Vegan Pepperoni Recipe + Best Vegan Brands

Homemade vegan pepperoni is a vegan meat lover's dream come true! Learn this easy technique to have delicious plant-based pepperoni any time and spice up that sad pizza or plain pasta, plus check out the awesome vegan pepperoni brands available!
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Two vegan pepperoni logs with several slices scattered around.
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Pepperoni lovers, today is your day! We’re sharing not only a scrumptious take on a popular topping, but also a new cooking technique for you to tackle. This vegan pepperoni recipe is featured in the Crafting Seitan cookbook by Chef Skye Michael Conroy and truly can’t be beat.

We’re so excited about this recipe because we’re usually buying our plant-based meats packaged for us. Making your own at home is such a great opportunity to take a deep dive into the world of wheat gluten. Don’t worry, it’s far easier than you imagine and, if you like kneading, you’ll be even more impressed.

At the same time, we’ve rounded up the best vegan pepperoni brands in case you want a quick alternative. There are tons of meatless pepperoni options nowadays so we took it upon ourselves so you know exactly where to buy vegan pepperoni and which one to get!

Homemade Vegan Pepperoni Sliced into Thin Slices

Why You Should Make This Recipe

You might be wondering why you should even learn to work with vital wheat gluten and we don’t blame you. Mastering a new method can seem pretty daunting, but we think you’ll actually find it fun. Imagine saving a ton of money making your own plant-based meats at home and not even have to peel off your pajamas. Fancy the freedom!

Having a little vital wheat gluten experience will not only give you more confidence in the kitchen, but it will bring such a new, delicious dimension to your weekly recipe round-up. Plus, vegan pepperoni is so freaking yummy and you’ll totally impress the heck out of your family and friends. And isn’t that the best reason?

What is Vital Wheat Gluten?

What is this wacky ingredient? Vital Wheat Gluten may have a strange name, but it’s a relatively simple ingredient that is used to make the popular meat substitute: seitan. Seitan is the base of and many mainstream vegan meats on the market, and you can also easily make it at home, as we’ll teach you to do today!

Not a flour in itself, vital wheat gluten is mostly made of wheat flour that has been hydrated and then had pretty much everything taken out except the gluten and a tiny bit of starch. The resulting concoction is then dried and ground back into a flour-like consistency. Using vital wheat gluten in a recipe gives whatever you are creating an elasticity that results in a chewy texture that imitates meat.

Star Ingredients

This recipe would be nothing without these items—the fantastic flavor, correct color, and simple savory aftertaste are all due to these incredible ingredients:

  • Tomato Paste – Tangy and deeply saturated with color and tomato-y taste, this paste is essential to the authentic appearance of your vegan pepperoni.
  • Fennel Seeds – These greenish-yellow seeds have a mild licorice-like flavor and give an almost Italian-inspired taste to plant-based meats.
  • Tamari/Soy Sauce/Bragg’s Liquid Aminos – For that salty, umami element, this item is key. Primarily consisting of fermented soybeans, salt, and water (and in the case of Liquid Aminos, also amino acids), it’s the foundation of flavor. If you prefer, feel free to use coconut aminos.
Vegan Pepperoni Recipe Ingredients Flatlay

How To Make Vegan Pepperoni With Vital Wheat Gluten

First, you’re going to add your vital wheat gluten to a large mixing bowl. This will be the base of the seitan, but of course we need to add all the spices and flavor mix ins, plus the water!

Next you’ll blend all the mix-ins together in a blender. So go ahead and add the water, olive oil, tamari or soy sauce, tomato paste, vinegar, and spices in your blender and blend until smooth. Add this mixture to the vital wheat gluten flour along with the minced garlic, and mix it together to form your seitan pepperoni dough.

Knead The Dough

Set a one-minute timer and knead away! It’s important to knead your seitan dough until it becomes elastic-y, which will take around a minute.

Cook Your Seitan Pepperoni Logs in the Oven or Pressure Cooker

Then, just follow the recipe below to form it into two 6-inch logs, wrap them in foil, and either oven-bake or pressure cook those beautiful pepperoni logs! Once they’re done and fully cooled, you’ll want to pop them in the fridge for several hours before you slice them up and use them on pizza and beyond.

Easy, peasy, pepperoneesy!

Homemade Vegan Pepperoni Recipe Made With Seitan Wrapped in Tin Foil

Tips for Serving Up Your Vegan Pepperoni

If you’re coming up short of ideas for how to serve this recipe, we have a number of tasty tips for you. Vegan pepperoni can add that extra oomph to transform a lackluster lunch or dull dinner into a full-on fancy and super fun feast!

  • Perk Up a Pizza – To add a super savory and spicy element to your plain pizza, don’t pass on this vegan pepperoni recipe. Cover the surface of your pizza with as many slices as you wish and remember not to skimp!
  • Supercharge Your Sandwich – Veggies and plant-based meats are the perfect pair in a piece of pita bread, corn tortilla, or slice of focaccia bread. You’ll get a boost of protein and some extra sandwich satisfaction for sure.
  • Pile Onto Potatoes – Crispy baked potatoes love a pepperoni partner! The chewiness of the plant-based meat along with crusty softness of the potato is simply divine. You’ll love the combination of rich and salty with smooth and creamy all mixed together. Yum.
  • Break Out the Hummus Board – When it’s party time and you need a little bit more to munch on, consider adding a few slices of vegan pepperoni along with your dairy-free cheese log and hummus dip. You won’t believe what a difference an extra mouthful will make.
Homemade Vegan Pepperoni Pizza With Sliced Pepperoni On a Cutting Board.

Frequently Asked Questions

Even though this recipe is pretty straight forward, we’re happy to help answer some of the most frequently asked questions from our readers.

How do you store the leftovers?

Very easily. Tightly wrap any remaining pepperoni in vegan wax wrap, foil, or plastic and place in the fridge for up to a week.

Can you freeze vegan pepperoni?

Yes, you can! Any cooked leftovers can be wrapped in foil, placed in a plastic bag, and frozen for up to 3 months. To thaw, put the pepperoni into the fridge until the next day or let come to room temperature on the countertop. For an even quicker defrost time, slice up your vegan pepperoni before freezing.

What if I don’t have a pressure cooker?

No problem. There’s an option for baking the vegan pepperoni recipe in the oven instead.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Sadly, this recipe is quite the opposite of gluten-free and is gluten-full. You may wish to search for a plant-based meat substitute that is made from soy or eggplant instead.

Homemade Vegan Pepperoni Recipe Up Close

Best Vegan Pepperoni Brands

Not ready to made your own vegan pepperoni at home, or maybe you’re having trouble sourcing all the ingredients? Well, you’re in luck—more and more vegan pepperoni options are popping up in stores! Here are the best ones and where to find them.

Yves Veggie Pepperoni

Yves has been making delicious meatless products for the past two decades. Their veggie pepperoni is made from vital wheat gluten, spices and soy to create meaty, flavorful pepperoni slices. Their veggie pepperoni is perfect for pizzas, vegan cheese boards, sandwiches, and more. You can find it in Whole Foods and other health food stores.

A pizza with vegan pepperoni slices.
Photo credit: Yves Veggie Cuisine

Quorn Pepperoni

Quorn makes a delicious pepperoni alternative that’s both gluten- and soy-free! Craving a vegan deli sandwich? This pepperoni is perfect for layering. Want to veganize that eggplant parmesan recipe? Add texture and flavor with this product. Quorn’s mission is to get more people into delicious meat free meals, and with products like this, they’re hitting the mark. It’s currently available in the UK and other countries outside of the US.

A vegan pepperoni pizza made with Quorn meatless slices.
Photo credit: Quorn

Field Roast

If you are looking for a traditional pepperoni flavor and texture, Field Roast’s Classic Pizzeria Plant-Based Pepperoni Slices are a great choice. Made with wheat gluten and flavored with spices like anise, fennel, paprika, black pepper, and garlic, this vegan pepperoni is perfect for pizzas. You can find it at Whole Foods and most large supermarket chains.

A vegan pepperoni pizza against a dark background.
Photo credit: Field Roast

BE-Hive

Located in East Nashville, BE-Hive is a seitan-style vegan pepperoni brand made with sun-dried tomatoes, fennel and spices. It comes ready to eat and can be layered on top of pizzas, pasta dishes and calzones. It’s sold across the US in select locations. To find a location, check out BE-Hive’s store locator.

BE-Hive brand pepperoni production photo.
Photo credit: BE-Hive

Sweet Earth Italian-Style Pepperoni Plant-Based Deli Slices

Made from vital wheat gluten and chickpeas, these pepperoni style deli slices are high in protein and packed with flavor. Sweet Earth is on a mission to make food feel as good as it tastes, and this vegan pepperoni fits the bill. Pile it high onto sandwiches for a meatless vegan meal. You can buy Sweet Earth products at most large supermarkets or check out their store locator for availability.

Sweet Earth vegan pepperoni deli slices.

More Meaty Meatless Recipes to Try

If you try this Vegan Pepperoni recipe, let us know what you think by leaving a comment and rating below! Be sure to follow along on PinterestInstagram and Facebook for even more vegan recipe inspiration.

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Vegan Pepperoni Recipe

Author: Skye Michael Conroy
5 from 7 votes
Vegan pizza lovers rejoice! This recipe for homemade vegan pepperoni will make your dreams of having a Vegan Meat Lover’s pie come true! Also great for spicing up a pasta sauce or salad.
Homemade Vegan Pepperoni Sliced into Thin Slices
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings

Equipment

  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
  • Pressure Cooker or Oven

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten, 150 g
  • ½ cup water, 120 ml
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons tamari, soy sauce, or Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons organic sugar
  • 2 teaspoons whole fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, more or less as desired
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions

  • Place the vital wheat gluten in a large bowl.
  • Put the water, oil, tamari, tomato paste, vinegar, smoked paprika, sugar, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, and ground mustard in a blender and process until the fennel seeds are coarsely ground.
  • Pour into the vital wheat gluten, add the garlic, and combine thoroughly with a sturdy silicone spatula to form a dough. Knead the dough in the bowl until it exhibits some elasticity, about 1 minute. Divide the dough in half.
  • Lay a 12-inch-long sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil on a work surface. Shape one portion of the dough into a slender log about 6 inches long and place it near the edge of the foil. Lift the edge of the foil over the dough and begin rolling into a tight cylinder. Twist the ends tightly to seal. Bend the ends in half to lock them tight. Wrap in a second sheet of foil in the same manner. Repeat the shaping and double-wrapping technique with the second portion of dough. If you will be oven baking the dough (rather than pressure cooking it), wrap each package in a third sheet of foil for reinforcement.
  • To pressure cook, put 3 cups of water in the cooker and put the trivet in place. Add the packages, seal the lid, close the steam valve, and cook on high for 1 hour. Turn the unit off and let the pressure release naturally for 30 minutes.
  • To oven bake (instead of pressure cook), preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (170 degrees C). Put the packages directly on the middle oven rack and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • Remove the packages and let cool. Then refrigerate the packages for 8 hours to optimize the texture and make thin slicing easier. The pepperoni is ready to eat or use in recipes; it does not require any additional finishing. Slice thick or thin and use as needed.

Notes

Variation: For individual snack-sized pepperoni sausages, or pepperettes, divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Wrap and steam the dough for 45 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 559mg | Potassium: 137mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 510IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg
Course — Snack, Topping
Cuisine — Italian
Love this Recipe? Leave a Rating!And follow @Vegan on Instagram for more.

About the Author

Skye Michael Conroy’s career as a certified Plant-Based Certified chef started with a hobby of creating self-published cookbooks. After training with chef Chad Sarno, he was able to concentrate more on plant-based cooking and food science. His other passions include gardening, landscaping, his partner, and his pets. Find out more about Chef Conroy on his website, The Gentle Chef.

Many thanks to our recipes testers Taylor Gillespie, Sage Konans, Annie Sparks, and Andi Combs for helping to perfect this recipe!

This Vegan Pepperoni recipe was reprinted with permission from the Crafting Seitan by Skye Michael Conroy (Book Publishing Company, March 1, 2021). Vegan pepperoni photos by J.J. Steele for World of Vegan. Article written by Gina House and edited by Rachel Lessenden.

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Recipe Rating




7 comments
  1. 5 stars
    Wow this is a great homemade option

  2. 5 stars
    homemade pepperoni, really cool!

  3. 5 stars
    This is so perfect on pizza!!

  4. Beatriz Buono-Core says:

    5 stars
    So delicious! Yum 🙂

  5. Andrea White says:

    5 stars
    Perfect for pizza night!!!

  6. 5 stars
    So surprisingly easy to make!

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