This vegan toad in the hole is traditional British comfort food. Juicy vegan sausages cooked in a crisp Yorkshire pudding batter - perfect with rich onion gravy!
Is there anything more quintessentially British than toad in the hole slathered in a rich onion gravy, on a rainy day in May? Surely not.
This is comfort food at its very best. Juicy vegan sausages, crisp yorkshire pudding batter that's fluffy and moist inside, studded with roasted onions.
A firm family favourite, this is perfect for Sunday lunches and big family dinners, but also easy enough to serve on a weeknight too. If you have a set of smaller metal pie dishes you could make individual toads-in-the-hole which would be really lovely (and save arguments about who got the most Yorkshire pudding!).
💭 What is toad in the hole?
Toad in the hole is a traditional British dish of sausages cooked in a Yorkshire pudding batter. It dates from the early 18th century, and is usually served with a rich onion gravy.
A dish basically consisting of sausages, eggs and milk isn't an obvious one to vegan-ise, but I've been wanting to have a go at this for a while as it is such traditional British comfort food. And, after a few experiments I've finally cracked it!
There are so many good-quality vegan sausages widely available these days that the sausage element is an easy substitution. Yorkshire pudding batter was another matter, but after a few tweaks and experiments I've found a combination of flours and plant milk that gives the same stodgy-but-crisp batter experience that is just perfect with lashings of gravy.
📝 What you need
- Red onion
- Vegan sausages
- Unsweetened soya milk
- Self-raising flour
- Chickpea flour (sometimes called gram flour)
- Baking powder
- Turmeric (optional - but gives the Yorkshire pudding batter a lovely yellow colour)
- Dijon mustard
- Rapeseed or sunflower oil
It is really important that you cook this in a metal tin, to get the best rise and texture in your Yorkshire pudding batter. Anything else just won't conduct heat nearly as quickly, and you really won't get the desired results.
My roasting tin is this Stellar Hard Anodised tin which is 30cm x 20cm - I like it for this as it has little handles indented and I'm a total wimp about getting hot oil in and out of the oven!
But any metal tin of roughly the same size will be absolutely fine, as long as it is deep enough to allow the batter to puff up quite a lot without spilling over the sides.
👩🏽🍳 Expert tips
Here are a few top tips that make quite a big difference to this toad in the hole recipe:
- Don't alter the ingredients for the batter. In most of my recipes I really encourage you to make substitutions and experiment with different ingredients to your own taste or according to what you have in your cupboards. But this vegan Yorkshire pudding batter has taken a LOT of experimenting and I really urge you to find everything on the list if you want it to turn out just right. In particular:
- Chickpea flour (gram flour) which is available in most supermarkets, either with the flours or else in the Indian foods as it is often used to make breads, bhajis and pakoras. Or if you have a high-speed blender you can make your own from dried chickpeas, easy peasy (just sift before using to remove any larger pieces). Chickpea flour is really important in this recipe as it has a sticky, dense texture and a high protein content which makes a big difference to the batter.
- Unsweetened soya milk is important as soya has the highest protein content of any of the plant milks, and a rich, creamy texture. Do make sure it is unsweetened, as you want the batter to be very savoury.
- Make sure your oil is very hot. I found 7 minutes in the hot oven just right to get the oil to temperature - keep an eye on it and if it looks like it is starting to smoke, take it out straight away. But if it isn't hot enough you won't get a good rise or nice, airy bubbles in your batter, and you'll end up with a bit of a flop.
- Use a metal tin. I mentioned it above and will do it again - please don't use anything except a metal tin for this - you won't get the oil up to temperature, and the batter won't cook correctly in anything else.
🌭 What are the best vegan sausages to use?
In recent years the quality and quantity of vegan sausage brands to choose from in UK supermarkets has skyrocketed, which is such great news. You can use whichever brand of sausage you like in this comfort food supper, but some of my favourites are:
- Richmond Meatfree which I used here and you can see pictured above. They have such a similar look and taste to their 'original' sausages that many people are completely fooled!
- Naked Glory are really excellent sausages - they have a bit more texture and deeper flavour than the Richmond.
- Sainsbury's Shroomdogs I absolutely love these, my personal favourite though my kids find them far too peppery. They have Cumberland sausage seasoning so are fairly strong, but I really like them.
- Moving Mountains Sausages are really good, but very expensive - I don't buy them often because of the price tag.
As an aside, I'm also a huge fan of the vegan 'chorizo' sausages now sold at Sainsburys, Tesco (Wicked Kitchen) and Morrisons, but they woudn't be suitable here. Also not a toad-in-the-hole sausage, but Wheaty Merguez Sausages are really delicious - they used to be available from Ocado but sadly no longer. They are stocked at TheVeganKind but are pricey - an occasional treat!
🔪 What else can I make with vegan sausages?
If you've got a taste for vegan sausages or have some left over after making your toad in the hole, how about trying:
- One-Pot Vegan Sausage Pasta with sun-dried tomatoes - the pasta and sausage-y sauce all cook together in the same pot so everything is just packed with flavour, (and there's less washing up!).
- Homemade Vegan Sausage Rolls are a classic, and so easy to make if you cheat with shop-bought puff pastry like I do!
- Vegan Sausage Casserole with borlotti beans is a family favourite in our house - perfect with a fluffy baked potato or mash.
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Vegan Toad in the Hole
- 125 g self-raising flour
- 100 g chickpea flour (sometimes called gram flour)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- pinch turmeric (optional - but gives the yorkshire pudding mix a lovely yellow colour)
- 300 ml unsweetened soya milk
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 100 ml water
- 4 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
- 8 vegan sausages
- 1 red onion
- Preheat the oven to 210°C (fan) / 450°F / Gas mark 8.
- In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder, salt and turmeric.
- In a jug, measure the soya milk, mustard and water and mix well.
- Make a 'well' in the flour and pour in the wet ingredients, mixing until the batter is smooth and no lumps remain. Place in the fridge until needed.
- Pour 3 tbsp oil into your roasting tin (or enough to cover the whole base of the tin) then put it into the oven to heat the oil, and set a timer for 7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan and cook the sausages gently until their skins are brown all over. Remove from the heat.
- Slice the red onion into thin wedges.
- Carefully remove the hot oil from the oven, pour the batter into the base of the tin then place the sausages and onion wedges in the batter.
- Bake for 30 minutes on a low oven shelf, until the batter is puffed and golden. Serve with gravy and green vegetables.
I'm linking this post with the CookBlogShare challenge, hosted this week by Melissa Traub Plant Based Nutrition.