How To Make Vegetarian Pepperoni

Homemade vegetarian pepperoni rises up in the ranks to a progressive alternative to the standard salami variety with this appetizing recipe. Long on flavor, this easy-to-make vegetarian pepperoni recipe is loaded with spices like fennel seed, Spanish smoked paprika and a touch of Liquid Smoke for the zing factor of flavor and preserving. Makes 6-8 servings.

To make vegetarian pepperoni, you will need:

Dry Ingredients:  

  • . 1 ¼ cup vital wheat gluten
  • . ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • .¾ teaspoon salt
  • .3-teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika
  • .1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • .1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • .¾ teaspoon mustard seed
  • . 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • .½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • .¼ teaspoon onion powder

Wet Ingredients:

  • . 2 tablespoons cashew butter, peanut butter or tahini (like peanut butter, but made with sesame seeds)
  • . 2/3 cup water
  • . 4 tablespoons ketchup or tomato sauce
  • . 1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke (available in grocery stores and online)
  • . ¼ teaspoon agave nectar (optional, but use if including tomato sauce)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. In a separate small bowl, put the cashew butter and slowly stir in the water. Add remaining “wet” ingredients to the small bowl and blend thoroughly.
  2. Pour the “wet” mixture into the “dry” and stir well. Remove it from the bowl and knead for a few minutes, ensuring the ingredients distribute throughout the mixture.
  3. Gently roll into the shape of a pepperoni log, approximately 6 – 7 inches long. Roll the log up in a piece of tin foil, twisting the ends securely to seal.
  4. Bake the vegetarian pepperoni for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn over once after 45 minutes cook time. Remove from oven and unwrap from foil to cool.


Notes: Vegetarian pepperoni does not have the same consistency of standard pepperoni. Using a canola oil cooking spray, pan-fry for a few minutes to give it a real pepperoni feel.

Purchase agave nectar at local health-food stores.

Use vegetarian pepperoni on pizza and in salads or serve it up with some Monterey Jack cheese wedges and crackers.

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