Spicy Breakfast Sausage

Around our house, the first few hours of weekend mornings are a pretty relaxed time. Since both BeeBop and I work full-time during the week, weekend mornings are a time for us to just unwind and enjoy being with each other before we start on the multitude of errands and chores that we always have scheduled for weekends. And because those weekend morning hours are really “our time” I like to make them special with a nice breakfast that sometimes includes a homemade spicy breakfast sausage.

Now, if you want to get a bunch of Southerners engaged in lively debate, you just mention who you think makes the best sausage. It’s a big deal, believe me. There are little “mom and pop” places, like Carroll’s Sausage & Meat, dotted across the South where sausage is made according to old family recipes handed down through generations. And each sausage maker has his or her devotees. Some of them, like Abbott’s Grocery in Albany, Georgia, are so tiny that they don’t have a web site, but make sausage in small batches that are sold from the meat case in back of their small country grocery store. Yet others, like Stripling’s,  have gone on to larger production and ship all over the country. But, truth be told, they’re all pretty darned good. Whatever your preference, that’s fine with me!

Now, I’m not an expert sausage maker. I can’t compete with “mom and pop” or with any of those big sausage making experts. But I do like to try my hand occasionally at putting together just the right combination of spices for a pan sausage. Do let me warn you, though, that if you make your own sausage with ground pork from your local grocery store, it will likely have a quite different texture than a commercially produced sausage. That’s because the ground pork will most likely be a good bit leaner which will produce a more dense sausage patty. If you want yours to be more moist, juicy and tender, then tell the butcher what you’re making and ask for a fattier ground pork. A good store will grind it for you with a higher fat content.

1 lb. ground pork
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. ground sage
2 tblsp. cold water
1/2 tsp. salt

Spicy Breakfast Sausage Mix

Simply combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Blend everything together thoroughly. I find it easier to just take off my rings and get my hands in there to mix it all up.

If you’d like to test your mixture for seasonings, make a small quarter-sized patty and cook it until done all through. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.

Spicy Breakfast Sausage

You can cook the sausage immediately, or shape it into a roll, wrap in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready. I like to make it up the night before and then cook it the next morning.

Spicy Breakfast Sausage

Divide the mixture into eight portions.

Spicy Breakfast Sausage

Shape each portion into a patty. Fry in an ungreased skillet over medium to medium-high heat until cooked through.

Spicy Breakfast Sausage

Serve with hot biscuits and your favorite jam or jelly. I’ll have some Mayhaw jelly with mine, please.


Spicy Breakfast Sausage
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Homemade spicy breakfast sausage!
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. ground sage
  • 2 tblsp. cold water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands or a spoon, blend together thoroughly.
  2. To test your mixture for seasonings, make a small quarter-sized patty and cook until done throughout. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.
  3. Shape the mixture into patties. Fry in an ungreased skillet until cooked through.
  4. Serve with hot biscuits and your favorite jam or jelly.
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  1. Tracey says

    I love a good pattie, so I am definitely going to have to try making my own b’fast sausage. I also loved your other links for recipes. I sometimes take a variety of recipes and do a Glee-style mash-up and come up with my own signature recipe.

    BTW, next time you are up in the N. Ga. Mountains, check Ingles for Nantahala Sausage. It’s made in Franklin, NC, and is some kind of good. It is what I take as a gift when I visit friends and family in Florida. Now when my friends in FL visit me, they buy a dozen packs to take home! Sausage junkies…

    • says

      Tracey – I’ll definitely look for the Nantahala sausage. I’ve never heard of it, but I love to try all different kinds. Thanks for letting me know about it! You might want to try some of my favorite sausage from a place in south Georgia called Stripling’s. They have a very nice web site at http://www.striplings.com and they ship everywhere.

  2. says

    Yummy homemade sausage! I’m so jealous that you can find Mayhaw jelly where you are located. When I would visit my great grandmother in Georgia my uncle would go up into the mountains, pick the berries and come home and make fresh jelly…sooooo good!

    • says

      Brandy – Yes, I love my Mayhaw jelly. My mother makes it every year but if I run out before she does another batch, I just order a few jars to tide me over. Just can’t be without it.

    • says

      I hope you’ll give it a try. Remember that unless you get your butcher to add some fat to the regular ground pork, it will be a dense patty more like a hamburger texture. If you want that juicy-ness you get with commercial sausage you’ll need to add quite a bit of fat.

    • says

      You’re right, Drick. I should have talked more in the post about making your own combination of spices. I use sage, red and black pepper and that’s about it. Some people use what most would consider “sweet” spices – a little cinnamon, a little allspice. That’s the beauty of making your own, you can experiment until you come up with just the right spice mix for your taste!

  3. says

    I’m so anxious to try this! It never occurred to me to make my own breakfast sausage. Biscuits and gravy with sausage is a favorite breakfast comfort food when my grown sons come home to visit. I’ll surprise them with homemade sausage when they’re home for the holidays. Thanks!

    • says

      Monica (and everyone else who has commented) – Be sure that you try out the recipe once or twice to get the seasonings the way that you and your family like. You can experiment with different herbs/spices and varying levels of pepper in your mix. Also, I wanted to be really clear that you might like more fat in your sausage than the standard ground pork from the meat case in the grocery. It’s important to play around with the mixture to get just the right combination for you!

  4. wooleybare says

    if ur in NC, buy some Neese’s sausage which is made in that state. their distribution is limited. sometimes u find it in SC. they make a reg, hot, and sage (the best) in one pound ‘blocks’. i have emailed them several times, encouraging them to come to GA.


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