There are a few different vegan pepperoni alternatives that are worth considering. They’re not all produced using the same type of protein sources either. However, many manage to closely resemble sliced pepperoni to go on a pizza that you make from home (even if you cheat and purchase the vegan pizza base from the store). Read on to find our personal best vegan pepperoni alternatives.
- What Is Vegan Pepperoni Made Of?
- Choices or Preferences to Satisfy with Vegan Pepperoni
- Best Vegan Pepperoni Brands
- What About Trying Some Vegan Alternatives
- Our Thoughts
- Wrap Up: Best Vegan Pepperoni Alternatives
What Is Vegan Pepperoni Made Of?
The best vegan pepperoni isn’t only made from one primary ingredient. There are a few choices for vegans, which is good news if one or more of the usual ones doesn’t agree with you.
Seitan is often found in vegan pepperoni alternatives. It can be sliced and shaped to look like the meat-based pepperoni sausage while still having no animal products in the food.
Primarily, gluten is the source for producing seitan. Some vegans even make seitan at home.
As the protein source, wheat gluten or wheat meat is used. The wheat used in producing seitan comes under various names but it’s essentially all the same.
While seitan has a high protein count, it does contain some carbs too. Therefore, it’s dissimilar to real pepperoni in that sense.
It can sometimes make people a little gassy, which you’ll know after having it the first time.
However, as we said, there are other vegan pepperoni alternatives not made from seitan if you discover that you’re affected. Few people are but it’s worth mentioning.
Pea protein covers several types of legumes.
However, the predominant protein source to make vegan pepperoni is often the humble split pea. It is usually yellow, but sometimes green peas are used as well.
Plenty of amino acids are included, along with some minerals too. Indeed, it’s sometimes referred to as a complete protein; pea protein has all 9 amino acids essential for life.
This protein source isn’t just used to make vegan pepperoni either. It is regularly sold in health food stores and supermarkets as a base for vegan protein powder shakes, in place of whey protein.
Usually, pea protein is gluten-free. It also isn’t found to be gassy.
So, for vegans who are sensitive to gluten or must avoid it completely and wish to keep their bowels clear, pea protein is a better protein source for vegan pepperoni.
Soy is sometimes used in pepperoni replacements. With that said, just as often an alternative mentions that it’s soy-free.
Therefore, soy isn’t as prevalent in vegan pepperoni as it can be with other vegan meat alternatives on the market.
Tofu in various forms is also sometimes used in vegan pepperoni.
However, there are not anywhere near as many options with tofu alone.
More often, it’s included as one of several protein sources to make a vegan pepperoni product. And usually not as the dominant protein source either.
Choices or Preferences to Satisfy with Vegan Pepperoni
Some pepperoni uses soy as part of its protein makeup. Others do not.
Soy is not regularly used to produce vegan pepperoni, so it’s somewhat unusual to find it in the ingredients list.
Some vegans are allergic to soy. Therefore, increasingly vegan food producers are adding whether it is “soy-free” or not.
As a result, some of the products mentioned later in this article are soy-free and displayed as such. If this matters to you, look out for it.
Check out this article for more on soy-based meat and dairy replacements.
As covered earlier with seitan, some vegan pepperoni alternatives use protein sources that include gluten whereas others do not.
If eating gluten-free is important and necessary for your diet, then know that were are delicious vegan pepperoni products to fit this requirement.
Pea protein is likely going to be the best protein source for pepperoni.
An increasing number of vegan foods including pepperoni are marketed as non-GMO.
It is usually prominent on the front of the packaging when the finished product was grown or developed from non-GMO seeds.
It is not always the case, but some vegan pepperoni is also organic. The vegan product will display the USDA logo or something similar to confirm it.
Best Vegan Pepperoni Brands
Green Slice was created in 2018 in Vermont. As a woman-owned business, its mission is to provide healthy, vegan food that’s ideal for sandwiches, bagels, etc.
The idea first came to Veronique when she struggled to find healthy, non-processed meat for her daughter to eat.
From there, the idea for organic plant-based deli slices was born. They now provide vegan pepperoni and plenty of slices for the vegan deli.
The Be-Hive was originally a kind of experiment where members of a band, Born Empty, took part in vegan potlucks.
From here, the food choices kept expanding, as did the interest of others. Parties turned into buffets, and later, the Be-Hive Deli was opened.
Since then, they’ve continued to expand by moving from their 1,200 square foot kitchen to a larger, 7,200 square foot commercial space.
The business produces vegan deli meats and other products in the Nashville area where the deli is still located.
The Louisville Vegan came about in 2012 after its founder mistakenly left his vegan dish cooking too long… and liked the results.
Based in Kentucky where the ingredients are readily sourced, veggie jerky is their main product.
All their products are non-GMO and still prepared in small batches to ensure the quality remains the same.
What About Trying Some Vegan Alternatives
Green Slice Veggeroni Deli Slices
Green Slice has their aptly named Veggeroni as a pepperoni that’s suitable for vegans.
Offered in a resealable package, its round-cut veggeroni is soy-free, and USDA Organic certified too.
Based on pea protein, it is gluten-free too. The herbs and spices give it a mild flavor that’s not overwhelming if you don’t like your pepperoni too strong.
Use it over a vegan pizza, in a deli wrap, or as a snack.
Be-Hive Vegan Seitan Pepperoni
The sliced pepperoni alternative from the crew at Be-Hive is thought to be the best approximation of pepperoni.
Made from Seitan, it is sliced and ready to lay over a pizza. Made from seitan with delicate spices and sundried toms for good measure, it hits the right spot.
High in protein, with a good bit of iron and some calcium too, its plain packaging belies a tasty interior.
Louisville Vegan Toppins’ Pepperoni Bits
Made from textured soy protein, olive oil, and spices, the Louisville Vegan Toppins’ Pepperoni Bits is one of their flavors.
They use non-GMO ingredients in their pepperoni bits and it’s gluten-free.
They’re ready to sprinkle over a pizza layered with vegan cheese or add them to a sub, some pasta, or for that added crunch in a salad.
Louisville Vegan Pepperoni Slices
The same company from Kentucky also makes more traditional pepperoni slices too. They can be eaten as a snack out of the packet, so bring them on a walk.
Or they can be added slice-by-slice to the top of a pizza too.
This version of their pepperoni is chunkier and chewier than other sliced vegan deli meats mentioned earlier.
Along with the taste, it is also worth considering other factors when selecting the best vegan pepperoni for you.
For example, if you’re aiming for a higher protein count per portion, then the Be-Hive Pepperoni wins hands down at 18g per portion.
With fat content, the Be-Hive pepperoni also wins at just 1g whereas the Green Slice Veggeroni is around 6g. However, both have low-fat levels compared to meats.
Lastly, the level of sodium in your diet may be a concern. In which case, the Green Slice Veggeroni is 250mg with their typical 40g portion size. The Be-Hive Pepperoni is much higher, and both Louisville Pepperoni offerings were saltier still at 520g per half-cup measure.
For more on vegan meat replacements, check out the article on whether vegan meat alternatives are safe.
If you liked this article, you may be interested in our article on vegan ham and what is it made of. This can go on a pizza just as good as you vegan pepperoni alternative.
Wrap Up: Best Vegan Pepperoni Alternatives
As you have hopefully learned above, there are plenty of different vegan pepperoni alternatives available, and there are more coming on the market daily. Depending on your dietary needs, there should be an option available for you.