Sausage-Style Walnut Meat

This vegan sausage-style walnut meat recipe is easy to make in your food processor with fresh California walnuts and a few plant-based kitchen staples. The smoky savory flavor is just incredible! Walnut sausage is the perfect no-cook vegetarian topping for pizzas, baked pasta dishes, or vegan breakfast tacos. Thank you to our friends at California Walnuts for sponsoring this post!

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Have you tried walnut meat yet?

We’ve been making it for years, and it’s incredible stuff. I’m not usually a huge fan of walnuts, but the texture and flavor fresh California walnuts take on when ground up with the right spices and herbs is out of this world.

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Close-up overhead shot of sausage-style walnut meat on a white plate with a spoon digging into it. The plate is sprinkled with minced fresh herbs.

The walnut meat recipe we’re going to share with you today is a little different from others we’ve seen out there that are usually seasoned to taste like ground beef. If you’re looking for a recipe like that, check out our Spicy Beef-Style Walnut Meat!

Today, we’re talking about Smoky Walnut Sausage!

Overhead photo of the ingredients in walnut sausage: soaked walnuts, olive oil, liquid smoke, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, ground fennel, smoked paprika, and celery salt.

Ingredients in Walnut Sausage

This sausage-style walnut meat recipe was born out of a random weeknight epiphany. One day, when we were cooking dinner together and noticed our spice cabinet was running a little low, we realized if we could make a beef-style walnut meat, we could totally make a sausage-style one.

And thus, we got to work.

But actually, it didn’t take much work. We just went with the same methods and swapped a few seasonings:

We kept the soy sauce and olive oil and swapped out the beefy spices for more sausage-y spices (very technical terms, I know) like: liquid smoke, Italian seasoning, onion and garlic powder, ground fennel, celery salt, and smoked paprika

And bing, bang, boom, this easy walnut sausage was born!

Step by step process shots of how to make walnut meat. The photo on the left is all the ingredients in the food processor before blending. The photo on the right is the walnut meat after blending.

How to Make Sausage-Style Walnut Meat

Like I said, this no-cook vegan ground sausage is so easy to make. We especially love making walnut sausage in the summer because you don’t even have to turn on the oven!

All you have to do is soak a cup of California walnuts in cool water for about 20 minutes, drain and rinse them, then throw everything in a food processor, pulse a couple times, and EAT.

Close-up shot of walnut sausage on a plate with minced parsley sprinkled on top.

How to Use This Walnut-Based Vegan Sausage

We love this smoky plant-based meat on:

ALL. THE. PASTA! Stuff this walnut sausage into meatless lasagna, toss it with penne, or add it to baked ziti! Seriously ALL the pasta.

PIZZA! From a classic sausage and pepper pie to a less traditional pesto pizza, this sausage-style walnut meat is going to be your new favorite pizza topping. 

One word: Breakfast. Stuff it in breakfast tacos or use it to top a tofu quiche. Or just throw it right on top of your morning tofu scramble served next to a mountain of roasted potatoes. This plant-based breakfast meat is a total game-changer!

Dips + Appetizers! This sausage-style walnut meat is amazing in or on top of hot dips. We also use it in these cute stuffing balls that are perfect meat-free appetizers for the holidays!

Overhead shot of sausage-style walnut meat on a white plate with a spoon digging into it. The plate is sprinkled with minced fresh herbs. There is a white linen, scattered raw walnuts, and a small spoon with smoked paprika on it surrounding the plate.

More Walnut Meat Recipes

If and when you give this walnut meat recipe a try, we’d love to hear what you thought and how you used it!

Leave a comment and rate the recipe below or tag us in your photos on Instagram. If you’re not already hanging out with us over there, we are @theplantpowercouple with the “the”.


Close-up shot of walnut sausage on a plate with minced parsley sprinkled on top.

Sausage-Style Walnut Meat

Brittany Roche
This vegan sausage-style walnut meat recipe is easy to make in your food processor with fresh California walnuts and a few plant-based kitchen staples. The smoky savory flavor is just incredible! Walnut sausage is the perfect vegetarian topping for pizzas, baked pasta dishes, or breakfast tacos.
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 cup walnut meat



  • Drain and rinse the walnuts and add them to a food processor with the remainder of the ingredients.
  • Pulse the mixture 6-7 times or until the walnuts are well-combined with the spices and they look like the texture of ground meat. Stop to scrape down the sides as needed.
  • Enjoy this walnut sausage on pizzas, pasta dishes, tofu scramble, etc.!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. I LOVE this stuff! I put it on top of roasted spaghetti squash with marinara and vegan mozzarella... so yummy! I can’t wait to try it in more recipes!

    5 stars

    1. This is amazing. Delicious, smoky, spicey, sausagey. I did use only half the amount of soy sauce and still found it quite salty but perfect as a base for stuffed baked eggplants. Definitely a keeper recipe.

      5 stars

    1. Hi, Suzanne! Thank you so much. We love this stuff! :) The texture is less tender than animal-based ground sausage but more tender than biting into a handful of raw walnuts. It kind of reminds me of those really crispy pieces of ground sausage or beef that I always loved growing up!
      1. Hi this is a amazing recipe I just used it for our breakfast and I added mushrooms to it. I have some left over so I’m going to put it in our spaghetti tonight! Thank you so much
    1. This stuff is mind-blowing. So easy, versatile and delicious. I’ve made it a few times now, and even modified the spice blend once to make it chorizo-style—it turned out great! Walnut meat FTW!

      5 stars

    2. This is our go-to for sausage replacement! We use it on pizza, in sauces, and today it is going in acorn squash! Thanks so much for the recipe!

      5 stars

  2. This stuff is amazing!!! I make it all the time now and even my nonvegan friends love it!

    5 stars

  3. This recipe is AMAZING! At first it seemed a little salty just trying it on its own but on the pizza it was delicious. Might scale back the soy sauce just a tad on my next version but my friend who is ever skeptical about my vegan substitutions said this would completely fool her and she totally loved this! Great recipe!

    5 stars

  4. Thank you so much for this recipe! I modified it for my own recipe (cream cheese sausage braid) so I used sesame oil instead of olive oil and I used sage (for breakfast sausage taste) and dehydrated onions and it kinda gave it the "everything bagel" taste it was super good. I mixed the "sausage" in with the cream cheese and sauteed onions and celery and put in croissant braid. I can't wait to try the Italian style though in Spaghetti squash. I will let you know how it is after the one we just had I know it's going to be good! Thanks again for sharing!

    5 stars

    1. Hi, Amber! That depends on how "ground" the walnuts are. If they're more like walnut pieces, you're good to go. If they're ground into a dust, it's a no-go. Hope that helps! :)
  5. Can I batch make this and freeze it as is? Sounds like something I’d like to have on hand. I don’t want to measure out spices every time. It would’ve nice to just grab and add! On the other hand I do make several little containers of spices in a recipe, label the for specific recipe and have it all measured out for the next time I make the recipe. It really saves on prep time!
    1. Oooh, I LOVE the idea of making a sausage seasoning mix for this. Thank you for that idea! I don't think we've ever frozen it on its own, but I do think it would work. I'd love to hear how it goes if you do freeze it!
  6. Has anyone tried making this with a different nut? I would love to try this but I'm allergic to walnuts.. Hmm maybe pecans?
  7. If I am being honest I was very skeptical about making this recipe, but it turned out soo good and tasted like real meat, yall really outdid yourselves, thank you!☺

    5 stars

  8. Why the liquid smoke? I am going to try this recipe but i am leaving out the liquid smoke. Do you think it will taste ok without it?
    1. Hi, Joyce. The liquid smoke is a flavoring-agent often used in various iterations of vegan "meat" dishes, particularly those based on pork and beef dishes. The final result will definitely taste different without it, but you'll have to let me know how it tasted.
  9. After reading the comments, I halved the soy sauce and omitted the oil as walnuts are very high fat/calories to start with. I still found the walnut meat very salty using only 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, next time I'll use even less. It could be because I don't use much salt in any of my foods though, for health reasons, so things seem salty to me when others might find it "usual". Thanks for the recipe though I will use some of it for a vegan mac and cheese topping tonight! And a pasta topping tomorrow night! Yum yum!

    5 stars

    1. Glad you were able to adapt it to your tastes and needs so easily, Mandy! Sounds like a fantastic use of it with that mac and cheese! Thank you for reaching out and letting us know!
  10. Who knew?! After reading your recipe for walnut sausage, I saw California Walnuts at the market, so I added it to my grocery cart intent on whirling up a batch of plant based sausage (walnuts… genius!). It was easy to make, all crumbly and perfectly spiced. I picked up a vegan white pizza at our favorite pizza place (okay, I took the somewhat effortless route) and generously sprinkled the simmering walnut sausage on top. It was close-your-eyes-and-savor-every-bite delicious 😋

    5 stars

    1. I'm so glad you liked it, Susan, and that pizza sounds divine! It IS a really easy recipe, isn't it?! lol! Thank you SO much for reaching out and letting us know how much you enjoyed it! Hope you have a wonderful day!
  11. Hi, have only just found your site when searching for a homemade veg bouillon powder and so pleased I did and have subscribed. This walnut recipe sounds great and I would love to make it into vegan sausages to fry. Do you have any suggestions for best binding ingredients please?
    1. Hi, Sandy, I'm so glad you're liking the site! I would use a flax egg and some all-purpose flour to bind the patties together. Here's a link on flax egg in case you're not familiar: Hope this helps!
  12. Love this recipe. I used it for my sausage and egg burritos. Wish I could gind a way to make into a patty. Thanks

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