Homemade Italian Sausage Seasoning

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Homemade Italian Sausage Seasoning is the perfect thing to make healthier sausage meat at home using ground beef, turkey, chicken, or pork.


Homemade Italian Sausage Seasoning can be made with spices you already have at home and makes a delicious and healthy sausage using any kind of ground meat.

Lean sausage is one of those ingredients that I always have on hand and use in almost everything from quick pasta dishes to stir-fries to breakfast hash. However lately I have been thinking that there must be an easy way to make it at home without paying a premium for the store-bought brands.

After some research, it turns out there are hundreds of ways to make healthy homemade sausage and it all comes down to the seasoning. I tried out lots of different combinations and this one turned out to be our favorite. It's got all the flavor of traditional Italian sausage and I promise you won't even miss the added fat.

Now when it comes to using this recipe, the possibilities are endless and it can be used in any recipe that calls for ground meat or ground sausage. Plus it can be made with ground chicken, beef, turkey, pork, or bison. I have even used it successfully with vegetarian crumbles.

The three ways I use it most often are as ground sausage, sausage patties (great for breakfast!), and meatballs. And it goes without saying that you can mix up the spice blend to suit your personal tastes. Some people will want extra fennel, others will want things a bit spicier, and some might leave out the paprika since it isn't a traditional Italian sausage seasoning.

What You'll Need and Easy Swaps

Here is everything you need to make your own Italian sausage at home using this homemade seasoning mix. 

  • Ground meat: To make your own sausage, start with ground meat. Ground turkey, chicken, pork, beef, or a combination of proteins can be used. For a more traditional sausage texture, choose ground meat with some fat content (75%-85%). If you only want the flavor but are ok with a leaner protein, use lean ground meat. 
  • Herbs: Traditional Italian sausage uses dried parsley, Italian seasoning, and fennel. Italian seasoning has a bunch of other dried herbs as well including dried basil, dried rosemary, and dried thyme. Some recipes also use ground sage, which can be added. Just note that sage has a strong flavor, so use it sparingly. 
  • Garlic and onion powder: Aromatics are a must for sausages. Adding a good amount of garlic powder and onion powder adds those layers of flavor. Dehydrated onion flakes or garlic pieces could also be used. 
  • Kosher salt and pepper: Adjust the amount of black pepper to suit your preferences and use fresh whenever possible for the best flavor. 
  • Red pepper flakes: If you want your sausage to have some heat like spicy Italian sausage, add a good amount of red pepper flakes. Calabrian chili powder is another tasty option. 

Tips for Making Italian Sausage Seasoning

  • Instead of preparing just one batch, triple or quadruple the recipe and keep it ready in your spice cabinet. This way you won't have to measure out all the ingredients every time and you can also experiment with using it in other dishes. We roasted some cauliflower with this seasoning last week which came out delicious.
  • Get creative when using this spice blend! It works in all kinds of dishes and adds so much flavor.
  • If you like to sneak in extra veggies, add some minced bell peppers and onions to the meat as well.
  • This spice blend can be used for any ground meat including beef, turkey, pork, or chicken. It also works with vegetarian crumbles and tempeh.
  • When making the spice blend, taste it as you go and adjust the flavoring to make a combination that is perfect for you. Just don't forget to write down the measurements so you can make it over again.

Homemade Italian Sausage Seasoning with ground beef.

How much seasoning do I need to make a pound of sausage?

Generally speaking, you will want to use two tablespoons of sausage seasoning for each pound of meat. This can vary slightly based on how spicy you like your sausage. Some people also like to use slightly less with mild proteins like chicken or turkey and slightly more with more pungent proteins like beef, game meats, or a high fat pork.

What is Italian sausage seasoning made of?

There are many different ways that people make sausage seasoning.  It normally always contains Italian seasoning, parsley, fennel, garlic, salt, and pepper. Some versions include onion powder or paprika to kick up the flavor, and spicy versions usually contain red pepper flakes. Here is our favorite version. This can be kept in an airtight container for up to 6 months in your spice drawer.

  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1.5 tsp dried fennel
  • 1.5 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Looking for some recipes to use this homemade sausage?

Here are some of the tools and products I used to prepare this recipe:

  • I always use a non-stick pan to cook ground meat since it ensures it won't stick and I don't need to add any extra oil. There are all kinds of nonstick pans on the market but I have been using these All Clad Nonstick Fry Pans for years and love them. The nonstick surface hasn't deteriorated at all over tons of use and they still work like the first time I used them. Also just FYI, it's best not to use aerosol on non-stick pans since it can damage the surface. Look for a non-aerosol cooking spray or use regular oil if you need anything.
The Recipe
Italian sausage seasoning cooked with ground turkey in a skillet.

Homemade Italian Sausage Seasoning

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  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp dried fennel
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 lb 95% lean ground beef (or turkey, chicken, pork)

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Mix together all of the spices.


Mix together the meat and spices. Then you can brown it in a skillet for crumbled sausage or form it into patties or meatballs.


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Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 4 oz.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 157
Calories from Fat 1
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 70mg
Sodium 666mg
Total Carbohydrate 2g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 0g
Protein 25g

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

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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On Homemade Italian Sausage Seasoning
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Aaron Kuglin
May 6, 2023 - 03:29
Add a Rating:
We made this today a found it to be very salty. We used 1 pound of hamburger and 2 Tablespoons of the mix. Not sure what I am going to do, mix more and do not add salt or just brown more hamburger to add to it to make it less salty.
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September 19, 2023 - 10:55
Did you use kosher salt or standard table salt? Table salt tends to be much saltier than kosher salt and can change the taste of the reipe.
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May 1, 2022 - 13:29
Because of all the differences in Italian seasoning. Which one do you use?
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September 19, 2023 - 10:55
Generally, I use McCormick spices or Simply Organic. You can also make it homemade to control the spices to your liking.
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