My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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Italian Tofu Sausage

About a year ago, I thought I found the perfect non-meat substitute for Italian sausage.  Field Roast.  They were the perfect substitute, until I realized gluten was doing a serious number on my insides.  They are full of protein and most importantly, have a short, non-processed ingredient list.  Oh, and they taste pretty amazing too.

It’s not that I miss the actual meat part of the sausage, it’s the flavor.  I just love the flavor of Italian sausage. 

This recipe has been in the back of my head for quite some time.  I figured it would serve quite well as an alternative protein for Thanksgiving dinner.  Or really any dinner.   

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While this may not be the most photogenic dish, don’t let that fool you.  The taste is where it’s at.  If you don’t want to serve it up in a large bowl, you could always mix it in with a batch of herb baked stuffing.

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I attempted this a few times, and finally found the secret ingredient is red wine.  Thanks to the ingredient list for Field Roast sausages, for clueing me in.Field Roast ingredient list for clueing me in.  For some reason the wine really brought all of the flavors together, without giving it a wine-y taste. 

There are a few tips when making this dish. 

  1. You want to crumble the tofu into large pieces and not break it apart too much in the pan.  I got a little stir happy, and broke this apart too much. 
  2. Spreading on a baking sheet, and broiling, after cooking in the pan.  This will brown the tofu and draw out some of the moisture. 
    • You can also cube the tofu into bite sized pieces [after pressing the liquid out], broil the pieces until crispy and then incorporate it into the pan mixture.  The tofu won’t absorb quite as much of the flavor, but if you like your tofu crisp, this is the way to go.
  3. If you’re not into soy, this works with beans as well.  I would recommend a nice sturdy bean, like chickpeas.  I tried it with white beans, and while it tasted great, the beans fell apart too much.
    • We try to keep our soy consumption fairly low over here, at about 1-2 meals per week.  When we do consume soy, we either eat fermented organic tempeh or organic sprouted tofu.  I’ve found that the only tofu my stomach is okay with is the sprouted variety.

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Italian Tofu Sausage

  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1 med onion [1 1/3c], diced
  • 1 med red bell pepper [1 1/3c], diced
  • 2T sunflower oil
  • 1/4c red wine
  • 2-3t garlic, minced
  • 1.5t whole fennel seeds
  • 1t dried oregano, sage, basil
  • 1/4t smoked paprika [or 1/4t liquid smoke]
  • 3/4t salt
  • black pepper
  • sage, chopped [to top]
  1. Cut tofu into 8 even slices, and lay flat on a doubled over kitchen towel.  Lay another towel [doubled over] on top, place a cutting board over that, then place a few heavy books on top.  Press for 20min.
  2. While pressing, prep the veggies + garlic.
  3. In a large pan over medium heat, add 1T oil. 
  4. Add the onion + bell pepper and cook for about 5min, stirring frequently until softened.
  5. Crumble the pressed tofu into the pan and cook for another 2-3min, stirring gently, trying to not break up the tofu too much.
  6. Add the other 1T of oil to the pan, then add the garlic, fennel seeds, oregano, sage, basil, smoked paprika, salt + pepper.
  7. Cook for 2-3min, stirring gently.
  8. Slowly pour in the red wine, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan and cook for another 2-3min.
  9. Preheat your oven to broil + spread the mixture evenly onto a large baking sheet.
  10. Broil on the top rack until lightly browned, stirring once.  ~8-12min *Time can vary depending on your broiler.  Keep a close eye on the tofu so it does not burn.
  11. Add more salt + pepper to your liking and top with fresh chopped sage if desired.

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Serving suggestions?  Here are a few:

  • mixed in with stuffing [like traditional sausage stuffing]
  • pizza topping
  • wrapped in a tortilla with marinara + cheese
  • eaten as is

If you’re more the breakfast sausage flavor type of person, I’m sure an apple + sage version would be quite delicious as well.

It’s like a marathon of food over here.  And I’m loving it.

Tomorrow:  sweet potatoes two ways!

Now: sleep!


Reader Comments (46)

This is so creative and even people who "don't like tofu" would love this I'm betting :)

I bet I could sneak this to my dad (I'm 100% Italian, too) and he wouldn't know the difference. I'm trying to get him to eat healthier, so maybe I will experiment a bit!

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlauren@spicedplate

This looks SO good Ashley! I'm not really into faux meats, but I am totally going to make this for my carnivorous husband - and I agree about the soy. I can only take organic sprouted. I love Trader Joe's organic sprouted tofu!

This recipe rocks...but I have to admit, I am little giddy about tomorrow! sweet potatoes<3

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica @ Jess Go Bananas

what a cool idea ive never loved sausage and really havent missed it since going veg but for some reason I am craving this salad yum!

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate

I love how you make this dish look photogenic! You are a photo genius! I saved the recipe and I am excited to try it! :)

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Healthy Hostess

If I want italian sausage flavor I usually get Tofurky Italian Sausage. (Perhaps I am just too lazy to make it!) Our 'meat' at Thanksgiving has always been a Quorn Roll-my kids love them! Not sure if GF, but if it is you should check it out. I've even had lots of non-veg friends say it was good.

We're big sweet potato fans, so can't wait to see what you come up with!

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa Krug

Wow, I am not a Tofu fan, but this recipe sounds really good. I forward this to my friend who is a Vegan and would love this recipe.

Even Travis would eat this, I think! That's saying alot! ;)

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay @ Lindsay's List

This would be great added to my vegetarian stuffing as a main dish on Thursday!

How cool! What a great idea :)

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren @ What Lauren Likes

Freezing the tofu (water and all) before hand then defrosting helps give a more "meaty" texture too! I wonder if kidney beans would be a good bean to do this with too.... can't wait to try em' all!

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

This is an awesome idea. Seriously. I'm so with you on sometimes just wanting the herby meaty flavor of meat but not really wanting the actual meat. I definitely want to try this out.

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCait's Plate

thank you for this idea...although a time saver, i am not really into eating pre-made meat-like there are many recipes that request italian sausage and i've been using trader joe's (pretty good for what it is)...your version might be a better alternative for me :) thank you!

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commentereva @5FruitsNVeggies

This sounds amazing! And I love that you don't have to shape it into an actual sausage shape.

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

This sounds perfect because I'm just put off by packaged faux meats. I mean, really, who know what's in them?

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly @ Foodie Fiasco

This so creative! I love sausage (biggest TWSS ever!), particularly the flavor but I eat it so infrequently these days. Tofu however, is always in my fridge. Definitely going to try this out.

I bet this would be fab paired with home fries or polenta for breakfast!

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaitlyn@TheTieDyeFIles

Interesting recipe - I am intrigued!

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTiff @ Love Sweat and Beers

I want this. like now. like RIGHT now. :)

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkelsey

This recipe looks great. I love the relatively clean ingredients. I've never tried a Field Roast or most fake meats because of the gluten, so I'm glad to find a gluten-free recipe.

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEvan Thomas

I've never eaten real sausage in my life but love the flavor of 'soysauge'. I'm disenchanted by the ingredient list of my favorite brand and have been meaning to experiment with making my own, thanks for doing the legwork for me!

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFaith

I have never been able to eat sausages...bad headaches. Like you, I love the flavour. What a revolutionary idea! Will have to give it a try!

Photos are extra fabulous in this post!

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura (Blogging Over Thyme)

Thanks so much Laura!

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Hope you enjoy it if you give it a go!

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

OHmy YES! A great idea! I'm also going to make a breakfast version...yum

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Hahaha, sausage shaping going on over here!

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I hope you like it!!

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

YES!! Exactly.

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Great idea!! I've heard of that and will have to give it a try next time.

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Not sure about the kidney beans...they're pretty sturdy, so it would probably work.

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Yes!! For sure...let me know if you try it! I was going to do that too, but just went with my plain herb stuffing. Too much to make!

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Well I hope he likes it!

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Haha, I tried...still not totally happy with it, but I had to share the recipe!

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Thanks Chelsey! Hope you both enjoy!

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

That looks and sounds amazing - I've been missing Italian sausage - never thought to make my own - better still with tofu!

November 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergalit

Looks fantastic! I love new ways to use tofu. Definitely trying this!

November 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJamie (Thrifty Veggie Mama)

[...] feel free to add any protein of choice.  Add these to the mixture before baking.1.5c chickpeascrumbled tofu sausageField Roast Or…Top with 1-2 sunny side up eggs.Just having eaten chickpeas with the stuffed [...]

So good! I added it to a vegan mac and cheese, with sliced plum tomatoes on top and baked it. It was delicious! Thank you :)

December 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBeckie

[...] recipe has been sitting in my head for quite awhile now.  I thought of it when I made the Italian tofu sausage a few months back.  As you can see, I am clearly missing the Field Roast vegan sausages, even [...]

I just made this and it is amazing! I have only recently stopped eating meat and have never ever cooked tofu before. I'm also not very good in the kitchen. But this is so good I can't stop eating it!
January 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCheyJey
@CheyJey - So happy to hear you liked this! Yay for first time tofu cooking! ;) Good luck with your new veggie food ventures!
January 3, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
Discovered this recipe about 6 months ago. Most wonderful stuff ever! I make several batches at a time and keep it in the freezer. I use it in any recipe that calls for hamburger. People who aren't vegetarians never know the difference.
August 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCindy
Delicious! Tried a version of this, added some nutritional yeast and didn't have red wine, but it was superb! Ate it on a rice cake with avocado, then on a bunch of grilled greens+veggies. Will probably finish it tonight on a pizza! Thanks!
August 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnnabell
I hate tofu and was determined to find a way to eat it....FOUND IT! This definitely pleased my pallet. Thank you
February 13, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterbev

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