When I worked pastry at a small coffee shop, these vegan kolaches were always the first thing to sell out (shortly before these cookies). What is a kolache? It’s a combination of fluffy dough wrapped around vegan sausage and cheddar (sometimes with jalapeños, sometimes without), all topped with everything bagel seasoning — they’re just perfection.
I’ve made hundreds of these kolaches for restaurants, farmer’s markets, and vegan festivals, and every time they’re an absolute slam dunk. I know you’ll love them for their:
- Fluffy, easy to work with dough that gets golden and toasty in the oven
- Hearty vegan breakfast sausage and melty vegan cheddar
- Salty, onion-y everything bagel seasoning that takes these over the top
Key Ingredients in Vegan Kolaches
You’ll need to work on three components of this dish: the dough, the fillings, and the toppings. While the dough recipe will always remain the same, feel free to experiment with different fillings and toppings.
Dough: Kolaches traditionally call for an enriched, yeasted dough. Here, we use a combination of all-purpose flour, vegan butter, unsweetened plant-based milk, sugar, and yeast. Once the yeast is activated and foamy, you make the dough and let it rise. This dough is very forgiving and easy to work with, which makes these kolaches so fun — you’ll want to make them over and over again.
Filling: Here, I use vegan breakfast sausage and cheddar, with optional pickled jalapeños. I find this filling combination is classic and everyone always loves it. Make sure you buy a vegan breakfast sausage that is in the shape of links (rather than patties), or choose a “raw,” mixture so that you can shape it into sausage links yourself.
This dough recipe is a blank canvas for a variety of fillings, as long as they’re relatively dry (overly saucy fillings cause the dough to disintegrate). Here are some other filling combinations I’ve tried and loved:
- Vegan mozzarella, marinara, vegan pepperoni
- Vegan mozzarella, vegan chicken, pesto
- Vegan ham slices, vegan provolone or gouda
- Vegan cheddar, corn, minced fresh jalapeño
- Potato, cauliflower, and chickpea curry
- BBQ pulled jackfruit
Topping: Every good kolache needs a good topping sprinkled on before baking. You can never go wrong with everything bagel seasoning, but other options include an herby butter, shredded vegan cheese, or a thin slice of jalapeño.
How to Make the Kolaches: 3 Steps
First, cook your sausage. Preheat the oven and bake your sausage according to the package directions.
While your sausage cooks, start on your dough. Whisk together melted butter, milk, and sugar. The mixture shouldn’t be hotter than 120 degrees F before adding the yeast, otherwise the heat will kill it. Add the yeast and set aside for 10 minutes for the yeast to “bloom.” After 10 minutes, your mixture should be bubbly and frothy.
Add the flour and salt, and mix until a sticky dough comes together. Turn it over onto a well-floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. The dough should be sticky, but not unworkable. If needed, add more flour in very small amounts. Cover the dough ball and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Portion out 12 equal dough balls. If you have a kitchen scale, each one should weigh about 85 grams. If not, you can eyeball it.
Now, form your kolaches. Make sure you have all your fillings ready nearby. Using a rolling pin, roll out each dough ball into a flat oval. Place the sausage and cheddar slice on the edge nearest you, and then roll away from you, tucking in the sides like a burrito. Place seam-side down on a parchment-lined baking tray.
Once all the kolaches are rolled, let them rise for 30 minutes in a warm area covered in a clean kitchen towel. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle on the everything bagel seasoning.
Bake until golden, rotating the tray halfway through to ensure even browning. This should take about 16 minutes.
Enjoy immediately, or keep covered in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days.
Vegan Kolaches With Sausage and Cheddar
For the Dough
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened plant-based milk of choice
- 1/4 cup pure cane sugar
- 4 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 6 tbsp vegan butter (melted)
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
For the Kolaches
- Dough (above)
- 12 vegan breakfast sausage links (see note)
- 12 slices vegan cheddar cheese (cut in half)
- pickled jalapeño slices (optional)
- melted vegan butter (for brushing)
- everything bagel seasoning (for topping)
- Bake the vegan sausage according to package directions. Set aside to cool and adjust the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a double boiler, melt the butter. Add the milk and sugar and whisk. Let cool until lukewarm. The temperature should be no more than 120 degrees in order to keep the yeast alive. A few drops on your wrist shouldn’t be uncomfortably hot.
- Whisk in the yeast and set aside to bloom for 10 minutes.
- Add the flour and salt and mix until a sticky dough comes together.
- Knead on a well-floured surface for 5–10 minutes, until a smooth elastic dough comes together. Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
- Section out 12 equal balls of dough. If desired, use a scale to weigh them out for uniformity. They should each weigh around 85 grams.
- Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into a flat oval. Place a sausage and jalapeño slices (if using) in between two half slices of cheese at the end closest to you, and roll up, tucking in the sides as you go (like a burrito). Place seam-side down on a parchment lined baking tray.
- Once all kolaches are rolled, cover in plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with everything bagel seasoning. Top with a single jalapeño slice, if using, to indicate the spicy ones.
- Bake for 8 minutes, flip the tray so they bake evenly, and bake another 8 minutes until lightly golden brown.
- Enjoy hot and fresh out of the oven, or cool completely, cover in an airtight container, and store at room temperature for up to two days.