A simple mixture of ground pork and flavorful seasonings, this sausage is a little sweet, and a little spicy!
What is Italian Sausage?
A traditional Italian sausage can be made with different types of meat or seasonings and it usually has a high percentage of fat.
In North America, a typical grocery store Italian sausage is usually pork and has fennel among other seasonings.
As we mainly use this sausage mixture for cooking and adding to other recipes like lasagna, I opt for ground pork. It has great flavor and some fat but not as much as a traditional Italian sausage link.
GROUND MEAT We start with fresh ground pork as we love the flavor, but beef, turkey, or chicken work. Your local butcher can often offer nice mixtures for sausage too.
SEASONINGS The secret is in all the seasonings (most of which are found in homemade Italian seasoning). Add extra chili flakes if you’d like more heat.
FENNEL Fennel seeds are really important in this recipe to give the sausage its signature flavor. You can use either whole or ground fennel (I use whole because it’s usually what I have on hand).
Mix the seasonings with the meat and be sure to let it rest in the fridge. This allows the flavors to blend.
How to Make Homemade Italian Sausage
Keep in mind this is intended to be used as bulk Italian sausage in recipes (it doesn’t have enough fat to create great Italian sausage links). It can be used to make sausage patties if desired.
- Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl (using your hands works best)!
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Cook in a skillet over medium heat. Drain any fat and use in recipes or add to pasta sauce.
- Raw pork can be kept in the fridge for 2 days or frozen for 2 months (more food safety info here).
- Keep in freezer bags with the date labeled on the outside.
- Cooked Italian sausage will keep about 2 months in the freezer and uncooked sausage will keep about 3 months.
Italian Sausage Recipes
- Pappardelle with Italian Sausage
- Stuffed Peppers 5-star favorite
- Quick and Easy Sausage Pasta – great for a weekday meal
- Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce – set it & forget it
- Sausage & Kale Soup – 30 minute meal
- Homemade Supreme Pizza – perfect for game day
Did you make this Italian Sausage? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Homemade Italian Sausage
- 1 pound ground pork or beef or turkey
- 1 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoons paprika
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds or ½ teaspoon ground fennel
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary crushed
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
Cover & refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
Cook in a skillet until no pink remains.
This recipe can be doubled and half of the uncooked mixture can be frozen for future use.
Sausage can be formed into patties before cooking. Cook over medium heat about 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked through.
1-2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
Nutritional information includes ground pork, information may vary with beef or turkey.