Let’s face it, we all love a good breakfast sausage from time to time—but sometimes we want something that’s just a little bit different.
Maybe you want to be more health-conscious, maybe you’re worried about the environmental impact of meat production, or maybe you just want an excuse to eat turkey bacon and call it healthy.
I know I’ve been there.
But what I’ve learned on this journey is that substituting out our favorite breakfast sausages doesn’t have to be boring!
We can still have fun with our food, and actually make food choices that make us feel good AND taste good.
9 Best Breakfast Sausage Substitutes
There are many substitutes for breakfast sausage that can help you meet your dietary needs or just expand your breakfast horizons.
Substitutes can be broken down into three general categories: meat-based, legume-based, and gluten-free.
- Meat-based substitutes include bacon, ham, and chorizo.
- Legume-based substitutes include tempeh and tofu.
- Gluten-free alternatives include seitan and chickpeas.
No matter what kind of substitute you choose, it’s important to remember the purpose: to replace sausage with a similar texture and flavor profile without sacrificing taste.
But, to make things easy, here are some of my favorites:
1. Canadian Bacon
Canadian bacon is less greasy and lighter than regular sausages and it has a more balanced flavor. In addition to that, it’s also healthier!
Here are some things to consider when using Canadian bacon as your breakfast sausage substitute:
- If you’re frying it up in the pan like you would with sausage, cook it slower than you would sausage—it needs time to render out some of its fat content (otherwise it will be too dry).
- If you’re baking it in the oven, put a bit of water in the bottom of your pan to keep it from drying out.
- It may take practice at first to get used to this new meaty addition to your morning meals—but don’t despair! Keep at it, and you’ll find yourself falling in love.
Tofu has the same hearty texture as breakfast sausages but without the fat.
Here’s how you make your own:
- Cut the tofu into small squares and marinate in soy sauce and sesame oil for at least a half hour.
- Heat a pan with 2 tbsp of grapeseed oil over medium heat and brown the tofu on all sides.
- Add chopped chives, scallions and garlic to the pan along with 1 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper.
- Cook until onions are softened, stirring occasionally for about 6 minutes. Serve with any protein (chicken, pork, fish), a salad or perhaps some roasted potatoes!
3. Portobello Mushrooms
Portobello Mushrooms are super easy to cook with and they taste delicious. You can make sandwiches with them, or even add them to your favorite salad!
Here are two things to keep in mind when using portobello mushrooms as a substitute for sausages:
- Portobello mushrooms have a meaty texture, but it’s important to know that they don’t taste like meat. So if you’re looking for something similar to sausages, this substitute is not for you.
- If you cook the portobello mushrooms too long, they will get mushy and lose their shape. In order to avoid this, remove them from the heat as soon as they are cooked through (about 5 minutes on each side).
Seitan is a meat substitute that most people—vegetarians and carnivores alike—love.
It’s made up of wheat gluten, which is sometimes called “the other white meat”.
And because it’s made from wheat gluten, it’s actually vegan.
Seitan is also very versatile: you can make sausages out of it or even burgers.
In fact, if you have a recipe that calls for a sausage or burger patty, you can reconstitute the seitan into one (you can even heat up the reconstituted patty in the oven).
And lastly, if you don’t have seitan on hand but do have beans on hand and are looking to make some breakfast tacos (or burritos), you can chop up some seitan and mix it with beans to make an awesome sausage/burrito mixture!
Tempeh is made of fermented soybeans and has a chewy texture similar to sausage patties. It’s also got a nutty flavor that I think pairs well with maple syrup or even some hot sauce to give you the kick you want in the morning!
I especially like it with some roasted potatoes and a fried egg, or crumbled up in an omelette.
To prepare it, I recommend steaming it first and then pan-frying it in a little olive oil to get the outside crispy.
You can also microwave it for about 20 seconds, but I find that it dries out a bit too much that way and I lose some of that nice chewiness.
Beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein, which makes them a great resource for replacing meat in your diet if you’re looking for something more sustainable or environmentally friendly.
Plus, beans are super filling and will keep you satisfied all morning long!
Lentils are easy to make and extremely versatile—you can use them in burritos, on pizza, or even in tacos!
They’re also packed with protein and fiber, which leads to better digestion and more sustainable energy throughout the day.
Soyrizo is a plant-based version of chorizo, which means it has a bit of heat and lots of flavor—but just like any other meat substitute, it can be overruled by the spices you use in your recipe.
Soyrizo can be used to replace ground beef or chorizo in any recipe and makes a great substitute for breakfast sausage!
9. Breakfast Potatoes
Warm and crispy, adding some bulk to your morning meal without all the fat—breakfast potatoes are a great substitute for greasy breakfast sausages.
To include them in your meal, simply cut up some potatoes into cubes first, then add them to a hot skillet with some salt and pepper.
You can also add some seasoning like red pepper or paprika if you want to spice things up a little.
You can pair your breakfast potatoes with other ingredients like eggs, bacon, or even vegetables.
Make sure you don’t overcook the potatoes though—they should still be slightly firm on the inside but crispy on the outside.
How to Choose a Substitute for Your Breakfast Sausage
Choosing the perfect substitute for your breakfast sausage may be difficult.
It is important to remember that not all substitutes are created equal.
Here are some tips that may help you choose the right one:
- Find a substitute that has the same flavor profile as the product you are replacing. For example, if you are vegan and are looking for something to replace regular breakfast sausages, try looking for a soy-based substitute.
- Look for substitutes that have similar nutritional profiles to the products you are replacing. For example, if you are allergic to gluten, try finding a substitute made with rice flour or potato starch instead of wheat flour.
- Consider other factors such as cost, convenience, availability and more when making your decision about which replacement to choose for your breakfast sausage!
9 Best Breakfast Sausage Substitutes
- Canadian Bacon
- Portobello Mushrooms
- Breakfast Potatoes
- Pick any of the alternatives from this list.
- Prepare the rest of your breakfast.
- Be ready to munch in no time!