Liverwurst & Braunschweiger

The base recipe is for plant-based Liverwurst. To make it into Braunschweiger, the Liverwurst can be smoked.

Plant-Based Liverwurst

Liverwurst & Braunschweiger

An unbelievably good recipe of red onions, red lentils, walnuts, and seasonings. The main recipe is for Liverwurst, but you can smoke it to make Braunschweiger.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 20 minutes
Course Plant Meat, Sandwich Topping, Side Dish
Cuisine German



  • 1 large red onion, diced 14oz/400g after peeling/trimming (about the size of a softball, roughly 2.5-3 cups diced)
  • 1 cup red lentils, dry
  • cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ heaping cup frozen walnuts (2 ounces)
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt (use a scant tsp if using a finer-grained salt)
  • ½ tsp Craig's Liverwurst Seasoning recipe below

Craig's Liverwurst Seasoning (Makes About 7 Batches)

  • tsp white pepper, ground
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp rubbed sage
  • ½ tsp marjoram, dried
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger


Soften The Onions

  • Heat a nonstick skillet over low/medium-low heat and add diced onion. Cook for about 20-30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so until onion softens and loses its bite. A bit of caramelization is okay, but don't quickly brown them, they should be glossy and pink on one side.

Cook The Lentils

  • While the onions cook, add red lentils, water, and bay leaf to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to just simmering, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until lentils are cooked, have a bit of bite to them, but are not creamy.
  • While the onions and the lentils cook, mix together all ingredients in Craig's Liverwurst Seasoning, and if possible, grind them in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle (Liverwurst seasonings are typically all ground, so we need to grind the sage and marjoram with the rest).

Let Lentils and Onions Cool Down a Bit

  • Once onions are cooked, take off heat and let them start to cool.
  • Once lentils are cooked, take off heat and let them start to cool.
  • After about 20-30 minutes, the onions and lentils should be just warm.

Process in Food Processor

  • Discard the bay leaf.
  • Add onions, lentils, and walnuts to the food processor with an "S" blade. Process until mixed, about 30-45 seconds.
  • Add ½ tsp liverwurst seasoning. Process until mixed, about 15 seconds.
  • Add kosher salt as desired (I used 1 tsp), Process until mixed, taste for salt, and add more if desired. Don't over-season – the flavors will harmonize and intensify as it chills and rests.

Wait at Least 2-3 Hours

  • Refrigerate a few hours until cool, serve cool or at room temperature or dry fried in a pan. This stores very well in the fridge for several days. During the waiting time, the flavors will continue to meld and the color will darken to a wonderfully classic gray-pink color.

Braunschweiger (Smoked Liverwurst)

  • To make Braunschweiger, wrap the Liverwurst in smoker-friendly casing (I've used natural muslin in the past) and smoke low & slow (175-225F) 2-3 hours in low heat. I prefer lighter wood blends such as Apple-Hickory or Pecan if you have it!


I often use frozen walnuts in recipes because it helps to keep recipes that are blended or prepared in a food processor from overheating.
This plant-based, vegan Liverwurst and Braunschweiger pairs well with snacks and appetizers, but is hearty enough to lead a meal.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Welcome to a new era of cooking. With the right touch of patience and persistence, we can craft plant-based alternatives that aren’t just good substitutes, but truly surpass their meat counterparts.

Plant-Based Liverwurst on Sliced Baguette
Plant-Based Liverwurst on Sliced Baguette

A Bit of Background

Growing up we occasionally ate Liverwurst. Technically, I think was actually Braunschweiger that we called Liverwurst, but to be honest I never really put much thought into it because I was a kid and liver is gross to even think about to most kids. Well, liver is, but of course Liverwurst is all salty and fatty and aromatic, so even if it sounds gross, the flavor can be appealing to someone like me that enjoys deeply savory foods.

Fast-forward to adulthood, and every five years or so I would start thinking of the flavors and aromas of Liverwurst. So, I would get a tube, arm myself with a sleeve of saltine crackers, and obliterate my tastebuds with that salty-fatty-salty punch. Any craving for this food was immediately diminished, and it would fade away for the next half-decade until surfacing once again, like a seasoned organ meat version of Stephen King’s IT.

Plant-Based Liverwurst and Saltine Crackers

That is, until this year. My wife mentioned that people in our Rancho Gordo bean club were raving about a lentil-based liver sausage, and those bean clubbers know what’s up! So she sends over an Allrecipes link and I immediately feel like she’s pranking me (because Allrecipes…)… but she swears the people are really into it.

I made variation after variation, changing out the type of lentils and changing out the seasoning until I finally worked my way to this recipe using a seasoning blend that is 100% inspired by traditional Liverwurst seasoning. I’ve been making this Liverwurst recipe for a while now and I’m still in awe of how ridiculously good it is. The red onion and red lentils give it that desirable, classic gray-pink hue (after it chills for a couple of hours), and the walnuts and seasoning make it downright luscious.


Enjoy However You Like!

A Quick Note On Liverwurst Seasoning

The whole seasoning recipe should make 6 or 7 batches of plant-based Liverwurst, I don’t recommend adding more than 1/2 teaspoon per full batch of Liverwurst.