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Published June 13, 2023. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This easy-to-make homemade breakfast sausage recipe is so good that you’ll never want to buy pre-made store-bought ever again. You will be blown away at how delicious this is and just how simple it is to prepare.
Breakfast sausage is a simple combination of ground pork with herbs and spices that is then baked or fried and served as a meat protein for breakfast. There are many variations and flavor profiles for breakfast sausage, including shape and levels of spiciness and sweetness. While you can purchase it from the store, it’s fantastic when making it at home from scratch.
The breakfast sausage was initially created by farmers who were looking to use as much of their livestock as possible. It’s a fantastic recipe that can be created from just about any cut of pork, as long as it is the right lean-to-fat ratio, which is typically 65-70% lean to 30-35% fat.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Pork – I used a pork shoulder that I ground down. You can also add some pork belly to the mix as well if you’re freshly grinding everything. If you do not want to grind it yourself, you can purchase pre-ground pork.
- Herbs – Fresh sage and thyme are a great combination. In addition, you can also use fresh rosemary.
- Spices – I used a combination of crushed red pepper flakes, paprika, and nutmeg.
- Sugar – A little bit of light brown sugar will help balance the flavors.
- Garlic – I love the flavors of garlic in this breakfast sausage recipe.
- Seasoning – coarse salt and ground black pepper is all you’ll need.
How to Make Breakfast Sausage from Scratch
Trim the meat of a pork shoulder away from the bone and cut it into 1-inch chunks and place them into the freezer or refrigerator to chill for 15-20 minutes.
Run the cold cubed pork through the food grinder using the medium size dye in another pan.
Add in the sage, thyme, red pepper flakes, paprika, freshly ground nutmeg, finely grated garlic, brown sugar, salt, and pepper, and mix it in until it is thoroughly combined.
Fry a small piece of the breakfast sausage and taste it to adjust any seasonings.
Form the sausage into small patties that are about 2 ½” to 3” in diameter.
Add the oil to a non-stick skillet or cast-iron skillet over medium heat and fry the sausage patties for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until browned and cooked throughout.
Immediately serve the sausage patties.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make this up to 3 days ahead of time. Just keep cool in the refrigerator and cover it until ready to cook.
How to Store: Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The Italian sausage will freeze well for up to 6 months, either raw or cooked. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before cooking or reheating.
How to Reheat: If you have precooked the sausage, re-fry them in a medium size pan with 1 teaspoon of cooking oil over medium heat until lightly browned and cooked throughout.
Chef Notes + Tips
- You can also encase the breakfast sausage using sheep casing to make links. Follow my Italian sausage recipe for instructions on how to do it.
- There can be variations in the seasonings placed into the filling, and I encourage you to find the blend you like. Try adding onion, fennel seeds, cayenne, or maple syrup.
- You can use dry herbs instead. Swap out the fresh herb amount for ½ the amount of the dry version.
More Sausage Recipes
Homemade Breakfast Sausage Recipe
- 1 pound de-boned pork shoulder or pre-ground pork
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 ½ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 finely grated garlic cloves
- 1 ½ teaspoons packed light brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- If you’re grinding it from scratch. trim the meat of a pork shoulder away from the bone and cut it into 1-inch chunks, and place them into the freezer or refrigerator to chill for 15-20 minutes. If you have pre-ground pork, go straight to procedure number 3.
- Run the cold cubed pork through the food grinder using the medium size dye into another bowl or pan.
- Add the sage, thyme, red pepper flakes, paprika, freshly ground nutmeg, finely grated garlic, brown sugar, salt, and pepper to the bowl of ground pork, and mix it in until it is thoroughly combined.
- Fry a small piece of the sausage and taste it to adjust any seasonings.
- Form the sausage into small patties that are about 2 ½” to 3” in diameter.
- Add the oil to a non-stick skillet or cast-iron skillet over medium heat and fry the sausage patties for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until browned and cooked throughout.
- Immediately serve the sausage patties.