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Who Says Pigs In A Blanket Have To Be Made With Meat? Try These Vegan Substitutes Instead

pigs in a blanket on plate with beer flight in background
pigs in a blanket on plate with beer flight in background - Cavan Images/Getty Images

Pigs in a blanket have graced party platters and snack tables for generations and are many people's favorite part of a holiday buffet. Traditionally, they're made from small sausages or cocktail wieners wrapped in crescent roll dough. However, there's no reason why they have to be made with meat. There are all kinds of vegan substitutes you can try instead. Luckily, most crescent roll dough you'll find in stores is accidentally vegan. That means the blankets are already covered; it's just the pigs that you've got to give a plant-based makeover.

What's cool about vegan pigs in a blanket is that you can get creative. The beauty lies in the art of substitution, where traditional meaty fillings are replaced with flavorful vegan alternatives. You can go the traditional route with mock meats that mimic the flavors of sausage. Or you can experiment with unconventional fillings that may not resemble the original but are equally — if not more — delicious.

In this article, we will delve into the world of vegan pigs in a blanket, exploring some of the ways you can recreate this classic appetizer without compromising on taste. We have 11 vegan substitutes that you can use instead of the traditional sausage filling. Not only is it great news for anyone who doesn't eat meat, but some of these alternatives are so creative that omnivores will be lining up for them.

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Read more: 7 Nuts You Should Be Eating And 7 You Shouldn't

Commercial Vegan Hot Dogs

vegan hot dog sausages
vegan hot dog sausages - Rimma Bondarenko/Shutterstock

The most straightforward substitute for wieners in pigs in a blanket is a commercial vegan hot dog. Thanks to the ever-expanding market of plant-based products, there are now a variety of vegan hot dogs available that boast a remarkably similar taste and texture to their meat counterparts, and you can pick them up at almost any grocery store.

By using vegan hot dogs, home cooks can effortlessly recreate the beloved appetizer. The process involves wrapping the vegan hot dogs in crescent roll dough and baking them until golden brown. If you already know how to make pigs in a blanket, the method to make them with vegan hot dogs is exactly the same. This substitution not only caters to vegans but also appeals to a wider audience — in fact, people might not even realize you used vegan sausages.

Since they're ready-made, there's no need for any complex prep work, making it easier for individuals to whip up a batch of these treats. As a result, vegan pigs in a blanket with commercial vegan hot dogs have become a go-to choice for those craving the comfort of familiar flavors in a more compassionate and sustainable form.

Homemade Seitan Sausages

cooked seitan sausages on slate
cooked seitan sausages on slate - Adela Srinivasan/Getty Images

Another alternative is to use your own homemade seitan sausages as the pig inside the blanket. While it may demand a bit more time and effort compared to using store-bought alternatives, the rewards in terms of customization and flavor profile are well worth the investment.

Homemade seitan sausages are crafted from vital wheat gluten, a high-protein wheat flour that can be used to make your own mock meats, including sausages. By shaping and seasoning this seitan dough, you have the creative freedom to tailor sausages according to your preferences. From smoky and spicy to herb-infused varieties, the flavor possibilities are virtually limitless. This level of customization means you can make your pigs just how you want them — store-bought options might not be able to live up to this.

Additionally, the texture of homemade seitan sausages can be adjusted to mimic the desired bite and tenderness. Some may prefer a firmer, meatier texture, while others might opt for a softer, more succulent alternative. This versatility lets you experiment and fine-tune your seitan sausages until you achieve the perfect results. With homemade seitan sausages in the mix, nobody's vegan pigs in a blanket will rival yours for taste or texture.

Baby Carrots

bowl of baby carrots
bowl of baby carrots - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Introduce a delightful twist to your pigs in a blanket using marinated baby carrots as a vegan sausage alternative. Baby carrots, with their petite size and cylindrical shape, make an ideal replacement in terms of shape and size. But, what truly elevates this substitution is the art of marination.

By carefully selecting marinade ingredients, home cooks can infuse the baby carrots with flavors reminiscent of sausages. Ingredients like soy sauce, liquid smoke, garlic powder, paprika, and a touch of maple syrup can be combined to create a marinade that imparts smokiness, umami, and a hint of sweetness. When these baby carrots soak in this flavorful concoction, they absorb the taste, transforming into savory, sausage-like bites.

This substitution not only caters to vegans but also appeals to those looking to incorporate more vegetables into their diet. It showcases the versatility of plant-based ingredients, proving that with the right techniques and flavors, even humble baby carrots can shine as the star of a beloved party appetizer. Plus, the marinade adds a layer of complexity, ensuring that each bite is well-balanced and delicious.

Tofu

marinade being poured over tofu
marinade being poured over tofu - Julia Wave/Shutterstock

Using tofu as a vegan substitute in pigs in a blanket is a creative way to enjoy a classic dish while adhering to a plant-based diet. While tofu doesn't replicate the exact taste and texture of sausage, it brings its own qualities to the table. When preparing tofu for pigs in a blanket, you might want to press it to remove excess moisture, allowing it to absorb marinades and flavors better. Cutting the tofu into strips or rectangles and marinating them in a flavorful mixture, such as soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic, and herbs, adds depth and richness to the tofu. The marinating process allows the tofu to absorb these flavors, enhancing its taste and making it more reminiscent of traditional sausage.

When wrapped in crescent roll dough and baked, the marinated tofu begs your attention. The outer pastry layer provides a satisfying crunch, complementing the tender, flavorful tofu inside. While the result may not be identical to traditional pigs in a blanket, the dish offers a combination of tastes and textures that will have you coming back for more. One of the advantages of using tofu in this recipe is its versatility. You can experiment with different marinades to create various flavor profiles, ranging from savory and smoky to sweet and tangy. Additionally, serving the vegan pigs in a blanket with a side of vegan mustard or a dipping sauce of your choice adds extra flavor to the mix.

Tempeh

tempeh on cutting board
tempeh on cutting board - Alvarez/Getty Images

Tempeh is a vegan staple. It's made from fermented soybeans and has a firmer bite than tofu. So, if you love soy-based foods but want something with a meatier texture than tofu, tempeh might be the answer to your pigs in a blanket conundrum. It's injected with mold, a little like blue cheese is, so it has a rich, complex flavor that other vegan alternatives can't match.

Although tempeh wrapped in crescent roll dough won't taste all that similar to meat-based pigs in a blanket, it's still a delicious snack in its own way. Plus, you can kick things up a notch by adding other ingredients. Bell peppers are a great addition, as is eggplant or any other vegetable that stands up well to roasting. You could also add a sauce or chutney for extra flavor.

If you haven't experimented much with tempeh, it can be an acquired taste, so we wouldn't necessarily suggest trying this variation out on a room full of meat-eaters who have never tasted tempeh. However, many people love tempeh, and it's packed with protein, so it's a solid choice as a meat replacement.

Asparagus

asparagus wrapped in puff pastry
asparagus wrapped in puff pastry - zi3000/Shutterstock

Swapping sausages in pigs in a blanket with asparagus might seem unconventional, but it offers a refreshing take on this iconic finger food. While the taste is vastly different from the savory, meaty notes of traditional pigs in a blanket, asparagus brings its unique flavor profile to the table. Its earthy, slightly bitter taste provides a nice contrast to the buttery, flaky crescent roll dough.

Not only does asparagus taste great wrapped in crescent roll dough, but it also looks good, too. The vibrant green spears peek out, adding a burst of color to the dish. While it may not replicate the taste of sausages, the asparagus version captures the essence of finger foods — it's easy to pick up, delightful to nibble on, and perfect for dipping into various sauces. You can choose to wrap a single large spear of asparagus or wrap several thinner spears together in a bundle.

This substitution isn't about imitation but about creativity and great flavors. So, while you can't compare it to the traditional version, this asparagus variation stands on its own. It's a delicious, inventive option for those seeking more plant-based additions to their holiday spread. You can even add some vegan cream cheese or other vegan cheese to provide a creamy contrast to the flavor of the asparagus.

Mashed Bean Sausage Patties

three bowls of beans
three bowls of beans - Fotografiabasica/Getty Images

It's possible to make your own vegan sausage patties out of mashed beans and other ingredients — and you can adapt them to work as the filling for pigs in a blanket. First, let's learn more about these patties. You can use any type of bean, from kidney beans to pinto beans to chickpeas. But you need more than just beans; you'll generally use breadcrumbs and perhaps some flour as a binder. Then, you add herbs and spices of your choosing. This lets you season your sausage mix exactly how you like it. You can choose variations such as spicy pigs in a blanket, barbecue pigs in a blanket, or herby pigs in a blanket, depending on how you season this sausage mix.

At this point, it should be just the right texture to form into a shape of your choice. You can make mini sausage shapes, ball shapes, or small, flat patty shapes. Whatever you think is best to be wrapped inside your crescent roll dough. Then, just bake as usual, and you've got your very own vegan take on pigs in a blanket. We love how versatile this option is. There's no limit to the flavors you can add, so you can truly make it your own. You can also add sauces, like mustard or chili jam, to make it even more delicious.

King Oyster Mushrooms

plate of king oyster mushrooms
plate of king oyster mushrooms - barmalini/Shutterstock

King oyster mushrooms are characterized by their large, thick, meaty stem, which is the most prized part of the mushroom. The cap, although smaller in comparison to the stem, is still substantial and has a slightly velvety texture. These mushrooms have a mild, anise-like flavor and a firm, chewy texture when cooked, making them a versatile ingredient in various culinary dishes.

Due to their firm texture and umami-rich taste, king oyster mushrooms are often used as a meat substitute in vegetarian and vegan cooking. King oyster mushrooms make a surprisingly great — though different-tasting — alternative to the sausage in pigs in a blanket. You can slice the thick stem across to get little cylinders of mushroom to wrap in crescent roll dough. If you get a particularly thick-stemmed mushroom, you could also cut each cylinder in half before wrapping it.

Of course, the flavor isn't the same as a regular pig in a blanket, but it makes for a fancy finger food. And it's an ideal choice for mushroom lovers out there. That said, these mushrooms have a firmer texture than other mushrooms and aren't prone to getting slimy, so even some mushroom haters might be won over.

Vegan Meatballs

bowl of vegan meatballs
bowl of vegan meatballs - Neven Krcmarek/Shutterstock

Revamping the traditional pigs in a blanket with a plant-based twist, vegan meatballs step into the spotlight as a tasty sausage alternative. Crafted from a blend of wholesome ingredients such as soy protein, pea protein, legumes, and spices, vegan meatballs boast a hearty, savory taste that's beyond tasty when paired with buttery layers of crescent roll dough.

What makes this substitution so enticing is the robust flavor profile of vegan meatballs. Infused with aromatic herbs and spices, they bring a depth of umami that elevates the dish to new heights. As they bake inside the golden pastry, the meatballs retain their tenderness, providing a satisfying contrast to the crispness of the outer layer.

The convenience of using ready-made vegan meatballs simplifies the cooking process, making it accessible for anyone seeking a quick but tasty appetizer option. And it's not a new idea, either. There are already people who've tried making meatballs in blankets with non-vegan meatballs. Don't think of it as a direct substitution to replicate a weiner, but rather an alternative take. You could add a bit of vegan cheese to make vegan cheeseburger-style pigs in a blanket. Serve them with an array of classic dipping sauces — such as mustard, ketchup, and mayo — and you're onto a winner.

Broccoli

broccoli florets
broccoli florets - Bukhta Yurii/Shutterstock

You've heard of pigs in a blanket, but what about broccoli in a blanket? While it might seem unconventional, the vibrant green florets of broccoli bring a burst of color and a wholesome crunch to the party table. What sets this variation apart is the surprising contrast it offers. Instead of the meaty richness of sausages, the fresh yet earthy flavor of broccoli brings something completely different. The broccoli's texture, tender yet firm, provides a satisfying bite, making it an enjoyable finger food option.

Pigs in a blanket with broccoli not only caters to vegetarians and vegans but also appeals to those seeking a lighter, vegetable-forward alternative. You can use regular broccoli florets, Tenderstem broccoli, or purple sprouting broccoli if you prefer. The dish takes on a refreshing quality, showing you — and your guests — that creative combinations can yield surprisingly tasty results. This inventive approach demonstrates the versatility of broccoli, transforming it from a humble vegetable side to the MVP in the realm of appetizers. Broccoli in a blanket might be the crowd-pleaser that you didn't expect.

Sweet Potato

sliced sweet potato on counter
sliced sweet potato on counter - Clubfoto/Getty Images

While it might seem like an unconventional choice, the natural sweetness and earthy richness of sweet potatoes lend a delightful twist to the classic dish. What you get has a completely different vibe to traditional pigs in a blanket while still delivering on taste. What makes this variation so intriguing is the contrast it brings. Instead of the savory and meaty notes traditionally found in sausages, sweet potatoes offer a naturally sweet, creamy texture that pairs surprisingly well with the "blanket."

Sweet potato is a common dish around the holidays, so transforming it into a pigs in a blanket alternative is a nice way to marry these two worlds. You can even add a little cinnamon and ginger to make them more holiday-appropriate. Other tasty additions include caramelized onions, chopped pecans, and vegan bacon. If you're looking for a simple way to impress your guests, sweet potato wrapped in crescent roll dough with a few extras looks and tastes surprisingly fancy.

Read the original article on Mashed.