Italian “Sausage” Crumbles (Tofu)

Italian “Sausage” Crumbles (Tofu)

Last Updated on June 3, 2023

There are many vegan and plant-based “meat” options available. Typically, they are made with wheat gluten, pea protein, and soy protein just to name a few. This one is different! It’s Italian-inspired “sausage” flavored tofu crumbles. You may say you are not really a fan of tofu but don’t worry, with this particular recipe you wouldn’t even taste tofu! The texture is also completely different than what you are used to. It’s cooked with the aromatic blend of dried herbs and spices that reminds you of “sausage” flavor. This is a perfect ingredient for making Italian dishes.

The Tofu Trick

The key to get the texture that’s similar to “sausage” crumbles is using FROZEN TOFU. It will require extra steps before getting into cooking with frozen tofu, which is not difficult, but it’s worth it! All you need to do is buy extra firm tofu from you’re grocery store, pop it in a freezer, and wait for 2 days or until it’s frozen. Then defrost in the sink for 6-8 hours and it’s now ready to use!

The Texture

You will notice the consistency of tofu is totally different when you drain and squeeze out excess water. Also, you will be surprised by how much water comes out!! In the end, the tofu becomes like a dry sponge which gives the chewy meat-like texture when you cook it.

With this recipe, 1 block of tofu becomes about 1 1/2 cups of cooked “sausage” crumbles. It should be a perfect amount for using it with a 24 oz jar of passata to make pasta sauce enough for about four people. If you need more than that, just double (or triple!) the amount accordingly. It’s perfect for pasta sauce, pizza toppings, lasagna, and ravioli filling.



Print Recipe
5 from 21 votes

Italian "Sausage" Crumbles (Tofu)

This is tofu crumbles with Italian "Sausage" flavor. Frozen tofu will give the "meaty" and chewy texture. It's great for pasta sauce, pizza topping, ravioli filling, lasagna and more!
Yield: about 1 1/2 cups
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Inactive Time2 days 8 hours 15 minutes
Total Time2 days 8 hours 30 minutes
Course: Ingredients
Cuisine: Italian Inspired, Vegan
Author: Plant-Based Matters


  • 1 pack (14 oz, drained weight) extra firm tofu

Dry Herb & Spice Mix

  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp paprika powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

The Rest

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  • Freeze tofu (keep in the package from a grocery store) for at least 48 hours.
  • Defrost for 6-8 hours at room temperature. You can also defrost in the fridge which is safer and contamination free but it will take up to 48 hours.
  • Drain water and squeeze the tofu to remove excess water (a lot of it!) Transfer to a large prep bowl. Use hands to crumble tofu into small bits. Set aside.
  • Make dry herb & spice mix. Use mortar & pestle to crush fennel seeds. Add dried oregano and dried thyme then grind altogether* (see the notes below.) Transfer the herb mix to a small bowl, then add paprika powder, garlic powder, and onion powder. Use a teaspoon to mix until well blended.
  • Add the dry herb & spice mix to the crumbled tofu. Season with salt and black pepper. Use a hand to mix well.
  • Heat up a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Pour extra virgin olive oil then add the tofu mixture. Stir often as tofu crumbles tend to stick together. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Look for the dry and crispy texture.
  • Use immediately or transfer to a container and store in the fridge. Consume within 2-3 days.


  • If you don’t have mortar & pestle, just leave fennel seeds as whole and use your palms to partially “grind” dried oregano and dried thyme.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @plantbased_matters or tag #plantbased_matters!

Related Posts

Sweet & Savory Simmered Daikon Radish

Sweet & Savory Simmered Daikon Radish

Last Updated on June 3, 2023 Do you adore daikon radish or perhaps it’s the first time you heard such a name? Either way, try this Sweet & Savory Simmered Daikon Radish which is an authentic Japanese style dish made simple! It’s vegan and oil-free, […]

Soba Noodles with Umeboshi Paste & Matcha

Soba Noodles with Umeboshi Paste & Matcha

Last Updated on June 3, 2023 Are you looking for a new way of cooking soba noodles? This Soba Noodles with Umeboshi Paste & Matcha is very unique creation that will elevate your palette. It’s subtle but sophisticated and somewhat luxurious. It’s vegan (always), gluten-free […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.