Seitan pepperoni is salty, spicy and has a nice firm texture almost exactly the same as the real thing. If pepperoni is something you have been missing as a vegetarian or vegan then this seitan version is perfect for pizza, pasta or on its own.
This is a vegan pepperoni that is spiced exactly like the meat version and packed full of flavour. This seitan pepperoni also makes a fair amount so you can stick some in the freezer and use them whenever you feel the need.
Vegan Pepperoni Made From Seitan
Pepperoni has one of those flavours that are really distinctive and unique. Of course, it is synonymous with pizza and as a pizza topping. In essence, it is a type of salami and the spices are really easy to transfer over to vegan-based sausage made from seitan.
Seitan is really easy to make into a semi-hard sausage and provides a texture that is really similar to pepperoni so we can incorporate the flavours, spices and colour of pepperoni and end up with something that is remarkably similar to the meat-based version.
Vital Wheat Gluten Pepperoni
If you have never heard of seitan before then you may be confused as to what this pepperoni is made from. Seitan is wheat gluten or the protein component of wheat.
Wheat gluten is made by washing away most of the carbohydrates or starch from regular wheat flour. This leaves the protein part and this means our seitan pepperoni is packed full of protein.
You don’t have to wash any flour for this recipe you can pick up a product called “Vital Wheat Gluten“. This VWG is sold in most supermarkets now and is flour that has already been processed to remove the starch. This means you can mix the VWG with your herbs, spices and other ingredients to really easily make a really authentic pepperoni.
Pepperoni Spices & Flavours
When you look at how pepperoni is made there are different variations. Not every recipe will have exactly the same spices. There is also the difference that pepperoni is cured and fermented so we have to try and include some of the flavours to incorporate these savoury and funky flavours.
I like to include a fair amount of pepper in pepperoni and that hardly seems surprising, however, not every pepperoni recipe I have seen includes pepper. The next ingredient is another type of pepper.
Pepperoni is fairly spicy and the cayenne really kicks the spice levels up a notch. I combine cayenne and black pepper and it provides a really earthy spiciness.
I include miso in my seitan pepperoni to add a funky, salty, savouriness to the sausage. It adds a certain amount of the fermentation character that a meat pepperoni has but of course it’s completely vegan.
Fennel provides a unique aniseed flavour almost like liquorice and combines really well with the peppery notes.
Red wine provides colour and flavour that really help to make this vegan pepperoni look really good.
Paprika adds both flavour and colour. If you prefer a smokier flavour you can use smoked paprika but I like regular paprika. It adds a piquant quality.
Along with these spices to really bring out the pepperoni flavour we have some regular additions such as garlic and onion powder, soy sauce and sugar to round out the flavour of the seitan.
When combined these ingredients make a seitan pepperoni that really tastes like a meat-based one and cooks and feels like one.
Adding Texture To The Pepperoni
I think it is really nice to boost the texture of the pepperoni. A meat pepperoni is made with minced meat so we can try and incorporate some of the bite and chew by including some additional protein.
- TVP / Texture Vegetable Protein
Including textured vegetable protein which is a kind of soy-based mince, alongside the vital wheat gluten give the feeling of chew and texture when you are eating it.
I have made this seitan pepperoni with TVP and without and prefer the added texture. If you want you can leave it out.
Shaping and Cooking The Seitan Pepperoni
The great thing about seitan and this seitan pepperoni is that you don’t need to use sausage making equipment or use casings as the way seitan is cooked makes it easy to form into a sausage shape.
This vegan pepperoni is loosely rolled by hand into a sausage shape and then tightly wrapped in foil with each end twisted then steamed.
When the seitan is steamed it expands slightly but because it is tightly wrapped in foil it conforms to the shape which is a sausage shape.
Cooking The Seitan Pepperoni
When cooked, seitan expands, this is how we can form the pepperoni into a sausage shape. We have to be careful to make sure we don’t overcook it.
This pepperoni is a hard, semi-dry sausage that we will steam, wrapped in foil. If seitan isn’t tightly wrapped or gets too hot it tends to form air bubbles and become spongy.
- 1/2 cup TVP / textured vegetable protein
- 120ml vegan beef stock/broth
- 225g vital wheat gluten
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp coarsely ground fennel seed
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 235ml water
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tbsp miso paste
- 2 tbsp virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp beet powder
- Combine the texture ingredients by heating the vegan beef stock in a pan and adding the TVP. SImmer for a moment then remove from the heat and cover until later.
- In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients and in a smaller bowl combine the wet ingredients. Ensure each is mixed thoroughly.
- Add the wet ingredients and the rehydrated TVP to the bowl of dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly with a spatula and then knead by hand for 1 - 2 minutes.
- Divide the seitan pepperoni dough into 4 even-sized pieces. Roll each into a log around 1-inch thick.
- Place each log onto a 12-inch square piece of foil and roll tightly. Twist the ends to secure the pepperoni and then wrap in another layer of foil.
- Place the wrapped pepperoni in a steamer ensuring plenty of room for the steam to circulate. Steam for 50 minutes.
- After 50 minutes remove from the steamer and allow to cool. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight before unwrapping and slicing thinly.
Will keep in the fridge for a week or freeze the sliced pepperoni for longer-term storage.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 421Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 1078mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 7gSugar: 9gProtein: 57g