Homemade Sweet Italian Sausage (Mild or Hot)

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This Italian sausage recipe is easy and versatile. Follow directions for sausage patties, or use the meat mixture in spaghetti sauce or meatballs. You can take it from mild to hot by adjusting the spices, and can substitute ground turkey or ground chuck — just not ground beef! If using turkey, you’ll have to coat your skillet with a little oil before cooking the sausage as turkey has very little fat and the sausage might stick to the skillet without it.


  • 3 pounds ground pork
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 ¼ tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • ¾ teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • ¼ teaspoon brown sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme


Place pork and red wine vinegar in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, salt, black pepper, paprika, red pepper flakes, fennel seed, brown sugar, oregano, and thyme. Knead until flecks of spice are evenly distributed throughout meat.

Divide sausage into thirds. Form each into a 3-inch diameter log, wrap securely in plastic wrap, and place in a zip-top bag. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours before cooking.

When ready to cook, remove logs from the zip-top bags and place on a cutting board. Use a finely serrated knife to cut logs right through the plastic wrapping into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick patties. Carefully remove and discard any plastic.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, cook sausage patties in the hot skillet until no longer pink in the center, 2 to 6 minutes per side, depending on thickness. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).

Preparation time: 20 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 12 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 12 – Yield: 3 pounds



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