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Homemade Italian Sausage

Rated as 5 out of 5 Stars

"One of my earliest and most vivid food memories was when my uncle Bill would make his famous dried Italian sausage every Christmas Eve. They'd be fried after Midnight Mass and served on bread with roasted red peppers. This fresh version was inspired by those. If you can manage not to eat them right away, letting them dry for a day or two really deepens the flavor, and firms up the texture as well, in true Uncle Billy fashion."
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1 d 9 h 30 m servings 194
Original recipe yields 8 servings (8 sausages)


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  1. Cut pork shoulder into cubes. Place in a bowl and refrigerate while preparing the other ingredients.
  2. Grind garlic with a pinch of salt in a mortar to make a paste. Add fennel, anise, and black pepper. Bruise spices lightly with a pestle to release the flavors. Add red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, oregano, marjoram, coriander, mustard, allspice, sugar, and a splash of water. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the spice paste to the pork cubes. Mix thoroughly by hand. Add the remaining salt. Cover and refrigerate until flavors meld, 8 hours to overnight.
  4. Process the cold pork through a meat grinder on the slowest speed.
  5. Push a casing onto the stuffing tube of your meat grinder. Feed the sausage meat through the filling tray. Run the meat through the casing on the slowest speed until all the casing is used up. Tie casing at the end into a knot. Pinch and twist the meat to create links if desired.
  6. Place sausage onto a wire rack set over a sheet pan. Refrigerate uncovered for 24 hours.
  7. Preheat a charcoal grill for medium heat. Separate the links and grill them until browned, about 5 minutes per side.


  • Chef's Notes:
  • You can also grind meat in a food processor, and there are plenty of videos out there showing how, but then you'll have to get a sausage stuffer.
  • For a little nicer flavor, you can toast the fennel seeds in a dry pan just until you begin to smell them. This goes for any other whole spices you may want to grind and toss in.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 194 calories; 10.4 4.2 20.4 74 1464 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 7
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Don't have the attachment to put it in casings, so I just made bulk sausage. Whole family loved it!

My husband is a hunter so I used this recipe to make venison sausage. I used half pork and half venison. We usually get our sausage made at a local butcher shop and it is expensive. I adjusted...

Awesome mix! This version did it skinless for breakfast tacos and later with diced potatoes onions and bell peppers for a nice dinner burrito! Next version will use hog liner for an actual sausa...

This is by far the best Italian sausage I have ever made. Another hit from Chef John. This is my fifth batch of Italian sausage glad to find this one.

The spices are on point for sure. I used half pork and half goose. Left out marjoram but everything else was delicious!

John does it again!

More garlic