they would have gone down well at Christmas time

  8. They look soooo yum! And if you want to go to a bakery and be able to gorge on anything, there's always La Panella in Preston - vegan/vegetarian bakery. Their vegan 'sausage' rolls are also super-tasty.

  9. Johanna, I'm so pleased that you liked these as much as I did! Yes, they really do look like the meaty ones (makes me wonder what goes into those) and I've had several very positive experiences making them for non-vegos for that reason.

  10. They sounds scrumptious Johanna and another one for my folder! I copy so many of your recipes to try, that I feel that I should be paying you! Who needs cook books?

  11. thanks Lisa - that sounds like a place I must visit

    thanks Cindy - great recipe - I would love to try it on meat lovers. In fact I think I would more readily try these with the unconverted than the ones I usually make

    thanks Holler - cookbooks, what are they? :-) Always happy to share my recipes with you - after all, most of them are just passing through this blog and come from elsewhere

  12. When I ate eat meat, I never like sausage rolls. But I feel inclined to try vegetarian sausage rolls! They look amazing. And I was checking out your recipe of them and those ones look good too.

  13. thanks Ashley - I would say these are better than sausage rolls - these ones are quite rich and intense but if you want something full of vegies I would say to try my version that I posted elsewhere

  14. These vegetarian sausage rolls look darn good. I'm not much of a meat person (not a vegetarian either) so these sound really good!

  15. I'm veggie to the point of no actual meat, red or white, and despise eggs in any form...any recipes for veggie sausage rolls that don't use eggs?

  16. Hi Chiclet - I am not sure about adapting this recipe but I have often made other vegetarian sausage rolls just by mixing nuts, breadcrumbs and vegies and eggs but you could substitute tofu, ground flax seeds or soy flour for the eggs

    There are also quite a few nut roasts and another vegetarian sausage roll recipe in my index (near the top of the right hand column of my blog) - any of which could be adapted to be a filling. My email is at the bottom of the index if you have more questions

  17. Hey Chiclet, I have often thought about using blended silken tofu in these as a binder, even to the point of substituting out the cottage cheese for a full vegan experience. :-)

  18. Hello! I finally made these yesterday after bookmarking the recipe a year ago. I wanted to find an alternative to the nasty Quorn sausage rolls and pasties my husband takes on his hillwalking adventures. I used half pecans half cashews and added some grated carrot and fresh herbs... SO TASTY! And just as good cold for taking up a Munro. Thank you :)

  19. Thanks Shauna - I should make another batch to keep in the freezer - really handy to have about for emergencies - and would like to try with grated carrot and fresh herbs!

  20. Hiya,

    Its great to read the blog of a fellow veggie. If at all you visit the UK, you might find www.fussyveggie.blogspot.com useful


  21. Thanks for this recipe - sausage rolls are the only thing I miss since becoming vegetarian! I've made them a few times and they're fantastic, my non-veggie husband prefers them to regular sausage rolls.

  22. I have actually tried these as both sausage rolls and as a nutloaf and they are both delicious with tomato sauce :)

  23. These ingredients look vaguely familiar to the Cottage Rolls recipe I use from the Taste.com.au website. They are so good, you'd never know they didn't contain meat! Since sausage rolls used to be a weakness of mine, making a batch of these on a regular basis is a great way to satisfy my cravings!

  24. just made them and they are beautiful.

  25. I just made these but instead of the cottage cheese I replaced it with tofu and I added some spinach, can't wait to try it

  26. I make the best snagger rolls but my vego daughter can't eat them. I use one grated spud one grated onion plus mixed herbs and salt and a kilo of best butcher sausage meat and use frozen puff pastry. For vego ones I suggest
    onion spud breadcrumbs, oil, egg or not, and nuts of some sort, I like pine nuts but they are so expensive. The herbs are essential.Fresh ones great, oregano parsley sage etc.

  27. Jo, I made these today, and they are great! Thank you for sharing the recipe. I've stashed some away in the freezer for a quick and easy meal down the track.

  28. I'm a latecomer to your blog and am so excited to have found it! I'm making a batch of these 'sausage' rolls today - Woo Hoo!

  29. These really are the most amazing sausage rolls ever. When I ate meat I always loved sausages and sausage rolls, so nice to be able to have something just as good (well, better!). Someone gave me this recipe in Australia a few years ago at a party when meat-eaters and veggies alike were scoffing them by the plateload! When I've made them, a number of meat-eaters haven't believed me when I said they were veggie. Personally I don't think they taste like meat (I can't eat anything that does these days). But may be a good recipe to try to convert some people?? Pleased to find the recipe on the internet so more people can enjoy them - thanks! x


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