Homemade Breakfast Sausage is a simple recipe for maple-flavored breakfast sausage made with a delicious blend of ground pork, spices, and maple syrup.
Serve Maple Breakfast Sausage Patties alongside Whole Wheat Waffles and a Homemade Latte for a delicious, wholesome breakfast. Or use this breakfast sausage to prepare Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole or Breakfast Sliders.
I started making my own breakfast sausage and Italian sausage years ago when I was less than pleased with the ingredients found in store-bought sausage. Most brands have added corn syrup, preservatives, gluten, and MSG. And the sodium content was through the roof! Not that appealing in my book!
Well, you can leave the 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!
This recipe is seasoned with maple, sage, cloves, and thyme to create the most flavorful breakfast sausage ever!
And because you are making the sausage, YOU get to be in control of the ingredients! Hate sage? Omit it. On a low-sodium diet? Cut the salt in half. Want lower-fat breakfast sausage? Use ground chicken or turkey. You get the idea.
This recipe for Breakfast Sausage is versatile, easy, and unbelievably delicious.
Ingredients for Breakfast Sausage
- Ground Meat: Pork is traditional when preparing sausage, but ground turkey or ground chicken is also a great base for breakfast sausage. Using a protein-to-fat ratio of 80/20 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 spices 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 it for sage-free breakfast sausage.
How to Make Breakfast Sausage
Making breakfast sausage at home is as easy as mixing ground pork (or turkey or chicken) with spices to flavor. An important key for making really flavorful homemade breakfast sausage is to allow time for the sausage to cure in the fridge. This will give the meat time to absorb all the flavor added to the meat.
- 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 incorporate the ingredients is best.
- Cover the mixing bowl and refrigerate the breakfast sausage mixture for 12-24 hours. This allows the pork to absorb all the flavorings that have been added to the meat.
How to Use Breakfast Sausage
Once the sausage mixture has been refrigerated and the meat has had time to cure, it is time to prepare the sausage. You can opt to form the meat into patties for breakfast sausage patties, use it in a recipe calling for raw bulk sausage, or you can brown the raw sausage meat and use it as desired.
- Form the meat mixture into 2 to 3-inch patties that are each about ½-inch thick. Keep in mind that the patties will shrink about a 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 F. Don't be concerned if your sausage patties get a bit dark on the exterior as they cook. This may happen when the maple syrup caramelizes, and that is okay--just a more delicious flavor!
- Once the patties are fully cooked, remove them from the skillet and place them 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 a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is heated add the sausage mixture.
- Cook the sausage, breaking it 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 an Oven Poached Egg over a homemade sausage patty for a luscious, 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 either be frozen or cooked within 3 days of preparation.
- Freezing raw breakfast sausage. 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.
- Storing 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 the skillet--this keeps the sausage from drying out as it reheats.
- Storing 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.
- Storing cooked crumbled breakfast sausage. Brown the breakfast sausage as directed. Once cooked, allow the sausage to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
FAQs on Making Breakfast Sausage
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.
This recipe for maple breakfast sausage is just kissed with maple flavor and is not overwhelmingly sweet. You can also opt to add an additional tablespoon of maple syrup (or brown sugar) if you like really sweet breakfast sausage.
If you need to cut back on sodium in your diet, feel free to omit or cut the salt in half.
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.
Homemade Breakfast Sausage
- 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 the bowl with plastic wrap or a tightly fitted lid 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 2022 with a new video.
I’ve been spending so much $ for years buying jimmy dean turkey sausage . Your recipe is a great surprise! We are seniors & need to eat low fat/salt/sugar. your breakfast recipes are literally a life saver 🙂 this is probably a dumb question but could I freeze the cooked turkey/chicken sausage in patties? Because husband likes to microwave his own sausage & egg muffin when he gets up early. Thank you, I’m so glad to find your site. It takes me over an hour to shop in grocery store having to read labels for sodium, fat & sugar content. I cook about every meal.
I am thrilled to hear you are enjoying my recipes and that I am helping to make cooking a bit easier for you! You can certainly freeze the patties. Cook as directed, let cool, and then place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour, or until solid, and then transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container. Your husband will be able to grab one out at a time to make his breakfast 🙂
I like the maple and apple chicken sausage. Can you recommend a good apple to use and the quantity?
I will definitely be making this with ground pork and also with ground turkey. Thanks so much for all your wonderful recipes.
Hi Mary! I would recommend adding 1/4 cup of grated, peeled apple. Fuji, honey crisp, or Braeburn. And using turkey and pork together will be delicious! Enjoy!
Thanks a lot for this homemade breakfast sausage recipe, so easy to make and really helpful recipe! Love it!
So happy to hear you enjoyed the sausage Allyssa!
This was so much easier to make than I thought and was so delicious! The meat was perfectly cooked and had great flavor. I made a double batch to freeze extras for a quick weekend breakfast!
So smart to freeze for later use! Glad to hear you enjoyed Taylor!
This was so easy to make and so delicious! Our breakfast routine just got a major upgrade!!!
Homemade really tastes best! And even better when it is so easy to prepare
You mentioned paprika but didn’t say how much. Can’t wait to try. Thank youb
I am sorry for any confusion Sue, this recipe does not call for paprika. That said, adding up to 1/2 teaspoon would be a delicious addition.
This recipe looks so good. I was wondering what spices to add if I wanted to make Italian sausage. Thanks so much for this recipe as well as your other delicious recipes!
Hi Robin! I would use 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon dried parsley, 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel or fennel seeds. I also would add in 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar.
I LOVE using this recipe with ground turkey. Also so glad to see your recommendation on how to make it Italian sausage in comments! Perfect 👍
And I love hearing you enjoyed the sausage Jen 🙂
Homemade sausage is so tasty, perfect for the weekend. Thank you for the recipe, can't wait to try it!
I love that I can make delicious sausage without all the added 'ingredients'. It's a bonus that this is easy too - perfect breakfast dish!
So glad you enjoyed Beth!