Andouille sausage is a spicy, smoked sausage that is often seen in Cajun and Creole dishes. It lends a distinct, smoky, and spicy flavor to dishes.
But what do you do if you cannot find it? Are there good substitutes for andouille sausage?
Substitutes for Andouille Sausage
Some good substitutes for andouille sausage include chorizo, bratwurst, kielbasa, and other types of smoked sausages. Vegetarian sausages made with soy or tofu may also be used.
What Is Andouille Sausage?
Andouille sausage is a spiced, double smoked pork sausage that is used a lot in Cajun and Creole cuisine, in dishes like Gumbo and Jambalaya.
Its origins are French, but the andouille sausage we have come to know and love is a product of the interaction and the influence of a diverse group of people that settled on the German Coast or La Cotes de Allemands in Louisiana in the 1700s.
German, French, Arcadian, African, Spanish, and others settled in this area and probably contributed heavily to the evolution of the andouille sausage as we know it today.
The German knowledge of making sausages and the French and Cajun culinary knowledge and influence created this unique sausage that has become so deeply associated with the American South.
What Does Andouille Sausage Taste Like?
Spices and chilis feature prominently in the taste profile of andouille sausage, due primarily to its Cajun and Creole influence.
Andouille sausage is a spicy sausage, with a sharp and smoky flavor. Unlike other sausages, it is also coarser in texture as the meat is not finely minced but coarsely chopped.
This gives it more of a texture and a bite compared to other sausages.
What Are The Best Substitutes for Andouille Sausage?
If you cannot find andouille sausage and need it urgently for a recipe, there are some substitutes you can use.
Of course, it would be hard to replicate the exact flavor of andouille in recipes, but certain substitutes may work very well to imitate the smokiness and spiciness that andouille sausage adds to a dish.
Below are some of our top picks.
1. Mexican Chorizo
Chorizo is a spiced pork sausage that is made with a variety of spices like garlic and peppers. There are two types of chorizos – Mexican and Spanish.
Mexican chorizo is usually sold raw and fresh, meaning it needs to be cooked before you consume it, unlike other sausages.
It is typically made with local varieties of chili peppers as well as herbs and spices. This is a good substitute for andouille sausage in recipes as it also gives you that spicy flavor, but keep in mind that it is a fresh sausage and must be cooked thoroughly.
2. Spanish Chorizo
Spanish chorizo is actually where Mexican chorizo came from. It is also a spiced pork sausage but is less spicy than its Mexican counterpart.
It is dry cured and smoked, and thus may be eaten as is or further cooked in your dish. Spanish chorizo has that characteristic red hue as its dominant ingredient is paprika, or pimenton in Spanish.
The type of pimenton used is what determines whether the chorizo is “picante” (spicy) or “dulce” (sweet).
Spanish chorizo can be substituted for andouille in your recipes. It is also a smoked sausage that can add that smokiness to your dish.
Kielbasa is a Polish sausage that is normally made of pork but can also be made with other types of meat such as beef, lamb, or turkey.
The most dominant flavor in kielbasa is garlic, but other spices like marjoram and cloves are also present, which give them a hint of sweetness.
In the U.S., kielbasa is typically U-shaped and can be smoked or unsmoked.
Kielbasa is usually mild in flavor, but depending on the brand and the source, it can be spicy, too. If you get a spicy and smoked variety, it can replicate the flavor of andouille sausage closely.
Read more about Kielbasa at Does Kielbasa Go Bad? 6 Things You Should Watch Out For
Bratwurst is a German sausage typically made with pork but lamb or veal versions are available as well.
Fresh marjoram is the dominant herb that gives it its distinct taste but other herbs and spices may be added, too. Spices like cardamom, sage, nutmeg, caraway, mace, ginger, and paprika are also often used.
Usually, bratwurst is sold as fresh sausage, but there are cured and smoked varieties available, too. If you smoke your bratwurst or get a smoked variation of it, it may also give you that smokiness that andouille sausage will normally add to a dish.
5. Smoked Sausages
Various kinds of smoked sausages may also be used in place of andouille sausage in recipes. While of course, the flavor would be different, they can still add flavor and character to your dish rather than skipping adding sausage altogether.
Smoked sausages like Italian sausage and Portuguese chourico might be interesting additions to your dish.
Smoked sausages made with other types of meat, like smoked turkey or chicken sausages, may also be used to substitute for andouille in your recipes.
6. Vegetarian Sausages
Finally, if you can’t have pork or are just looking for alternatives, vegetarian and vegan sausages that are usually made with soy or wheat gluten, can be interesting substitutes for andouille sausage in your dishes.
Nowadays, with the rise of veganism and vegetarianism, meat-free alternatives are becoming more accessible and available.
Vegan bacon, vegan ham, burgers, and of course, vegan sausage are becoming more commonplace. Flavoring them or smoking them to imitate andouille sausage can breathe life into your recipes.
These meat-free sausages and alternatives, however, will be very different in texture from their meat counterparts, and will not contain any fat, so we should not expect them to have the same mouth feel or taste the same as meat sausages.
However, if you are serving vegans or vegetarians, or those who otherwise cannot have pork or meat sausages, meat-free sausages are a great option.
Is Andouille Sausage The Same As Regular Sausage?
Regular sausage is typically made with finely ground and minced meat, while andouille sausage is made from chopped pork meat.
This results in a sausage that has a coarser texture and that has a little bit more bite into it. Andouille is also a double-smoked sausage, which gives it that sharp, strong flavor that it is known for.
Is Andouille Sausage The Same as French Andouille?
The andouille sausage that we love here in the U.S. may have been introduced to us and brought to us by the French, but we certainly did our part and changed it to almost a completely different type of sausage.
Both are called by the same name but American andouille sausage is quite different from its French predecessor.
French andouille is typically made from chopped-up pork chitterlings or intestines, which are then stuffed into natural casings made from its large intestines.
American andouille is usually made from pork shoulder or thighs, and are stuffed into synthetic rather than natural casings.
The flavor profile is also different as our American version features garlic and spices like chilis very heavily in the meat stuffing, something that isn’t normally present in the French counterpart.
French andouille, due to the use of intestines, may also have a very distinct odor that may often be an acquired taste and may often be off putting to the uninitiated.
American andouille is almost always double-smoked. The meat is smoked prior to stuffing and after stuffing, which is why smokiness is such a prominent characteristic of American style andouille. French andouille may be smoked, but it can also be unsmoked.
Given these glaring differences, they might as well be different sausages that share a common name that bears so much history.
Can I Make My Own Andouille Sausage?
If none of the suggested substitutes work for you and you are a DIY type of person like I am, there is always the option to make your own andouille sausage.
While of course, it may be hard to replicate the taste and texture of commercially made ones or those from specific brands, making your own sausage is actually nice because it allows you to control exactly what goes into it and allows you to adjust the seasonings and spices to your specific taste.
It may take a while to get it exactly right and may take making a few recipes to get the hang of it, but the entire process can teach you a lot and allow you the opportunity to grow and develop in your cooking skill.
Frequently Asked Questions to Substitutes for Andouille Sausage
Is Andouille Sausage Spicy?
Andouille sausage is a spicy sausage that is double smoked. It is spicy because of the liberal use of chilis and peppers as seasonings, an ode to its Cajun roots.
Is There A Non-Pork Substitute for Andouille Sausage?
Spicy, smoked sausages that are made from chicken, turkey, or beef may be used in dishes to replicate the taste and smokiness of andouille sausage.
What Are Vegetarian Substitutes for Andouille Sausage?
Vegetarian and vegan sausages made from soy, tofu, or wheat gluten, seasoned and smoked similar to andouille sausage, maybe used as non-meat substitutes.
Conclusion to Substitutes for Andouille Sausage
Andouille sausage is a spicy, double-smoked coarse sausage that is an important ingredient in Creole and Cajun cuisine.
If you are unable to find andouille sausage, substitutes like chorizo, bratwurst, kielbasa, and other smoked sausages may be used in place of it in recipes.
While all these substitutes will have slightly different flavor profiles from traditional andouille sausage, they are all workable substitutes that will add a unique flair to your dishes.
If you find that you want to have the authentic flavor of andouille and you are unable to source them, there is also always the option to make your own.