What’s best about roasted dishes they need little embellishment. A few vegetables, a little olive oil, and subtle seasonings are all it takes to make a dish with an automatic wow factor. That’s definitely true for this medley of vegan sausage with fennel and polenta.
Fennel, a classic fall vegetable, harmonizes beautifully with the plant-based sausage and polenta (the kind that comes in tubes) in a roasted preparation that comes together easily and quickly.
This sheet-pan preparation also makes a fantastic vegan alternative to traditional bread stuffing for Thanksgiving or Christmas. But you’ll see that this preparation is so simple that you need not wait for a holiday to enjoy it.
Fennel is an under-appreciated vegetable that gives a delightful anise flavor to dishes. It’s a green-tinged, nearly-white bulb with green celery-like stalks sprouting at the top. The stalks are adorned with fernlike, dark green leaves. See lots more in this site’s Guide to Fennel.
Vegan sausage brands: Amy’s, Beyond, Field Roast, Gardein, Morningstar Farms, No Evil, Tofurky, and The Very Good Butchers all make excellent vegan sausage. You may find store brands as well. They’re all good! You won’t be afraid to find out “how the sausage gets made,” as the saying goes, as the main ingredients are usually vital wheat gluten and/or tofu (be alert, though, if you have gluten or soy sensitivity).
Recipe adapted from Plant-Powered Protein © 2020 by Nava Atlas. Reprinted by permission. Photos of the finished dish by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- 18-ounce tube polenta
- 2 medium bulbs fennel
- 14- to 16-ounce package vegan sausage (4 links), sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 6 ounces cremini (aka baby bella) mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned and sliced
- Olive oil, as needed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt-free seasoning (like Mrs. Dash)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Sliced fresh sage leaves, or whole rosemary leaves, optional
- Preheat the oven to 400º F.
- Cut the polenta into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Then, cut each round into 4 wedge-shaped pieces.
- Slice the stem end off of the fennel, then cut the bulb into bite-sized strips. Slice the celery-like stalks into approximately 1/2-inch pieces. Remove the feathery leaves and set aside to use as garnish.
- Combine the polenta, fennel, sausage, and mushrooms in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle in a little oil, just enough to coat everything lightly, then sprinkle in the seasoning blend.
- Transfer the mixture to a large parchment-lined roasting pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until everything is nicely roasted and touched with golden brown here and there.
- Season with salt and pepper and stir in the reserved fennel leaves. Add sage or rosemary, if desired. Serve straight from the roasting pan.
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