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Make Your Own Paleo Sausage That's Better Than Anything Store-Bought

It's easier than you might think.
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On mornings when you're looking for extra protein, look to lean meat like turkey or chicken in the form of breakfast sausage. Could you reach for a few links of frozen packaged sausage? Of course. But you should also know how easy sausage is to DIY. These paleo breakfast sausage patties come together quite quickly. You could wake up a little early on a slow morning to throw together a batch, or you can freeze them and cook them off one by one.

In order to keep these patties in the breakfast sausage-zone, flavoring is key. This sausage starts with whole fennel and cumin seeds, which are sweet and smoky, like a good sausage should be. If these spices aren't already part of your go-to cooking routine, they will be now. Not only do whole spices house more flavor than their ground counterparts, but fennel and cumin in particular also pair well with lean meats, as they add a powerful depth to mild chicken and turkey. In order to get as much as possible out of the seeds, first toast them in a skillet to release even more flavor.

Most breakfast sausage has a bit of sweetness, often in the form of maple syrup or brown sugar. Of course, those aren't quite Paleo-friendly, so this recipe takes another route. To sweeten the sausage, add a spoonful of coconut sugar and chopped Honeycrisp or Gala apple. These varieties of apple are super-sweet and floral, which will keep this sausage from becoming too one-note, flavor-wise.

Makes 10 patties


1 Tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 lb. ground turkey or chicken
4 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
1 medium Honeycrisp or Gala apple, finely chopped
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, optional
1-2 Tbsp olive oil

How to Make It

  1. Heat fennel and cumin seeds in a skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until spices are fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer spices to a plate to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together turkey or chicken, garlic, apple, coconut sugar, salt, black pepper, red pepper if using, and cooled fennel and cumin seeds using your hands until just combined.
  3. Form mixture into 10 equal patties about ½-inch thick. If not cooking right away, freeze patties on a foil or parchment-lined sheet pan for 1 hour, then transfer to freezer bags.
  4. If cooking immediately, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Cook patties in two batches for 5 minutes per side, until meat is cooked through (it should hit 165 ºF on an instant-read thermometer), greasing the pan with more oil for the second batch.

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Rebecca Firkser
Rebecca Firkser is a food writer and recipe developer. Read more about Rebecca