Vegan Pepperoni – Connoisseurus Veg


This homemade vegan pepperoni is easy to make and tastes like the real deal! Cook up a batch for your next pizza night!

White wooden surface set with napkin, vegan Vegan Pepperoni pizza on a pizza stone, and slice of pizza on a plate.

I often mention on this site that I was never a fan of meat growing up. But there are a few exceptions. Pepperoni is one of them. I was always a sucker for a big slice of pepperoni pizza!

Well, vegan pizza is easy enough to make, so I decided it was time to make some vegan pepperoni to top my pizza. It was way easier than expected!

Pepperoni is a type of sausage, so I adapted my vegan breakfast sausage recipe, which is basically a bit old seasoned log of seitan, which has the perfect texture to make meatless pepperoni. I switched up the spices and seasoning to give the recipe some pepperoni flavor, chilled it and sliced it thin.

It was just the vegan pizza topper I’d been craving!

Jump to:

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Vital wheat gluten. This is the main ingredient in seitan and it’s an essential one in this vegan pepperoni recipe — no substitutions! Look for it in the natural foods section of your supermarket.
  • Chickpeas. We’re using canned or precooked chickpeas. You could substitute with cannellini beans, or even kidney beans or black beans, although it will affect the color of your pepperoni.
  • Garlic.
  • Water.
  • Soy sauce. Tamari or liquid aminos can be substituted if needed.
  • Olive oil. You can leave this out for an oil-free version of the recipe, but since conventional pepperoni is pretty fatty it will make your vegan version taste more authentic.
  • Red wine vinegar. White vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be substituted if needed.
  • Maple syrup. Other liquid sweeteners such as agave will also work.
  • Liquid smoke.
  • Spices. We’re using paprika, fennel, onion powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.

Equipment You’ll Need

This recipe works best with a food processor, but can be made without one if needed.

You’ll also need a large steamer for this recipe. Ideally you want something large enough to fit two 8-inch pepperoni logs. If you have something that’s too small for that you can split the recipe up to make four 4-inch logs, steaming them in batches if needed.

I used a 9-inch bamboo steamer with a wok and it worked perfectly!

How It’s Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  • Place all of the ingredients into your food processor bowl. The only prep you’ll need to do is draining the chickpeas and mincing the garlic before they go in.
Ingredients for making Vegan Pepperoni in a food processor bowl.
  • Blend the ingredients to a smooth dough.
  • The mixture will look pretty crumbly in your food processor, but you can test a small amount by pinching it in your hands. It should hold together. If not, add some water and blend again.

Tip: Don’t have a food processor? Mash the chickpeas in a large bowl, then stir in the remaining ingredients. Knead it by hand a bit to make sure everything is well mixed.

Vegan Pepperoni dough in a food processor bowl.
  • Divide your dough into two equal portions, then roll each into a log and place it on a sheet of foil.
  • Roll the logs in their respective foil sheets, pressing and shaping the logs as you roll so that your logs are each about 8 inches long.

Tip: If you prefer to cook without aluminum foil, use parchment paper instead. It’s a little bit more challenging to work with, but the recipe will turn out just fine!

Uncooked vegan pepperoni dough log on a sheet of foil.
  • Place your foil-wrapped logs in your steaming device and steam them for 40 minutes.
  • Let the logs cool when they’re done cooking, then seal them up and chill them for a few hours.
  • Slice your vegan pepperoni logs and enjoy!
Partially sliced Vegan Pepperoni log on a cutting board.

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover vegan pepperoni will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 5 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can this recipe be made gluten-free?

Unfortunately, no. Gluten is the main ingredient in this vegan pepperoni, and I don’t know of a way to replace it without completely rewriting the entire recipe.

How can I use this recipe to make vegan pepperoni pizza?

Place the slices on your pizza, right over the vegan cheese, just before baking, just like you would with conventional pepperoni.

Is additional cooking necessary in order to eat this vegan pepperoni?

Nope! Once it’s been steamed it’s fully cooked. You can bake it on a pizza if you’d like, or eat it directly from the fridge. It’s great for sandwiches, wraps, and snacking. It’s also a perfect addition to vegan charcuterie boards.

Whole Vegan Pepperoni with a slice cut out.

Like this recipe? If so, please stop back and leave me a review and rating below if you try it! Also be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter for more recipes like this one!

Slice of Vegan Pepperoni pizza on a plate.

Vegan Pepperoni

This homemade vegan pepperoni is easy to make and tastes like the real deal! Cook up a batch for your next pizza night!

Total Time 3 hours 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼
    cup
    vital wheat gluten
  • ½
    cup
    precooked or canned chickpeas
    (drain and rinse if using canned)
  • 3
    garlic cloves,
    minced
  • 3
    tablespoons
    water,
    plus more if needed
  • ¼
    cup
    soy sauce
  • 1
    tablespoon
    olive oil
  • 2
    teaspoons
    red wine vinegar
  • 1
    teaspoon
    maple syrup
  • ½
    teaspoon
    liquid smoke
  • 1 ½
    tablespoons
    sweet paprika
  • 1 ½
    teaspoons
    fennel seed
  • 1
    teaspoon
    onion powder
  • 1
    teaspoon
    red pepper flakes
  • ½
    teaspoon
    cayenne pepper
  • ½
    teaspoon
    black pepper

Instructions

  1. Prepare your steaming device and bring your water to a boil so you’re ready to start steaming as soon as the dough is mixed.

  2. Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with an s-blade. (Note 1)

  3. Turn on the machine until the mixture is fully blended.

  4. Grab a small amount of the mixture and pinch it together in your hand. It should hold together like a firm dough. If it’s too crumbly, add a bit more water and blend again

  5. Remove the dough from the food processor and divide it into two equal portions.

  6. Roll the dough portions into logs and place each on a sheet of foil. (Note 2)

  7. Wrap the logs in foil, rolling and shaping as you go, so that they are each about 8-inches long when you’re done. (Note 3)

  8. Place the dough logs in your steamer and steam them for 40 minutes.

  9. Once they’re done steaming, remove the vegan pepperoni logs from the steamer and let them cool. After a few minutes you can carefully open the foil.

  10. Once they are cool, place the pepperoni logs into sealed containers or bags and chill them until cold throughout, about 3 hours.

  11. Thinly slice your vegan pepperoni into around 70 slices.

  12. Serve or place in an airtight container and store for later.

Recipe Notes

    1. If you don’t have a food processor, mash your chickpeas well in a large mixing bowl, then stir in your other ingredients until mixed. Knead the dough briefly by hand.
    2. Parchment paper can be used if you prefer to cook without foil.
    3. If your steamer is too small to fit two 8-inch logs you can make a greater number of smaller logs. Steam them in batches if needed.

Nutrition Facts

Vegan Pepperoni

Amount Per Serving (5 slices (1/14 of recipe))

Calories 49
Calories from Fat 12

% Daily Value*

Fat 1.3g2%

Saturated Fat 0.2g1%

Sodium 285mg12%

Potassium 53mg2%

Carbohydrates 4.5g2%

Fiber 0.9g4%

Sugar 0.5g1%

Protein 5g10%

Calcium 17mg2%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.





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