7 Delicious Smoked Sausage Substitutes & When to Use Them

Smoked Sausage Substitutes
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If you ask me, smoked sausages are irreplaceable. Still, if you ask me, there are many smoked sausage substitutes that come very close to the smoked sausage essentially. Since smoked sausages aren’t always available, I have been researching the best possible alternatives. So, what are some smoked sausage substitutes? 

You can use smoked tofu, fresh sausages, cured sausages, pre-cooked sausages, patty links, fermented sausages, or blood sausages as smoked sausage substitutes in different situations.

I love smoked sausages because they have so much to offer to the dish and are a dish in themselves. Still, when I want to mix things up, or I don’t have them around, I play with different types of sausages, and here’s the wisdom I gathered. Prepare to get all the best substitutes for smoked sausage and when to use them!

Smoked Tofu 

If you’re looking for a vegetarian option but still want to enjoy the smoky flavor and aroma, smoked tofu is a great smoked sausage substitute. Although it doesn’t look like smoked sausage, or sausage in general, it provides mouth-watering smokiness. It also has a particular meaty dimension and a pretty good structure, so you will definitely get a mouthful of texture and flavor. 

As a smoked sausage substitute, you can use smoked tofu in sandwiches, as a snack, in stir-fried dishes, in grain bowls, or in vegetarian variations of classic sausage dishes. Smoked tofu is becoming a popular smoked sausage alternative because it is very easy to work with and it offers great results.

Fresh Sausage 

Shrimp and Fresh Sausage Gumbo

Fresh sausage is a type of sausage in its own right, and it isn’t a substitute but a meal in itself. Still, if you want to give an old dish a new flavor, fresh sausage is a great way to do so. The most significant difference between smoked and fresh sausage is the texture, which dictates their differences in use. Even though it doesn’t have the expressive smoky notes of the smoked sausage, it still has smoky hints. 

The smoked sausage is firm, easy to handle, unlikely to stick, and even good to have uncooked. The fresh sausage is soft; you need to be careful when working with it because it may fall apart, it can stick to the pan, and you absolutely cannot have it uncooked. 

Still, their uses overlap to some degree, and since both are delicious, you can easily cook delicious dishes substituting the smoked for the fresh sausage. I use fresh sausage instead of smoked in recipes like casseroles and pasta dishes or as toppings for pizzas, where it provides a juicier and a little softer texture. 

Cured Sausages 

Cure sausages are a large group of meaty products that cover salami, pepperoni, prosciutto, and other air-dried and seasoned meats. You can easily substitute cured sausages for smoked sausages as pizza or pasta toppings, for sandwiches, charcuterie boards, in omelets, roasted veggie toppings, or as an addition to burger patties.


Cured vs. Uncured Salami: Differences & Which Is Better?

Cured sausages offer a unique savory and slightly tangy flavor, so don’t expect them to be the same as smoked sausages. They also considerably differ in texture, but they do deliver a variation of the irresistible smokiness of the smoked sausage. If you cook them, cook them thinly sliced or finely chopped and only for a few minutes. If you use them to substitute in charcuterie boards, just slice them thinly, and you’re done. 

Pre-Cooked Sausages 

Pre-cooked sausages, like bratwurst or hot dogs, are fully cooked and ready to eat. Still, they may not be the best choice because they are highly processed, so make sure you don’t have them too often. They deliver a great taste, though, and are extremely easy to work with. 

Pre-cooked sausages work as smoked sausage substitutes in virtually any dish you would use smoked sausage in. So, starting from soups and stews to breakfast meals, toppings, sandwiches, stir-fries, classic Southern dishes, or charcuterie boards, they fit in everywhere. 

Don’t expect the same results, though, because they differ in texture and flavor, but still, they deliver excellent results. 

Patty Links

Sausage Patty Links

Patty links are an excellent alternative for smoked sausage, primarily because they are very versatile and can be used in many dishes, as well as a dish in themselves. A patty link is basically sausage meat formed in a patty shape. They tend to be spicier and more flavorful than the smoked sausage. 

You can grill, fry, or bake patty links in the same ways as you would do with smoked sausages. Still, the patty links are softer and more fragile than smoked sausages, so you may want to be more careful when handling them. 

I use patty links as a substitute for smoked sausage in breakfast dishes, such as breakfast sandwiches, breakfast burritos, or alongside eggs or with roasted veggies. They are juicier and a little greasier than smoked sausages, which creates a great twist on dishes where you would usually use smoked sausages.

Still, since patty links are sufficiently soft and moist, they don’t do well in soups or stews, so don’t use them as substitutes for smoked sausage there. 

Fermented Sausages 

Fermented sausages are very similar to smoked sausages, and therefore, they are the best-smoked sausage alternative. Fermentation is a process applied to enhance the flavors of sausages that can be smoked or fresh. 

Anyway, chorizo or saucisson are examples of fermented sausages, so if you’ve tried them, you surely know what I’m talking about. You can use fermented sausages instead of smoked sausages almost everywhere.

I use them in recipes like paella and stews or as an ingredient in tapas and appetizers. They make delicious sandwiches, toppings, and snacks and offer the robust and complex taste of smoked sausage.

Blood Sausage 

Korean Blood Sausage Soup

If you had even the tiniest doubt that blood sausage is only a name and not a description, I am here to bust that myth and tell you that, yes, blood sausages are made with actual blood as one of the ingredients. It can also contain rice or oatmeal, as well as onions and various spices. 

Blood sausage is definitely somewhat of a unicorn in the sausage department with a unique flavor and texture. It is very rich, slightly earthy, and slightly sweet, leaving a bit of a metallic aftertaste. The blood sausage doesn’t offer many possibilities as a smoked sausage substitute, but it can do well on some occasions. 

If you are more into the richness of the smoke sausage than its texture, the blood sausage can deliver lots of it in dishes like sautéed vegetables, stuffing, or as an ingredient in traditional recipes.

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