Homemade Sausage

Ground pork can be seasoned in many different ways to make homemade sausage. We share the best recipe for breakfast sausage with sage and our favorite recipe for homemade Italian sausage.

Sausage seasoning recipe on a cutting board by measuring spoons.

This post is sponsored by Ohio Pork, but all opinions are my own!

Sausage Seasoning Recipe

Using plain ground pork and mixing in spices to complement the meal is a quick and easy way to personalize your menu. We enjoy adding a variety of spices and seasonings to create our favorite flavor of sausage at home.

According to Ohio State University meat scientists, there are over 200 types of sausage. My son and I took a class on how to make homemade sausage at OSU and we learned so much!

The spices used in this sausage seasoning recipe can be changed slightly to result in a different eating experience. Many sausages have different flavors based on the spices that are available or popular in the region.

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Wooden spoonful of cooked homemade Italian sausage over skillet.

Start With a Base Sausage Recipe

A basic sausage recipe is 2 percent salt which is .02 pound of salt per pound of ground pork. Salt adds flavor and acts as a preservative. Salt also helps the meat pull together to form a patty.

When I buy ground pork at the grocery it typically has salt already mixed in, so I just add our preferred seasonings. No additional salt is necessary if the pork already has salt included. If starting with ground pork without salt it is important to create your pork sausage base before flavoring with other herbs.

Using 1 to 3 percent water makes the meat wet and sticky and makes it easier to incorporate other spices. We typically don’t measure out the water when mixing in seasonings. A splash of water or about one tablespoon works fine in our kitchen.

Close up of brown sugar, pepper, red pepper flakes and sage on board with measuring spoons to make sausage.

What is the Best Meat for Sausage?

Sausage is typically made from tough muscles and trimmings from tender muscles. Running the meat through a machine that grinds it up helps to tenderize the meat. Ground pork is typically easy to find in the store because so many different cuts can be used to make pork.

Pork is the most popular meat used to make sausage because it has the most flavor. While other proteins may be a bit leaner, fat equals flavor. So don’t be afraid of seeing a little bit of fat in your ground pork when you make homemade sausage.

Sometimes fat will actually be added into a “whole hog sausage” to add more flavor. Many of the most popular brands in the grocery store have a higher level of fat because pork fat is very palatable and adds so much flavor to a sausage link or patty.

Skillet full of cooked and crumbled homemade Italian sausage.

Tips for Making Homemade Sausage Seasoning

  • Amount and type of herbs can be varied slightly to significantly change the flavor profile of the sausage, experiment until you find your favorite version of each recipe.
  • Fresh herbs can be substituted for dried herbs. Increase the amount of fresh herbs 3 to 5 times the amount of dried herbs.
  • Salt is used as a preservative and for flavor, sausage should be 2% salt or about 1 teaspoon of table salt per pound of ground pork.
  • Sugar or sweetener should be doubled compared to the salt.
  • Generally 1 teaspoon is enough of each spice to use.
Ground pork with a pile of herbs to make homemade sausage.
  • Use hands to blend in spices. Begin with salt and blend for about 30 seconds. Then blend additional spices for 30 seconds to 1 minute since additional spices have a bigger volume.
Ground pork in a mixing bowl with spices and seasonings mixed in.

How to Form a Sausage Patty

Divide spiced meat into evenly sized portions. Form each portion into a ball, flatten it out and make the patty as round and as flat as you can. If the edges break smooth together before cooking.

After flattening the patty take your thumb and form an impression in the middle. This helps prevent the sausage patty from expanding and looking like a spaceship.

The patty should look more like a hockey puck after cooking. *Always use a digital meat thermometer when cooking pork to avoid over cooking and having it taste like a hockey puck!

Four patties of cooked breakfast sausage with sage in a skillet.

When is Sausage Done?

When cooking a sausage patty or link use a digital meat thermometer to get a reading in the center of a piece of sausage. The more coverage that the probe gets the more accurate the reading.

Sausage or ground pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. There will NOT be pink in the center at this temperature unless the meat has been smoked. Smoking can the color of properly cooked pork and may leave a pinkish smoke ring. Always use a meat thermometer to determine when sausage is done cooking.

I like to use tongs to pick the pieces of meat up and insert the thermometer in the side to get the best reading possible.

How to tell sausage patties are done by using a digital meat thermometer to cook to 160 degrees F.

How To Make Breakfast Sausage

Brown sugar, sage, fresh ground pepper, and red pepper flakes make the best sausage for a sausage sandwich.

We think a sausage sandwich tastes even better with Colby or cheddar cheese and maybe even scrambled eggs for a breakfast sandwich.

Ground pork and herbs to make homemade breakfast sausage.

Our favorite way to eat breakfast sausage is to use our hands and shape a patty. We cook patties in a skillet, on the grill or in a George Foreman type indoor grill where fat is able to drain off.

When making sausage patties we always use a digital meat thermometer to check that the center of the meat has been cooked to 160°F.

If sage isn’t your favorite herb then remove the sage and replace it with an equal amount of ground thyme or marjoram or rosemary.

Some of our favorite recipes to use our crumbled breakfast sausage with sage are:

Homemade Italian Sausage

Oregano, ground rosemary, red pepper flakes, coarsely ground black pepper, dried parsley and fennel or anise make the best homemade Italian sausage seasoning.

Ground pork with herbs to make sausage on a cutting board.

Our family does not stuff homemade sausage into a casing so we like to use a meat masher and a 12″ skillet to cook and crumble sausage over medium heat.

We use a meat masher or turner to crumble and stir the meat until it is no longer pink.

Meat masher separating sausage in a skillet while meat browns.

Our favorite meals that feature Italian Sausage with homemade seasoning are:

Italian sausage can be substituted in almost any recipe that calls for ground beef. We actually prefer Italian sausage over ground beef when sauce and pasta are included in the dish.

We hope you do some experimenting to find your favorite version of breakfast and Italian sausage!

Pepper, red pepper flakes, fennel, parsley, oregano and rosemary to make homemade sausage

Homemade Sausage with Italian Seasoning

Servings 5 people
Author: Jennifer
Ground pork can be seasoned in so many different ways to make homemade sausage. We share our best recipe for homemade Italian sausage.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients
  

Pork Sausage Base

  • 1 pound ground pork finely ground
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon water

Italian Seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon fennel
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary ground
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes may use 1/2 t. or elminate if desired
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper coarse ground
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley

Instructions
 

  • Season ground pork base with salt or purchase ground pork that likely already has salt and mix well if needed.
    1 pound ground pork, 1 teaspoon salt
  • Place pork in a mixing bowl and splash water on meat.
    1 tablespoon water
  • Stir together Italian seasoning ingredients and use hands to work into the meat as evenly as possible.
    1 teaspoon fennel, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • Prepare as crumbled meat, shape into patties or links as desired and cook to an internal temperate of 160°F.

Notes

  • When cooking crumbled sausage the color throughout the meat should be the same color as the color on the surface.
  • Anytime a patty or link is prepared use a digital meat thermometer to ensure proper food safety.

Nutrition

Calories: 243kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 16gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 525mgPotassium: 279mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 119IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

Tried this recipe?Mention @PlowingThroughLife or tag #PlowingThroughLife!
4 homemade sausage patties in a skillet

Homemade Breakfast Sausage

Servings 5 people
Author: Jennifer
The best recipes for breakfast sausage with sage can be quickly and easily made with ground pork at home.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients
  

Sausage Base Mix

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon water

Breakfast Sausage Seasonings

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sage ground / rubbed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes crushed / dried chili flakes

Instructions
 

  • Mix ground meat, salt and water together until tacky to the touch (unless beginning with pre-salted meat, then do not add additional salt).
    1 pound ground pork, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon water
  • Stir together remaining dry spices and add to the sausage. Use hands to mix well for at least 30 to 60 seconds.
    1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon pepper, 2 teaspoons sage, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Cover meat or place in a sealed container or bag and let meat rest in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes, preferably overnight.
  • Form into small patties and place in a covered skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes per side until internal temperature reaches 160°F using a digital meat thermometer.

Nutrition

Calories: 251kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 15gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 523mgPotassium: 268mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 119IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

Tried this recipe?Mention @PlowingThroughLife or tag #PlowingThroughLife!

3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is sooo easy and good!

  2. 5 stars
    Made this several times and it is so much tastier and cheaper than store bought.

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