Homemade breakfast sausage is incredibly easy to make and delicious to boot. I’ll admit, for some reason I thought sausage was just something you bought pre-made at the grocery store, it must be difficult to make, right? We have all been brought up to think that homemade is “hard” or “takes too long”, after all why do they sell it already pre-made and packaged? And sometimes homemade does take more work and time. But for sausage it’s a no brainer to mix up a batch at home and freeze it for Make Ahead Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches or just to go with a couple of fried eggs.
How To Make Homemade Breakfast Sausage
Homemade breakfast sausage is just ground meat mixed with some spices and formed into patties. Done! This recipe calls for pork, but if you’d like to cut down on the fat and calories use ground chicken. I realize this is politically incorrect to say but fat adds flavor, that’s why most people love sausage, hot dogs and the like. For this recipe buy ground Boston butt or shoulder. If you can’t find that cut of meat already ground and don’t want to grind your own then do what I do, buy the regular ground pork at your grocery store. The ground pork typically is much lower fat than a Boston butt will give you, so I cut up some raw bacon and add it to the pork. This makes the flavor so rich tasting.
Now you just mix in the herbs and spices and shape into circular patties. I make mine about 3 ½”-4 inches in diameter so that they will fit onto an English muffin perfectly for a sausage, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. I don’t get carried away and form them perfectly, it looks rustic and a gourmet if the sausage has a little irregular shape to it. If you are going to take the effort to make it yourself, why not make the homemade breakfast sausage taste great and have the authentic look of hand pressed patty?
Another great advantage to making homemade breakfast sausage instead of the pre-made, is that you can tailor it to everyone’s tastes. I like to make my sausage with chicken and a little more cayenne pepper to give it a heat boost. The pork sausage I usually tone down a bit for guests. It’s always better to err on the “less heat” when having guests. I’ll never forget when I made a tortilla soup dinner for my in-laws. My direct family gobbled it down heartily. I watched my poor in-laws politely eat the tortilla soup with sweat running down their faces. Oops, I took that as a lesson to add “heat” after a dish is cooked if it’s for guests.
The recipe I’ve given below makes a lot of sausage. Reason being is that it’s so convenient to freeze the sausage and have it on hand whenever the spirit moves you. You can freeze raw or cooked. Because cooking sausage takes time and can be a bit messy I will cook the sausage patties right when they are made, let cool, freeze on a parchment lined baking sheet, then store in labeled freezer bags. My kids love grabbing the homemade breakfast sausage and zapping it in the microwave for a few seconds. Then out the door they go.
Try making homemade breakfast sausage, I don’t think you’ll be going back to the “tube” kind again. 10 minutes and you’ll be on your way.
Homemade Breakfast Sausage with Sage and Fennel
Incredibly east to make, you won't be going back to the "tube" sausage ever again
- 3 Pounds Ground Pork
- 6 Slices Bacon raw
- 4 teaspoons Fresh Sage chopped
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 teaspoons fennel seeds smashed
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes use 1 1/2 teaspoons to bring up the heat
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper use 1 teaspoon to bring up the heat
Separate bacon strips, then chop the raw bacon into small pieces about 1/4" cubes. Mix bacon into the ground pork trying to distribute it evenly.
In separate bowl combine all spices and herbs and brown sugar.
With clean hands combine the spice mixture with the pork and bacon.
Form into 3 1/2"-4" patties about 1/4" thick. If you are having trouble forming the meat put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes or the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Keeping a bowl of cool water handy to keep putting your hands in is helpful too.
You can freeze the patties at this point and cook later. The raw sausage will keep for about a week in the refrigerator. I prefer to cook all of the sausage immediately, let cool and then freeze so that we have pre-cooked sausage on hand all of the time.
Place sausage in a cast iron or non stick pan over medium low heat. Brown for about 10 minutes on the first side, flip and cook about another 5 minutes on the other side.
You can eat right away or freeze. If freezing it's best to place the cooked sausage patties on a parchment lined baking tray, freeze for a couple of hours. Now label a freezer baggie or other freezer safe container with name and date and freeze for up to 3 months.