Easy Homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage

I’m so excited to share this super easy and rewarding homemade turkey sausage recipe! Don’t be intimidated! If you can make meatloaf or cookies, you can do this just as easily!

Turkey Sausage Patties, Uncured Recipe

Anne Marie Berggren MS, RDN, CDN
This easy turkey sausage has everything going for it. No nitrates or nitrites, all the flavor, and ~1/3 of the fat and calories compared to port sausages!
Prep Time 1 hour
Course Breakfast

Equipment

  • 1 mixer or food processor makes the emulsification of meat much easier than by hand
  • 1 sheet pan
  • 2 sheets of parchment paper sized to fit the sheet pan

Ingredients
  

  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbspn fresh sage or 1 tbsp dried sage
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 2 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Gather all ingredients
  • Mix together the brown sugar, sage, salt, black pepper, marjoram, red pepper flakes, and cloves in a small bowl until well combined.
  • Place ground turkey in a large bowl or the stand mixer or food processor. Add the spice mixture and either mix with your hands until well combined or in the stand mixer or food processor for several minutes. You want the texture of the meat to become smooth from mixing.
  • Take one small pinch of the mixture and cook it in a small amount of oil in a pan on the stove. This small piece allows you to taste test the sausage. Adjust any seasonings from there based on the taste test.
  • Form the sausage mixture into balls that fit into the palm of your hand. You can size them to your preference. It is nice to work next to your kitchen faucet and leave the water running slightly to rinse your hands as needed while forming the balls as your hands can become sticky with the sausage mixer as you work with it.
  • Place the balls onto the sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • Place the second sheet of parchment paper on top of the balls, and press down on each ball to smoosh it into a patty shape.
  • Bake the patties with parchment on top at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  • We like to freeze the sausages for later. They keep in the freezer for about 2 months.
  • You now have fully cooked turkey sausage in your freezer! Whenever you want a few sausages, you can take them out and brown them in a bit of oil on the stove top to put some color on them. Alternatively, you can broil them for a few minutes in the oven.
Keyword breakfast sausage, easy sausage, fresh sausage, homemade breakfast sausage, sausage, turkey sausage, uncured sausage
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Why Homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage?

Sausage usually is synonymous with high fat, high sodium, and undesirable additives like nitrates and nitrites, which have been linked to an increased risk of colon cancer.

Nitrates and nitrites are added to processed meats like bacon, ham, sausages and hot dogs as a preservative to help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. They also add a salty flavor. However, when you make your own fresh, you can avoid the additives and adjust the salt and flavors to your liking.

We have found that this breakfast sausage made from ground turkey is delicious, satisfying all the flavor cravings of sausage with ~1/3 the fat and calories of regular sausage.

Plus, you will likely spend way less making your own compared to store-bought.

Why Use a Mixer or Food Processor?

Other recipes we’ve seen have not mentioned what we feel is an important step in the process. That is mixing the meat till it breaks down to a smoother consistency. This makes a difference in the texture of the sausage.

You don’t have to do this, but it’s one of the those little differences that can be hard to put your finger on, so be aware of that if you make it either way.

Stand mixer with paddle attachment
Stand mixer with paddle attachment
Mix ground turkey and spices until smooth in texture
Mix ground turkey and spices until smooth in texture

Using Fresh vs Dried Sage or Marjoram

Test cook a tiny bit of the sausage mix by cooking it off in a skillet to test the flavor and adjust as needed.

We happen to have a beautiful sage plant in our backyard. It makes a hardy perennial that flowers beautifully each year. So we had some fresh sage for this recipe, even though it is October at the time of this writing.

When using fresh herbs vs dried herbs, it changes the measured amount that you will use in the recipe. A good general rule to go by is a ratio of 1 to 3. So if a recipe calls for 3 teaspoons of fresh rosemary, use 1 teaspoon of dried. Dried herbs have less bulk to them since the water content is lost.

Of course, you can always adjust the amount of seasoning to your liking, which is one of the perks of making your own!

Testing a Small Bit to Check for Flavor

In fact, you can adjust the flavor even after you’ve mixed all the ingredients together. This is why we recommend cooking of a little mini sausage in a skillet before you make your balls.

It is always easier to add more of a seasoning, salt, or pepper as you cannot take any anyway once it is mixed it. So err on the side of using less of a spice if you are not sure!

Parchment Paper and Running Water: 2 Tips for Keeping Tidy While Making Your Sausage Patties

It’s not noticeable in the picture with the balls of sausage, but working next to the faucet and having a gentle stream of running water can make it easy to rinse of your hands as you work with the meat. It can easily stick to your hands, making for a sticky situation and a bit harder to form smooth balls.

*In the photo our sheet pan is precariously balanced on the edge of the counter. That is not recommended!

You may also notice that there is a sheet of parchment paper on our sheet pan. Using parchment makes for super easy cleanup. I use parchment pretty much every time I am using a sheet pan now, because less pan scrubbing = more happiness.

You can get some parchment paper that is precut to fit most sheet pans here! Once you try it, you will never go back.

We also put a sheet of the parchment paper over the top of the balls once they are all formed and use it to squish them into a flatter patty shape. We even cook them with this sheet of parchment on top, which sort of steam cooks them and helps to retain the moisture of the sausage patty. When you cook them up later, you can alway brown them up in a pan or under the broiler.

Cooking Your Homemade Turkey Sausage Patties

Again, we leave the top piece of parchment paper on the patties so they kind of steam as they cook. This helps keep the patties moist. 350 degrees for ~30 minutes should do it, but check for an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Freezing Your Sausage Patties

This recipe makes about 24 patties ~2″ across or 2 ounces each. That is enough to store in the freezer so anytime you want a couple of patties, just pull them out and they are ready to heat up. They are fully cooked before freezing, so you really are just warming them and putting some color on them if you want to.

Once the cooked patties are cooled, we freeze them initially on the sheet pan. Later we put them into a ziplock storage bag or other sealable container. We find doing it this way helps them retain a good shape.

You can keep your patties in the freezer for about 2 months, but I bet they won’t last that long!

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Anne Marie Berggren RDN, MS, CDN, CNSC is a Registered Dietitian with a Master's Degree in Nutrition, training in integrative and functional nutrition, nutrition for mental health, obesity and weight management, is a board certified nutrition support clinician, and an adjunct professor for the Stony Brook Graduate Nutrition Program teaching advanced clinical nutrition.

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