Homemade Italian Sausage is easy to make. In fact, you may even be shocked how easy it is to make great tasting sausage at home. You don’t even need a grinder, to make homemade sausage.
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Table of Contents
Italian sausage – a family recipe
When I was growing up we often made sausage. My house growing up was filled with all sorts of food preparation. We had a large garden, we had all sorts of fruit trees, and my parents loved to do things like making sausage.
Of course, when we did it at our house growing up we had a hand crank to grind the meat. I still have those hand cranks, they are sturdy, you would clamp them onto the table, and put the meat in. You would have to switch out people after a bit because arms could grow tired, and there were other jobs to do.
What is Italian sausage? How is it different than breakfast sausage?
Yes, pork sausage is the same as Italian sausage. Most Italian sausages are made from pork (like mine). The biggest thing that makes it Italian is a mixture of Italian spices. Many types of breakfast sausage have spice blends that contain sweeteners like brown sugar or maple syrup, smoked paprika, sage, red pepper flakes. This is one os those Italian sausage recipes that really lends itself to savory dishes.
What are Italian seasonings used in sausage?
Most Italian recipes will have lots of garlic, parsley, and cracked pepper. You can add a variety of other Italian spices too. Some of the other popular Italian seasonings include:
Italian sausage ingredients
One of the things I love about making food from scratch means that you can customize it any way you like. For this recipe, I am using pork these spices and seasonings:
- Garlic – use fresh garlic for best flavor
- Fennel seeds
- Kosher salt – you can use regular table salt if you desire
- Freshly cracked black pepper – freshly cracked pepper really makes a difference here
- Crushed red pepper
- Parsley leaves – you can use either fresh or dried parsley leaves
- Dry wine, red or white
- Pork like a pork butt or ground pork
I know a lot of people really enjoy found anise in their sausage, but that is a spice I do not prefer. If you want some more garlic, you can add additional garlic. If you like your sausage more on the hot side you can add some crushed red pepper.
Best Type of Meat for Homemade Italian Sausage
For this recipe, I am using a pork butt roast. I like them the best for sausage making because I think it has the right amount of marbling in the meat.
You want to choose meat that has some fat content to it. Pork loin is very lean, and it wouldn’t make a great sausage. Honestly, any large cut of pork with marbling will work. I let what’s on sale be my guide when making homemade Italian sausage.
How to Make Italian Sausage
Chop pork butt into pieces that are 1 to 2 inches in size. Place pork pieces into a bowl.
Add dry red wine, salt, cayenne pepper, fennel seed, paprika, crushed red pepper, garlic, chopped parsley, and cracked black pepper.
Stir the mixture to combine and coat the meat evenly. If desired, cover with plastic and allow the meat to marinate for a few hours before grinding.
Pass the meat with a meat grinder fitted with the medium-sized die. Or place the meat into a food processor in small batches and process until finely ground.
You can test the seasoning by cooking a small portion of the sausage, if desired adjust for seasoning.
Freshly ground Italian sausage should be used within 48 hours or can be frozen.
How to Grind Sausage
You may be wondering how you will grind up this sausage. You may use a hand crank, but there are other options.
1. Use a mixer with a grinding attachment
My favorite way is to use a mixer with a grinding attachment. I know the Kitchenaide grinder works well.
2. Use a food processor to make sausage
I have also used a food processor too. You will simply mince the meat very fine with the food processor. All work very well. You will get a more uniform sausage with a grinder, but again, the food processor works great.
Italian sausage without casing
What I really love about Italian sausage is it is one type of sausage that you don’t need to stuff into a casing. Often sausages are stuffed into casings, but this one I think lends itself well to using simply ground up.
Can you freeze homemade Italian sausage?
Yes, you can freeze homemade sausage. In fact, this is one of my favorite ways to store my homemade Italian sausage.
I like to make a small batch of this sausage and then freeze it in sealed bags and take it out whenever I need dinner.
How to use Homemade Italian Sausage
One of my go-to meals is to brown some Italian sausage and add it to a jar of inexpensive pasta sauce. Italian sausage has a lot of flavors and it makes a cheap jar of sauce taste really good. Here are some additional ideas.
- Create meatballs – simply roll the sausage into small balls, and brown in a skillet, and use
- You can use this sausage in soups or stews, my favorite way to use this is to crumble and brown and use in the Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana copycat recipe.
- Brown in a pan and use as a pizza topping
- Make it into patties and enjoy in a homemade Italian sauasage po boy sandwich.
Ways to use homemade Italian sausage
- Meat Sauce
- Italian Sausage Instant Pot
- Pork Sausage Casserole Recipe
- Gnocchi and Sausage Recipe
- Cheesy Sausage Italian Skillet
- Sausage Lentil Soup Recipe
- Italian Stuffed Red Peppers
- Pasta Rustica Recipe
- Cheesy Lasagna Dip
- How to Make a Pizza Bowl
Top How to Make Recipes
Homemade Seasoned Italian Sausage
- 4 pounds pork well marbled
- 4 tablespoons dry red wine omit if desired
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
- Chop pork butt into pieces that are 1 to 2 inches large. Add to a bowl.
- In the bowl add dry red wine, salt, cayenne pepper, fennel seed, paprika, crushed red pepper, garlic, chopped parsley, and cracked black pepper.
- Stir the mixture to combine, and coat the meat evenly. If desired covered with plastic and allow the meat to marinate for a few hours before grinding.
- Pass the meat with a meat grinder fitted with the medium-sized die. Or place the meat into a food processor in small batches and process until finely ground.
- You can test the seasoning by cooking a small portion of the sausage, if desired adjust for seasoning. Sausage should be used within 48 hours or can be frozen for use later.