Saturday, March 8, 2008

Homemade Vegan Pepperoni

We were actually invited over to our friends' house for dinner tonight (the first time since we moved here in July!). I know that making vegan food can be daunting for omnis (hence our scant dinner invitations) but they served up a delicious meal of black bean enchiladas and salad, with chocolate pudding cake for dessert. What a treat! That means I did not cook a meal today, and I know I said I would post the risotto from yesterday, but I wanted to share today's culinary experiment instead. This pepperoni is totally amazing! You will never buy veggie pepperoni at the store again.

Note: if you want a milder pepperoni, cut back on the pepper and pepper flakes.
- 1/2 cup of white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 tsp HP sauce, or BBQ sauce
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp whole anise seed
- 1 tsp red peppercorns
- 1 tsp green peppercorns
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten

Get your water on it way to boiling in your steamer
1. Finely mash the beans with a fork. Add water, oil, liquid smoke, HP or BBQ sauce, paprika, cayenne, salt and sugar and mix well.
2. Roughly grind anise seed, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes with a mortar and pestle. Add into mixture. Add in wheat gluten and mix well with a fork.
3. Divide dough into three equal portions. Shape each into a tube and wrap like a tootsie roll in heavy duty aluminum foil. Make sure to wrap it tightly by twisting the ends. Heavy duty foil is needed to keep the pepperoni from bursting out of the wrapping when cooking.
4. Steam for 45 mins. Cool and slice.


Binx said...

I need to get a steamer!

BTW, I made your tempeh burgers today for lunch (yum) and wrote about it on my blog-- hope you don't mind! I love reading your blog. I've spent more of my life as a vegetarian than an omni, and much of it as a vegan, but your blog has really inspired me to get more creative in the kitchen. So thank you!

Lane said...

Hi Vegan Dad,

I just stumbled upon your website. WOW, you have some amazing looking dishes!

I definitely will try this pepperoni recipe. I hope it's as good as you say.

Lane of

colleen said...

Any idea how long this will keep in the fridge, or if it could be frozen?

Looks very yummy -- thanks for the inspiration, as always.

(You've also made me add Marsala & mushrooms to my shopping list.)

Vegan Dad said...

I have the extra pepperoni in the freezer right now (still in its foil wrapper) and I don't anticipate any problems. I froze and thawed the breakfast sausages I made last week--they tasted exactly the same. And, I think it would last in the fridge for quite a while. Just keep it wrapped up and slice as needed.

Veg-a-Nut said...

Perfect pepperoni. I have made the steamed sausages that Julie makes and we love them. I am going to try your recipe soon. I like the beans added to the recipe. :o)

Belinda said...

Hi VeganDad,

To the best of my knowledge liquid smoke is not something particularly available in Australia.

Can you think of a sub that might work adequately?

Kind Regards

Vegan Dad said...


I am not sure . . . maybe a hickory BBQ sauce (but more than a tsp)? Something to give a smoky flavour.

CDM said...

Any ideas of what can be substituted for the wheat gluten for those who are allergy to wheat? the pepporoni looks incredible. I love your site.

Vegan Dad said...

I am afraid I don't know. Perhaps others more familiar with gluten-free cooking can help out. The only reason this recipe works is because of the gluten which firms up and takes on a meat-like texture.

Jen said...

I just made this pepperoni, and it is great! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

To the person who can't find smoke flavor- maybe using smoked spanish paprika would work? It has a really nice smoky flavor. Not sure if you can get that either though!

Christina said...

I just made this recipe and am very disappointed. The problem is the pepperoni is extremely HOT (spicy). Yes, pepperoni is spicy but the flavor is usually mild unless it specifically states that it is HOT. I feel there should have been a note with the recipe regarding the heat - that it is hotter than mild. I am surprised that there is no mention of this. If there was, then I would have cut the amount of pepper in half. As I was making it, I thought it seemed to be alot of pepper to the 1 1/4 cup of gluten (especially the 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes). I have never had pepperoni (regular or vegetarian) that was this hot and don't think that it can be compared to any store bought vegetarian pepperoni because the latter is not this spicy.

Vegan Dad said...

You are the first to be displeased with the recipe. But, the solution is simple: use less pepper next time. I will amend the recipe above to warn of spiciness.

Christina said...

Okay, so I made a second batch and used less than half the amount of red pepper and cayenne pepper. Now I like it! I have to say, I really, really like the texture that is produced by steaming. I have used the boiling and baking methods, but I really think steaming is the best. I plan on using this recipe often but will try different seasonings so that it's not always the same taste. I would love to make a "beefy" flavored version of this and saute it with some peppers and onions.

Vegan Dad said...

I am glad it all worked out! I am wondering if my pepper flakes are getting old and have lost their spiciness.

Ron said...

Aussies can get liquid smoke from the Queensland Veg*n Society:

Ron (Australia)

Ron said...

Just made my first batch of this today and it's great (I've got stop slicing pieces off or there'll be one left for tonight's pizzas).

I thought the spiciness was perfect for my taste buds. The only change I might make next time is to used smoked Hungarian paprika instead sweet Hungarian paprika.

Thanks for another great recipe.

Ron (Australia)

Ron said...

Back again.

Although totally edible and very tasty, it turns out that my pepperoni is rubbery and chewy.

I've made dozens of sausages, cutlets etc without a texture like this and have never needed to experiment with seiten recipes so my experience level is low.

Now I'm using Aussie metric measurement cups etc and am wondering if a little more olive oil or a shorter steaming time might fix the rubbery texture.

Ron (Australia)

Vegan Dad said...

Not reallt sure why these would turn out rubbery. It is the same recipe as all my other sausage recipes, but with different spices. Perpelxing.

Reni said...

This was awesome, just like your brats. Just two questions if you get a chance in your busy day/night.

Did you add anything to get a red colour? I used Spanish paprika instead of regular, maybe that was why mine wasn't red.

Also, do you puree the beans? I find that even when mashing, there are some half beans that end up in the final log.

Thanks for sharing your great recipes. :) (any chance you will try salami in the future?)

Vegan Dad said...

You could puree the beans if you find mashing does not breakthem down enough. I just find it finicky to puree 1/2 cup of beans. As for the colour, I rely just on the paprika and cayenne. It's really kind of a red/tan colour--I think the lighting in the picture makes it look more red.

Simples assim... said...

This is perfect! I'm from Brasil and I'm going to Queb├ęc this year, I loved discovery your veg blog!!!! Adriana

Mark said...

I'm making this for Vegan Pizza Day tomorrow. Very excited. Thanks so much for the recipe!

Travis said...

Hello Vagan Dad,
Just found your site. Love it! I too am a Vegan who likes my meat substitutes.
The pepperoni was spicy, I will most likely dial down the pepper. I used regular kidney beans and liked the red flecks it produced.
I changed the texture a bit as the finished product was tasty, but a bit rubbery. So, I fried the slices up a bit in a skillet sprayed with olive oil. This toughened them up a bit and made the texture even more believable when we bit into it tonight on our pizza.
Thanks for a GREAT blog.

Travis said...

Hello Vagan Dad,
Just found your site. Love it! I too am a Vegan who likes my meat substitutes.
The pepperoni was spicy, I will most likely dial down the pepper. I used regular kidney beans and liked the red flecks it produced.
I changed the texture a bit as the finished product was tasty, but a bit rubbery. So, I fried the slices up a bit in a skillet sprayed with olive oil. This toughened them up a bit and made the texture even more believable when we bit into it tonight on our pizza.
Thanks for a GREAT blog.

thisisourabundantlife said...


Could you please share the adjustments you made so that others could repeat your results? Much Thanks.

PS Thanks to Vegan Dad for making your recipes available.

Lori Lepelletier said...

I have made steamed sausages before with much success but these pepperoni came out squishy. They seemed too wet when I put them in the foil. Do you have a suggestion if the dough seems wet...should I add more vital wheat gluten, or would that make it too gluteny? Should I add flour instead? Should I simply steam it for longer?

Unknown said...

Lori Lepelletier - I've also made lots of other steamed sausages with no trouble and I had the same problem with squishiness in this one. Even after I tried adding another tbsp or so of gluten to the very wet dough. I'm trying chilling the pepperoni for a while to see if it firms up, and if not, I'll just try using less water next time I make them.

a_jedson said...

If your not vegan, it will not taste good. I am a vegetarian and am used to certain things, and usually I do not like vegan food, and this is no exception. The pepperoni smells and tastes like a chemical, I know it's the wheat gluten, but still I was not expecting this. I got my hopes ups and spent $10-$15 on this pepperoni only to throw it all away, a complete waste. If you love vegan food and think it tastes good, you MIGHT like this, but all these good reviews on here will give you the wrong idea and give you false hope of it tasting good. Save your time and your hopes and efforts for something else.

Travis said...

Please do not listen to the the above post! "a_jedson" admits to you that they don't like most Vegan food and then post a whiny comment on a very nice blog.
I've been following Vegan Dad for years, and yes, sometimes his recipes did not turn out perfectly the first time for me, but it was always because I needed to pay more attention to my mixing/steaming process. Not the recipe's fault at all.
Speaking for myself here, I appreciate him and his efforts to share great recipes and make them available to all of us who want to eat an animal free/ plant based diets. In my diet I eat "mock" meats because I was raised on them, It's a familiar pallet pleaser.
SUGGESTION: I find that when I make his pepperoni, I slice it thin into ovals and dry fry it in a teflon pan. It helps make it more like the texture of pepperoni and on pizza or a sandwich (I make a "P"LT) it is very good!!!
Keep up the great work Vegan Dad, Thank you!

Jenn Kraus said...

This was s great recipe the way it was written. I added about 2 tblsp of tomato paste the second time and steamed longer the second time around. Gave it more of an "Italian" taste and a redder color. The texture firmed up with the longer cooking.

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