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.
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.
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.
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!
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Homemade Sausage Seasoning
In the photo below you’ll see:
- Whole fennel seed
- Real Salt
- Black pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- But I’ve since improved the recipe, see below!
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:
- Less expensive than buying fancy turkey sausage.
- Less fat than rolled pork sausage.
- Super fresh flavor, better than the cheap sausage in the freezer case.
- Turkey is a Super Food! (These are its health benefits.)
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.
- Use this amount for 1 pound of any ground meat.
- Either brown the meat in a pan and add the seasonings when nearly done, stirring around and enjoying the amazing aroma, OR
- Incorporate into one pound of raw ground meat and form patties with your hands. Cook thorougly.
- 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!
- 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 Grassfed, Pastured, Organic Meat:
I love my raw milk farm, and they usually have beef for me too – but not all the cuts. And chicken is hard to come by. And pork is hit or miss.
I’m sure you’ve experienced the same sourcing frustrations!
That’s why I’m always grateful that there’s an online source of incredibly high quality meat that I can always count on. A box from Butcher Box is guaranteed to be grassfed/organic/pastured/free range = all the labels important to your family’s health!
If you live in an area (like my mom) where organic local farms are nowhere to be found or have trouble sourcing certain meats or cuts, Butcher Box has you covered.
(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.