December 6, 2011
Homemade breakfast sausage is one of my go-to recipes for a quick and convenient breakfast option for my family. This homemade sausage recipe can be made with cranberry-orange flavor or as a more traditional breakfast sausage.
Prepackaged frozen breakfast items are very tempting because they are quick and easy to prepare, and let’s be honest, we’re busy! They taste great—but they are also laden with many undesirable ingredients, not to mention fat and calories. In a quest to make healthier food choices, I’ve started making breakfast sausage at home. This recipe is perfect for my Breakfast Sausage Tacos, breakfast sandwiches, Pancake Tacos, and even crumbled up into my Cheddar Apple Sausage Jumbo Muffins!
Just watch how easy it is to make breakfast tacos with your homemade sausage from today’s recipe!
But I’m getting ahead of myself! First, you need to make this sausage recipe, and then, you can turn it into an epic taco or breakfast sandwich!
Homemade Breakfast Sausage Ingredients
The recipe I’m sharing below has a subtle cranberry-orange flavor which is fun for Fall or if you’re like me, any time of year! I simply can’t get enough of this delicious flavor combination. If you are looking for a more traditional breakfast sausage flavor simply replace the orange zest and cranberries in the recipe below with rubbed sage, thyme and rosemary.
Truly, you can season these patties any way you like. And the best part, because you make them yourself, they are gluten-free BHA-free, BHT-free, and free from nitrates! Plus there are no artificial colors or flavors. Phew! That’s a mouthful of things we’re leaving out, but they’re all basic ingredients you’ll find in most store-bought sausage. If you aren’t a huge fan of pork meat, you can also substitute ground turkey or ground chicken in this recipe.
- Fennel seed: to give these sausages a classic Italian flavor.
- Seasonings: salt, black pepper, thyme, and red pepper flakes.
- Ground lean pork: you can also use ground chicken, ground turkey, or a mixture of pork/ground turkey.
- Orange juice: for a subtle citric flavor that feels like fall!
- Brown sugar: maple syrup or honey also works.
- Minced garlic: a great aromatic for these sausage patties.
- Dried cranberries: more fall flavors!
- Orange zest: if you prefer to keep this recipe traditional, swap cranberries and orange zest for rubbed sage, thyme, and rosemary.
Making breakfast sausage is easier than you might think. It doesn’t take much time and it’s always a good feeling to know every ingredient that is going onto your family’s plates. No mystery ingredients!
Eating fresh whole food is important to me. While I do allow special treats and give my family plenty of variety in our meals throughout the week, I’ve found that making healthy ingredient swaps can make all the difference when it comes to our health.
A few times a year I like to serve 100% whole foods for the entire month. It’s similar to doing a Whole30, but we keep mealtimes fun, and I don’t ditch my kid’s favorite foods. We still have pancakes and treats throughout the week, I just make sure that every recipe is made with fresh, whole foods that I can feel good about giving to my family. And guess what? I’ve found so many ways to make healthy swaps that even my picky eaters don’t bat an eye when we make the switch. If you want to see what this is all about, you can see how we do it here.
How to Make Breakfast Sausage
You can scroll to the bottom of the post to get exact measurements and a printable version of this homemade sausage recipe, but let me walk you through the steps to show you just how easy it is to make your own sausage!
- Crush salt & fennel in a spice grinder or mortar. Combined with thyme, pepper and red pepper flakes and set aside.
- Combine the pork, brown sugar, garlic, cranberries, orange juice and orange zest in a large mixing bowl.
- Form the meat into patties
- Place in the fridge for at least an hour before cooking
How to Shape Homemade Sausage Patties
There are a few different ways to shape a sausage patty and you really can’t go wrong with any of them. If you have a hamburger press, this is the simplest way to make even patties of a consistent size and perfectly round shape.
If you don’t have a press, you can still form them by hand. A little trick if you’re hand-shaping your patties is to make a small indent with your thumb and forefinger in the center of each patty to help them cook evenly.
Can you Freeze Sausage Patties?
You can Prep-ahead breakfast sausage sandwiches or individual sausage patties. In fact, making these sausage patties ahead of time and then freezing them is a huge part of my breakfast meal prepping. You can prep and freeze the patties either cooked or uncooked. Either way, you’ll simply freeze them between pieces of foil or wax paper in order to have each individual patty pre-shaped and ready for a quick breakfast.
To save yourself even more time, you can make and freeze homemade sausage and biscuit sandwiches, complete with cheese and sausage patty. Then thaw in the fridge overnight, and pop into the toaster oven or microwave before you race out the door in the morning. This is one quick and easy breakfast idea that my family simply can’t live without!
What are some of your favorite ways to serve up breakfast sausage?
Cranberry-Orange Sausage Patties
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound ground lean pork, or a mixture of pork/ground turkey
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- ½ to 1 tablespoon brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced dried cranberries
- Zest of one orange
- Crush the fennel and salt with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder. Combine with the pepper flakes, thyme, and black pepper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the pork, orange juice, brown sugar, garlic, cranberries, and orange zest. Mix in the spices. Form into ¼-cup patties. (I used an old hamburger press to form nice even patties. A great trick if you are forming them completely by hand is to make a small indent with your thumb and forefinger in the center of each patty to help them cook more evenly.)
- To cook immediately, place the patties in the fridge for an hour before cooking. This makes them firmer and much easier to cook. Cook gently in a pan or on a griddle. Eat immediately, or freeze individually, or assemble into sandwiches.
- To freeze as patties: Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Place the patties on the cookie sheet in a single layer in the freezer until frozen solid. Using scissors to cut the waxed paper, place each one in a large freezer bag or plastic container.