Vegetarian Toad in the Hole, classic comfort food! This vegetarian version of the classic is easy to make and perfect for a great Sunday lunch or weeknight dinner.
Who doesn't love cosy comfort food this time if the year? Warming, filling and tasty toad in the hole is an English classic. And just because your vegetarian doesn't mean you can't enjoy this classic meal too. There are plenty of options now for good vegetarian sausages that you're really spoilt for choice. We've been having vegetarian toad in the hole for Sunday lunch for some time now, it took me a while to get the batter right but once I did this has ended up being a family favourite.
Toad in the hole is a classic English dish, first appearing in cookbooks way back in the 18th century. No one knows exactly why it's called toad in the hole, the most common theory being that the sight of the sausages poking through the batter resembles frogs peering out from a hole. The first "in a hole recipe" appeared in Hannah Glasse's 1747 book The Art of Cookery, "pigeon in a hole", using pigeon in a Yorkshire pudding style batter. Thankfully there are no records of toads ever being used to make this dish!
How to Make Vegetarian Toad in the Hole
- Make the batter, add the flour to a large mixing bowl then add the eggs and slowly whisk in the milk. Leave the batter to rest for as long as you can.
- Cook the sausages, so this is different from your regular toad in the hole, traditionally made with meat sausages. Vegetarian sausages won't release much fat when you cook them so I have found that frying them up is a better option.
- Heat the oil, add about two tablespoons of oil to a large baking tray then put that in a preheated oven and leave it to get good and hot.
- Add the sausages, carefully take that hot tray out of the oven then add the sausages to the tray. Pour the batter over and around the sausages then put it straight back in the oven and bake.
Tips for Making your Best Vegetarian Toad in the Hole
- Rest the batter, the longer you leave that batter to rest the better. Overnight would be amazing but I have had great results with resting it for an hour. You could also get away with 30 minutes if you're short on time.
- Heat the oil, as I've mentioned above, vegetarian sausages don't release much fat, so the traditional way of cooking the sausages in the tray and adding the batter doesn't give the best results. So, you will need to heat the oil in the oven dish first, then add the sausages and then the batter. The batter needs to hit hot oil to get that crisp risen Yorkshire pudding effect.
- The sausages, there are so many vegetarian sausages on the market now so just go with your favourite ones for this. I use a Lincolnshire style vegetarian sausage, which we've found tastes great in toad in the hole.
- Herbs, I add fresh thyme and sage leaves to my batter but rosemary works very well too. I've made this with and without herbs and to honest the batter with the herbs always tastes better.
Making Ahead and Storing
You can make the batter a day in advance, I recommend doing that. The finished dish is best served immediately, I don't recommend freezing this. If you have any leftovers I would keep it in the fridge for a day and reheat it in the oven, bear in mind that it won't be as good as when it was first cooked.
How to Serve Toad in the Hole
We usually have this at the weekend and I serve this with broccoli, carrots, mashed potatoes and onion gravy. If we have it during the week I serve it with peas and mash. I always serve it with gravy so go with your favourite gravy for this one.
Need more cosy comfort food ideas?
- Vegan Sausage Casserole
- Beetroot and Goat's Cheese Tart
- Butter Bean Stew with Sweet Potato
- Vegetarian Chilli
- Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
Vegetarian Toad in the Hole
- 1 scant cup plain/all-purpose flour (100g)
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup semi-skimmed milk (150ml)
- 2 ½ tbsp light olive oil
- 8 vegetarian sausages
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 5 or 6 fresh sage leaves
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 220C/392F. 200C fan.
- Add the flour to a large mixing bowl, make a well in the centre then add the eggs.Slowly whisk in the milk until you have a smooth batter. Cover the batter and leave to rest in the fridge for an hour, 30 minutes at the very least.
- Heat ½ a tbsp of oil in a pan and cook the vegetarian sausages until golden.
- Add 2 tbsp of oil to a large roasting dish, put the dish in the oven until the oil is piping hot.
- Take the batter out of the fridge, then whisk in the thyme, salt and pepper.Take the hot dish out of the oven, add the sausages to the dish then pour the batter in between and over the sausages.Drop the sage leaves randomly around the batter.Return the dish to the oven then cook for 30 minutes or until the batter has turned golden brown and has risen.Serve immediately with mash onion gravy and vegetables.
- Nutritional Information is approximate and is calculated using an online tool. It will vary depending on the sausages you use.
- The batter, you will get the best results from leaving the batter to rest for as long as possible. An hour at least overnight is optimal however I have had good results from leaving it to rest for 30 minutes.
- Sausages, try to get the best vegetarian sausages you can find. We like Linda McCarthy's Lincolnshire sausage for this.
- Heating the dish, it's really important to heat the dish with the oil in it before you add the batter. The heat will expand the oil which will spread around the dish. When the batter hits the hot oil it will start to cook immediately so get it in the oven as quickly as possible.
- Freezing, I don't recommend freezing this dish. You stand the change of burning the batter and the sausages. You can make the batter the day before and you can cook the sausages beforehand too if you need to.
- Can I make this vegan? I haven't tested this recipe to be vegan, the BBC have a good vegan toad in the hole which you can find here.
- Can I make this gluten-free? Yes, use gluten-free flour, and make sure the vegetarian sausages are gluten-free too.