Homemade Breakfast Sausage is a simple recipe made with a delicious blend of ground pork, spices, and maple syrup.
This breakfast sausage recipe requires only a few ingredients and 5 minutes of hands-on prep work. Not only is it easy to make, but it is also versatile and can be served as sausage patties or used in any recipe calling for bulk breakfast sausage.
Homemade is Best
I started making my own breakfast sausage years ago when I was less than pleased with the ingredients found in store-bought varieties. Most brands have added corn syrup, preservatives, gluten, and MSG. And the sodium content was through the roof! Not that appealing in my book!
But with just a few simple ingredients and a few minutes of work, you can leave the nasty additives on the shelves and make your own Breakfast Sausage that not only tastes better and is better for you, but is actually a money-saver as well!
Ingredients for Breakfast Sausage
- Ground Meat: Pork is traditional when preparing sausage, but ground turkey or ground chicken are also great base for breakfast sausage. Using a protein to fat ratio of 80/20 will creates the juiciest, most flavorful sausage, but you can opt to use leaner ground meat to save on fat and calories if desired.
- Maple Syrup: Maple syrup and sausage go hand in hand. Pure maple syrup gives this sausage incredible flavor--just be sure to use 100% maple syrup! If you happen to not have maple syrup on hand, brown sugar is the perfect substitute. Do not use granulated sugar or honey.
- Spices: This recipe uses sage, onion powder, black pepper, thyme, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and a pinch of cloves to create the perfect combination of flavorings for the most flavorful breakfast sausage. However, you can change up the spices to fit your taste preference. If you like things spicy, add in a bit more red pepper flakes. If you despise sage, omit!
How to Make Breakfast Sausage
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the dried spices together to evenly incorporate.
- Add in the ground pork (or turkey or chicken) and maple syrup.
- Using your hands or a fork, combine the spices and maple syrup into the meat, until everything is evenly distributed. You don't want to overwork the meat, which can cause your sausage to be tough, so I find using a fork or your hands to gently incorpoate the ingredients is best.
- Cover the mixing bowl and refrigerate the breakfast sausage mixture for 12-24 hours. This allows the pork to aborb all the flavorings that have been added to the meat.
How to Make Sausage Patties
- Once the sausage mixture has been refrigerated, form the mixture into 2 to 3-inch patties that are each about ½-inch thick. Keep in mind that the patties will shink up to ½-inch in width after cooking.
- Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
- Add the sausage patties to the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Once the patties have cooked, remove from the skillet and place on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb the excess grease.
Ground Breakfast Sausage
Instead of forming sausage patties, you can also use the breakfast sausage in any recipe that calls for raw breakfast sausage, like Sausage Balls or Sausage Gravy. Or can simply brown your sausage to serve on the side of eggs or use in recipes, like Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole, that calls for cooked breakfast sausage.
To brown the sausage:
- Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is heated add in the sausage mixture.
- Cook the sausage, breaking into small pieces as it browns, until it is cooked through.
- Serve as desired or use in any recipe calling for cooked breakfast sausage.
- Pair homemade sausage with French Toast Casserole, Banana Oat Pancakes or Whole Wheat Waffles for a delicious, complete breakfast.
- Use sausage patties in place of ham in Egg McMuffin Sandwiches
- Use the ground breakfast sausage to make Breakfast Sliders or Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole.
- Add 1-2 teaspoons of cooked ground breakfast sausage into Instant Pot Egg Bites in place of cooked bacon.
- Serve a Oven Poached Egg over a homemade sausage patty for a lusious, rich breakfast.
- Serve the sausage patties on Homemade Biscuits for a southern favorite.
How to Store Breakfast Sausage
Once you prepare the sausage mixture, it needs to be frozen or cooked with 3 days of preparation.
- Freeze the raw breakfast sausage mixture. Place the raw sausage in a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Remove from the freezer and allow to defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Use in any recipe calling for raw breakfast sausage or pan-fry and use as desired.
- Store cooked sausage patties. Cook the mixture as sausage patties and allow the patties to cool fully. Store the cooked patties in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Pull out as many sausage patties as desired from the freezer and heat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or in a skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of water added to skillet--this keeps the sausage from drying out as it reheats.
- Store raw sausage patties. Stack the shaped patties between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to three days. Or to freeze, arrange the patties in a single layer on a parchment paper or wax paper-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then transfer to a freezer-thickness plastic baggie and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Store cooked crumbled breakfast sausage. Brown the breakfast sausage as directed. Once cooked, allow to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- If you need to cut back on sodium in your diet, feel free to omit or cut the salt in half.
- Feel free to change up the spices to fit what you like! You can also opt to add an additional tablespoon of maple syrup (or brown sugar) if you like really sweet breakfast sausage.
- The best way to determine if your sausage patties are fully cooked, is to use a digital thermometer and cook to 165 degrees F. This will ensure they reach a safe internal temperature but are not overcooked and dried out.
- Dont be concerned if your sausage patties get a bit dark on the exterior as they cook. This may happen where the maple syrup caramelizes, and that is okay--just more delicious flavor!
- Your sauage patties will shrink up to ½-inch in thickness when cooking, so you may want to form them a bit larger than you desire before cooking.
- To prevent splattering when cooking, use a splatter screen over your skillet, or use a deep dutch oven pan.
- While you can opt to cook the breakfast sausage immediately after combing the meat with the spices, it is optimum to refrigerate the mixture for at least 12 hours for the best flavor.
Favorite Homemade Breakfast Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe for homemade breakfast sausage, I would love for you to leave a comment and 5-star review below.
- 1 pound ground pork see notes
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground sage optional
- 1 teaspoon oil for cooking
- In a large mixing bowl, combine salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, onion powder, sage, and cloves together.
- Add the ground pork to the spice mixture, along with the maple syrup. Using your hands, or a fork, gently mix the spices and syrup into the meat, until everything is evenly distributed.
- Cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours, allowing the flavor to develop.
- Shape the sausage mixture into patties that are 2 to 3-inches wide and ½-inch thick. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook the patties for 4-5 minutes per side, or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached.
Ground Breakfast Sausage
- Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, add in the sausage and cook until no longer pink, breaking it into small pieces as it browns. Serve as desired or use in any recipe calling for cooked breakfast sausage.
This post was originally published in 2019 but updated in 2021 with new helpful tips.