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How to Make Homemade Sausage Seasoning

Homemade Sausage Seasoning, Seasoning in Sausage

Use ANY meat with this easy DIY homemade sausage seasoning recipe. Avoid MSG, unhealthy white sugar, and chemical additives by making homemade Italian or spicy sausage seasoning with just a few simple ingredients to fit your grain-free, paleo, or keto diet.

Seasoning in Sausages

You’ve read the labels on sausage, right?

Along with classic sausage spices, there’s often MSG, sugar (or worse sweeteners), lots of refined salt and sometimes other weird fillers that I can’t pronounce in seasoning for sausage.

Those ingredients don’t fit well in an AIP or Keto diet.

Even in “good” sausage from pastured pork, you often find sweeteners and chemicals. Sometimes the farmers who grow animals well aren’t the ones making it into sausage, and there’s often nothing they can do about the ingredients.

If you want to avoid all those additives and save a little money, you can make any ground meat (pork, beef, turkey, chicken) into homemade sausage with seasoning that’s amazing in recipes like Sausage, Bean and Greens Soup, Sausage Zucchini Bake, and Sausage Spinach Pasta Toss.

RELATED: Irradiated Spices: Are They Safe for Your Family?

Choose Your Meat for Homemade Sausage

Homemade sausage seasoning also allows you to have non-pork sausage easily (kosher, right?) and make certain you know the source of your meat so you can avoid CAFO meat and potentially having strange parts like ears in your sausage.

You can literally use any ground meat, like beef, turkey, or pastured pork, and I’ve even used these seasonings in a lentil soup and completely skipped the meat, and it still tasted amazing!

I use this to make “homemade” sausage to use in any recipes that call for ground sausage, soups, omelets, casseroles, pasta, ETC. A cousin of mine absolutely cannot eat organ meats for health reasons and hadn’t had sausage in years. It was fun to share this with her in my sausage zucchini bake!

RELATED: Side pork recipe for bacon.

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Homemade Sausage Seasoning

In the photo below you’ll see:

Simply brown one pound of ground meat and add this mixture, stirring it around for a minute or two until your kitchen smells amazing. Ta da! Ground sausage.

You can also easily add the same mixture to any ground meat and form into the classic breakfast sausage patties, and it’s delicious! I’m lucky enough to have a farmer nearby who raises milk-fed pork, oh my – yum!

To be extra frugal, I usually go with less meat, more flavor: I pull a quarter to a half pound of cooked sausage out before continuing on with soup or pasta and freeze it for scrambled eggs or pasta sauce. Then I get two complete dinners (or one dinner + 2 breakfasts, by incorporating 1/4 pound or less into eggs) out of one pound of ground meat!

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Benefits Of Homemade Turkey Sausage

Are you a turkey lover? I find that turkey sausage is even MORE expensive than pork sausage, so making your own has even greater benefits:

  1. Less expensive than buying fancy turkey sausage.
  2. Less fat than rolled pork sausage.
  3. Super fresh flavor, better than the cheap sausage in the freezer case.
  4. Turkey is a Super Food! (These are its health benefits.)
Homemade Sausage Seasoning, Spices for Sausage, Seasoning in Sausage

Spicy Italian Homemade Sausage

Because the flavor is more intense, I prefer using some ground fennel as well. (I just happened to be out for the first time in years when I took these pictures. Classic Katie-ism.) I’ve since learned that I could have whizzed up the whole fennel seeds in my Blendtec and had ground fennel. Cool trick!

I also usually add either sage or Italian seasoning for more depth of flavor. This is an easy recipe to try a small amount of a spice (the fennel, sage), then stir around a bit, taste, evaluate, and add more if necessary.

RELATED: Homemade all-purpose seasoning

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Homemade {SPICY} Sausage Seasoning

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  • Author: Katie Kimball



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  1. Use this amount for 1 pound of any ground meat. 
  2. Either brown the meat in a pan and add the seasonings when nearly done, stirring around and enjoying the amazing aroma, OR
  3. Incorporate into one pound of raw ground meat and form patties with your hands. Cook thorougly.
  4. Homemade sausage can definitely be made in bulk and frozen in one pound packages. You can pop just a little bit out, 1/8-1/4 of a pound, to add to eggs for an amazing and frugal breakfast experience!
  5. Bulk seasoning: Stir ingredients together and store in an airtight jar (I recommend larger quantities to store like this; try 10xing the recipe). Use 3-4 teaspoons per pound ground meat, depending on if you add the optional herbs.


The cayenne is definitely “to taste” and 1/4 teaspoon makes it very hot, but SO good in soup and pasta. The sage adds a bit of that classic “Italian” flavor, and you could also use Italian seasoning. (Sage is the main flavor in Thanksgiving stuffing, if you’re not familiar with it. It’s very comforting in sausage.)

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Where to Find High Quality Meat

Having trouble finding good quality meat locally? Would you like to fill your freezer with local and pastured options?

If you’re in the US Midwest, Chicago to Milwaukee to Detroit to New York, and select cities across the country, check out TruLocalUsa.

If you’re west of the Mississippi, check out Wild Pastures

If you live in any of the 48 contiguous states, I recommend US Wellness Meats and Butcher Box! 

I’m grateful that there’s an online source of incredibly high quality meat that I can always count on. A subscription from Butcher Box includes grass fed, organic, pastured, and free range = all the labels important to your family’s health! And I’ve got a special deal for you!

They almost always have great deals for new customers. Claim your free gifts, and see what bonus they have going on right now. Don’t miss out!

(free shipping too!)

I’ve never added too much fennel. Maybe it’s impossible to add too much fennel! (You can buy fennel from Amazon if you don’t have a local source for bulk spices.)

This recipe and a whole bunch of other DIY stuff to help you make processed recipes healthier are available in my eBook, Better Than a Box! It’s part recipes, part tutorial on how to reverse engineer your own recipes to make them totally real food.

Have you made homemade sausage before? What recipe would this go well in at your house?
Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

20 thoughts on “How to Make Homemade Sausage Seasoning”

  1. Connie Richardson

    I’m canning dried beans and want to add onions, bp, celery nd sausage(without sage) to the beans before processing. Is this a good idea?

    1. Carolyn @ Kitchen Stewardship

      I’d look at a recipe for canning beans and a recipe for canning sausage to make sure the timing and everything is similar before combining two recipes. It might be a bit difficult to calculate amounts too since the beans will expand and you’ll need to get the right water/bean ratio. Don’t see why you couldn’t figure something out though.

      1. Connie Richardson

        Apparently, if you want sausage without sage(which gets bitter during canning), you have to make your own. Since I didn’t have any homemade sausage, I just canned the beans with the seasoning. Turned out great. Sausage to be added when cooing.


    Thanks for the recipes my husband has kidney failure and is on dialysis so, NO processed foods and NO BACON OR SAUSAGE. Kill me now lol. He hasn’t had any in a LONG time… so guess what my friends tonight we are having breakfast for dinner. I know he will love it.

  3. I’m not good with spicy, so is there something you’d recommend to replace the cayenne? To keep the flavor,without the heat…rather than just omitting it?

  4. fresh chopped parsley is always good too.
    make sure you use, at most, 80% ground meat or its too dry; part of the appeal of sausage is that its fatty.
    maple flavoring in breakfast sausage is yum with pancakes or fried apples & pears.
    i often fry up greens, onions & garlic in the pan after sausage is done and reheat it for a different meal. no need to have a grease container if you just use up the grease each meal! fry up onion & pepper thin slices to put in with tmrws breakfast eggs…or use the above fried greens…or fry sliced radishes & onions, delish side dish to pbjs or beans & rice or tortillas.

  5. I am making sausage for 2 pounds of Polyenna Kapusta(the original recipe for the riceballs came from the old country) The actual meatball with rice recipe is antient. Internet searches came up with the origin in Hungary(heh heh me too!)
    The recipe is Chekoslovakian(Slavs?) and was a hand me down from mother to daughter, and was a gift from a freind..
    important NOTE: These spices are not the original sausage recipe, and I did a bit of research as to what goes in sausage before I used these specific spices. There are reasons why I chose these, the paprika is the main ingredient in Hungarian meatballs, Cumin is included in most recipes and is considered a necessity by some chefs. Sage is primarily not used but being American, I tossed in some Marjoram too, for a bit of sour and Emiriles flavorings in tomato juice make the best bloody marys I think I have ever tasted…. so why not spice up the sausage?
    I would add a table spoon of sugar, or a couple tablespoons of honey to sweeten it up a bit.
    Its very weak, so you might double the recipe if you like strong flavored sausage

    Will gently season about a pound of store bought ground pork meat.
    1 tsp paprika
    1/4 tsp cumin
    1/2 tsp onion powder
    1 tsp sage
    1/4 tsp marjoram
    1/4 tsp (homemade)”Emiriles Essence”
    pinch of salt
    1/2 pinch course ground black pepper

  6. Thank you so much for this. We are heading into sausage making season and are looking for natural ingredients to add to our sausage, rather than using packaged yucky stuff. Looking forward to using this info.

  7. Thanks for this mix! We’re Jewish, and it’s really hard to find sausage that does not involve pork!

    1. Harper, I also want to eat kosher, but haven’t found a meat mixture that isn’t dry and/or tough. What meat do you use, and do you add any fat to it?

      1. We are Karaites, so our Kashrut is a little different from “mainstream” (rabbinical) Jews. Part of that difference is that our slaughtering practices are different. That means that a Kosher logo on a package really doesn’t mean that much for us–not that conventional slaughter practices are ok either.

        Strictly speaking, our tradition is that the animal has to die by having its throat slit while it is calm. However, the important thing is not to consume the blood. We do our best to get the blood out before cooking, but thorough cooking gets blood out too.

        Unlike rabbinical kosher, we do eat the rear cuts of mammals, provided the thigh tendon has been removed, and I believe a lot of the fattier cuts are there.

        In any case, I use a lot of beef, chicken, and turkey. I also use lamb and mutton when I can afford it and goat when I can find it. Lamb is the most tender of those options, followed by beef. If your meat is getting to tough when you cook it, use some of the fat to make a sauce for it.

        1. Thank you for replying, Harper. I guess I was hoping you’d share more along the lines of your sausage-making. We don’t practice rabbinic teachings either, we just try to do what scriptures say, as closely as possible for today. For instance, when I make sausage with turkey, it is extremely dry. I have only ever used turkey for this because I was so disappointed with it I’ve been hesitant to try again.

          1. Sorry I didn’t understand your question! I actually haven’t made my own sausage, hence my appreciation of this post. I just buy it whenever I find some that doesn’t contain pork.

            If I were to make it, I would probably start with ground beef that isn’t too lean, since poultry does have a tendency to dry out. If I were to try my hand at poultry sausage, I would go to a butcher who could grind cuts of my own choosing and have him grind DARK turkey meat.

          2. My husband hunts, so we use elk sausage, mixed with 30% beef fat. It is the fat content that makes it juicy and tender. It comes out pretty tasty, but the key is not to overcook the sausage patties.

  8. I’ve been making sausage lately, but have only tried breakfast sausage. Here is the recipe:

    1 lb pastured pork
    1 t. salt
    1/3 t. black pepper
    2/3 t. marjoram
    1/8 t. nutmeg
    1/2 t. sage

    With homemade gravy and sourdough biscuits it’s absolutely amazing!

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