These delicious and easy vegan sausage rolls, with golden, flaky puff pastry enclosing a savory, herby filling, come together in minutes and need just seven ingredients. They make a fun addition to your child's -- or your -- lunchbox, and are soy-free and nut-free.
It's that time of year again: my voicemail box is filling up with back-to-school messages from the school district and my heart's filled with dread and excitement.
Jay begins middle school this year, yikes, can you imagine? He came to us as a six-year-old, barely up to my waist, speaking no English but bright as a penny and gifted with street smarts that helped him quickly settle into an unfamiliar milieu. He started first grade not a month after arriving on U.S. shores, armed with the alphabet and a few basic words and sentences we had managed to cram into his fertile little head in the weeks we'd had him.
Today, on the verge of sixth grade, he's already a strapping 11-year-old who reads nonstop, won't stop telling me facts about jet propellers and car engines that I don't need and am not interested in, and is probably going to make good on his promise of beating my 5 feet four inches within the next year.
Back to school also means I have to start thinking of ways to make attractive, healthy lunchboxes for him that won't go into the bin. Jay is, like any child his age, a moderately fussy eater, although his food habits have improved vastly since he came to us, partly because he's gotten used to the food, and partly because I've refused to give in to every food whim. He has this ability -- and I don't know if it's common to every child or peculiar to him -- of guzzling down vast quantities of food he likes, almost like a wolf, and then eating very little of what he doesn't really care about. Since the pediatrician thinks that's okay because it all balances out, and he's a healthy child, I don't worry about it too much.
But I also don't want him throwing away perfectly good food at school, where I'm not around to keep an eye. So when I make his lunchbox, I try and give a little, by making foods that are healthy but also have elements he loves, like the crunch and flakiness of puff pastry.
During our recent trip to Ireland, our bus made a stop at a gas station convenience store on our way from Dublin to Belfast, where I saw a sign -- in the bathroom -- advertising their vegan sausage roll. I told you guys in my vegan Irish Stew just how vegan-friendly the country is, but even so I was surprised and intrigued. So I got myself a vegan sausage roll.
Jay grabbed it off my hand and ate most of it, it was so good. So as I started thinking up lunchbox ideas for him, this meat-free roll was a no-brainer.
One of the rules of thumb I try to follow when I come up with school lunch recipes is that they have to be -- at least in most cases -- easy enough for a child to make. That's because once the school year is on, there's no time for long, complicated recipes every day. These sausage rolls require just a handful of ingredients, and they take minutes to make.
Ingredients for egan sausage rolls:
- Two puff pastry sheets (I use the Pepperidge Farm sheets which are vegan for convenience. But for a purer, healthier version of puff pastry, try my homemade puff pastry sheets, which I shared in this vegetable puffs recipe. You can even make whole wheat puff pastry!)
- Vegan sausage (I used Field Roast's Smoked Apple Sage sausage because the flavors in the vegan sausage I ate definitely had hints of sage and some sweetness.)
- Dry sage
- Ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil
These meatless sausage rolls are just perfect for a snack or lunch. They are crispy and crunchy and incredibly savory, and I bet you won't be able to stop at one. Neither will your young one.
More vegan kid-friendly foods
- Vegan Falafel
- Mexican Potato and Bean Cakes
- Vegan Cheesy, Garlicky Pull Apart Pizza Bread
- Vegan Cabbage Chickpea Torta
More fun vegan lunchbox ideas
- 25 Vegan School Lunches Your Kid Will Love
- 66 Kid Friendly vegan recipes from a vegan mom
- Easy Vegan Lunch Box Ideas for Back to School
Vegan Sausage Rolls
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion (very finely diced -- you don't want large pieces in the filling)
- 2 cloves garlic (very finely minced)
- 13 to 14 oz vegan sausage (I used Field Roast's Smoked Apple Sage. Crumble into small bits. You can use Beyond or another vegan sausage)
- 1 teaspoon dry sage (there's already sage in the sausages I used, but I wanted more sage-y flavor. Use more or less depending on your taste)
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- Ground black pepper and salt to taste
- 2 sheets puff pastry (thawed)
- Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and saute until the onions are translucent.
- Add the crumbled vegan sausage, bread crumbs and the sage and mix together well. Check if you need more salt and pepper and add if necessary. Turn off the heat.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
- Take one puff pastry sheet and lay it flat on the counter or your work surface. You can either use this as is, or roll just slightly, until a couple of inches longer. Using the three folds in the puff pastry as a guide, use a pizza cutter to cut the sheet into three, then cut each piece in half horizontally so you have six squares of puff pastry, each about five inches square.
- Divide the filling into 12, and make an oblong ball (it will be crumbly but will hold together) with each portion.
- Dab a little water along one of the edges of each puff pastry square. Place the filling inside the puff pastry close to the other edge and roll as tightly as possible, pressing down at the end to seal the seam. Place the sausage roll, seam side down, on a baking sheet. Repeat for the rest of the filling and puff pastry.
- Place the sausage rolls in the hot oven and bake 22-25 minutes or until golden-brown. I like to brush on a mix of 1 teaspoon oil and 1 teaspoon nondairy milk on the tops of the rolls for a little extra color.
- Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.