Nothing beats the flavor of homemade breakfast sausage, fresh out of the pan and sizzling hot. My mouthwatering breakfast sausage recipe has a hint of both sweet and savory notes from a kiss of maple syrup, plus an array of earthy seasonings such as fennel, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and fresh sage for scrumptious accompaniment to your morning eggs, biscuits, or French toast!
Adding Some Sizzle To Breakfast
When the belly is extra hungry and “rumbly” in the morning, especially on the weekends, little sounds as cozy and comforting as a big, delicious plate of brekky.
In our household, we love homemade pancakes or French toast, breakfast potatoes and hash brown cakes, plus a few strips of bacon or juicy sausage patties.
Lately we've been enjoying homemade breakfast sausage, and it's become a beloved treat of ours because it's easy to mix up and form into little patties, then sear up in a hot cast iron skillet for a deeply browned exterior and a flavorful sweet and savory interior.
It's a must-have accompaniment to our eggs and biscuits or English muffins, or our French toast or pancakes!
My homemade breakfast sausage recipe was inspired by the earthy flavors of autumn, brimming with fresh sage and fennel, some spiciness from black pepper, white pepper and a dash of red pepper flakes, plus a sweetness from pure maple syrup.
Freshly sizzled up, these breakfast sausage patties are just the thing to awaken the tastebuds when a nice, hot, hearty breakfast is what beckons!
My Homemade Breakfast Sausage Recipe
Mixing up, shaping, and searing off these breakfast sausage patties is a breeze, and let me tell you, nothing beats the flavor and freshness of homemade.
I love that I can whip up an entire batch of breakfast sausage, enjoy a few the morning of, then freeze the rest to be enjoyed at a later time...
For the pork, I like to use an 80/20 ratio of fat to lean, because that bit of added fat really does add flavor as well as a bit of richness and juiciness.
If you can have your butcher grind up pork shoulder for you, then that's perfect for use in homemade breakfast sausage. Otherwise, you can purchase pre-packaged ground pork, which often includes pork shoulder as a portion of the cut used.
And as far as the seasonings are concerned, I like to think of those as the “aromatics” that add that classic “earthy” flavor profile that we love in breakfast sausage patties.
For the seasoning, I add a sprinkle of freshly chopped sage leaves, some toasted fennel seeds, a pinch of red pepper flakes (which I grind up), black and white pepper, plus a drizzle of pure maple syrup for that hint of sweetness.
Here's a glance at my homemade breakfast sausage recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I lightly toast my fennel seeds, then grind those together with a pinch of red pepper flakes, and set that aside for a moment.
- Next, I add my ground pork to a large bowl, then sprinkle in my spices and other seasonings.
- I mix the meat with the spices and seasonings until well combined, then scoop out heaping ¼ cup portions of the sausage mixture and flatten into patties.
- Next, I sear the patties for roughly 2 minutes and 30 seconds per side, then serve nice and hot to complete the perfect cozy breakfast. (Or, I reserve a portion of the formed patties and freeze them, either prior to searing or after, to enjoy at another time.)
Homemade Breakfast Sausage
by Ingrid Beer
This delicious homemade breakfast sausage recipe is kissed with pure maple syrup for sweetness, plus fresh sage, fennel and spices!
Yield: 16 breakfast sausage patties
Nutrition Info: 363 calories (per 2 breakfast sausage patties)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 pounds ground pork (80/20 ratio lean to fat)
- 1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped, fresh sage leaves
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Add the fennel seeds to a small pan, and toast them lightly for about 30 to 45 seconds, or until aromatic.
- Place the seeds, along with the red pepper flakes, into a spice grinder, and grind for a few seconds until fairly ground up and slightly powdery. (You can also crush the seeds or pepper flakes, or chop them with a sharp knife, until very fine). Set aside for a moment.
- Place the ground pork into a large bowl, and sprinkle in the ground fennel and pepper flakes, the chopped fresh sage leaves, the salt, black and white pepper, and drizzle in the maple syrup. Using your clean hands or a spatula, mix the pork with the seasoning/spices until very well combined.
- Scoop out 2 ounce portions of the pork mixture (roughly ¼ cup worth), and use your palms to shape the ground pork into patties that are fairly flat, as they will plump up as they cook. Place the sausage patties onto a parchment-lined sheet tray or large platter to hold. (You should have about 16 sausage patties.)
- Preheat a cast iron skillet or other heavy-bottom skillet, and drizzle in a very small amount of oil, about 2 teaspoons. Once the pan is hot, add in a few breakfast sausage patties (about 4) and allow them to sear for about 2 minutes and 30 seconds or 2 minutes and 45 seconds on that first side. Flip and sear for another 2 minutes 30 seconds or 2 minutes and 45 seconds on that second side, or until the patties are browned and cooked through.
- Place the cooked sausage patties onto a paper towel-lined platter or sheet tray to drain, and repeat the searing until all are cooked.
- Serve hot with favorite breakfast accompaniments such as biscuits, eggs, French toast, pancakes, or English muffins.
Tips and Tidbits for my Homemade Breakfast Sausage recipe:
- Prep and freeze to enjoy later: When freezing this breakfast sausage, you have a couple of options: you can portion out and form the raw patties, then freeze them before searing them. This way, you can thaw the patties for 15-20 minutes before you plan on enjoying them (or even an hour or two before), and sear them off fresh. Or, you can sear the patties first and then freeze them, already cooked, and simply reheat them as needed.
- Opt for pork with some fat for juicy breakfast sausage: If you go too lean with the pork, your homemade breakfast sausage may not be quite as rich and juicy. You want a bit of fat for flavor and moisture, so opt for at least 80/20 ratio when buying pre-packaged ground pork, or use all ground pork shoulder, if possible.
- Grind your spices for better texture: For this recipe, I like to grind my fennel seeds and red pepper flakes in a small spice grinder so that there aren't whole seeds to bite down on. I find it's a bit more pleasant to simply have the “essence” rather than the whole seeds for this preparation.
- Fresh sage, or ground: I'm using a tablespoon and a half of chopped fresh sage here, but you can substitute ground (or dry) sage in a pinch, using about 1 teaspoon worth.
- Pure maple syrup for sweetness: Maple and pork breakfast sausage go together really well, and the maple syrup offers a more smoky, rich flavor over traditional sugar. If you don't have maple syrup, you can substitute a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar instead.