Making a homemade breakfast sausage recipe isn’t as hard as you think. Actually, it’s really easy. Just add your favorite spices to ground pork and fry it up!
There is just something about breakfast food! Whether it’s weekend brunch, breakfast for dinner, or an extra few minutes to fix something special for a weekday.
Pancakes, waffles, eggs, overnight oats, bacon, and sausage. I love to pull out all the stops when it comes to breakfast foods because it’s just happy food.
Patties or Links?
When it comes to breakfast sausage, I typically skip the links and prefer the texture of patties. (It’s because I just love the way they get golden and crispy on the outside!) On the other hand, sometimes I deconstruct my sausage and cook it up like ground meat and use it to make biscuits and sausage gravy. (In fact, if you’re not from an area of the States where this is a common dish, you need to try it! It’s pure comfort and bliss!)
When it comes to choosing a sausage, I always find it really tricky. Further, I find that everyone has strong preferences for how their sausage tastes. Lastly, at least for me, it has to evoke that childhood breakfast memory!
At the same time, I also want a sausage that has real ingredients: no corn syrup, ‘natural flavorings’, MSG, or preservatives.
And yes, homemade is always better than store-bought, but it can seem intimidating to make your own breakfast sausage.
In fact, I’m here to tell you, it’s really not.
How To Make a Homemade Breakfast Sausage Recipe
Making this homemade breakfast sausage recipe is incredibly easy:
- Mix ground pork and seasonings
- Shape into patties
- Pan-fry until cooked through
Shaping Your Homemade Breakfast Sausage
I typically just stick with sausage patties, if I’m making sausage as a side for eggs and toast.
If you want to get fancy and use a sausage stuffer to make homemade breakfast sausage links, you totally can. And while it does require an extra step, it’s not that tricky. I talk a lot about making sausage links in this article about South African sausage.
If you like the idea of links, but don’t have a sausage stuffer or want to deal with casings, you can simply shape the meat mixture into little fingers rather than patties, like we do when we make Serbian sausages. It works just as well!
Pork For This Breakfast Sausage Recipe
If you happen to have a meat grinder, grinding your own pork is a great way to start with this breakfast sausage recipe.
You want a cut of pork with a bit of fat to give your sausage that golden brown crispness and good texture. A pork butt (also called shoulder) with a good fat cap is your best bet. If your butt doesn’t have that much fat on it, grinding some pork belly along with the butt is a good way to increase the fat content.
Don’t worry if you’re not into grinding your own meat for this homemade breakfast sausage recipe. Some butchers will either carry pre-ground pork or grind a roast for you. So don’t be afraid to ask!
The good news is that this breakfast sausage recipe freezes well. You can make it in big batches, mixing it in a stand mixer, and freeze it in portions for later!
What is in Breakfast Sausage?
We’ve talked about the ground pork, but it’s the seasonings that really make breakfast sausage what it is.
There are so many ways you can season a breakfast sausage recipe. And, as I mentioned before, the specific flavor you may desire is a pretty personal choice.
Some seasonings that you will find commonly in breakfast sausage are:
Many breakfast sausage recipes also use some sort of sweetener, like maple syrup, molasses, or brown sugar. This sweetness (even if it’s only slight) is really what gives the recipe that ‘breakfast sausage’ flavor, rather than just tasting like any other sausage. (And, if you like a good “maple” sausage, you can increase the maple syrup to really get that sweetness you crave!)
Other spices that are commonly found in homemade breakfast sausage are:
- Red pepper flakes
As you can see, there is a lot of room to change the seasonings to suit your personal tastes.
The breakfast sausage recipe I share below is a favorite in our house. But, let it be a starting point for you. If you find it’s not quite to your preferences just play around with different seasonings until you find what you love!
When Is The Sausage Done
When cooking your breakfast sausage patties, the outside should be golden brown and they should be firm. The inside should not be pink, and any juices running from them should be clear.
The length of time to cook the sausage will depend on how hot your pan is and how thick your sausage patties are. But, as long as your patties aren’t too thick, a good rule of thumb is that once they’re golden, they’re ready to flip!
If you’re into thermometers, the USDA recommends cooking ground pork to a temp of 160°F.
For safety, the USDA recommends cooking ground pork patties and ground pork mixtures such as meat loaf to 160 °F.
Homemade Breakfast Sausage Recipe
Yield 1 lb breakfast sausage
- 1 lb ground pork butt (shoulder)
- 1 ¾ tsp sea salt
- 1 ½ tsp pure maple syrup
- ½ tsp ground thyme
- ½ tsp sage
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp ground white pepper
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp ground fennel
- ¼ tsp molasses (or more maple syrup)
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- Mix the ground pork with the seasonings until incorporated. (Be careful not to over mix, or your sausages may turn out rubbery in texture.)
- Shape the sausages into patties.
- Cook over medium-high heat on a preheated skillet until golden brown on both sides, 5-7 minutes.
So go ahead and try making this homemade breakfast sausage recipe and tell us what you think!
- Fresh Pork from Farm to Table. USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.