Lentil Italian Sausage

Even before it crossed my mind to explore veganism, or even vegetarianism, wasn’t a fan of the taste of meat. I would only find it palatable when it was seasoned with lots of bold flavors– garlic, paprika, and lots of hot pepper. One of my favorite dishes as a kid was hot sausage, which was simmered with lots of tomatoes, onions and peppers. This recipe is a nod to those flavors– and it is better, cheaper, and healthier than anything you can buy. It is packed with fennel seeds, and the outside has a nice snap, thanks to the use of rice paper.


1 can of brown lentils, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon white wine
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons Hungarian Paprika
1 heaping teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper flakes
salt, to taste
rice paper wraps
3 cups water


  1. Using a potato masher or mixer, mash 1/2 of the lentils, leaving the remaining lentils whole for texture.mashed lentils
  2. Add the garlic powder, paprika, wine, fennel seeds, red and black pepper, and salt. Stir to combine.
  3. Press out the extra moisture. I placed the  mixture into a mold and pressed down on the top until the lentils were compressed into a block.pressed lentils
  4. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Heat 3 cups of water to boiling. Turn off the burner.
  6. Place the lentils on a cutting board and slice them into equal pieces.sliced lentils
  7. Dip a rice paper wrap into the hot water and let it soften until it is pliable, and can be fully opened, about five seconds.
  8. Lay the rice paper wrap onto the cutting board. Using a knife, lift a slice of lentils, and place it in the rice paper.lentils-and-knife.jpg
  9. Tuck the sides of the rice paper over, and then roll. If any of the mixture spills out, roll the sausage with its rice paper inside of another rice paper.rolling sausage
  10. Bend the sausage slightly, and make sure the filling is securely inside.sausage rolled
  11. Place your completed sausages onto a silicone mat lined baking tray, and bake for 12-15 minutes, just until the rice paper crisps.sausage baking
  12. Serve with a dipping sauce, for example No Cook Tomato Sauce.

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