How to make homemade Italian sausage

Last Updated on October 9, 2021 by Anne-Marie

You can use homemade Italian sausage in many dinner recipes. Adjust the Italian sausage seasoning so this Italian sausage recipe is mild or spicy.

Ingredients for making homemade Italian sasage in small bowls and ceramic trays on a wooden cutting board with a measuring spoon, napkin and a large mixing bowl with ground meat.

Why this recipe works

Homemade Italian sausage is extremely easy to make.

Add it to your favorite Italian recipes like pizzas, lasagna, and spaghetti sauce for weeknight dinners.

You can adjust the Italian seasonings to be as mild or spicy as you like.

How to make homemade Italian sausage

So simple you may never buy store-bought sausage again!

1. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Take an old-fashioned potato masher and mix ingredients until well combined. Better yet, use your hands!

3. Weigh out the Italian sausage into one-pound portions.

4. Wrap in freezer paper, label, and freeze the homemade Italian sausage until needed.

Cooked Italian sausage in a frying pan with tomatoes, basil, and sliced cheese on a wooden cutting board.

What type of meat do you use?

You can use the following types of meat:

  • ground pork,
  • ground venison,
  • ground chicken,
  • ground turkey,
  • ground beef,

or a combination of any of the above meats.

In my favorite version of Italian sausage, like 1 pound pork and 2 pounds lean ground beef.

Pick whatever quality of meat and leanness you prefer for your ideal homemade sausage recipe.

How much ground meat do you use?

I use 3 pounds of ground meat to my tasty mix of Italian seasoning.

If you don't want to make that much sausage, you can cut the recipe in half.

For ingredients like dried oregano and dried thyme that use 1/8 teaspoon, use a pinch as a half.

Small mounds of spices and seasonings, a measuring spoon, a checked napkin, and the edge of a bowl with ground meat, sitting on a wooden cutting board.

What recipes do you make with Italian sausage?

Make homemade spaghetti sauce: This is a family favorite and quick and easy to do. I usually made a half portion of the sausage right in the spaghetti saucepan.

While I'm browning the sausage, I add a couple of teaspoons of minced garlic.

Then I add several cans of tomato sauce, a couple of cans of diced tomatoes, and a dash of wine.

While I'm making this, I boil water for pasta. Then in a few minutes, a tasty dinner is ready!

Other dinner recipes: Besides spaghetti sauce, you can add it to pizza, in calzones, in baked ziti, and more.

You can also use it in this Instant Pot Spaghetti Recipe, Instant Pot Lasagna, or Instant Pot Meatballs.

Use it in your Thanksgiving stuffing!

Keto recipes: Use this savory sausage in any keto recipes.

Just use a keto-friendly, no-calorie sugar like Swerve Sweetener instead of the sorghum. Or leave it out completely.

Browned homemade Italian sausage in a frying pan.

Can I freeze Italian sausage?

You sure can! There are several ways to do it.

Blocks: I like to weigh the uncooked sausage into 1 pound blocks. Then I wrap it in freezer paper to use later in my cooking.

Patties: Some folks make homemade breakfast sausage patties. Then they freeze the sausage patties for their weekend breakfasts.

Links: If you're ambitious, you can put the sausage mixture into casings and freeze those. (Making Italian sausage links with the attachment on your KitchenAid is fun, but a lot of work.)

Cook and freeze: My neighbor back in Colorado liked to cook and brown her sausage meat before freezing. That way she saved time when making her sauces and casseroles.

Packaged Italian sausage in butcher paper for freezing.

Tips when making the Italian sausage seasoning


If you need to reduce sodium intake, it's ok to cut back the salt in this recipe. Add a little more of the other seasonings or spiciness to compensate if you feel the sausage is lacking flavor.

Spicy or not?

Feel free to cut back or add more of your favorite spices and seasonings. My son and husband love spicy sausage. Me, not so much, so I make several batches.


Red wine vinegar adds a special flavor to this recipe. If you don't have any, you can use cider or balsamic vinegar.


You can use maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, or even molasses instead of sorghum.

If you're avoiding sugar, use a natural sugar substitute like powdered monk fruit sweetener or Swerve Sweetener instead.

Yield: 12 SERVINGS

Homemade Italian Sausage

Small mounds of spices and seasonings, a measuring spoon, a checked napkin, and the edge of a bowl with ground meat, sitting on a wooden cutting board.

Use homemade Italian sausage in many dinner recipes. Adjust the Italian sausage seasoning so this Italian sausage recipe is mild or spicy.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 3 pounds ground meat – pork, turkey, beef, chicken, venison or a combination
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon sorghum syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme (whole, not ground)
  • 1/8 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1/8 teaspoon marjoram


  1. Place all the Italian sausage recipe ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Take an old fashioned potato masher and mix ingredients until well combined. Better yet, use your hands!
  3. Weigh out the Italian sausage into one-pound portions. Wrap in freezer paper, label, and freeze until needed.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

4 ounces

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 401Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 662mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 41g

Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.

Originally published on November 8, 2013. Updated with new pictures and information.

10 thoughts on “How to make homemade Italian sausage

  1. Christi

    So I liked this seasoning, but I only gave it 3 stars because this makes WAY too much seasoning for the amount of meat called for. I had only 1 pound of sausage on hand, so I made only 1/3 of the seasoning recipe. I added all the seasoning to the meat and mixed well. I cooked it up and began eating and BAM, I was smacking in the face with an over abundance of seasoning. It wasn’t too spicy for me, that is not what I’m getting at….it was too much seasoning. I do think I like this seasoning mix, but next time I use it I plan to only do 1/4-1/2 of the amount I used this time.

    1. Anne-Marie Nichols Post author

      Did you add the seasoning to sausage or ground meat? Because if you added it to sausage, no wonder it was over seasoned. It should only be used with ground beef, turkey, etc. If you did use it with ground meat, all I can think was that your math was off. I made this last night and it was perfect. I usually make it one pound at a time, too.

      1. Christi

        I added it to plain ground pork to make my own Italian sausage. My math was definitely not off. You have about 8 tbsp of the dry seasonings per 3 lbs of meat. That’s equal to 1/2 cup of seasoning. So a third of that is about 2.5 (ish) tbsp per pound of ground meat. That is a lot of seasoning for just a pound of meat. I don’t generally use more than 2-3 tsp (1 tbsp or less) when I season ground meat and my experience above is exactly why. Even a tbsp to me is sometimes too much. Seasoning should enhance the flavor of meat, not overpower it. At least that is my opinion.

  2. Deb

    My family favorite is an Olive Garden sausage soup, but now food allergies come into play, so I need to make my own sausage. This looks like a great one, but I will need to leave out the onion and garlic (allergies are all from that family as well as corn and gluten) Do you have any spices that you would add to the mixture.
    Cooking for my family is an extreme challenge, but rewarding when everyone can eat our holiday meals and not feel left out. Note: the corn, onion and garlic are airborne as well as ingested allergy.
    Thank you for any help. Deb

    1. Anne-Marie Nichols Post author

      Deb, substituting dried onion and garlic powder can be a challenge when making homemade Italian sausage. Fresh minced celery is a good choice as a substitution for onion. I would add a few tablespoons when you’re cooking up the sausage. How much depends on taste. Then just add more of the other herbs so your sausage isn’t bland – oregano, basil, thyme, etc. Salt and pepper, too, of course!

    1. Anne-Marie Nichols Post author

      The Italian sausage recipe makes 48 ounces (3 pounds). So if you divide that by 12, each portion is 4 ounces. I’ve made that a little clearer in the recipe card for future reference. So thanks for the question!


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