This crumbled breakfast sausage is the perfect addition to your omelette, breakfast taco, or to mix into southern country gravy and serve over biscuits or crispy grit cakes. It's savory, a little spicy, and full of meaty texture and plant-based protein. The perfect breakfast of champions!
If you've already tried my Crispy Chinese Tofu (that tastes like pork!), you're familiar with this genius crispy tofu method I learned many years ago from Christina Chaey in Bon Appetit Magazine. From this brilliant chef, we learned to crumble our tofu and toss it in cornstarch, then brown it in a skillet until crisp and douse it in flavorful sauce.
For this tofu breakfast sausage recipe, we are using a handful of dry seasonings, herbs and spices, to flavor the tofu. The result is impressive - crispy and tender and full of that savory, spicy sausage taste we all love. But in a nutrient-dense tofu crumble package.
The ingredient list is short and simple and will get these vegan sausage crumbles on your plate in no time!
What you'll need to make this tofu sausage recipe:
Measurements and instructions included in the printable recipe card below.
Step by step instructions for for making this tofu based veggie sausage:
To begin, use a tofu press, skillet, or weighted plates and paper towels (or a clean tea towel) to press excess water out of your block of tofu. I like to cut my tofu into 2-3 equal slices to accelerate the process.
After at least 30 minutes, crumble the pressed tofu into small pieces. Then, in a small bowl, combine the crumbled tofu with the cornstarch and toss to coat well.
Heat 3 tablespoons of neutral oil in a cast iron skillet or large frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the cornstarch-coated tofu crumbles. Then season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, poultry seasoning and red pepper flakes. Toss quickly in the pan to coat, then spread the tofu crumbles into a single layer and leave for 3-4 minutes to allow the tofu to crisp.
Then toss and leave undisturbed for another 2-3 minutes. Add additional oil, if necessary. The entire crisping process can take 10-12 minutes, on medium heat.
Once the tofu sausage has crisped, taste and adjust seasoning. Remove from heat and top with diced chives. Serve with eggs, grit cakes, southern country gravy or in breakfast burritos.
FAQ's and Serving Suggestions:
Using this same cooking method, add fennel seeds (or ground fennel), onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and a touch of smoked paprika, along with salt and pepper. This Italian version of the breakfast sausage crumbles would be delicious on pizza, in pasta recipes or in wraps and calzones for meal prep.
I have only used cornstarch in this recipe, but if you're looking for an alternative, potato starch, tapioca, chickpea flour and even all purpose flour will help with the coating. Your crisping levels may vary.
The red pepper flakes add a balanced level of heat to the sausage crumbles. If you're looking for more, a pinch of cayenne pepper will do the trick. I also like to serve any dish like breakfast sandwiches or burritos with a bottle of hot sauce, so everyone can customize their own heat level.
You really need extra firm tofu or firm in order to make this crumbled sausage recipe work. Soft tofu and silken tofu won't hold their shape enough to make the sausage dish come together.
Baking the tofu will not achieve the same crispy exterior, but it is still a good option if you're meal prepping and want to cook in bulk. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the tofu, cornstarch and all spices in a bowl and toss well. Add oil to the baking sheet and toss the seasoned crumbles in it, then spread into a single layer. Bake at 375 degrees fahrenheit for 30-35 minutes, tossing every 10-12 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
I don't recommend a food processor, just because the hand crumbling allows for more variation in the crumb, which I really like in this recipe. You don't want to turn your tasty sausage crumbles into powdered tofu by processing just a little bit too long!
To store, transfer tofu crumbles to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Tofu sausage crumbles can be frozen for up to 3 months.
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