Homemade Breakfast Sausage

Homemade breakfast sausage recipe

Breakfast sausage is a favorite food of the men (including the little ones) in our home. I love it too, but don’t love that many store-bought breakfast sausages have nitrates or nitrites and other preservatives and flavors added.

When a local farmer started selling pastured pork, I decided to figure out a recipe for homemade breakfast sausage. This recipe can actually be made with beef for those who don’t like pork, though the taste will be a little different.

I originally made this recipe with diced pieces of pastured Boston butt, mainly because I had an awesome (and somewhat scary-looking) old fashioned metal meat grinder that a relative gave us. I soon realized, after spending much cleaning time on said scary meat grinder, that this made the process more time consuming. I now just buy ground (pastured) pork for this recipe, but if you also have a scary meat grinder and the patience to clean it, I highly recommend that option as well.

I pre-make this in two-pound (or larger) batches and refrigerate or freeze for quick breakfasts. The patties turned out pretty light in the picture but are typically darker and have more visible spices.

Homemade breakfast sausage recipe

8 votes


Homemade Breakfast Sausage




Yield 16

Homemade breakfast sausage with spices, herbs and salt.


  • 2 pounds of ground pork (or two pounds of Boston Butt, finely ground)
  • 1 tablespoon Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt (I like this brand)
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves or 1 teaspoon of dried ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried fennel, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • Optional: A dash of cayenne pepper and cloves (about 1/8 tsp of each)


  1. Grind meat with the finest blade of the grinder (if grinding yourself).
  2. Combine ground pork with other ingredients and mix well.
  3. Form in to 16 one-inch patties.
  4. Store in the fridge or freezer until ready to use.
  5. To cook: Heat in skillet over medium heat for 5-7 minutes per side until cooked through.

Courses Breakfast

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Reader Comments

  1. I’ve used a meat grinder… and I completely agree about the cleaning time (no thanks)! Tastes great. Nowadays, I usually just pulse things in the Ninja because it’s easier to clean.

    And homemade sausage is the best! I’m excited to try this rendition soon. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. Hi
    First off love the website. It’s so full of wonderful information. Quick question… since i don’t eat pork could i use say ground beef, chicken, or turkey in the recipe….thanks

    • I have not tried it, but I bet that would work. Let me know if you do try it, and how you like it!

      • I’ve made homemade breakfast sausage (not this recipe) using ground chicken, it’s delicious!

    • You can use ground turkey and it turns out just about the same, but I’m pretty sure ground beef wouldn’t give you the same “sausagy” taste – it would be more like an oddly flavored hamburger patty. I’d stick to the more benign tasting meats like pork and turkey that take to these added flavors well and need the extra bump of flavor. I use a similar rendition of this recipe but I add two Tbsp of organic maple syrup. That, mixed with the fennel, tastes amazing!

    • I’ve always used ground turkey. It’s excellent and much Heather.

    • Because this is a wellness site, I’m actually shocked that pork would be included as an ingredient on this forum. I had high standards for this site.

      • To Verna – Katie is right. Pastured pork is not the same as factory farmed pork! This wonderful site and great information.

        • Agreed! I studied animal science and this site it great.

    • I like ground chicken the best. I prefer the texture because it more closely resembles the texture of pork sausage. BTW this recipe is really tasty. Added to my own personal recipe book

  3. What would you typically serve these with for brekkie Katie?

  4. I used to make sausage from ground beef. Adding some Liquid Smoke made then really good. I have not done this for years but I’m pretty sure Liquid Smoke meets paleo guidelines.

  5. Every year near Christmas, our family makes Polish sausage. We do about 50 or so pounds and split it between the siblings and parents. We grind pork butt and add salt, pepper, and garlic. Then we case it and hang it for 24 hours. It’s the best sausage ever!

    • When you ‘case it’ – what do you use for casing?
      When you hang it – what temp – room temp, refrigerate?


    • You make your own polish sausage? Oh yum!

    • I’m from Florida, where do you hang it? And can you do this with other meat?

    • Where do you ger the casin.

  6. I really appreciate all the home recipes. I love sausage but cant eat it often because its to salty & i have high blood pressure. I will try to make it myself with less salt.

  7. This is perfect! My husband just had a heart attack and now he has to give in to this whole clean eating thing (finally!) He was just complaining that he is relegated to eating sticks and twigs cuz all the food he likes has nitrates or sodium benzoate or other scary sounding ingredients. He will love this 🙂

  8. Hi there,

    I’m just wondering if these stick well together seeing that there is no egg in the recipe. Thanks!

  9. I have made sausage with venison and sage and the Creole seasoning my husband likes so well. We really like it, but I think if it had pork in it too (or possibly turkey) it would fry up better and not be as dry.

    • Venison and bison meat are very lean so adding 1% to 2% beef fat to it will make it just right!!

  10. Just requesting your readers to please only use pork from compassionately-raised pigs. Pigs confined in cages on factory farms suffer terribly. They are highly intelligent and aware, so it is particularly cruel to treat them this way. The more we buy pork without ensuring it’s not from a factory farm, the more we contribute to animal suffering. Nothing will change until meat eaters care.

  11. Do you think it would be better to cook the Boston Butt first, and then grind it up?

    • Well, I mix it (as ground meat) uncooked, then cook it before serving. The pork may not mix well with the other ingredients if it’s already cooked.

  12. Polish Sausage. Sounds amazing. Are you able to share the recipe please – or is it a family secret

  13. please mention another type of meat as i do not use pork at all.

    • I haven’t tried it with other meats meats, but I bet would work with turkey or chicken. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

  14. I make something similar but I only put mixed herbs, salt and pepper in the mince (pork, turkey or chicken). I make them into flat patties, bake for 20 mins and then use instead of the buns in a burger! Truly amazing! In between the buns, I put anything in like mashed avocado, red onion, baby spinach, bacon, tomato, Greek dip, etc…

    • Hey, great idea! I can’t wait to try a “bun” like this!!

  15. I’ve made something like this with some homegrown chicken. Used curry powder and other spices and they were great. Pork can take a lot of different flavors like chicken. I used two big knives to chop up the chicken so it was still slightly coarse, learned that from my mom’s old school Chinese friend. Very easy to clean.

  16. Thank you for some great ideas. I am off of red meat and didn’t know what to do with ground poultry.

  17. The best way to can pork sausage is to cook it in a frying pan. Divide the patties into clean sterilized jars. Then pour the leftover hot grease into the jars, screw the lids on tight, and turn them upside down. By morning they will have sealed. Keeps for months, great for taking camping because it’s already cooked. I learned this from Freda Bell who grew up in West Virginia.

    • How much hot grease do you actually pour into the jars ? Thanks

  18. Perhaps this is in another post on your site and I just haven’t found it yet, but can you tell me why avoiding nitrates/nitrites is so important. Obviously additives of any kind are good to avoid, but so far I’ve only come across advice to avoid the nitrates but not heard why. I am moving more and more toward making my own foods at home (like hopefully this sausage soon!) and really want to make bacon, but almost all the DIY recipes I’ve seen still have you cure it with sodium nitrate. I don’t want to ruin the pastured pork I’ll be receiving soon, but I do want to eat the bacon!

  19. Great recipe! It was a tad salty for us, but not too much:)

    We are going to add veggies to the next batch so our 11 month old may not notice she is benefitting from the added nutrition that she doesn’t necessarily enjoy on it’s own (she loved the sausage!)

    Thank you and will report back on how she likes it with the veggies!

  20. I made this recipe Friday night. (Bought the boston butt on sale and froze it till I had the time.) I did not have fennel, but added garlic powder and, paprika and seasoned salt. Kept it in the refrigerator for two days, stirring twice a day. Simply amazing. It took two days for the seasonings to blend together well. Thanks again for this recipe,

  21. Loved this recipe! Making another batch tonight but will be scaling back the salt. Great recipe!

  22. I’m going to try this tomorrow with Elk and pork combined.

  23. New to your site and love the recipes offered. I made this tonight using 99% fat free ground turkey, it is delicious. Love making food without any processed chemicals. Thanks for sharing.

  24. I made the decision just two days ago to start making my own sausage. And you provided a yummy recipe! I think of you as a wellness earth angel. Thank you so much for all you do.

  25. To answer the question concerning the ‘scary meatgrinder’, I use an old one from my grandparents, not super big and of course hand-crank, it works great and before cleaning I run some big pieces of white bread through it, preferably the homebaked kind because that holds together better. That cleans the inside of the grinder pretty good so hardly any meat is left there and, mixed with some of the raw sausage and eggs makes a good loaf. Afterwards the cleaning is easy with soap and water.

  26. The comment by Constantin Alvensleben has answered a question for me. I make our catfood using the grinder for the chicken, I always have meat left in the grinder. The bread will solve my problem.

    My son makes his own sausage with ground beef. I thnk he will like this receipe.

    Your site is my first go to.
    I am 77 and am finally bringing my family around to home made safer products.
    One is never too old to learn.
    Keep up the good work and don’t let the critics get you down.

  27. Maybe this is a dumb question, but are we talking about fennel *bulb* dried and ground, or fennel *seed*?

      • Thanks for the reply! I made a small test batch… it tasted a little too much like Italian sausage for my taste. I finally figured out it was the garlic, so omitted that, doubled the sage, reduced the salt to 1 teaspoon per pound, and added just a bit of maple syrup (to which I am not entirely opposed). Then it was perfect and I mixed up 10 lbs of it 🙂

  28. Everyone loved it! I am thrilled with it.

  29. I made it without fennel seed using a metal grinding attachment on kitchen aid mixer awesome. I am going to mix up sides with cube meat and marinate overnight then grind for better flavor next time.

  30. Thanks for the recipe! About how long would 2 lbs of sausage patties last in the freezer?

  31. I will try this with turkey! I love breakfast sausage…. I love your website! I am enjoying making my own products and eating and living healthier.

  32. One inch patties? That’s like the size of a quarter …

    • One inch thick…

  33. Never made sausage before, but I had some boneless ribs with a nice bit of fat. Ground it in the food processor and tried your recipe..So, here I sit in sausage heaven, with some crispy red potatoes and toast with freezer strawberry jam. Thanks so much, Ill definately make this again…it was sooo easy!

  34. I have been making homemade breakfast sausage for some time now, I thought I would try your recipe and it is great! The only changes I made was I used pork loin and added water when I mixed it. I found that adding water helps it mix easier and cook more like store sausage.

    • I tried this recipe and it was dry pork. Flavor was nice but texture was nothing like sausage kids wouldnt eat it. I accidentally spilled water in the bowl while trying again and it was better. I added a good deal more water and it was just like processed sausage! Will try next time adding fresh squeezed apple juice for apple sausage…

  35. I have enjoyed so many things from your site that I am really looking forward to making sausage now. It sounds like a winner! I think i even have some ground pork in the freezer so i can try it tonight for dinner! Thank you

  36. I’ve used the cast iron metal meat grinder in the restaurant, but it was used for grinding raw potatoes to go into the coney sauce (to thicken the sauce).

    The recipe looks great and going to try it, thanks!

  37. My mil runs fruit through the meat grinder to clean it, then uses that for a sauce or chutney or to add to the recipe in some other way. Could do the same to the food processor. Still needs soap and water but a good preclean.

  38. Excellent recipe! I subbed in ground turkey and it was super delicious. I’ve made it twice now and made a double batch with extra cayenne and crushed red pepper for a spicy sausage. Not much more work and we probably won’t go back to store bought. Thanks Katie!

  39. I just made this and can barely eat it since it tastes like a mouthful of salt. And I like salt!

    Other than that, pretty good, I would make it again with half the salt.