A rich and smoky vegan sausage casserole full of roasted vegetables. This comes together in under an hour in the oven for a relatively hands-off dinner that the whole family will love. It’s easy to veganise this British classic when so many delicious meatless sausages are available, and I’ll show you how to add a little bit of richness in to make up for the lower fat content.
So this is the 260th post on this blog, and the first time I’ve used a so-called “faux meat” as an ingredient. I always said my recipes would avoid using these products, so what’s changed?
Well, I’d say A LOT has changed since 2011 when I first started posting recipes on the internet. More and more people are reducing their meat intake, and at this point I just see veggie sausages as a normal, staple British supermarket ingredient. NOT a weird meat replacer.
I think we all do, right? Most of my non-vegetarian friends eat veggie sausages as well as or instead of meat ones. The current offerings taste so delicious they’re not just for vegetarians who need a straight substitute for meat, they really are for everyone.
So these days it feels appropriate for me talk about how to make sausage casserole with vegan sausages. Now let’s do that!
Why do you even need a recipe for a vegan version?
Of course you can replicate a meaty sausage casserole recipe just by swapping in vegan sausages. So why do we need this recipe?
Well, in a meaty sausage casserole you’d have all the fat of your sausages adding extra flavour and richness into the casserole. Vegan sausages can be drier and not so fatty. A straight swap for vegan sausages would be fine, but I like to overcompensate for the loss of any flavour source.
First, roasting the vegetables! We get more depth of flavour overall this way, and the tasty olive oil they roast in stays in the casserole too.
Second, add lots of umami packed ingredients such as red wine, smoked paprika, and lots of garlic (including roasted garlic) and thyme. These add deep, savoury tones very quickly and easily.
The Best Vegan Sausages for your casserole
Despite how mainsteam meatless sausages have become, many of them still contain egg so are only suitable for vegetarians. Fully vegan sausages without egg used to be a little more elusive but that is really changing.
What I would heartily recommend is the Tesco Plant Chef Bangers or Sainsbury’s Shroomdogs sausages. The fresh ones, not the frozen ones, which are actually very different. Those sausages are insanely good. So robust, so meaty, so flavorful.
But they are not the sausages pictured, alas, because I only discovered them after posting this recipe – doh! I used Linda McCartney frozen vegan sausages here and like all of the frozen brands I’ve tried, they are soft and bready and delicate. Not the best, to be honest.
If you are working with vegan sausages like that, it’s OK! This recipe accounts for it by frying them in oil and putting them into the casserole whole instead of chopping and submerging them. But if you are going shopping before making this – skip the frozen range. Head to Tesco or Sainsbury’s fresh sections.
I haven’t tried all of the vegan sausages on the market, but Cauldron (fresh) are meant to be good too and other supermarket ranges might also be great. If you’re vegetarian rather than vegan, you’ve got a few more options such as Quorn sausages which are also decent.
And you can of course make your own vegan sausages from seitan! Seitan holds up really well in sauces.
This is hands off and can be made entirely in the oven
I seriously love recipes that only use the oven. It really suits how I like to cook – stress free, lots of dead time. It can take longer, but ultimately it’s more hands off and more forgiving. In the case of this recipe, it frees you up to make mashed potato or rice, set the table, and whatever else you need to do in the run up to dinner.
The casserole is in the oven for around 45 minutes and you go in every 15 minutes to add extra ingredients. In the last part, you put your sausages in the oven so they can cook alongside.
The timings are flexible. You may want to roast your veg for a shorter or longer time, or your sausages may need longer if cooking from frozen; none of it matters too much.
Customisations and How to Serve
You can of course change up the veg here. I personally don’t love carrots, even though I know they’re a classic sausage casserole ingredient! I just prefer the softer, more melty vegetables in this. You may also want to add some greens – you could stir some spinach or kale in when you add the wine and tomatoes.
A lot of sausage casseroles contain beans. You can certainly add a can of beans here, but you may also want to add some extra tomatoes in that case. And if you’re adding extra tomatoes, I’d also double the wine, smoked paprika and garlic.
What to serve with? For me, it’s gotta be mashed potatoes. But there’s no denying that a loaf of fresh bread or a quick pan of white rice (especially if you have a rice cooker) would be an easier route to dinnertime, and these are also delicious options.
Vegan Sausage Casserole with Roasted Vegetables
- 4 portobello mushrooms, sliced into strips
- 2 red peppers, sliced into strips
- 1 large red onion, sliced into strips
- 8 cloves garlic : 4 sliced in half lengthways, 4 minced
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- A handful of fresh thyme leaves
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- 60 ml (¼ cup) red wine
- 6-8 vegan sausages
- Preheat the oven to 200C / 390F.
- Toss the peppers, onions, mushrooms and sliced garlic cloves in olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt, then transfer into a shallow casserole dish.
- Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, then take out and mix the vegetables around and flip them over. They should have reduced a bit by now. Add the minced garlic, smoked paprika and thyme, and then put back in the oven for another 15 minutes.
- Once the vegetables are looking sufficiently roasted and browning around the edges, take the pan out and place on a heatproof surface. Now immediately pour in the red wine and let it bubble. Once it. stops bubbling, add the tomatoes. Cover and replace in the oven for a final 15 minutes while you prepare your sausages.
- You can either add the sausages to another tray in the oven (brushed with oil) or fry them. (The latter option adds a bit of extra oil and richness to the dish.)
- Remove the casserole from the oven and place the sausages on top, whole.
- Serve over mashed potato or rice.
Richmond veggie sausages are the best .
Hard to know they are vegetarian friendly.
Quorn now do a range of Vegan products…😀
Really looking forward to trying this SOON. I really love the Cauldron Lincolnshire vegan sausages and will be using those.
Tesco Plant Chef Vegan Cumberland Style Bangers. Wow
Your recipes are wonderful, but once again an ingredient is not mentioned in the instructions. I’m assuming the paprika goes in at the end with the wine & tomatoes.
Why no reply,?
I made the edit to the recipe but then forgot to respond. Sorry if that comes across as my not being concerned – it’s not that at all. The comment was left in November when we were just preparing to relocate our family across the country, so things will have slipped due to all of that.
Thank you for flagging this up, I’ve edited to clarify.
Please tell me how large your can of tomatoes is for those of us across the pond. Our canned chopped tomatoes come in 15- or 28-ounce sizes or 425 or 793 grams respectively. Sounds like your recipe feeds 3 adults so doubling feeds 6? I am making for potluck of 12 folks.
Ah sorry, I always use 15 ounce cans which are the standard here so that is what the recipe is calling for. Yes doubling would feed 6 as a main dinner, if it’s potluck where everyone is sampling lots of different main dishes then that would come out about right.
Thanks so much! Your recipe really fits the bill with me this fall. We have Field Roast “apple-sage vegan sausages’ here that are simply delicious. Can’t wait to introduce to my friends!
First, this was really tasty. I used fire roasted crushed tomatoes. I took off a star because this looks like an easy one pot meal. In reality, no one has a shallow casserole dish that would hold all of these vegetables, and you need shallow for them to roast properly. The pictures must be using half or a quarter of the actual ingredients. So I had to use a big sheet pan for the first half hour. There were burned spots on the pan where the liquid had dried up, so I couldn’t add the wine. So then I transferred everything into a casserole. Then heat up the casserole so the wine will bubble. Then finish.
Hi Tracey! Thank you so much for your valuable feedback. A couple things to note:
1) I have process photos in my post where I show that all of my vegetables fit into my shallow casserole dish and they do overlap but they reduce and then roast – it’s not the perfect definition of roasted for sure, but they brown and start to caramelize and have that roasted taste to them. I tested this recipe a good few times and I wrote it exactly as I made it and I promise I would never knowingly mislead my readers with something like this. But I absolutely see where the confusion came from here because I am breaking the rules of roasting while still using that term!
2) It sounds like you’re in the USA? Just guessing from a couple of the terms you used. If that’s the case I feel like your veggies are usually larger! Peppers and portobellos tend to be bigger there. So that will have made a difference too. I should have specified veggie size in the ingredients.
I am glad you enjoyed the final result but I appreciate how frustrating it is when a recipe’s process feels mis-sold and I am truly sorry about this. I will review this post when I get a chance and add some notes to bring more clarity around these two issues. Thank you again, your feedback really helps.