Sweet Italian Sausage with Ground Turkey


Sweet Italian SausageDo you know what’s in the Sweet Italian Sausage that you buy at the market???  Neither do I.  This is why I decided to make my own Sweet Italian Sausage and it’s pretty easy too.

For this recipe, I use ground turkey but you could easily use ground pork or grind your own meat with a meat grinder or in a food processor.  Adding a little olive oil helps to keep the sausage from drying out while cooking.

Sweet Italian SausageSeasoning is the most important part of making your own sausage.  I prefer to use fresh herbs where I’ll use a little more then the measurements in this recipe but dried herbs work just as well.  The fennel seed is a must for that italian sausage flavor.  In this recipe, I grind a portion of the seeds and add a bit of whole seeds into the mix too.  If you don’t like the seeds in your sausage just grind them down to powder in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle but don’t leave out the fennel seeds.  Don’t have time to toast and grind or chop fresh herbs, make it quicker by using dried herbs and ground spices.

Once you season your sausage, you’ll need to let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to an hour before cooking to let all the flavors set in.  All day or overnight is fine if you would like to prepare ahead of time.  I’ve also made this and frozen for cooking at a later date.

*Spicy Italian Sausage Version of this recipe available HERE.

Sweet Italian Sausage with Ground Turkey
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano (dry)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Parsley minced (fresh or dry)
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme minced (fresh or dry*)
  • 1/2 tsp Rosemary minced (fresh or dry*)
  • 2 - 3 cloves Garlic (grated or minced)
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Fennel Seed (toasted)
  • *if using dried Thyme and Rosemary, they are a bit twiggy so add them to the spice grinder to grind them down to powder. You'll get all the great flavor and no twigs.
Spices to Grind (Ground Fennel and Dry Mustard can be used instead of toasting and grinding.)
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel Seed (toasted)
  • 1/8 tsp Mustard Seed (toasted)
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
Mix the Sausage
  1. Place Ground Turkey in a medium size mixing bowl.
  2. Heat a small skillet on Med-High Heat and add 3/4 tsp Fennel Seed to hot pan. Shake around a few times and toast for 2-3 minutes until you start to smell the fennel. Remove from heat, measure out 1/4 tsp fennel seed and set aside, pour the rest into the spice grinder and let cool.
  3. Place skillet back on burner and add 1/4 tsp Mustard Seed to toast. Toast for 2-3 minutes, remove from heat and add to spice grinder and let cool.
  4. Add the Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Oregano, Parsley, Thyme, Rosemary, Garlic, Onion Powder, Sea Salt and 1/4 tsp Fennel Seed (that you set aside earlier) to the Ground Turkey. Don't mix yet.
  5. The toasted seeds should be cool now, add 1/4 tsp Sea Salt to spice grinder and grind to a fine powder.
  6. Add to Ground Turkey and mix well with a spatula, pressing spices into meat while mixing the spices in.
  7. Mix until all spices look well incorporated, meat will be sticky.
  8. Place sausage into a bowl or bag and place in fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
To Cook the Sausage
  1. Heat skillet on Med-High Heat.
  2. Add 1 - 2 tsp Olive Oil to pan, swirl to coat.
  3. Break up sausage into pan and cook until no longer pink. Stirring sausage around to ensure even cooking.
  4. Server with your favorite pasta and sauce or on a sandwich.
Don't have time to toast and grind or chop fresh herbs, make it quicker by using dried herbs and ground spices. Don't forget to add the 1/4 tsp whole fennel seeds though.


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