There are many recipes that call for spicy sausage: soups, pizza, pasta, and just for breakfast. Most traditional sausage is made with a high percentage of fat and organ meats (heart, liver, etc.). They also often contain preservatives, flavor enhancers and sugar. The best way to get around this is to make your own. To reduce the fat in my diet I make Spicy turkey sausage.
The advantages of making your own sausage are that you know exactly what is in it and you can modify the spice blend to your palate. It is very easy to prepare, once you have the spices you like. After much experimenting I have come up with a spice blend that Tracy and I love.
Prep time is about 10 minutes. Cooking time varies by method, but about 15 minutes.
Here is what you’ll need to make one pound of spicy turkey sausage (4 – 6 servings).
1/2 lb. – ground turkey breast meat
1/2 lb. – ground turkey thigh meat
1/2 tsp. – rubbed or ground sage
1/2 tsp. – crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. – ground dry mustard
1/8 tsp. – ground allspice
1/4 tsp. – chipotle pepper powder
1/8 tsp. – cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. – salt
1/8 tsp. – freshly ground black pepper
1/8 cup – extra virgin olive oil
Place all of the dry spices in a small bowl and mix to blend evenly.
Put the turkey in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, working it into the meat using your hands. You want to be sure the white and dark meat are evenly mixed. Add the spice mixture and continue mixing until the spices are fully incorporated into the meat.
Let the sausage rest in the refrigerator for couple of hours or overnight.
To cook the sausage you have several options.
- Breakfast patties. Form into six patties. If your pan is not nonstick, use cooking spray or lightly oil the pan. Heat a frying pan to medium high. Place the sausage patties in the pan and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, until slightly brown and thoroughly cooked (165 degrees with an instant read cooking thermometer).
- For meatballs. Form the sausage into the size balls you want. I like 1/2 inch for most soups and one inch for most pasta. You can cook the meatballs in a pan as above or bake them. Either way, turn them several times to cook them evenly.
- For a turkey sausage bolognaise sauce. Heat a saucepan to medium high. If your pan is not non-stick, use cooking spray or lightly oil the pan. Place the meat in the pan a little at a time. Cook until browned, using a spatula to break up the meat into small pieces. When cooked, add the rest of your sauce ingredients.