Hot, spicy, sweet, herb-flavored or smokey, sausage seasonings give you plenty of options. Choose seasonings to reflect a country or region; opt for seasonings and spices that just taste good when they're paired with specific meats or fish; or buy a premixed spice blend. There's no right seasoning when it comes to sausage.
Try different ingredient and spice combinations by seasoning and cooking small sausage patties as a trial run before adding the seasonings to the entire batch of meat.
All Purpose Seasoning
Any seasoning blend begins with ample salt and pepper to bring out the flavor of the meat and fats in the sausage. Beyond those basics, add one or more of these combinations:
- Chopped parsley and chives for a mild-flavored sausage
- Minced garlic and red pepper flakes for heat and flavor
- Crushed fennel and cumin seeds, thyme and sage
- A blend of dried spices such as coriander, sage, summer savory, sweet marjoram and thyme for a country-style sausage.
Ethnic Seasoning Blends
In countries around the world, sausages reflect the spices typically used in their cuisines:
- Italian sausages include fennel, paprika, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, oregano, thyme and basil. Hot Italian sausage also includes red pepper flakes.
- Polish sausage has the flavors of pepper, mustard seed, marjoram and garlic powder.
- German bratwurst includes pepper, cayenne, nutmeg, thyme, ginger, rosemary and mace.
Breakfast sausage seasoning is typically more mild than spicy. But if you like spicy flavors in the morning, add as many hot seasonings as you want.
- Sage is the only additional spice added to salt and pepper in Chef Daniel Boulud's breakfast sausages.
- Nutmeg frequently appears in breakfast sausages, along with fennel, sage and thyme.
- Finely chopped apples, fresh or dried, and maple syrup give breakfast sausage a home-style appeal.
Some spices and seasonings work particularly well with pork sausages, such as bay leaf, caraway , cayenne, cinnamon, cumin, fennel, garlic, oregano, paprika, rosemary, thyme and sage. Pork also works well with sweet spices, such as allspice, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves.