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Spicy Breakfast Sausage

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Five ingredients are all you need to make tasty breakfast sausage patties from scratch. Make your own Spicy Breakfast Sausage this weekend!
4.7 from 15 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Spicy breakfast sausage patties and biscuits on a serving plate with a jar of jelly in the background.

Whip up this Spicy Breakfast Sausage for a delicious addition to your weekend breakfast. The spice level in this recipe is very flexible and can be adjusted from mild to hot. Five ingredients are all you need to make your own tasty breakfast sausage patties from scratch. Cook this sausage in patties and serve it with eggs and toast, or crumble it and serve in gravy over a buttermilk biscuit.

Now, if you want to get a bunch of southerners engaged in a lively debate, just mention who you think makes the best sausage. It’s a big deal, believe me.

Spicy breakfast sausage patties and biscuits on a serving plate with a jar of jelly in the background.

There are little “mom and pop” places 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 are really tiny and make their recipe in small batches sold from the meat case in the back of their little country grocery store. Then there are others who are large producers shipping all over the country. Each with their own special recipe and all pretty darned good. 

The thing I enjoy about making homemade sausage is that you control the ingredients. Mild, medium, or hot it’s up to you.

💗 Why You’ll Love This Recipe


  • You control the ingredients and the heat
  • No preservatives or fillers
  • Very versatile (use it for a breakfast casserole, breakfast sandwiches, in an omelet, for biscuits and gravy)
  • Budget and family friendly

🥘 Ingredients You’ll Need 


  • Ground Pork (25-40% fat content) – See the “Purchasing Pork” section below for information on the pork you’ll need for this recipe.
  • Black PepperGrind it yourself for the freshest flavor!
  • Red Pepper FlakesYou’ll want flakes, not ground cayenne pepper. I typically use the standard McCormick brand of red pepper flakes.
  • Ground SageSome people don’t care for sage in their sausage. I do, so I always include it.
  • Salt – Unless stated otherwise, I use Morton kosher salt for all my recipes.

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

🐷 Purchasing Pork for Sausage Making


Now, I’m not an expert sausage maker. I can’t compete with “mom and pop” or with any of those big experts. But I do like to try my hand occasionally at putting together just the right combination of spices for pan sausage.

Keep in mind that if you’re using ground pork from your local grocery store, it will probably have a much different texture from a commercially produced sausage. That’s because the grocery store ground pork is usually a lot leaner which will produce a more dense patty.

If you want yours to be more moist, juicy, and tender, then tell the butcher what you’re making and ask for fattier ground pork. A good store will grind it for you with a higher fat content. You want between 25 and 40% total fat. The only real way to know the level of fat that you like is to experiment. I’d advise you to start with about 30% fat and work up or down from there. And do remember that a lot of the fat renders out when cooked.

🔪 How to Make Spicy Breakfast Sausage


Mix the Ingredients

Photo collage showing all the ingredients being added to a mixing bowl.

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. However, you can also do the mixing in a stand mixer on low speed.

Once everything is well combined, it’s a good idea to test the seasonings. Make a small quarter-sized patty and cook it until it’s done all the way through. Taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly.

Form the Mixture into a Roll

Photo collage showing the sausage being formed into a roll shape for storage.

You can cook the sausage immediately, or shape it into a roll, wrap it 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.

Portion and Cook

Sausage roll on a cutting board being sliced into 8 pieces.

Divide the mixture into eight portions.

Eight sausage patties cooking in a skillet.

Shape each portion into a patty. Fry in an ungreased skillet over medium to medium-high heat until cooked through. You may need a little bit of oil in the pan if you’ve used leaner ground pork.

Cooked sausage patties and biscuits on a serving plate.

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

🔀 Variations


  • My recipe is very mild and simply flavored but you can adjust the seasonings to suit your own tastes. Starting with the basic recipe, make a quarter-sized patty, fry it in a skillet and have a taste. From there adjust the seasonings a little at a time until you find the combination you like best. 
  • Additional seasonings you might want to include: garlic powder (start with 1/4 teaspoon), ground rosemary (start with 1/2 teaspoon), dried thyme (start with 1/2 teaspoon), and/or brown sugar (start with 2 teaspoons). 

❓ Questions


Can I freeze the raw breakfast sausage? 

Yes. You can freeze the entire pound of finished sausage or make individual patties to freeze. Freeze for up to six months in a freezer quality ziptop bag or other sealable, airtight container. Try to remove as much air as possible from the bag or container before freezing. Thaw the sausage overnight in the refrigerator.

Can I freeze cooked sausage?

Absolutely! Allow the cooked sausage to cool, then place in a freezer bag or container. Reheat from frozen either in the microwave or on the stovetop. 

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📖 Recipe

Spicy breakfast sausage patties and biscuits on a serving plate with a jar of jelly in the background.

Spicy Breakfast Sausage

Five ingredients are all you need to make tasty breakfast sausage patties from scratch. Make your own Spicy Breakfast Sausage this weekend!
4.74 from 15 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 patties
Calories: 149kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground pork (25-40% fat content)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands or a stand mixer, blend together thoroughly.
  • To test your mixture for seasonings, make a small quarter-sized patty and cook until done throughout. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.
  • Shape the mixture into patties. Fry in an ungreased skillet until cooked through.
  • Serve with hot biscuits and your favorite jam or jelly.

Notes

  • Additional seasonings you might want to include: garlic powder (start with 1/4 teaspoon), ground rosemary (start with 1/2 teaspoon), dried thyme (start with 1/2 teaspoon), and/or brown sugar (start with 2 teaspoons). 
  • Uncooked sausage may be frozen either as a whole pound or as individual sausage patties. Freeze for up to six months in a freezer quality ziptop bag or other sealable, airtight container. Try to remove as much air as possible from the bag or container before freezing. Thaw the sausage overnight in the refrigerator.
  • To freeze cooked sausage, allow the cooked sausage to cool, then place in a freezer bag or container. Reheat from frozen either in the microwave or on the stovetop. 

Nutrition Information

Serving: 2 | Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 178mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 24IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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— This post was originally published on November 8, 2010.

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27 Comments

  1. 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.

      1. maybe we we flood them with requests to expand their service area, we will be able to get their products in GA.

  2. Wow! That looks good. I love the pure ingredients of homemade. I think homemade can be healthier because you know what you’re eating – you don’t get all that processed stuff they put in food nowadays.

  3. 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!

    1. 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!

      1. Am going to add bacon grease to my ground pork and leave out the red pepper flakes. That should make for a great sausage gravy.

  4. I’ve never ever thought of making my own before! We love to host brunch and I’m add this to my list of things to try. Thanks!

    1. 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!

    1. 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.

  5. 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!

    1. 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.

  6. 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…

    1. 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.