How to Make Ground Meat Taste Like Italian Sausage

8:39:00 PM

I like the flavor of crumbled Italian sausage in pasta dishes. It lends a depth of flavor that is just amazing. And let's face it, ground beef can be fatty, and in my opinion, ground turkey and ground chicken are lacking in the flavor department. However, there is some issues that I have with using sausage:

  1. It's difficult to find kosher sausage. Even when you have chicken sausage, for example, the casings...well, they don't come from a chicken. If you are trying to respect someone's eating preferences, well, sausage is pretty much out.
  2. Sausage is just so darn expensive. All meat prices in my neck of the woods has gone up, but I'm still trying to keep a budget. Honestly, this is the main reason I started experimenting with this.
I was actually surprised at how easy this process is. If you have a spice cabinet, chances are you have all of these ingredients on hand. The one item that's a little esoteric to me is the fennel seed, but I actually happened to have it on hand. The other spices were all jars that I regularly use on a monthly--if not weekly--basis. So here's how you make ground turkey taste like Italian sausage:

1 pound ground turkey
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasonings
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon dried fennel seeds

Mix gently. Or just dump it into a hot non-stick pan and mix it there and save washing a dish. Crumble as you cook. And that's it! A yummy (and cheaper!) alternative to Italian sausage.


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  1. Great post! I do the same thing to jazz up turkey! Stopping by to let you know you are my Co-Host for this weeks Blog Hop! So look for some traffic from me today! And As always thanks for lining up with me~


  2. Thanks for this post! It will come in handy! I'm visiting from Made in a Day :)

  3. Christa @ Mom, Paper, ScissorsApril 21, 2013 at 5:32 AM

    Thanks! I have often thought about trying this, but didn't know the right combo of spices to try. (Stopping by from SITS!) -Christa @ Mom, Paper, Scissors

  4. Thank you for the great information. Good to have on hand in Honduras. They don't have good loose sausage.

    Consider yourself hugged,

  5. This is a great tip! I've done something similar in the past and fennel is the key! Thanks for sharing on Project Inspire{d} this week!

  6. Love this--I will be trying it! Thanks for sharing!

  7. I've been hoping this option existed! Thank you for this, I'll be trying it out this evening :).

  8. Used this in a recipe tonight. It was delicious! Thanks!

  9. Thank you. I am new to cooking with ground turkey. I am excited to try your recipe.

  10. I love this recipe. It's my go to for making ground turkey Italian. (Last night made pizza, time before made baked ziti; great with any Italian recipe calling for sausage or ground meat!) Thanks so much for sharing!

  11. Thank you. Planning on making a kosher paella with fish instead of seafood and needed a substitute for sausage. This will be perfect.

  12. I just made these with ground chicken instead of turkey… wonderful!

  13. Thank you - we've gone meatless, which made some of our favorite winter and cajun foods a challenge. Will be using this in veggie crumbles tonight!