Homemade turkey breakfast sausage made with ground turkey, spices, and a touch of maple syrup. Healthy, unprocessed, and more delicious than store-bought.
If you love breakfast sausage, it's time to start making your own turkey sausage patties at home. They take less than 20 minutes to make from start to finish and make the perfect breakfast side.
When it comes to breakfast, I lean towards savory dishes like omelets, frittatas, and eggs. Paired with bacon or sausage, it's a simple breakfast that I will happily eat every day. However, when it comes to breakfast sausage, I normally have two problems. The healthy breakfast sausage options tend to be very expensive and the more affordable options tend to be really high in saturated fat or sugar.
That's why I started making my own! With just a few simple ingredients, it's easy to make really tasty turkey sausage at home. Make up a big batch and you can even freeze extras for later.
Why We Love Homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage
- Budget-friendly: These sausage patties are more affordable than store-bought options.
- Healthy: This unprocessed and natural sausage is made without fillers or meat by-products. It’s high in protein and packed with nutrients.
- Easy to make: This only takes about 10 minutes longer than heating store-bought sausage in a skillet.
Ingredients and Easy Swaps
Here is everything you need to make this recipe.
- Ground turkey: This recipe works with 93% lean ground turkey, 85% lean ground turkey, or ground dark meat turkey. The more fat content, the more it will taste like traditional sausage, which is usually made with higher-fat meat. Swap in ground pork or ground chicken thighs if you prefer.
- Maple syrup: This gives the sausage patties a hint of sweetness and is really great with breakfast sausage which is traditionally a bit sweet.
- Spices: Traditional breakfast sausage has a combination of garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, black pepper, paprika, sage, and red pepper flakes. If you are going for more Italian sausage style flavor, use this homemade Italian sausage seasoning.
Best Ground Turkey For Sausage
To really get the sausage texture and flavor, the turkey should have some fat. The lowest fat content I recommend for sausage is 93% lean ground turkey, which will still be a bit leaner than traditional sausage.
For a more traditional sausage feel, use ground dark-meat turkey or a combination of dark-meat ground turkey and ground turkey breast.
- Refrigerate the turkey mixture before cooking: To infuse the turkey with the most flavor, prepare the turkey mixture and refrigerate for one hour or more to deepen the flavor.
- Use a hot pan: Really good sausage has a nice crust on the outside. Use a cast iron skillet and get it nice and hot to get that seared, crispy exterior.
- Make small indentation in the patty: Pressing your thumb into the center of the patty before cooking will help the sausage patty hold its shape as it cooks.
- Do not overcook: Turkey can get very dry if it cooks too long. Be careful not to overcook the patties and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.
- Patties shrink as they cook: Just like a burger, the sausage will shrink slightly as it cooks so make them a bit wider so they maintain their shape.
Flavor Ideas and Variations
- Make them sugar-free: The store-bought sausage my family loves has maple syrup so I always add it to our homemade sausage patties. However, leave it out for a sugar-free option.
- Spicy breakfast sausage: Add red pepper flakes, chili powder, or finely chopped chipotle peppers to make a spicy turkey sausage.
- Add blueberries: Add some fresh (or defrosted frozen) blueberries to the sausage mixture for a sweet and savory sausage. This is one of our favorite options to serve with pancakes.
- Use lean pork: For a more traditional sausage, use 85% lean ground pork or a mixture of pork and turkey.
- Add fresh herbs: Add some chopped fresh thyme, parsley, oregano, or chives to the sausage instead of dried spices.
- Add grated apples: Another classic sausage combination is turkey and apples. Grate some apples to fold into the turkey mixture to make a homemade version.
What to Serve with Turkey Breakfast Sausage
I will never turn down a classic breakfast of over-easy eggs, breakfast sausage, and toast. But there are so many ways to serve these.
- For brunch, make this Broccoli and Cheese Frittata with homemade breakfast sausage and roasted potatoes.
- Make a big batch of pancakes or waffles with this maple sweetened sausage on the side.
- Meal prep this turkey sausage with hard-boiled eggs and roasted tomatoes.
- Serve this with Baked Cinnamon Oatmeal to get some added protein.
Storage and Freezing
These homemade sausage patties store and freeze great. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Gently reheat at 50% power in the microwave or in a skillet on medium heat.
To freeze, place between layers of parchment paper once they have cooled. Store for up to 3 months. Reheat in the microwave at 50% or in a skillet.
Is turkey breakfast sausage healthy?
Turkey breakfast sausage comes in all different varieties - some of very healthy and some aren't very healthy. The benefit of making turkey sausage at home is that you control the ingredients and can make them work for your health goals. This version with lean ground turkey and spices is packed with lean protein and nutrients, making it a very healthy option.
When looking at store-bought turkey sausage, look for an option that is low in saturated fat, sugar, and nitrates.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answer to some of the most common questions about making homemade turkey breakfast sausage.
This homemade turkey breakfast sausage is made with ground turkey, spices, and maple syrup. Store-bought turkey sausage can be made from various parts of the turkey, but is usually made from ground dark meat turkey combined with fat and spices.
Some turkey sausage, especially links, has pork as well so make sure to check the label.
This recipe works great in the air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees. Place the patties in a single layer and cook for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Turkey Breakfast Sausage
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- 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried sage (or dried thyme)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
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- Nutritional Information
In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, maple syrup, salt, garlic powder, sage, black pepper, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes until combined. Make sure not to overmix. If you have time, refrigerate this mixture for one hour (or overnight) for the flavors to deepen and infuse the ground turkey.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage patties in a single layer, not crowding the pan. Cook for about 3-5 minutes per side or until lightly browned and cooked through. If the patties begin to char from the maple syrup, turn down the heat and cook longer. If using a meat thermometer, they should reach 165 degrees.
* 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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