Veggie Pepperoni

My friend Jason and I use to play this game where we would think through absurd scenarios of what-ifs. Like what if metal expanded when it froze instead of contracted? What if lakes froze from the bottom up? Or my favorite, what if pineapple pizza was the everyday pizza and pepperoni was something you got when you were feeling wacky? We took these questions very seriously.

Let me post this question to *you* — what if fake pepperoni was the new pineapple in the pepperoni pizza question above? Did I just blow your mind?

I am a fan of the fake meats. In fact, fake is my favorite flavor of meat. I think I adore it because it makes recipe adaption wickedly easy and adds a little protein and substance that wouldn’t be there without it. I try to limit the commercial stuff to mainly Field Roast, having gotten tired of the rest of it and just being suspicious of all the processing that happens to turn a soybean into a bacon strip.

Thankfully making your own isn’t that hard! The first few times felt more like science than cooking, but I think that was just because I didn’t know what I was doing or what to expect. It’s gotten easier and more fun as I’ve gotten better at it. A mix of wheat gluten and/or tofu and some seasonings can produce amazing results.

This pepperoni is no exception. It’s spicy and just as tasty on a pizza as on a cracker. It produces a good sized tube that will last for a number of pepperoni applications and freezes well, too. I don’t think it will fool anyone — it’s not the Taster’s Choice of pepperonis — but for the vegans and vegetarians out there I think it will be a big hit.

Vegan Pepperoni

(slightly adapted from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen)

Dry Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2-3 teaspoons Spanish paprika, smoked if you can find it
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Wet Ingredients:

2 tablespoons tahini
2/3 cup water
4 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke

Preheat oven to 325º.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl, whisk together.

Combine wet ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.

Pour wet into dry and stir to combine. Will be crumbly, not entirely damp.

Gather together and knead for a few minutes on a cutting board until all the dry pieces are incorporated.

Roll into a tube shape that is about a foot long or so. It doesn’t have to be even, it will puff up and even out in the oven. Roll tube in tin foil and twist the ends.

Put tube on a cookie sheet and place in oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn tube over at the 45 minute mark.

When done, unwrap and slice. It will slice pretty thin if you have a good knife.

Now go make pizza!


  1. Posted November 2, 2010 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    This looks amazing! Unfortunately several ingredients are unfamiliar to me :(

  2. altrooheather
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Which ones? Maybe I can offer up suggestions for substitutes?

  3. maggie
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Hi Heather! Just found your website via the kitchn and I love it already… I too am a big fan of fake meat, but have never been brave enough to make my own – this recipe has emboldened me and I will try it soon :)

  4. altrooheather
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    That’s awesome! Thanks for the nice words. It is lots easier than expected and there are a LOT of great recipes out there. I should do a round up soon! Good luck with seitan! Hee.

  5. Posted November 3, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Um wow!! You made veggie pepperoni and it looks the bomb! Can’t wait to try this, now that I am finally a certified fake-meat maker junkie, thanks for the inspiration.

  6. altrooheather
    Posted November 3, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    My pleasure — it’s SO GOOD on crackers. I think I like it that way better than on pizza but both are tasty!

  7. Posted November 4, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Wow!…Never thought I would see a pepperoni made from that list on ingredients, but then again, who is to say what most pepperoni these days is made out of anyway:/

    Lookin good! Doubt I will make it immediately, but I will keep it in my mind for sure!


  8. altrooheather
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Ha! Yeah, it’s kind of like a high protein pepperoni flavored bread. But it’s good! Really! : )

  9. Posted December 20, 2012 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you’re a great author.I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and definitely will come back later in life. I want to encourage that you continue your great posts

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