October 8, 2010

Tofurky Italian Sausage

It has been a while since I reviewed a fake-meat Italian sausage, so let's take a look at this one. This week, I'm going to take a look at Tofurky Italian Sausage.

I was going to use these in an Italian sausage recipe from The Best 30 Minute Recipe, which, if you don't own, you should probably buy. This recipe combined Italian sausage with peppers, onions, and potatoes, with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a few other delicious things. I'm not going to type up the whole recipe, because honestly, it's not that tough. Just cook up some peppers, onions, and potatoes, then add things that sound tasty (okay… tomato paste, garlic, white wine, and oregano) in quantities that seem reasonable.

For the sausage in this recipe, however, since it was written for real-meat sausage and I was using fake meat, I changed those directions only slightly. I still sliced them up and browned them in a little olive oil and set them aside before cooking all the rest of the stuff, but then instead of adding them back while the rest of the ingredients were simmering, which would almost certainly result in them overcooking, I just tossed them back in at the very end, and heated them just until they were warm again.

The results? Well, I tried a plain piece of the sausage after I browned the slices, just to see what it was like. It wasn't anything spectacular. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't awesome either. I was hoping that the rest of the ingredients would help pep it up.

Once the full meal was cooked, we dug in. It was… okay. We added more salt, which helped a bunch. Season to taste, people! That direction is there for a reason! However, it was still missing something. We came to the conclusion that it was probably missing that meaty and/or sausage-y flavor that wasn't present in the Tofurky sausage. I think if this meal had cooked with some real-meat sausage, or possibly a stronger-flavored Italian fake-meat sausage, this could have been great, but with the weak flavor of the sausage, it just didn't contribute much.

Oh, and as for the sun-dried tomatoes and basil that the website claims give these sausages a "wonderful, slightly sweet taste," I'm going to have to disagree. Sorry, Tofurky. This one was not a winner.

The experience:
Texture - nice, chewy texture
Flavor - not much to speak of

Final grade for this attempt: C


  1. tj's italian sausage is absolutely amazing, you might want to check those out if you haven't yet. i highly recommend crisping up the skin a bit in a pan with some olive oil first though.

  2. I bought this on impulse yesterday and THEN found your review. Frankly, after reading it I was afraid to cook and eat them, but I did, and it went something like this:
    I browned two of them on the stove in a skillet with a little oil, without cutting into coins first. I was a little alarmed when, in the process of using tongs to turn them, they stuck a little as if they were made of gum. This was not encouraging, to say the least lol.
    When they were browned and hot I tasted a bite before taking the chance of ruining my delicious ciabatta. It was a lot spicier than I expected, with a nice flavor, not too tomato-y, and a surprisingly good texture--not mushy at all, but not tough either. I put it on the ciabatta and ate it dipped in pasta sauce. I liked that they were flavorful enough to stand up like this, almost naked. Even my omnivore boyfriend liked it. All in all I'd probably say 8.7/10, less if you take nutrition into account, which I'm not. They're more spicy than I like, but I won't count that against them.

  3. I was looking for an alternative to major US brand tuna which seems the major brands we import into the USA from foreign companys so we can get it under $1 per can still use FAD's to catch and are damaging our oceans killing sharks, rays, baby tuna, sea turtles ect. This had 29g protein per serving more than the 10g I had in a can of tuna. Im not really crazy about the taste of tuna and usually add allot of mayo, even if you dont add anything to this I think it taste better than tuna out of a can, this was a little spicy but I like that, I ate it on a pc of bread with ketchup, I thought it was pretty good, definitely will eat this for protein instead of major US brand tuna. Im not vegan but this is a cheap source of protein.

  4. I have to say i have tried the italian sausage and was no particularly pleased. However, the kielbasa type sausage made also under the tofurkey brand is by far better. The texture, taste and consistency lends itself to cooking with than the italian one....not always available but i highly suggest it.

  5. As a vegan, I was absolutely stoked to find the Tofurky brand. I love both the italian and kielbasa flavored "sausage". In my book they both take a meal from ok to great. I served the italian sausage alongside a nice veggie tian with rice and it was amazing. Maybe my tastebuds have changed since giving up animal products/ byproducts, but I have no wont for "real meat", as long as I have Tofurky. Yum!

  6. I envy you guys who can eat it. I tried it for the first time yesterday and woke up 5 hours later sick to my stomach in the bathroom. It wasn't too bad eating it, but an hour after I started feeling queasy and it just got worse from there. Definitely not for me.

  7. Just finished trying the Tofurky Italian sausage for the first time, and I must say, I was impressed. Quite tasty. I will definitely buy them again!