Homemade Italian Sausage

March 28, 2011  •  Meat & Poultry, Popular

I’m not a fan of buying prepared foods. Obviously, I like to cook, but also I like to control what goes into things I create. And while you might not think of Italian sausage as a prepared food, indeed someone has already added ingredients together to make something before you buy it. So why did I feel compelled to make it myself? For one thing, I’d rather get my ground meat all in it’s basic natural state. It gives me more flexibility to decide what to use it for and what to add to it when I set out to create something. Also, I wanted to have that classic pork flavor, but make it a little lighter, so I used half ground pork and half ground turkey. Had I purchased store-bought sausage I would have had to choose either pork or turkey. Most importantly, making homemade sausage is actually simpler than making meatballs or a meatloaf, so hang with me here and read on!Making Italian sausage is truly a cinch. You simply need to mix the seasonings into the meat, and as a bonus you can decide how much heat to add by adjusting the red pepper flakes. While I chose to shape mine into small balls, don’t confuse these with meatballs – they contain no egg or binder like breadcrumbs, just seasoned meat – in this case pork and turkey. You can fill the mixture into casings (more work than I was up to),… …shape into balls and bake or fry, or just fry loose. Notice that I baked mine on silicone baking mats. They don’t stick this way and the mats come totally clean easily.After mine were cooked, I let my husband talk me into making one of his kind of dishes. I tossed partially cooked penne (about 5 minutes so it doesn’t overcook when you bake it) with some mascarpone cheese and marinara sauce, then tossed it with grated mozzarella cheese. I plopped some meatballs into the mixture and smothered it with more mozzarella…… and baked it at 350 until it was bubbly and the cheese was fully melted. I covered mine with foil while it cooked – my husband would have left that off (gourmet chef that he is!).

5.0 from 4 reviews
Homemade Italian Sausage
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 8
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground turkey (or use all pork)
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed slightly
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more if you want it hotter
  • 2 teaspoons ground sage
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ cup white wine
  1. If you are using two different types of ground meat, use a fork to mix them well before adding other ingredients. Then, combine all ingredients together, mixing to ensure spices are evenly distributed throughout the meat. Either fill in clean casings, shape into balls, or use loose.



22 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Jenny @ Savour the Senses says:

    I think I will have to try this soon. I was just thinking about this yesterday actually…

  2. My Kitchen in the Rockies says:

    Hello Michele, it was great to meet you in person on Saturday! I think we are a fun group.I totally agree with you that it is always better to take control of what is put in your food. Without any casing the sausages look very straight forward to prepare. I am out of my ground pork from my farmer at the moment, but will take the recipe for later to try. Thanks.

  3. Jenny - Sugar Loco says:

    one word…mmmmmm! These look amazing!

    Great to meet you on Saturday, Michele!

    – Jenny @Sugar_Loco

  4. Lea Ann says:

    I’d love to make my own Italian sausage. If I try it, I doubt I’d change up any of the seasoning measurements you’ve listed for first try, sounds perfect…especially that 1 T. fennel. Thanks Michele.

  5. Chrissy says:

    I love it! I am always looking for ways to reduce the amount of processed food that we eat.

  6. spcookiequeen says:

    I really like this recipe, love how liberal you were with the fennel seeds. Can’t go wrong with making it homemade.

  7. Adonis334 says:

    Thanks for sharing this unique content with us. Gives me a lot to think about

  8. Island Vittles says:

    simple and quick — just the way most of us like it! Your baked pasta dish with those sausage balls looks amazing…Theresa

  9. Cheryl and Adam @pictureperfectmeals.com says:

    Tasty and easy recipe. Homemade is always so much better and more versatile than store-bought. Great recipe, thanks!

  10. Viki says:

    I have 2 little ones that will be eating this as well and I’m concerned with the wine. Is there anything else I can use instead?

    • Michele says:

      Viki, when you cook with wine it adds acidity and flavor, and the alcohol cooks out. If, however, you are still concerned with using it, you may substitute a little milk instead.

  11. James S says:

    I just made a batch of these using all pork, and they are absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for making this recipe. I’m from Sweden and we don’t have Italian sausage here in the stores, so I’ll be using this recipe a lot from now on. I think I’ll make a breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, some of these little meatballs tomorrow morning, and then maybe a pizza for tomorrow night with Italian sausage, peperoni, olives and mozzarella.

    Again, thank you, they taste superb!

  12. Barbara says:

    Have been looking for a simple sausage recipe. This sounds excellen. However, do you buy your pork already ground or do you do it yourself. Needed to know how many times to put it through the grinder. Store bought, on many occassions had added salt solution and flavoring, especially the turkey.

    • Michele says:

      Barbara, I buy a half hog directly from a local farmer each year and get about 20 pounds of ground pork when I do that. I’ve occasionally seen ground pork in my local grocery store, but if you can’t find it, you can grind your own or ask the butcher to grind it for you. Make sure you grind in enough fat with it so that it’s not too dry.

  13. klopez says:

    I will love to try this recipe, but I have a question: What type of white wine will be good?

  14. Beth Olson says:

    Have used this loose in my sauce the last two times I made it…will never buy at the store again!!! Thank you for sharing this!

  15. WajdaAndrev says:

    These look yummy. Been looking for some good low carb recipes, and this will be perfect for my New Year’s celebration. Thank you

  16. Maryanne says:

    Fantastic! Used only turkey and it tastes amazing. Used for the meat in my pasta meat sauce and got rave reviews.

  17. Rachel LaRochelle says:

    What can be used instead of fennel

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