This homemade vegan pepperoni is the best! I swear you won't even think about buying classic pepperoni again. Mildly spicy, and full of zesty flavor, it's perfect for pepperoni pizzas, salads, pizza sandwiches, charcuterie boards, appetizers, and snacking!
Imagine a large pizza with all of your favorite toppings: mushrooms, black olives, shredded vegan cheese and bits of meatless pepperoni. Sounds delicious doesn't it? (yes these are my favorite toppings!)
Vegan pepperoni, oddly, is still not super easy to get a hold of in many places -- one of my favorite brands is Yves, but I can't find it here -- so it's just easier to make my own and it disappears almost as fast as it took to make! Seriously, my non-vegan husband just eats it right out cold from the fridge, haha.
You can play around with seasonings on this if you wish. Mine are baseline, easier to obtain ingredients.
The only ingredient not pictured here is water. However, if you have some veggie stock you need to get rid of, use that.
Beet root powder is optional. I use it purely for the color that it gives to vegan meats. If you're not showing your sausage off -- heh --, you can skip this ingredient.
See recipe card for quantities.
To a stand mixer, add in vital wheat gluten, all purpose flour, oregano, basil, paprika, potato starch, salt, red pepper flakes, nutritional yeast and beet root powder.
Using a knead dough hook, hands, food processor or spoon, combine all of the dry ingredients.
Now add the wet ingredients of water and veggie base, or veggie stock.
Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes with dough hook, hands, or food processor. With gluten you really knead to be rough with it.
❗Important Tip For Working with Gluten
Working with vital wheat gluten warrants some instruction because it can be hard to clean if left to sit wet in a bowl. Once you have moved the gluten from the bowl into the foil, immediately wash everything the gluten came in contact with. Once wet and sitting in open air, gluten acts like a glue and will start to toughen up and becomes almost impossible to wipe off of surfaces. Not many recipe developers and food bloggers seem to mention this important information. I had to find out myself the hard way.
Separate the dough into two even pieces. It should be very stretchy... and glutenous. I know it does not look the most appetizing, but I promise you, it's delicious. Shape the dough into logs as best as you can.
Then take a piece of foil, spray or rub a bit of oil all over the foil where you will place your seitan pepperoni, then gently and tightly wrap your pepperoni logs like so. This will also help shape them a bit better.
This is what your final product before cooking should look like. Bake in the oven and then let cool.
see exact cooking times and details in recipe card below.
🧾Substitutions & Variations
If you're looking to make this gluten-free, your best bet would be a recipe using tofu rather than wheat gluten.
If you don't have any wheat gluten, you can always do a "wash the flour" method to make seitan. It takes a bit more work, but so very worth it.
You don't have to just stick to this recipe precisely, you can change up the flavors to your specific wants!
- Spicy - Add more red pepper flakes or even cayenne pepper.
- Smokey - Want a smoked flavor? Add some liquid smoke or smoked paprika instead of regular.
- Classic - Typical pepperoni has fennel in it. However, I don't like fennel, but if you do, absolutely add it!
I highly recommend having a *stand mixer, or even a *food processor for this recipe. Working with gluten can be a little tough just using your hands, though there's nothing wrong with that at all, it's just easier with equipment!
*Yes, those are affiliate links!
Storing seitan is super easy!
Refrigerator - Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Freezer - Can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw via refrigerator.
Reheating - Can be cooked straight into anything or on anything as is. Can be microwaved and can also be eaten cold.
It can be made from several things, usually seitan or "wheat meat" is the most popular way, but using tofu, or other beans and flours can garner similar results, especially if needing a gluten-free version.
If you've tried this recipe and enjoyed it, I would love it if you could rate it 5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a comment! It's a great, and free way to support me!
Meat-Free Seitan Pepperoni
- 1 stand mixer see notes
- measuring cups & spoons
- 1 sheet pan optional
- aluminum foil
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon potato starch
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast optional
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon beet powder optional
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes more if you want spicier.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup hot water add more if needed.
- 1 tablespoon veggie base or bouillon cube
- Preheat oven to 350 °F or 180 °C
- I recommend pestling the basil and oregano, but it is optional.1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon dried basil
- In a stand mixer, mixing bowl or food processor, combine all dry ingredients.1 cup vital wheat gluten, 2 tablespoons all purpose flour, 1 tablespoon potato starch, 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon dried basil, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 teaspoon beet powder, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt
- Mix the veggie base into the hot water, then pour into the dry ingredients.1 cup hot water, 1 tablespoon veggie base
- If using a stand mixer, use a dough hook and mix on low speed for at least 10 minutes. If using a food processor, process for 5 minutes, then knead by hand for 5 minutes more, and if using your hands, knead the dough for 10 minutes, in a rough manner. (see notes please)
- Once your dough is well established, separate into two equal chunks and place both on separate sheets of foil that has been sprayed or rubbed with a bit of oil so they don't stick.
- Shape your dough balls into log shapes to replicate pepperoni. Your dough will be springy and a little difficult to shape, so it does not have to be perfect. Get it to the desired shape and then use the foil when wrapping to really hold the shape together. (reference photos in post).
- Once wrapped, place on a sheet pan (optional) and into the oven for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, remove from the oven and allow to cool on the stove top in the foil for at least 30 minutes to avoid burning yourself. Your house should smell delicious at this point.
- Once cooled enough, open the foil and slice away! Eat as is or serve on salads, pizzas, etc!
- If you do not have a stand mixer, or wish to not have one, you can use either a food processor, or your hands. Keep in mind that if you use your hands, this dough will be work and you do need to be quite rough with gluten to get it to activate and do what it should do properly.
- A Reminder to immediately wash anything wet gluten has touched or you will have a tough time cleaning it off.
- You do not have to use a sheet pan, you can just place the rolls directly on your oven rack.
- Do not open the packets immediately after pulling from the oven, to avoid burns.
- Be sure to use a smidgen of oil on the foil to avoid any sticking.
- And finally, do add other seasonings that you prefer. This recipe is quite versatile. Want more spice? Add more red pepper flakes! Like fennel? Add it!
- If you decide to use veggie stock rather than the water, you will not need the veggie bouillon.