Homemade Sweet Italian Sausage (Mild or Hot)


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.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
12 hrs
Total Time:
12 hrs 35 mins
3 pounds


  • 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

  • teaspoon dried oregano

  • teaspoon dried thyme


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

Cook's Note:

You can freeze the sausage logs in Step 2 if desired. When ready to use, pull a log out of the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then continue with Step 3.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

243 Calories
16g Fat
2g Carbs
21g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 243
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 6g 31%
Cholesterol 74mg 25%
Sodium 640mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 2mg 8%
Calcium 33mg 3%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 338mg 7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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