You can make Italian turkey sausage meat at home, and then use it in your favorite pasta and soup recipes, or even make your own Italian turkey sausage patties, with no special equipment required!
It’s true! You can make your own Italian turkey sausages! We’re going to show you how to do that tomorrow. You don’t even need any special equipment for it.
Before we show you that, we’re going to show you something even easier: How to make your own Italian turkey sausage meat!
Why would you want to make Italian turkey sausage meat? The process for making sausages, with or without special equipment, can be a bit intense when you’re just starting out. It’s not hard, but there are a few new steps and techniques to learn. If you’re just getting started with sausage-making, it’s easier to start at the beginning and focus on the meat and the flavor.
So, today we’re showing you how to make your own Italian turkey sausage meat, and then explaining what you can do with it.
How To Make Italian Turkey Sausage Meat
All you need to do to make your own Italian turkey sausage meat is to mix together some ground turkey with some Italian sausage seasoning.
You can find ground turkey at the grocery store.
The Italian sausage seasoning is just Italian seasoning mixed with a few other ingredients. Most notably, there’s fennel seed in there! I love fennel seed, and I really feel that it’s the ingredient that takes Italian seasoning and turns it into something that tastes like sausages. To the point where I even add Italian sausage seasoning to soups and sauces when I want them to taste like there’s sausage in them, even when there isn’t!
Note that you can get already mixed Italian sausage seasoning. Here’s a good one.
How Much Seasoning To Add To Italian Turkey Sausage Meat
The recipe below gives the weight needed for your Italian sausage seasoning. This is because it’s traditional to give sausage ingredients in weight. Weighing things tends to be more exact than using measuring spoons. When it comes to sausage seasoning though, things don’t have to be as exact.
If you don’t have a kitchen scale like this to measure your seasoning with, here’s what you do:
- Start with 1/4 cup of the seasoning added to the 5 pounds of ground turkey. That’s what it worked out to when I did the conversion at home.
- Mix it into the turkey.
- Take about 2 tablespoons of the meat and form it into a small patty.
- Put that patty onto a microwave-safe plate and then microwave it for 5 seconds at a time, just until it is no longer pink in the middle. This won’t take long.
- Let it cool and then taste it.
- If it tastes good with a nice Italian sausage flavor, stop there and proceed with whatever you have planned for your turkey sausage meat. If it isn’t seasoned enough, add another 2 tablespoons of seasoning, mix, and then repeat the microwave test.
This microwave technique is great for assessing the salt level and the spiciness level of your seasoning also. Not all Italian seasonings and Italian sausage seasonings are the same, and not all of our taste buds are the same either. You can adjust how much salt by adding extra salt to your meat mixture, and you can adjust how spicy it is by adding crushed red pepper flakes. Then test in the microwave to see if it’s where you’d like it to be.
Remember that you can always add more, but you can’t take the seasoning away. Starting with less is a good idea. But, if you do go too far, you can always get yourself some more ground turkey and then mix that in to dilute the seasoning.
Having said that, another trick is to start by only seasoning half of the turkey and testing it in the microwave. Keep track of how much seasoning you added to the first half. Then, when you have it right, add in the rest of the turkey and the same amount of seasoning again. Doing it this way means that if you do go overboard on seasoning the first half of meat, you can dilute it with the second half.
What To Do With Italian Turkey Sausage Meat
This is actually pretty great. So, you know how sometimes a recipe will call for Italian sausages and then have you slice the sausage before or after cooking it? The idea is that you don’t want the sausages whole, but instead, you want bits of the meat spread out through the dish.
Instead of buying turkey sausages for these recipes, you can make your own turkey sausage meat. Then you just add the seasoned ground turkey to the recipes that called for the sliced sausage.
It’s usually for pasta dishes and soups that you’ll see this. Anywhere that you are hoping to have the sausages kind of crumble up and break apart throughout the dish, just use the turkey sausage meat instead. It even saves you time since you don’t have to slice anything, and the ground meat cooks faster and more evenly than turkey shaped into sausages.
The other thing that you can do with Italian turkey sausage meat is to make turkey sausage patties!
These are like breakfast sausage patties, but Italian flavored, and made out of turkey. They’re wonderful in burgers, or for an Italian-inspired breakfast, or really, for anytime that you want homemade turkey sausages but can’t be bothered to get them into casings.
Simply shape them into the sized patty that you’d like, the way you would make a burger patty. Then put them into a skillet and cook on each side until browned and no longer pink inside, about 3-4 minutes per side.
Whether you use your Italian turkey sausage meat as-is in recipes, turn it into patties, or even come back to our sausage series to learn how to turn them into actual Italian turkey sausage (instructions will be given for with and without a sausage stuffer!), we really think you’re going to love the flavor and versatility of this recipe.
- 5 lbs. ground turkey
- 1.6 ounces Mild Italian Sausage Seasoning (buy here or make your own)
- crushed red pepper flakes (to taste, optional)
- Place ground turkey in a large mixing bowl.
- Add Italian Sausage Seasoning and red pepper flakes, if using.
- Mix until combined but don’t overmix as it can get tough when cooked.