Vegan currywurst? No problem! This article will help you to prepare the ultimate cheat’s vegan currywurst – a simple curry ketchup recipe, vegan sausage recommendations and tips on how to prepare both. The ultimate German fast food, done plant-based. Plus, it only takes 15 minutes to make!
🌟 Why this recipe works
- Quick and simple – it’s so quick to throw together a simple curry ketchup using basic ingredients. Plus, you’ll just need to cook pre-bought vegan sausages. You can’t get much simpler – it’s a bit of a cheat’s recipe, but that’s why we love this vegan currywurst so much!
- Classic taste – we’ve put together a curry ketchup using classic ingredients like mild curry powder and vegan Worcestershire sauce, so it has that authentic flavour. It’s also very easy to find convincingly flavoured plant-based sausages, so you really can achieve a perfect currywurst flavour – but vegan!
- Staple ingredients – this vegan currywurst recipe uses some pretty standard cupboard staple ingredients. Ketchup, curry powder, paprika and sugar. Worcestershire sauce, especially a vegan version, might be less common – but very easy to source!
- A fine balance – we found that, depending on the ketchup we used, it may or may not need vinegar. Some ketchups are more vinegary or sweet than others. So we recommend tasting it as you go just to see if you need to add sugar or vinegar. This is to get the balance right with the ketchup you’re using. More notes on this below.
- Tried and true – this vegan currywurst recipe has been a huge hit at VP HQ! Namely, Dan’s parents have been our guinea pigs for this recipe and we got the best feedback ever.
📋 Ingredient Notes
- Sausages – a traditional currywurst uses a classic German sausage, more commonly a bratwurst. While any old vegan sausage would do the job, we recommend going out of the way to find a nice, fat and juicy sausage that’s as close to a bratwurst as you can find. While developing this vegan currywurst we found that the Beyond Sausages are great for this. We don’t generally use them a lot because they’re not the right sort of sausage for say, vegan sausage casserole or for use in a breakfast sausage sandwich. They work perfectly when making a vegan currywurst though! Other great choices would be Meetlyke Bratwurst, Meetlyke Bockwurst, Viana Organic Bratwurst, Tofurky Beer Brats or Veggyness Bratwurst. Hopefully one of these options is available where you are! Usually in a currywurst recipe, the sausages would be steamed or fried. As vegan sausages are generally fried or oven baked, we chose the fried method for this recipe.
- Curry powder – mild, yellow curry powder is Germany’s go-to currywurst ingredient. We picked up a basic mild curry powder from the supermarket for this recipe and it tasted perfect.
- Worcestershire sauce – this classic British sauce has a strong umami flavour, as well as sour and sweet elements. We know what you’re thinking – a British ingredient in a German vegan currywurst? Apparently the inventor of currywurst, Herta Heuwer, likely used it when developing her now famous dish. She acquired ingredients from British soldiers in Germany (read more on Wikipedia’s currywurst page)! The important thing to note is that Worcestershire sauce traditionally contains anchovies, so is not vegan. You can now get vegan Worcestershire sauce though, or Henderson’s Relish is a very similar alternative.
- Ketchup – while some recipes create a sauce using tomato puree, we’re going down the tomato ketchup route for this vegan currywurst. It’s a classic way of creating the sauce and we’re yet to open a fridge and not find ketchup in it! While trying not to sound like some kind of ketchup snob – not all ketchups are created equal. We find that cheaper brands and supermarket own brand options are heavy on the vinegar. More vinegary ketchup will impact the flavour of the curry ketchup, so when creating this recipe, start off without the vinegar and taste it before adding – you might find it’s vinegary enough without.
Check out the recipe card at the bottom of this article for exact measurements to make vegan currywurst.
🔪 Step-by-step Instructions
This is a step-by-step overview with photos for this recipe. The full recipe, along with measurements and detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
For the sausages:
1. Cook the sauces according to the instructions on the packet – if frying is an option, we recommend that for a vegan currywurst. As well as being hot, aim to get a lovely brown on all sides. While the sausages are cooking, make the curry ketchup.
To make the vegan curry ketchup:
2. Put a splash of oil into a saucepan and bring to medium heat. Optionally, using oil spray for a low-oil option.
3. Fry the curry powder and paprika for 30 seconds until fragrant.
4. Pour in the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and 5 tbsp of water, stir and gently simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Time for a taste – is it sweet enough? Does it have enough of a vinegary edge? Is it runny enough? Different brands of ingredients have different flavours and consistencies, so add the sugar, vinegar or more water to get the right taste and consistency for you.
6. Once the sausages are cooked, chop into thin slices.
7. Serve the slices with curry ketchup on top, finished by a dusting of curry powder for that authentic look. We recommend serving on a bed fries (as pictured) or with bread rolls.
👩🍳 Expert Tips
- The right type of sausage – this vegan currywurst recipe works best with a vegan bratwurst sausage, or something similar like a bockwurst. The Beyond Sausage is also a great option, since it’s not typically like a banger or a breakfast sausage – it’s a lot larger and meatier. There are loads of plant-based options around now, so check out some of our recommendations in the ingredients section above.
- Ketchup sweetness and acidity – different brands of ketchup have varying levels of sweetness and acidity. We recommend not adding the sugar or vinegar to this recipe until the sauce has simmered and you’ve given it a taste. It might be just right to start off with! You can then add the optional ingredients once you’ve tasted the sauce.
- Worcestershire sauce – Worcestershire sauce has a powerful umami flavour with a sour edge. It’s also not traditionally vegan, so be sure to keep an eye out for a vegan-friendly version! An alternative would be to use Henderson’s Relish, which has a very similar flavour, doesn’t contain fish and is often cheaper.
- Dusting – you can use tea strainer for dusting curry powder on the vegan currywurst for the finishing touches. It might sound odd, but it's a great tool for this! Check the recipe photos above to see how we used it. A flour duster used in baking is great too, but they're quite big and so not a great tool for the small amount of curry powder that is needed to finish the dish off.
A plant-based sausage similar to a bratwurst is the best option. Any type of larger, ideally German-style sausage, would be great. If you can’t find anything that suits, give it a go with whatever vegan sausages you can find – the sauce will still be delicious.
The curry ketchup could be frozen and defrosted before use, though we’d recommend eating it fresh. If freezing, don’t freeze for longer than 3 months and make sure to defrost and reheat thoroughly before serving.
The curry ketchup sauce can most definitely be made ahead of time, so if you’re serving this for guests it will save you time. However, we recommend cooking the vegan sausages fresh, right before serving the vegan currywurst.
🍛 What to serve with it:
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- 4 plant-based bratwurst-style sausages – (recommendations in notes)
- 1 cup tomato ketchup
- 1.5 tbsp mild curry powder + a little extra for dusting
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 5 tbsp water (plus up to another 5 tbsp of water)
- 1 tsp dark brown sugar – optional, see notes
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar – optional, see notes
For the sausages:
- Cook the sausages according to the instructions on the packet – if frying is an option for the sausages, we recommend that for vegan currywurst. This means they will brown off nicely. While the sausages are cooking, make the curry ketchup.4 plant-based bratwurst-style sausages
To make the vegan curry ketchup:
- Put a splash of oil in a saucepan and bring to medium heat. Use oil spray for a low oil version.
- Fry the curry powder and paprika for 30 seconds until fragrant. Stir continuously.1.5 tbsp mild curry powder, 2 tsp paprika
- Pour in the ketchup, vegan Worcestershire sauce and 5 tbsp of water, stir and gently simmer for 5 minutes.1 cup tomato ketchup, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 5 tbsp water
- Time for a taste – is it sweet enough? Does it have enough of a vinegary edge? Is it runny enough? Different brands of ketchup have different flavours and consistencies, so add the sugar, vinegar or more water to get the right taste and consistency for you.1 tsp dark brown sugar, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Once the sausages are cooked, chop into thin slices.
- Serve the slices with curry ketchup on top, finished by a dusting of curry powder for an authentic look.
- We recommend serving on fries (as pictured) or with bread rolls.
- This recipe works best with a vegan sausage that’s similar to a bratwurst. Our top choices would be Beyond Sausage, Meetlyke Bratwurst, Meetlyke Bockwurst, Viana Organic Bratwurst, Tofurky Beer Brats or Veggyness Bratwurst.
- As ketchup varies so much between brands, a bit of tasting and adjusting will be needed for the curry ketchup. Start with just 5 tablespoons of the water and don’t include the sugar or vinegar. Once the ketchup has simmered, taste and adjust! A lot of brands of ketchup can be heavy-handed with sugar and vinegar so it’s best to be cautious and add if needed. We found Heinz, the OG ketchup brand, to be the best.
- The curry ketchup sauce can be made ahead of time, so if you’re serving this for guests it will save you time. However, we recommend cooking the vegan sausages fresh, right before serving the vegan currywurst.
- You can freeze the curry ketchup, but be sure to defrost and heat through thoroughly before serving.