If you like your sausage to have just a little bit of a kick and a wholly different texture, andouille sausage is the best choice for you.
This gourmet sausage is unlike traditional sausage links that you might find in the grocery store. It’s a very unique option that’s hard to recreate.
However, if you find yourself in a bind and you want something similar to andouille sausage, there are some options to get as close as possible without having to settle for something that isn’t even close.
What is the best andouille sausage substitute? The closest substitute for andouille sausage is chorizo for its similarly smokey and spicy flavor. Other great choices include kielbasa and German bratwurst. For vegetarians and vegans, tofu sausage is likely to be the closest match.
You can use other types of sausage and sometimes even add seasonings to mimic andouille sausage as well.
In this guide, we will share with you all of the best andouille sausage substitute options, keeping in mind the textures and flavors to try to hook you up with options that are as close as possible to the original.
There are many to choose from, so you can take your pick. Keep reading to learn the best andouille sausage substitute options and more.
Andouille Sausage Substitutes – A Complete Guide
Andouille sausage isn’t like your average hot dog or brat. It tends to have a bit of a sharp flavor that really stands out. In comparison to something like smoked sausage, the flavor is smoky and coarse.
The smoky flavor almost gives it a little bit of a kick. When you purchase andouille sausage, you can find different varieties and flavors that really complement the true nature of the sausage.
You can find it in things like gumbo and jambalaya, as well as a variety of skillet meals.
The flavor isn’t the only thing that separates andouille sausage from other varieties. The texture and compilation are also very different.
While most sausage link varieties are made with ground meat that is packed into a casing, andouille sausage is actually made up of chopped pork portions instead.
While all of these sausages are made from pork, the way they are made does make a difference and you will notice it when you bite into them. The textures and flavors vary wildly.
So what do you do when you simply don’t have andouille sausage available? There are many traditional dishes that call for this type of sausage, but it is also a favorite even for smoked links.
Lucky for you, if andouille sausage simply isn’t available, you do have some options. Try out these options and see if one of them might work for you when you’re in a pinch and need an andouille sausage substitute in a hurry.
Probably one of the closest substitutes that you will find is our favorite option, Mexican chorizo.
This sausage can be a little bit on the spicy side, but it compares closely to the sharp and smoky flavors that andouille sausage has.
If you’re making gumbo or jambalaya or a similar dish, that little bit of spicy flavor really pulls the dish together.
Mexican chorizo doesn’t look much like andouille sausage. It’s dark red in color, where andouille tends to be fairly light in color before it’s cooked.
However, the texture is also pretty similar, being a bit more chunky than other sausage varieties.
The closest similarity between the two is the smoky flavor. While it’s not exact, the smoked red peppers used in chorizo give you a similar smoky result.
This smokey flavor between andouille and chorizo comes from very different sources, but the results are surprisingly comparable when you need a good substitute.
There is also a European version of chorizo that can work as a substitute as well. This is in the form of a sausage link and it is cured so it can even be eaten in slices.
It also will work quite well as an andouille substitute, especially if you are using slices for something or simply enjoying it whole as a link.
If you choose to substitute chorizo for your andouille, you can substitute it 1:1. Meaning, you would use the same amount of chorizo that you would have used of your andouille sausage. No other modifications need to be made!
Next up, kielbasa is another great substitute. Kielbasa is a smoked sausage that heralds from Poland. It is similar in style to the andouille sausage and it has that smoky flavor that you might be after.
Kielbasa is interesting because it isn’t always made with pork, although this is the most common way to make it.
The smoky flavor won’t stand out as much because of the cardamom flavor that is in kielbasa. In fact, if there is going to be something that stands out to you in contrast, it will be the cardamom.
You can try to combat this by using a touch of Cajun seasoning and some black pepper to distract from the cardamom and give the kielbasa a sharper flavor that is more similar to that of andouille.
It’s not a perfect substitute, but it can get you close. Kielbasa is smoked and has a similar texture. It can be used in all of the same ways that andouille sausage can be used.
It is rich in flavor, which is perhaps one of the reasons that it does make a good substitute option.
If you like to make pasta dishes or sausage rolls, kielbasa makes the perfect substitute and the ways these dishes are made will most likely mask the primary differences between andouille and kielbasa in the end.
Many people prefer to make their own kielbasa. If you do make your own kielbasa, this is the perfect time for you to add a touch of spice to make it more similar to andouille.
A touch of Cajun and some black pepper will give it that sharp flavor like andouille. Then, you can smoke the kielbasa as well with wood and also achieve the smoky flavor that andouille provides.
If you really want to get technical, kielbasa is a pretty broad category in Poland because it encompasses all of their sausage varieties.
If you see differing terminology and need to know which is the best, look for Kielbasa Mysliwska. This particular version is smoked, which makes it more similar to andouille overall, but is also dried.
You may never see these terms. If you are shopping at your local grocery store and grab a smoked kielbasa package, chances are it falls into this category and will work the same way we described.
Much like with chorizo, you don’t have to worry about adjusting portions to match andouille. You can use the same amount or even more kielbasa in a recipe as you might have used of andouille sausage.
If you are concerned about the cardamom flavor, add some additional seasonings or use a little bit less kielbasa overall.
3. German Bratwurst
A bratwurst is another good substitute for andouille sausage. These are pretty different in texture because they are made with ground meat that is stuffed into a casing, rather than chunks like andouille.
You can noticeably see and feel the difference in the texture. If you want the same texture or want to be able to just slice up the sausage, bratwurst might not work for you.
You would be surprised, though, that while bratwursts are typically made with more ground meat, they also contain minced meat in the mix, which makes it more similar in texture than some of the other options.
On the same note, you can get your flavor similar to andouille by adding seasonings to your raw bratwursts.
This is one of the easiest ways to mimic the overall flavor of andouille sausage, particularly if you can smoke the bratwurst to achieve a smoky flavor as well.
Find a traditional German bratwurst that isn’t flavored, infused with cheddar, or beer-battered, and work with that. Before you cook it, create a blend of spices to season it with.
Try these specific spices:
- Sea salt
- Garlic flakes
- Chili powder
- Black pepper
Since you are working with bratwurst, you might be able to leave out the thyme and sage and just work with the other ingredients to achieve the sharp flavor that andouille offers.
These spices are shared because they are the most traditional spices that are used in the creation of andouille.
Bratwurst is another option that isn’t always pork, so if you want to be as close as possible just be sure that you are truly getting pork brats rather than veal or beef brats.
You can probably achieve something pretty similar with beef but it won’t be quite the same.
We like bratwursts as a suitable substitute because they are typically sold uncooked (although you can also buy them pre-cooked) and this allows you to season and smoke them to make them more like andouille sausage.
If you choose to substitute using bratwurst, you would substitute in equal measurements of the amount of andouille you might have used.
4. Tofu Sausage – Vegan/Vegetarian Option
If you need a good vegetarian or vegan substitute for andouille, you really can’t go wrong with simple tofu sausage. These sausages are made to be flavorful and they are loaded with protein so they make a suitable alternative.
In fact, there is actually an andouille tofu sausage from Tofurky that is specifically made with a blend of spices to make the tofu and other plant-based ingredients taste as similar as possible to andouille sausage.
Tofu and pork are, of course, not quite the same in terms of taste and texture. You might notice some differences, but it will be generally close and achieve your objective of finding a suitable andouille replacement.
The nice thing is that you can get smoked tofu sausages so you get the smoky flavor as well. Tofu has a pretty dominant flavor when you purchase tofu sausage so it is sharp, much like andouille.
If you choose wisely and go with another smoked tofu sausage, it is rich and intense in flavor and makes a really great substitute option. You would be surprised at how well this can fit in as a substitute.
There is no need to add seasonings to make it work, since tofu sausage has a rich flavor already, especially tofu sausages specifically made to taste like andouille.
Tofu sausages won’t be that similar in texture overall, but if you are cooking them into a dish, you probably won’t even notice the difference.
For substitution, you can use the same amount of tofu sausage or slightly less to match your andouille ratio in the recipe.
We hope that you find this guide to the best andouille sausage substitutes to be a valuable resource. There are some great options out there and if you know what to look for, you can be satisfied with many of these options.
If you’re looking for rich flavor, go with chorizo. If you’re looking for a smoky flavor, try out kielbasa. If you want the most similar texture, stick with brats. If you need a vegetarian substitute, tofu sausage is the way to go!
We invite you to take a look at the following question and answer section for some additional information that may be useful to you.
What Makes Andouille Sausage Different from Other Sausage?
The biggest difference between andouille sausage and other types of sausage is the rich, sharp flavor.
Andouille is a Cajun food with a hearty smoked flavor and rich, Cajun spices, including cayenne, garlic, pepper, thyme, and chili seasonings.
Another subtle difference is the texture since andouille is not made with ground meat like so many other versions of sausage.
Do You Need to Remove the Casing from Andouille?
You will find that nearly every type of sausage has some sort of casing. It’s not necessary to remove the casing in most instances.
This casing is what forms it into links and allows you to enjoy it in slices or links. The casing is completely edible.
If you prefer your andouille to be crumbled or ground up, you can remove the casing for those purposes and it might be easier to accomplish.
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