Beany Breakfast Sausage Patties

by on May 7, 2014
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Beany Breakfast Sausage Patties

Though it’s said to be the most important meal of the day, breakfast has always been the most difficult meal of the day for me. Most mornings, I’m just not hungry until close to lunch, and if I do eat something starchy or fruity early in the morning, it just sets me up to get hungry again before lunch. But I realize the importance of starting my day off with breakfast, so I’ve been working at making my breakfasts more protein-rich by basing them on beans: beans over grits, beans in smoothies, and now beans in “sausage.”

Since I gave up eating much processed soy, sausage substitutes are one of the foods I’ve missed the most. My favorite breakfast sandwich was Gimme Lean sausages on Ezekiel bread with Tofu-Cashew Mayo, dill pickles, and hot sauce. It probably sounds like something I craved during pregnancy, but it was delicious. I had a (non-pregnancy related) craving for it the other day, and decided to try making a bean version to satisfy it. And these beany babies did the trick!

Beany Breakfast Sausage Patties

Honestly, the texture isn’t at all like sausage–I would have had to add gluten to get them closer to that, and I was trying to make them safe for my gluten-free readers. They’re a little crunchy on the outside but moist on the inside, and the optional walnuts add some interesting texture. Plain they were rather…plain. But either made into my breakfast sandwich or served with grits and Mushroom Gravy, they were tasty and satisfying.

Beany Breakfast Sausage Patties
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I like these on the spicy side and 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes did the trick, but you can add more or less to taste.
Serves: 9
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, cooked or canned (drained and rinsed well)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon quinoa flour (or other flour)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • salt to taste
  1. Fit a food processor with a chopping blade and turn it on. Drop the garlic into the running blades to mince. Add the onion and carrot and pulse several times to chop fine. (Or mince all by hand.)
  2. Heat a small non-stick skillet and add the vegetables from the food processor along with the fennel seed. Cook until carrots soften, about 4 minutes, adding water by the tablespoon if needed to prevent sticking. Scrape into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  3. Put the pinto beans into the food processor and pulse until they are mostly broken down, but not at paste. Add to the vegetables in the bowl. Add all remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir well. If the mixture seems too runny, add extra flour.
  4. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper.
  5. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, add bean mixture and press it in until it’s not quite to the top of the cup. Invert it over the prepared baking sheet and tap lightly, if necessary, to get the mixture to come out. Repeat for remaining bean mixture. Flatten each sausage slightly with a fork or the back of the measuring cup.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until crispy on the outside but moist inside. Allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from the baking sheet and serving.
Without walnuts, subtract 11 calories and 1 gram of fat.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/9 of recipe Calories: 69 Fat: 1.7g Carbohydrates: 10.7g Sugar: less than 1g Sodium: 144.6mg Fiber: 3g Protein: 3.5g



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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 orthohawk May 7, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Great timing! I just bought a 5 lb bag of pintos. For the curious, a cup and a half of cooked beans equals a 15 oz can and thus a “heaping cup” (whatever that means!) of dry will come up as the 1.5 cups. What I usually do is cook up a pound at a time and freeze them in 1.5 cup batches.
Anyway, I’ll be trying this recipe with black beans and also kidney beans as well (and maybe tweak the seasonings a bit). I’ll post updates :).


2 Chessie May 7, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Hot diggity dog, this sounds good! I also miss veggie sausages, and I appreciate the gluten-freedom of it. Must try this soonest. Thanks for sharing the recipe.


3 Pat Meadows May 7, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Thanks for making it gluten-free, Susan. It sounds good, I hope to make it soon!
Pat Meadows


4 Loraine May 7, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Susan these look delicious and like everything of yours that I have made, I am sure they will be great. I am more inclined to respond though to your comments about not being hungry in the morning and that starchy foods and fruit make you hungry before lunch. You should be hungry in the morning but even if you are not, you should still eat to get your metabolism jump started and I think that you should even be happy that you are getting hungry before lunch because that means that slow metabolism is now faster. If you aren’t eating your fruit in the morning when are you having it or are you not having fruit at all. The best time to have such a sugary food like fruit is first thing in the morning to get our bodies going to have energy for the day or even right after lunch as a dessert. I am always concerned that not eating early and often during the day leaves people eating huge meals and snacking all night. We need our food while we are moving and grooving during the day and early evening and not loading up in the evening when we are not moving and then sleeping. Just my experience after experimenting with works and what doesn’t for my own diet! My rule of thumb fruit and carbs morning and afternoon and protein and (good) fats late afternoon and evening. Hope this helps πŸ™‚


5 Allison May 7, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Thanks Loraine for saving me having to type all that out, it’s exactly what I was going to say!


6 Loraine Mazzolini May 9, 2014 at 8:38 am

LOL! Awe – thanks Allison. Great minds think alike! We should connect on FB http://www.facebook/com/mazz10


7 livininparadise May 7, 2014 at 2:35 pm

OMG…I love the sound of these. I am intrigued by the use of the quinoa flour. I can’t have oats and most bean burgers call for oats. Someone said I might try quinoa flakes because they have the same qualities. I’m thinking maybe a stickiness. Also I am thinking about your comment on the alternative use of gluten. How would you use it and why? Would that be some wheat flour? to hold them together more? You said the texture wasn’t like sausage but were tasty and satisfying. That should be enough, but wondered what you thought about the sausage taste? I need to stock up on some herbs and spices. Would you use the same ones the next time you make them? I also don’t have a food processor and wonder if It would be a good investment. I’m just getting started making recipes, and I see you use the processor on a lot of them. So far I’ve been eating whole foods. Thanks so much for the recipe and the site.


8 Dawn May 7, 2014 at 6:40 pm

I use my food processor several times a week. It is now 20 years old. Still going strong! Kitchen-Aid brand. I love it. I think it makes eating whole foods plant based much easier. I also love my Vita Mix blender. Those two are small appliances that were well worth the price.


9 Susan Voisin May 8, 2014 at 4:22 pm

By gluten, I meant vital wheat gluten. It’s the protein taken from wheat, and it makes very realistic meat substitutes. I thought the sausage taste of these was pretty accurate, and I would probably keep the seasonings about the same in a gluten version.


10 Tina November 23, 2014 at 11:12 am

Hello Susan. I have become an avid reader of your various recipes, so thank you very much for them.

I have a couple of questions on this one:

1) Since we don’t care about gluten-free, would you mind sharing how much vital wheat gluten you would add to this recipe, if you were going to test the gluten version?

2) Do you know whether this can be frozen, and, if so, would you freeze before or after cooking? Meaning the mixture before cooking or after? We really love our veggie sausages (last thing we haven’t been able to kick as fat-free vegans). One important aspect of them is being able to take them from the freezer to pan quickly every Sunday morning when make them, so I really am curious.

Thanks again!


11 Rev. Russell Elleven, DMin May 7, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Don’t know if folks know this (or want to know this) but it appears Ezekiel Breads (Food for Life) supports the Weston Price Foundation. Here’s a piece I write about the alliance:



12 Loraine Mazzolini May 8, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Good to know. Thx


13 Werner May 8, 2014 at 3:11 pm

I had no idea, just goes to show vigilance is important – for ALL products. Thank you so much for commenting and providing this information.


14 Sam May 20, 2014 at 6:50 am

Will definitely be buying more Food for Life products for my family. Thanks so much for letting us know, Russell! This recipe looks great. Appreciate you made it gluten-free even though you didn’t need to for your family. Look forward to trying it out. Thanks.


15 Beth May 7, 2014 at 8:33 pm

I’ve been working on giving up soy too and these look yummy!! Thanks! I can’t wait to try them!


16 moonwatcher May 7, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Hi Susan,

These sound really really good. The combination of pinto beans, fennel, carrot and smoked paprika and sage make a nice sausage style base. It’s so nice adapt our old favorites to newer dietary needs. I look forward to trying these when I have some pintos. Musbrooms or mushroom gravy seem like an excellent accompaniment to the flavors. It might even be yummy to stuff large portobellos with this mixture and then bake.


moonwatcher (Maria)


17 Chris May 8, 2014 at 4:08 pm

How much gluten would you add to the recipe to give them a firmer texture?


18 Susan Voisin May 8, 2014 at 4:19 pm

You could try replacing the quinoa flour with gluten. That would be a start, but it might take even more to make them noticeably firmer.


19 Herb May 10, 2014 at 7:37 am

Hi Susan,
I find the more protein I eat the better I feel, I get more energy and feel fuller for longer. I do struggle to get enough protein as a vegan, mostly I get it from beans, nuts and quinoa.
Breakfast at the moment is porridge (oatmeal) with dark flame raisins and roasted nuts and seeds.


20 Mary @ Mary's Test Kitchen May 10, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Can’t wait to make these and DROWN them in gravy πŸ˜€


21 A May 11, 2014 at 9:35 am

Made these yesterday, but used black eyed peas instead because I didn’t have pinto beans on hand. The flavor is really good! Went to the grocery store and got pintos, so will try this recipe again soon


22 Elisa May 12, 2014 at 6:04 am

Substituting beans (especially lentils) for soy is so, so great. I don’t like to by the processed soy food either instead I make my own substitutions and I find that lentils with their really “iron-y” flavor have a similar taste to meat… Oh and of course they’re way cheaper than processed stuff πŸ˜‰


23 steve lassoff May 13, 2014 at 7:04 pm

Looks delicious! I always loved sausages as a kid and greatly miss them for breakfast. Will try this on the weekend when I have more time.


24 traditionallymodernfood May 15, 2014 at 8:47 am

Never used pinto before.. Wil try!! Thanks for the awesome recipe


25 Mandi May 16, 2014 at 1:23 pm

I love this! I can’t wait to try it! We eat the processed versions on special occasions because we love them so much, but we’re trying to get out of the habit. We will definitely try this recipe out!


26 Corrin Radd May 18, 2014 at 7:22 pm

We made these for lunch today and enjoyed them.


27 Tami May 20, 2014 at 12:31 pm

This recipe looks great. I cook all my burger’s on a George Forman or a panini cooker. I was wondering if these would cook well this way?


28 Susan May 27, 2014 at 10:14 am

I don’t have any pinto beans at home. Do you think black beans would work or would the flavour be all wrong?


29 Susan Voisin May 27, 2014 at 11:00 am

I think they’d be great.


30 LAB June 13, 2014 at 7:44 am

Breakfast has always been a challenge for me too. Like you, oatmeal and other cereals and fruit tend to lead me toward eating again before lunch. I made these this morning following the recipe exactly – except for the thyme, which I was out of πŸ˜‰
I gobbled two down (with a dab of tofu cashew mayo). They are delicious! I am going to pick up some dill pickles because I think these two were meant for each other.
Thank you for another awesome recipe!


31 Amy June 26, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Hi, could you freeze these? If so, would you do it before or after cooking them? Thanks!


32 Susan Voisin June 26, 2014 at 4:14 pm

I would cook them and then freeze them. They will hold together better and take less time when you take them out of the freezer.


33 Michelle July 2, 2014 at 10:57 pm

I tried these tonight. (looking for recipes I can make in advance for camping this weekend and thought of this with the tofu scramblers recipe I have) First, the recipe made 9 just like you said. So many times a recipe will have a quantity and it will come out to a different number, usually less. I will probably experiment with using a spice blend from a recipe I have used for years for Italian sausage. Since we switched to being vegan in February, I haven’t made this recipe since Christmas. It is in The Frugal Gourmet’s cookbook and I have a coffee grinder for the spices. I bet if I added that to the rest of the ingredients, it will be a hit. They are a bit plain like you stated, but the fennel adds a nice touch and they will pair nicely with the tofu scrambler recipe.


34 Justine A. December 26, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Hi Susan, I’ve been meaning to make this recipe ever since I found it and tonight I did! They were super awesome. The only adjustments I made were using black beans since they were in the pantry and I added tabasco to the mix for added kick and moisture! Super tasty! Will definitely be making them again for breakfast in the near future! Thanks for sharing <3


35 Lila May 11, 2015 at 9:46 am

for those of us who are not gluten intolerant (and for me, wanting a firmer texture in this type of patty–“burgers” included–what kind of gluten would you add? wheat flour instead?


36 Susan Voisin May 11, 2015 at 10:15 am

I would use vital wheat gluten instead of the flour and knead it gently until it firmed up, adding more gluten as necessary.


37 Ashlee September 28, 2015 at 10:19 am

This base recipe is a staple for my household – thanks so much! πŸ˜€ This last go ’round, I used chickpeas mashed with a bit (1/4 cup-ish) of jasmine rice to help with the “stickiness.” I love gluten, so I add about 3-4 T VWG (vital wheat gluten). These are INSANELY delicious and SO easy. They come together quicker for me than the previous recipe I was using, and these are much tastier! Last note: I *always* ante up the fennel – it has that genuine flavor reminiscent of pork sausage. πŸ˜‰


38 Lesly March 21, 2016 at 9:40 pm

Is the fennel ground or whole seeds?


39 Susan Voisin March 22, 2016 at 9:35 am

I used whole seeds but you could grind them if you want.


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