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Healthy, Homemade Sausage Recipes

By Nina Libby

Tags: Summer, Sausage, Recipes, Forth of July, Colonial American, Cajun, Seafood, Italian,


This summer, I’m going to skip the hot dog for a low-fat and herb-loaded sausage. At almost every barbeque, I always end up eating one or two hot dogs, but this summer is going to be different.

If you’re a calorie counter hot dogs are your worst enemy. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Nutrient Database, the average hot dog has about 584 milligrams of sodium and 6 grams of protein, which is relatively low compared to its high fat content. In comparison, a turkey sausage with the same serving size has 379 milligrams of sodium and about 13 grams of protein. Here are a few sausage recipes that are low in fat, full of flavor and great alternatives for summer barbequing.

Photo by Josh Bousel/Courtesy Flickr

Turkey and Pear Sausage

Makes about 21/2 pounds 

Chop the fresh herbs just before you mix them in. For variety, substitute other herbs or use chopped apple instead of the pear.

• 1/2 cup sliced green onion, firmly packed
• 1 teaspoon pressed garlic
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 pounds boneless, skinless turkey, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1 large pear, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks (about 1 cup)
• 1 tablespoon freshly ground coriander seed
• 1/4 cup fruity white wine or mild fruit juice
• 4 tablespoons sweet basil
• 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon or mint marigold
• 11/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
• 2 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon ground mace

1. Wilt the green onion and garlic in the butter, then toss lightly with the turkey and remaining ingredients, and grind the mixture in a meat grinder or food processor.

Endless Summer Sausage

Makes about 5 pounds 

Robust seasonings and long, slow cooking in the oven make this a fine-¬textured, flavorful sausage that cries out for a good homemade mustard and crusty bread.

• 5 pounds ground beef chuck
• 3 tablespoons curing salt (such as Morton’s Tender Quick)
• 1/2 cup dry red wine
• 1 tablespoon pressed garlic
• 2 tablespoons each chopped rosemary and sage
• 3 tablespoons chopped sweet marjoram
• 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, or 2 ¬tablespoons minced fresh jalapeño or serrano chiles
• 2 tablespoons freshly ground, toasted ¬coriander seed
• 4 tablespoons brown sugar

1. Mix the ingredients with your hands. Grind the mixture in a meat grinder or food processor. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, remixing with your hands two or three times.

2. Divide the meat into eight portions and roll each into a long, narrow log. Rinse eight pieces of cheesecloth in hot water to remove lint, press dry in a terry towel, then moisten liberally with vegetable oil. Roll each log in a double thickness of cheesecloth, then rub with more oil. Bake the logs on a rack at 250°F, turning occasionally to keep them round, for 4 hours, or until a meat thermometer shows an internal temperature of 160°F. Remove from the oven; remove the cheesecloth when cool and pat the sausages dry with paper towels if necessary. Refrigerate for as long as 10 days, or freeze, double-wrapped. Serve at room temperature.

For more sausage recipes, see Colonial American SausageCajun Garden BoudinElegant Seafood Sausage and Italian Sausage with Fennel and Garlic.