Juicy Sweet or Hot Italian Sausage Recipe


Note: You must use a scale for this sausage. There is no way to accurately estimate the amount of salt needed otherwise. This recipe can be made with pre-ground pork as well. Mix ingredients as directed in step one, allow to rest at least 8 hours, then skip the grinding step and proceed as directed in Step 3.

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 12 hrs
Serves: 4 to 5 servings
Makes: 2 pounds sausage

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  • 2 pounds pork shoulder with at least 20% fat, cut into rough 1-inch chunks (or 2 pounds ground pork, see note)

  • .6 ounces kosher salt

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane (about 2 teaspoons)

  • 2 tablespoons whole fennel seed, toasted

  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes (hot sausage only)

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (hot sausage only)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.

  2. Place feed shaft, screw, blade, and 1/4-inch plate of a meat grinder in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Grind sausage meat according to manufacturer's directions into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. If finer texture is desired, chill meat in freezer for 15 minutes before grinding again.

  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sausage meat on medium high speed until it becomes tacky and sticky, about one minute. Alternatively, knead by hand for three to four minutes. Transfer to a zipper-lock bag and seal. Sausage will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. Stuff into casings or cook as desired.

Special equipment

Meat grinder, stand mixer

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
560 Calories
38g Fat
5g Carbs
47g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 5
Amount per serving
Calories 560
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 38g 49%
Saturated Fat 14g 70%
Cholesterol 171mg 57%
Sodium 1454mg 63%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 47g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 77mg 6%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 710mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)