Italian Sausage is full of flavor and great in all kinds of recipes from pasta to stuffed peppers.

A simple mixture of ground pork and flavorful seasonings, this sausage is a little sweet, and a little spicy!

Homemade Italian Sausage in the pan cooked

What is Italian Sausage?

A traditional Italian sausage can be made with different types of meat or seasonings and it usually has a high percentage of fat.

In North America, a typical grocery store Italian sausage is usually pork and has fennel among other seasonings.

As we mainly use this sausage mixture for cooking and adding to other recipes like lasagna, I opt for ground pork. It has great flavor and some fat but not as much as a traditional Italian sausage link.

seasonings and meat to make Homemade Italian Sausage


GROUND MEAT We start with fresh ground pork as we love the flavor, but beef, turkey, or chicken work. Your local butcher can often offer nice mixtures for sausage too.

SEASONINGS The secret is in all the seasonings (most of which are found in homemade Italian seasoning). Add extra chili flakes if you’d like more heat.

FENNEL Fennel seeds are really important in this recipe to give the sausage its signature flavor. You can use either whole or ground fennel (I use whole because it’s usually what I have on hand).


Mix the seasonings with the meat and be sure to let it rest in the fridge. This allows the flavors to blend.

process of mixing ingredients to make Homemade Italian Sausage

How to Make Homemade Italian Sausage

Keep in mind this is intended to be used as bulk Italian sausage in recipes (it doesn’t have enough fat to create great Italian sausage links). It can be used to make sausage patties if desired.

  1. Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl (using your hands works best)!
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Cook in a skillet over medium heat. Drain any fat and use in recipes or add to pasta sauce.


  • Raw pork can be kept in the fridge for 2 days or frozen for 2 months (more food safety info here).
  • Keep in freezer bags with the date labeled on the outside.
  • Cooked Italian sausage will keep about 2 months in the freezer and uncooked sausage will keep about 3 months.

Italian Sausage Recipes

Did you make this Italian Sausage? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

cooked Homemade Italian Sausage in a pan
5 from 45 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Homemade Italian Sausage

Italian Sausage is perfectly seasoned & so flavorful. Toss into soups, stews, or pasta sauce for a delicious addition!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Refrigeration Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 pound ground pork or beef or turkey
  • 1 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds or ½ teaspoon ground fennel
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary crushed
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • teaspoon dried thyme
  • teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste


  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  • Cover & refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
  • Cook in a skillet until no pink remains.


Fennel seeds to give the sausage its signature flavor. You can use either whole or ground fennel (I use whole because it's usually what I have on hand)
This recipe can be doubled and half of the uncooked mixture can be frozen for future use.
Sausage can be formed into patties before cooking. Cook over medium heat about 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked through.
Optional add-ins
1-2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
Nutritional information includes ground pork, information may vary with beef or turkey.
5 from 45 votes

Nutrition Information

Serving: 0.25of recipe | Calories: 303 | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 356mg | Potassium: 337mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 265IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Pork
Cuisine American, Italian

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Perfect combination of spices … I used ground pork and added a touch more salt and fennel to the finished product …. absolutely delish!5 stars

  2. Woweee! This recipe did NOT disappoint! Perfect salt content and a really great ratio of spices. I’m so pleased with this- I’ll be using it for meat sauce with pasta and breakfast burritos. So delicious!5 stars

  3. My husband can no longer eat beef. So I have been looking for a good substitute to make Italian dishes I would normally make with ground beef and sausage. This recipe is it! I ground chicken thighs with the skin on. I then made the sausage using your recipe It works wonderfully.! Thanks for letting me enjoy my Italian recipes again!5 stars

  4. I love this little recipe … I can make a batch and divide it up and always have sausage to put on my pizza!
    I grew up in a small town with lots of Italians so I am spoiled. We used to get our sausage at the Italian grocers who made it themselves .
    Lovely recipe .

  5. Have I really not put my two cents in for this recipe? If so, that is a real shock – so often, I am quick to give my viewpoint. I have used this particular version as a shortcut for several recipes that have called for Italian sausage, which is difficult to find in Australia. Additionally, with particular religious convictions having me try not to consume swine, it is doubly useful; I substitute the pork mince for beef, and it generally works out well. Anything that is a little bit spicy already has me interested.

    Just one of several weapons in the cooking arsenal to impress people. Forget getting the cans of cream soup, the specified spice mixes, and “obscure” items such as Cheez Wiz (again, Aussie here), most respected home cooks will have 90% of the needed items at their disposal. That is on a bad day.

  6. I had some ground pork from the farmers market and wanted to make italian sausage for pizzas. This recipe was awesome! The flavors were perfect and everyone enjoyed it.5 stars

  7. Bravo Holly!
    This is the perfect recipe to turn ground pork into Italian Sausage for your own spaghetti sauce. I choose to make it a bit milder and sugar free by using just a little less of the red pepper flakes and NOT adding the brown sugar. I DO add the suggested smoked paprika and cayenne pepper.
    Since I use one pound of lean ground pork and 1 & 1/4 pounds of lean hamburger in my spaghetti sauce, I up the ratio of spices and herbs suggested in the recipe.
    Thank you and well done!5 stars

      1. Hi Michele, these Italian sausages use a similar spice blend to my Italian seasoning. I hope this helps!

  8. I really appreciate that this sausage recipe does not use breadcrumbs as a filler. I find breadcrumb filled sausage doesn’t hold its shape as well as an all meat sausage – especially in broth based recipes such as Italian wedding soup. With your sausage recipe it was the first time I made wedding soup where the sausage balls didn’t disintegrate in the broth

  9. This recipe is right on the spot! I made mine with half beef & half pork, and it’s so delicious Thanks so much for sharing!♥️5 stars

  10. Having made this recipe twice no three times now it’s spot on, when I make chicken Cacciatore I use a quarter of the mix to flavour the Sauce wonderful adds another dimension of taste5 stars

  11. I made this with a combination of venison and personal ar a 2: 1 ratio with fresh garlic and fresh parsley because that’s what I had. It was excellent.5 stars

    1. We use one pound of ground pork. For the full recipe, including ingredient amounts, scroll towards the bottom of the post or use the jump to recipe button at the top. Hope you enjoyed it, Suzy!

  12. This is excellent Italian sausage seasoning!
    Ground pork costs about half as much as Italian sausage in the grocery store and this tasted as good as my favorite brand! Thanks so much!!5 stars

  13. The flavour is basically indistinguishable from store bought Italian sausage. It’s perfect, and much healthier.

    I lightly toasted my fennel seeds, and I used the suggested brown sugar and smoked paprika add ons.

    Thank you for a great recipe! This will be my go-to from now on.5 stars

  14. Made this exactly as written to add to Minestrone this weekend and it was perfect. Thank you for another win.5 stars

  15. Thank you for your blog. I would like you to know that if I am looking for a recipe yours is the first that I go to. You have worked your way into becoming my favorite. Thanks for the good down to earth recipes.