This easy recipe is a combination of breakfast sausage and Italian sausage. It’s the perfect side dish for brunch!
When I was dreaming up an Italian-themed brunch, I knew Italian sausage had to be on the menu. But I wanted to make it a little more breakfast-worthy.
So I doctored up a traditional Italian sausage recipe, adding spices and herbs to make a sausage patty that tastes Italian but lands squarely in the breakfast category.
This Homemade Italian Breakfast Sausage is a great savory addition to your breakfast or brunch menu. With both fennel and sage giving it lots of flavor, it’ll have your guests reaching for seconds!
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- Pork sausage is the base of this recipe. You can purchase it at the meat counter; it’s often called bulk pork sausage which indicates that it’s not in casings already.
- A combination of fresh and dried herbs and spices, including fresh sage, dried basil, dried thyme, garlic, and red pepper flakes season the sausage.
- A little bit of brown sugar balances out all of the savory flavors.
- The sausage is pan fried in a mixture of olive oil and butter to create a crispy exterior.
How to make Italian breakfast sausage
One distinguishing characteristic of Italian sausage is fennel seeds. I love the licorice-like taste that they lend to the pork. Give the tiny seeds a quick chop or crush them with the back of a knife, which releases the fennel flavor throughout the patties.
Then, combine all of the sausage ingredients in a large bowl. Mix gently with your hands to incorporate everything.
Then, shape the patties into small, flat rounds, about 1–2 inches wide.
Place the butter and olive oil in a large skillet, and put the skillet over medium heat. I used a large nonstick skillet.
Add 8–10 sausage patties (or more if your skillet will hold them without them getting overcrowded), and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until brown in spots.
Flip and repeat until the sausage is cooked through, about 1–2 minutes more.
How to fry sage leaves
This is an optional step, but it really takes the dish over the top!
To fry sage leaves, heat a layer of olive oil in a skillet. Coat the leaves with beer and flour (see the full recipe below), and fry on both sides until golden.
Serve the sausage patties with the fried sage leaves tucked in between.
More brunch ideas
I served the homemade Italian breakfast sausage patties as part of an Italian-themed brunch. To go with them, I highly recommend Savory Caprese Bread Pudding, a Rosemary Clementine Brunch Cocktail, and these Gluten-Free Zucchini Olive Oil Muffins to complete the brunch spread.
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!
Italian Sausage Breakfast Patties
- 1½ lbs ground pork
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, chopped or crushed with the back of your knife
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Fried sage garnish:
- 8 large fresh sage leaves
- ½ cup flour
- ¾ cup beer (ale or lager—drink the rest!)
- ¼ cup canola oil
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the butter and olive oil. Mix gently with your hands until combined.
- Roll into 1½ inch balls (golf ball size) and then flatten into patties, approximately ½ inch thick.
- Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and olive oil. Place 4–5 patties in the pan (or however many will fit without crowding the pan). Cook until golden brown, about 2–3 minutes. Flip and repeat.
- Remove and place on a paper towel to drain. Repeat with remaining uncooked patties.
Fried sage garnish:
- Heat canola oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Pat sage leaves dry with a paper towel.In a small bowl, whisk together the beer and flour.
- Place the end of a wooden spoon in the oil. If the oil bubbles around the wood, the oil is ready. If not, continue to heat the oil.
- When the oil is ready, dip a sage leaf into the beer batter. Place the sage leaf in the oil and repeat with remaining leaves. Fry for 1–2 minutes, or until golden brown underneath.
- Flip and repeat until the other side is golden brown. Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate.