These vegetarian lentil sausage rolls are packed with rich, earthy flavours, and they're perfect for a kids' party or a lunchbox!
I felt a bit like a kid eating these vegetarian lentil sausage rolls. There aren’t that many occasions to eat sausage rolls as adults - but I say we should all just bake up a big batch of these now and dig in. Why not. They're absolutely delish.
"Hi... my son loves this recipe. I’ve made them on average at least every 2 weeks as they’re still the hands-down favourite food for both him and his little sister… so about 150 times now and counting(!) They’ll eat these in preference to literally anything."- reader Jen C
Vegetarian sausage rolls
Calling these 'sausage rolls' might actually be a little bit of a stretch, as the filling isn't really sausage - not even vegetarian sausage.
It's actually a crumbly lentil mixture, made with onions and garlic, dried thyme and sage, and plenty of mushrooms. And although it's not really sausage - it's absolutely yummy.
The end result is a little messier than sausage rolls made using actual sausage, but once they're baked, they hold together pretty nicely. And when you're going to end up with flaky pastry all around your mouth anyway, what's a few extra lentils?
How to make vegetarian lentil sausage rolls
Step 1: Prepare the filling
The filling for these lentil sausage rolls is all cooked up in a big frying pan.
You need to add:
- finely diced onions
- minced garlic
- finely chopped mushrooms
- cooked green lentils
- dried herbs (I used thyme and sage)
Step 2: Roll it up in puff pastry
I used shop-bought puff pastry, because who has time to make their own? (not me)
The ready-rolled stuff, rather than the kind that comes in a block, is especially quick to use.
Just cut your pastry into two long strips, and spoon the lentil mixture along the length. Then fold the edges of the pastry around the filling, pinching it to seal it closed.
Step 3: Cut into pieces
At this point, you can bake your roll as one enormous piece if you like, or you can cut it into mini sausage rolls.
I like the little mini ones (see again: feeling like a kid), so I chopped mine up. Some of the lentils decided to try to escape, but that's all part of the fun.
Step 4: Bake until crispy
25 minutes in the oven will allow your vegetarian sausage rolls to puff up, becoming crispy and golden brown.
Aren't they just beautiful?!
How to serve lentil sausage rolls
These sausage rolls are seriously versatile:
- Serve them at a kids' party as part of a vegetarian buffet
- Pack them in a vegetarian lunchbox
- Have them for lunch with some salad on the side
- Make larger rolls to serve for dinner with mashed potato and veg
- Use the same mixture to make one extra big lentil roll for a special occasion - similar to a mushroom wellington or veggie en croute
These lentil rolls are just as tasty dipped in ketchup as they are drizzled with gravy, so however you want to serve them, go for it!
Can I make vegan sausage rolls?
The only non-vegan ingredient in these lentil sausage rolls is the egg.
If you'd like to make vegan sausage rolls, you could try leaving it out. It's there to bind the filling together, so the end result might be a little looser if you skip it, but it will still taste great.
You'll need to make sure the puff pastry you choose is vegan too, of course.
How can I adapt these vegetarian sausage rolls?
As usual, you don't need to follow my recipe as it's written. I can never follow a recipe myself, so I'm always adapting things depending on what I fancy, and what ingredients I have in the kitchen.
Here are a few ways you could adapt this vegetarian sausage roll recipe:
- use shortcrust pastry instead of puff
- add some grated cheese to the filling
- swap the brown lentils for red lentils (which have a softer texture)
- add a dollop of pesto, curry paste, etc. to the filling for a different flavour profile
- sprinkle sesame seeds or nigella seeds on top before baking
It's pretty hard to make lentils and pastry taste bad, so use your imagination. These vegetarian lentil sausage rolls are sure to be a hit.
Vegetarian Lentil Sausage Rolls
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- 100 g (~ ½ cup) dried brown lentils
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 150 g (~ 5 oz) mushrooms, diced fairly small
- 1 teaspoon dried herbs (I used dried thyme and dried sage)
- Black pepper
- Salt (or ½ a crumbled stock cube)
- 1 slice bread, crumbled or finely chopped (or 50g / ~ 1 ½ oz breadcrumbs)
- 1 egg
- 375 g (~ 13 oz) puff pastry (I used ready-rolled)
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Boil the lentils in plenty of water until they are soft - approximately 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan, and add the chopped onion. Cook over a medium heat for a few minutes, until it is beginning to soften. Then add the garlic and mushrooms, along with the dried herbs, black pepper, and some salt or crumbled stock cube. Cook for a further 5-10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
- When the lentils are soft, drain the excess water, and add them to the mushroom mixture. Remove from the heat, and add the breadcrumbs and egg. Mix thoroughly to combine.
- Heat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out your puff pastry. I used a ready-rolled sheet, which measured around 15 x 10 inches. I then cut my pastry into two strips measuring around 7.5 x 10 inches. Your dimensions might be a little different, so just improvise if necessary.
- Spoon the lentil mixture along the middle of each strip of pastry, pressing down lightly to help the mixture stick together. Fold the edges of the pastry over the filling, pinching it together to seal.
- Cut the two long sausage rolls into however many smaller rolls you would like – I cut each into 8, so I ended up with 16 rolls in total.
- Place the sausage rolls on a lightly greased baking tray, seam side down. Brush each roll with a small amount of milk. Bake for around 25 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown.
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.