Use ANY meat with this easy DIY sausage seasonings recipes. Avoid MSG, sugar, and chemical additives by making homemade Italian or spicy sausage with just a few simple ingredients.
You’ve read the labels on sausage, right?
There’s often MSG, sugar (or worse sweeteners), lots of refined salt and sometimes other weird fillers that I can’t pronounce.
Even in “good” sausage from pastured pork, you often find sweeteners at least and chemicals too often. 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 that’s amazing in recipes like Sausage, Bean and Greens Soup, Sausage Zucchini Bake, and Sausage Spinach Pasta Toss.
Choose Your Meat
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.
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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. I am lucky enough to have a farmer nearby with milk-fed pork, oh, my. Yum.
In the photo below you’ll see:
- 1 tsp. fennel seed
- 1 tsp. Real Salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- dash cayenne (use up to ¼ tsp.)
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.
It’s really that easy to go #unprocessed.
- 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! (Click here for its health benefits.)
I’m guessing you could also incorporate the spices into raw meat and make patties for breakfast sausage, but this is so much easier that I’ve never even tried it. I usually pull a quarter to a half pound of the cooked sausage out before continuing on with soup or pasta and freeze it for scrambled eggs or pasta sauce.
Spicy Italian Homemade Sausage
Whole fennel seeds
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.)
This is an easy recipe to try a small amount of something (the fennel, sage), then stir around a bit, taste, evaluate, and add more if necessary.
- Stir ingredients together and store in an airtight jar.
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.)
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.
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