6 of the best meat-free sausages?

Emily Wren

18 May 2016

Check out 6 of the most popular vegetarian sausage options. Do they cut the mustard?

meat free vegetarian sausage

There are loads of vegetarian sausages out there. We've heard whispers they can be enjoyed by veggies and carnivores alike.

So, to celebrate the start of summer(ish), we recruited a pack of salivating meat-eaters to check out 6 of the most popular veggie options and answer the eternal question:

Could your next barbecue be a meat-free sensation?

We rated our bangers on four crucial criteria: Apparently we taste with our eyes first, so looks was top of the menu. Next up was taste. We want our summer barbecue to be meat-free, not taste-free.

According to most taste critics texture is key -  we're looking for something moist, firm and succulent, like the best tender meaty options. And finally, the most precious characteristic you've been waiting for: Meatosity.

The best vegetarian sasusages should be giving their meat equivalent a run for its money, and leaving even hardened meat-eaters wondering whether they've been served pork by mistake.

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VegiDeli Lincolnshire style vegan sausages (6 for £2.69):

vegan sausages by VegiDeli

We had VegiDeli lovers in our tasting group, so we thought these meat and dairy free bangers would be a hit. But the Lincolnshire-style version we tested didn’t cut the mustard.

Made from wheat gluten, the sausages had an altogether dry texture, with one meat lover noting "it tastes a bit like bread".

Total: 44/100

Taifun Tofu Grill vegan sausages (4 for £3.95):

Taifun vegan sausages

With a price tag of almost a pound per sausage, we were hoping for something great from these beauties - and their firm texture didn't let us down. However their pale and pasty exterior (and hefty salt content) meant our carnivorous crew found them a bit too processed.

Total: 50/100

Sainsbury’s Cumberland Style Sausages (6 for £1.50):

Sainsbury's veggie sausages

As the only supermarket own-brand sausage included in our test, these are the cheapest option by far. They are a great budget option, with a "nice and peppery" taste, but were too uniform and squishy to offer textural excitement.

The general takeaway feeling from these bangers - they'd work well in a sandwich.

Total: 52/100

Quorn Meat Free Sausages (6 for £2.00):

Quorn veggie sausages

With a great golden dark hue, this banger was a hit in the looks department. These are a great barbecue option with "herby" flavours and a firm texture. But don't try and fool your carnivorous chums - the great taste was "definitely not meaty".                          

Total: 62/100

Linda McCartney’s Outrageously Succulent Vegetarian Sausages (6 for £1.95):

Linda McCartney's veggie sausages

Although I usually associate brightly coloured food with high vitamin content, the overriding orange glow of these sausages didn’t hold favour with our tasters. But what they lacked in looks, they made up for with their juicy texture, gaining popularity with veggies and meat eaters alike.

Total: 63/100

Cauldron Lincolnshire vegetarian sausages (6 for £2.00):

Cauldron veggie sausages

Our meat-lovers were converted by Cauldron. They were a firm favourite among some rogue vegetarian tasters too, with one proclaiming "these are a cut above everything else".

While these didn’t have the same seared look as a couple of the other brands we tried, our tasters thought they were the most "authentic-looking" sausages on our barbeque. Cauldron’s great flavour - a balanced taste of sage and pepper - was coined by one admirer as tasting ‘like a pig got in the onion patch’.

Total: 79/100

Don’t miss a thing – join our movement to Eat Better together and we’ll keep you stocked up with tips and recipes for our favourite veggie and vegan finds.

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Ever wondered just how good meat substitutes are for the planet? Find out more about the ethical credentials of our test subjects with this great free guide from Ethical Consumer.

Which tasty veggie sausage is your favourite?

We just couldn’t fit all the vegetarian sausage options on the barbecue. 

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veggie sausages at the barbecue