If you’ve tried my homemade taco seasoning, homemade granola bars, homemade breakfast sausage, homemade seasoned salt, homemade hamburger helper, homemade egg noodles, or homemade ranch dressing, then you know how rewarding it is to make foods that are typically store bought, at home – including ground Italian sausage. Like the others, the homemade version of Italian sausage is a cinch to make and requires just ground pork and pantry staples including regular herbs and spices.
As the saying goes, nobody wants to see how sausage is made…except for my homemade version. Seriously, it is so easy and SO GOOD! I can’t wait for you to try it.
Spicy vs Mild Homemade Sausage
This recipe is for mild Italian Sausage, aka sweet Italian sausage, though if you want a spicy version you can simply add red chili pepper flakes to your desire.
What to Make with Italian Sausage
You can use homemade ground Italian sausage in literally any recipe that calls for it. Here are some tasty ideas to get you started:
- 20 Minute Italian Rice Ball Skillet >
- Italian Sausage and Peppers Cheeseburgers >
- Italian Sausage and Pepper Ring Mini Meatloaves >
- Cheesy Vegetable, Turkey and Sausage Rice Casserole >
- Italian Sausage, Spinach and Tomato Soup >
- 20 Minute Sausage, Brussels Sprouts and Parmesan Pasta >
- Sausage, Sweet Potato Noodles and Broccoli Skillet >
- Italian Tomato-Basil Stuffed Zucchini >
How to Make Italian Sausage
Step 1: Make the spice and seasoning mixture.
Start by raiding your spice cupboard for the following herbs and spices:
- Dried parsley
- Fennel seeds, coarsely ground
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Salt and pepper
- Red chili pepper flakes, optional
I used my Curtis Stone mortar and pestle (procured during the most EMBARRASSING 20 MINUTES OF MY LIFE – HAHAHA!!!) to grind the fennel seeds. You’ll want them coarsely ground vs a fine powder. You could also use a coffee grinder, though again, be sure not to grind them too fine.
Next, add the herbs and spices to a large bowl with extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar then whisk or stir with a fork to combine.
Step 2: Mix with ground pork.
Add the spice mixture to ground pork then use your hands to mix until just combined – being careful to avoid over mixing.
The sausage is technically ready to use immediately at this point, though the flavor is best if it sits in the refrigerator overnight before cooking. You could also freeze it at this point!
Secrets to Cooking Ground Italian Sausage
When you’re ready to cook, follow these three steps to achieve tender, sausage with a gorgeous, golden brown crust:
- Cook the sausage in a large, cast iron skillet (I like this one,) over medium-high heat.
- Don’t disturb the meat too much while its browning, as it will prevent a golden brown crust from forming. Golden brown crust = flavor!
- Don’t overcook the sausage which could cause it to dry out.
That’s all she wrote! I hope you love this homemade version of store bought Italian sausage – enjoy!
free email bonus
Dinner Made EASY
5 days of simple yet flavorful recipes that take the stress out of dinnertime!
Homemade Italian Sausage
Homemade Italian Sausage is a cinch to make at home and best of all, YOU control the ingredients. Use ground Italian Sausage in a variety of recipes.
- 1lb ground pork
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon coarse ground fennel seed (see notes)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- red chili pepper flakes if desired for spicy sausage
- Add all ingredients except ground pork into a large bowl then whisk or stir with a fork to combine. Crumble ground pork on top then use hands to thoroughly combine, though do not over mix. For the best flavor, refrigerate sausage in an airtight container overnight before using.
- Grind fennel seeds using a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder. You don't want a fine powder, rather, a coarse grind.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.