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The problem is, it's nearly impossible to find a no-sugar-added version in the grocery store. When I'm in a pinch, I do really like Shadybrook Farm's Hot Italian Turkey Sausage. All in all, it's a pretty clean option, with very limited sugar; but if you're doing a Whole30, it's not gonna cut it! I also love to make my own because it's nearly impossible to find bulk turkey sausage (i.e. not in casings).
Enter... this recipe! I'm gonna show you how the sausage is made! It may sound like a lot of work to make your own sausage; and WARNING, this recipe involves 12 different spices (13 if you add cayenne), but it could not be easier.
I also wrote this recipe to use with a whopping THREE POUNDS of ground meat, so you will have plenty for the recipe you want to make AND 1-2 lbs to freeze for later! I usually buy a bulk pack of ground turkey (3 lbs) and use the full spice recipe; freezing the sausage I don't use that day. At the SAME time, (while I have those 12 spices out and open), I measure enough for ANOTHER 3 lbs into a small bowl or jar so really, I'm set on sausage seasonings for a whiiiiiile now.
It also has SUCH amazing flavor. There are about a million Italian sausage recipes all over the interwebs, but this is officially my favorite one. I have tried lots different ones over the years, and I finally landed on one that suits our tastes perfectly. Shout out to red wine vinegar, nutmeg, and cloves for unique little flavor twists!
And for heaven's sake, crush your fennel seeds! I have yet to meet ONE person who just loooves chomping down on a fennel seed. Got a mortar and pestle? Great. I don't - and a zip lock bag and rolling pin do the job just fine.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes to use up alllll of your newly acquired homemade sausage:
Italian Chicken Sausage Egg Bake (use homemade sausage instead of Trader Joe's)
Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini (with Whole30 and cheese-lover's versions)
Whole Egg, Sausage, & Broccoli Breakfast Bake (use italian instead of breakfast sausage)
Sausage & Pepper Quiche with Hashbrown Crust (use italian instead of breakfast sausage)
Honky Potato Breakfast Casserole (use italian instead of breakfast sausage)
Homemade Italian Sausage (Seasoning Blend)
[Whole30 - Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Dairy Free]
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp basil
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp paprika
2 tsp black pepper
2-3 tsp red pepper flakes (3 if you like it super spicy!)
2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 - 1 tsp cayenne pepper (totally optional, if like it super spicy! I left this out)
3 lbs ground meat of your choice (I prefer turkey, but you could try chicken, pork, or even beef or venison!)
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
To make the seasoning only:
To a small bowl or jar (recipe makes ~9 Tbsp of seasoning), add all spices (salt - cloves) + cayenne if you want it spicy.
Stir or shake to combine. Store and use to make sausage as needed!
TIP: ~3 Tbsp (depending on optional add ins above) = 1 lb of sausage
To make the sausage:
To a large bowl, add 3 lbs of ground turkey (or whatever ground meat you want to use).
Drizzle 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar over the top, then sprinkle all 12 seasonings over the turkey (13 if you want it spicy -- hello cayenne).
Lightly combine, being careful not to over mix. I find it's best to use your hands for this! Mix/fold the seasonings into the meat just until they are evenly combined.
Use sausage as needed in recipes or freeze for later!
TIP: Freeze in 1 lb packs for easy use in recipes, or form into patties or meatballs!