Are Beyond Sausage Hot Italian sausages any good?
These are a very enjoyable meat free sausage, but they aren’t the best in their class for multiple reasons. While reminiscent of a budget pork sausage in texture and taste, the Italian seasoning and heat level is minimal. Coupled with the painfully high price and high fat content, it’s not a slam dunk purchase.
The sophomore product line from Beyond Meat is this line of much anticipated and extremely hyped sausages. Presently the peat protein based sausages come in three varieties: regular, sweet Italian and hot Italian. I found all three at my local Whole Foods just recently and grabbed a pack of the hot Italian for testing.
On opening, my first impression was the extremely strong aroma of rosemary. I was initially worried these would be excessively perfumed but curiously the flavor was not nearly as strong after cooking. The sausages are firm and semi-reminiscent of the real deal. Given they’re made from largely the same ingredients as the Beyond Burger you can get an immediate idea of their texture if you’ve sampled the burgers.
So how are they, do they live up to the frenzied hype? I found these sausages taste best right out of the frying pan. As they cooled they lost a little of their sparkle. Sizzling hot though, they were remarkably like a budget pork sausage, the type you find in the freezer aisle, 50 for a dollar. That sounds like damning praise I know, but I was kind of impressed by the texture, the mouthfeel and the sausage casing; which is worthy of particular merit in itself – not chewy or slippery at all. Of course these sausages are made from higher quality ingredients than the filler you’ll find in cheap pork sausages. There’s no GMO here, no gluten, they’re soy free and packed with a ton of protein. And yes, they’re 100% plant based and vegan friendly.
In regards the hot Italian seasoning I was quite let down. Spice wise, I couldn’t detect anything more than a little black pepper warmth on the back of my throat – very mild. The same goes for the Italian seasoning too, minimal and restrained. If cooked as part of a larger dish, say in pasta with a sauce, that’s fine. If you’re loading these up on buns, look to some extra toppings to complete the flavor for sure.
Beyond Meat The Beyond Sausage cooking instructions and nutrition
You’ll need to cook these in the frying pan or on the grill. They’re loaded with fat so if you’re cooking indoors, put a lid on that pan – your kitchen will thank you later. Seriously, these spit and spatter just like the real thing. Like all Beyond Meat products, you won’t want to microwave these. Given their meaty texture, I think they’d do just fine on the grill too, I’d have no worry about them disintegrating over high heat.
Nutritionally, the Beyond Sausage isn’t the healthiest choice. In an effort to capture that real meat lusciousness they’re loaded with fat. Not as much as a pork based product for sure, but don’t mistake plant based for naturally meaning diet food.
Beyond Meat The Beyond Sausage – what’s in the box
Four sausage links come in a cardboard box, the whole lot is wrapped in shrink wrap. Once opened you’ll need to eat these in just a few days time.
The Beyond Sausage – what’s a fair price?
So far I’ve only seen these at Whole Foods where as of June 2018 they’re retailing for a hefty $8.99 per box of four sausages. That’s an undeniably high price point and reflects the products high demand / boutique nature right now. Over time, if these drop to the $4 or lower range, I feel that would be a fair price. I can’t see them being anything but a niche vegan product until they rival or undercut actual pork based sausages.
Here are the Beyond Sausages out of the pan and onto a bun – also a cross section of the interior; notice how remarkably similar these are in texture to the Beyond Burger.
Other Beyond Meat products
Hi I’m Stuart., amateur home cook and professional food writer. You can find my writing at places like The Salt Lake Tribune and Gastronomic SLC, which I founded more than a decade ago. As well as writing extensively about restaurants, I’m endlessly curious about that product on the shelf. Is it any good I wonder? If you’re like me, wonder no more.