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Smokehowze’s Homemade Hot Italian Turkey Sausage Recipe


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Smokehowze’s Homemade Hot Italian Turkey Sausage Recipe


This is a recipe I have developed to make a well-seasoned hot Italian sausage using turkey to be on par to the extent possible ( at least to our family palates) with that made with pork and at the same time to reduce the sodium.


In this recipe I used commercial ground turkey for convenience.   I was going to make links but Mrs. Smokehowze asked me to leave it as a bulk sausage for her cooking.    I vacuum sealed what we did not eat, after it had a chance to marry the flavors together in the fridge for a day and a half,  in 1 lb chubs and froze it.


This was a very good hot Italian sausage with a significant depth of overall flavor particularly being made with turkey (and store bought ground turkey at that).  It would be even better (not so dense a texture and not as finely ground) if it was home ground turkey (or chicken) using a coarse to medium plate.


The great thing about this sausage is you can make it without having a grinder or even stuffing casings if you chose to utilize store bought ground turkey.


We did appreciate and enjoy the resulting sausage in a number of dishes and even for breakfast and more will be made.    I thank my son for his assistance and excellent suggestions on seasoning elements as we were making this and developing the variations.


Here are some pictures of the bulk sausage and some that was cooked as breakfast patties.












Reduced Sodium Hot Italian Turkey Sausage (using MSG)

(About 80% of the typical sodium amount)


5-lb ground turkey  (93% lean)
6-tsp whole fennel seed
2-tsp crushed fennel seed

2 to 2 ½ -tsp anise seed (some crushed)

1-tsp ground coriander
5-tsp crushed red pepper
4-tsp dried oregano
4-tsp dried parsley
6-tsp ground black pepper
4-tsp garlic powder

3-tsp Hungarian paprika

1-tsp ground cayenne pepper

2-tsp kosher salt

2-tsp MSG  (like Accent)   

1/2 cup red wine (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon)

~1/3 cup Chia gel  (1 Tbs chia seeds ground & 6 Tbs water – let soak for 10 -15 minutes)


Mix all the ingredients except the turkey together and incorporate well into the ground turkey. Let the flavor mature covered in the fridge for 24-36 hours. Mix again gently before portioning out for storage. 


Note on the sodium:

To reduce sodium further to about half of the usual sodium level – use just 1 tsp of salt and the MSG.  It is not at all bad at that level (I have tested that) but in this batch I did 2 tsp to kick it back up for the rest of family.


If you prefer not to use the MSG to reduce the sodium compared to all salt, use 3 tsp of kosher salt.    MSG has only 30% of the sodium in an equivalent amount of salt.


I know some have sensitivities or do not prefer MSG but our family has no difficulties with it so I tried it out in this sausage.


Note on the seasoning amounts:

The ground turkey absorbs seasoning and effectively reduces the seasoning “hit” on the palate especially after the sausage matures in the fridge, so the seasoning going into the mix in this recipe is much heavier than what might be used for pork. 


Note on the chia gel:

The “chia gel” was an addition I wanted to try out to improve on the “fattiness” element in the sausage.  Chia can be used as a fat substitute in many dishes. I did comparison batches of the sausage with the same seasoning with and without the chia gel addition and it definitely improved the sausage texture and taste.   Next time I may even double the chia gel just to see the effect.  You cannot tell it is in the sausage by texture or taste. If you do not wish to add the chia gel just omit it and probably increase the moisture with water or more wine by another 1/8 to 1/4 cup.


I hope this gives you some ideas for your own versions. 

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