Before I went vegan, I was a fiend for Italian sausage. Half of my family is Italian, so I have fond memories of the sausages that would always make their way onto the dinner table. As much as I loved the taste of this meat, though, it eventually became more important to me to follow the tenets of a vegan lifestyle, so I happily gave up all animal products. Plus, I've always wanted a pet pig named Cedric, and I couldn't ever imagine eating him!
Recently I learned, though, that I don't have to give up sausage entirely, because Beyond Meat has created a brand new plant-based sausage ($9 for a 4-pack) — the first in the world of its kind. I've tried the Beyond Meat burger before and liked it, so I had high hopes for these sausages.
There are three different flavors: Original Bratwurst, Sweet Italian, and Spicy Italian. Each serving has 16 grams of plant-based protein, and it boasts 43 percent less total fat, 38 percent less saturated fat, 27 percent less calories, and 26 percent less sodium than the traditional sausage. It's also naturally cholesterol-free with no hormones, nitrites, nitrates, GMOs, soy, or gluten.
But how does it taste? This is the million-dollar question. I'm happy to report that the Beyond Meat sausage is beyond delicious. First of all, I was shocked at the smell of it as I was cooking it in my cast-iron skillet. It browned beautifully and filled my whole house with a juicy, irresistible scent. Each link sizzled and snapped in the pan like any other pork sausage might.
After they finished cooking all the way through, I cut through with a steak knife and my jaw nearly dropped to the floor. The texture of each sausage was not at all what I expected — it's so similar to traditional sausage that it was almost unbelievable.
My husband (who is also vegan) and I tried both the Original Bratwurst and Sweet Italian, and we were nearly fighting for the last few slices by the end of it because both flavors were so tasty. Out of all the vegan meat we've tried over the years — from burgers to hot dogs to breakfast sausage links — we can both say definitively, without a doubt, that this is by far the best plant-based variation we've ever had.
The best part is, Beyond Meat sausages are available for purchase at Whole Foods. So whether you're vegetarian or vegan, or you're just trying to cut back on meat to preserve the environment, these are easily accessible for purchase.