A Vegan or Vegetarian Sausage Casserole with beans is hearty, filling, and makes great comfort food. This version combines vegetables in a rich tomato sauce, flavoured with some herbs and a little red wine. With just 10 minutes prep time, it makes a great one-pot dish, perfect for the colder months.
Meat-free sausages are either vegetarian or vegan and are very easy to cook with. Many of them are also gluten-free. Try them in these other simple family friendly recipes. Sticky Sausage Tray Bake, Creamy Sausage and Vegetable Pasta Bake, or Vegan Toad in the Hole with onion gravy.
Gather together your ingredients. A real advantage of vegan or vegetarian sausages is that they can be cooked from frozen.
- Sausages - There are lots of different varieties available. If you want more information, I've included a comparison table below to help you choose.
- Vegetables, I've used onions and red bell peppers but a sausage casserole will work well with a variety of vegetables. See variations below for some more ideas.
- Beans - I've used canned baked beans in a tomato sauce as they are such a natural combination with sausages. I use the ones with no added extra sugar to keep this dish slightly healthier.
- Herbs - I've used thyme in this recipe. If your sausages are already flavoured with herbs, it might be an idea to use the same herb - depending on how strong the flavour is.
- Worcestershire sauce. This adds great depth of flavour. The original version of the sauce contains anchovies or fish sauce so is not suitable for vegans. However, you can buy a vegan version.
- Red wine. Again adding red wine helps add to the flavour, but you can of course leave this out if you prefer. Replace with extra stock.
See recipe card for quantities.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C /350F /Gas Mark 4. Add the oil to an ovenproof casserole dish and heat over a medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and fry for 5 minutes
Stir in the thyme leaves for 1 minute
Add the sausages (you can add them frozen), the baked beans and tinned tomatoes
Stir the red wine and Worcestershire sauce into the hot vegetable stock and add to the casserole. Season with salt and pepper and add 2 - 3 bay leaves. Place in the oven for 30 minutes. Alternatively keep it on a low simmer on the hob or stovetop, stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick.
How to cook in a Slow Cooker
Slow cookers are more energy efficient that ovens and cheaper to run. Cooking your veggie sausage casserole in a slow cooker is easy. Brown the sausages in a frying pan and soften the onion and peppers. Add the remaining ingredients and transfer to your slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5 -6 hours.
There are lots of substitutions you can easily make so take the opportunity to use up ingredients you already have.
- Vegetables - A vegetarian sausage casserole is perfect for using up leftover vegetables - even those that are past their best. Root vegetables such as carrots, butternut squash, parsnips, swede or sweet potato work well in stews and casseroles. Chop root vegetables into bite-sized chunks and make sure they are soft before serving. Adding root vegetables is a great way to make this casserole go further. Make sure you have enough liquid to almost cover the vegetables. Adding more tinned tomatoes will give the sauce a thicker consistency. Adding more stock will make it runnier. You can stir in a tablespoon of plain flour to thicken the sauce if you need to.
- Beans - you can swap baked beans for butter beans, cannellini beans, white or red kidney beans.
- Herbs - As an alternative to thyme, you can also use sage or oregano or fresh parsley. Bay leaves add great flavour to the dish but remember to remove them before serving as they can be tough.
Spicy - if you want to spice up this recipe, try adding 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika. Add with the thyme leaves and stir for one minute to release the flavour.
Are Vegan Sausages healthy?
There are so many different varieties of vegetarian or vegan sausages available, so the answer is not straightfoward. Generally speaking vegan and vegetarian sausages contain less saturated fat, but probably a similar amount of salt or sodium to meat sausages. Vegetarian sausages may contain egg-white. However some varieties that are labelled as vegetarian, such as Linda McCartney, are also suitable for vegans. Nutritionally, they vary quite alot. Like meat sausages, the taste also varies considerably so you may want to try a few varieties.
How to Serve
I like to serve this vegetarian sausage casserole with creamy mashed potato but it also goes well with a jacket or baked potato or some fresh crusty bread. You can also serve it with rice or couscous. As a side, something green such as cabbage, kale, broccoli, or garden peas.
As part of efforts to tackle climate change, we are all being encouraged to eat less meat and dairy. Research by Oxford University found that if every family in the UK swapped red meat for a plant-based meal just once a week, the reduction in CO2 emissions would be the equivalent to taking 44% or 16 million of the UK cars off the road. Eating more vegetarian and vegan meals is easier than you think and you'll find lots of inspiration on my recipe page.
Eating in season and shopping locally are other easy ways to reduce our carbon footprints.
You can store this casserole in the fridge for 3 - 4 days. It's often not recommended to freeze vegetarian or vegan sausages once cooked as this can change their texture.
This is a great recipe for using up leftovers so check for fridge for vegetables and add in any that need using up!
Typically vegan sausages are made from pea protein or soy protein with added oils and spices.
Undercooking plant based sausages is not recommended as there is a risk of illness. Ensure you cook them according to the packet instructions.
Vegan Sausage Casserole with Beans
- 2 tablespoon olive oil fairtrade
- 2 red onions peeled, diced
- 2 red or yellow peppers deseeded and sliced
- 2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 12 vegan sausages or any sausages
- 400g baked beans
- 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 300 ml vegetable stock organic
- 100 ml red wine optional, Fairtrade
- 2 tablespoon worcestershire sauce vegan
- 1 dash salt
- 1 dash black pepper Fairtrade
- 2 bay leaves
- Add the oil to an ovenproof casserole dish and heat over a medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and fry for 5 minutes2 tablespoon olive oil, 2 red onions, 2 red or yellow peppers
- Add the thyme leaves and stir for 1 minute2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Add the sausages (you can add them frozen), the baked beans and tinned tomatoes12 vegan sausages, 400g baked beans, 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
- Stir the red wine and Worcestershire sauce into the hot vegetable stock and add to the casserole. Season with salt and pepper and add 2 - 3 bay leaves.300 ml vegetable stock, 100 ml red wine, 2 tablespoon worcestershire sauce, 1 dash salt, 1 dash black pepper, 2 bay leaves
- Place in the oven at 180C / 350F /Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes. Alternatively keep it on a low simmer on the hob or stovetop, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaves before serving.
- Sausages, choose whatever variety you like.
- Vegetables, you can also add root vegetables such as carrots, butternut squash, parsnips, swede or sweet potato. Chop root vegetables into bite-sized chunks and make sure they are soft before serving. Ensure you have enough liquid to almost cover the vegetables. Adding more tinned tomatoes will give the sauce a thicker consistency. Adding more stock will make it runnier. You can stir in a tablespoon of plain flour to thicken the sauce if you need to.
- Beans. I've used canned baked beans in a tomato sauce. You could also use other beans such as cannellini or butter beans. If you add beans without the juice of a tomato sauce, you will need to add more tinned tomatoes.
- Herbs. Thyme, sage, oregano or fresh parsley go well. Bay leaves add flavour to the dish but remove them before serving as they can be tough.
- Worcestershire sauce. This sauce adds great depth of flavour. The original version of the sauce contains anchovies or fish sauce so is not suitable for vegans. However, you can buy a vegan version.
- Red wine. Again adding red wine helps add to the flavour, but you could leave this out if you prefer.
Nutrition per serving
The Nutritional Values are computer generated estimates based on industry standards and are provided as a helpful guide only.