Homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage – Quick & Lean

One of the biggest challenges with our new fitness regimen has been getting in enough lean protein. I think I mentioned before that it includes a diet plan which is very lean, and starts out low in carbs, higher in protein (gradually tapering off to a very sustainable and carb-rich diet for energy). Since we don’t consume dairy or soy, this means protein powders, eggs, fish, and meat.

I must confess, I am not a big egg fan, and I have never been a big meat consumer either … even dabbling in vegan cooking regularly. However, I have found some ways to sneak in some of that lean protein in an enjoyable way. One of them is breakfast sausage! Of course, pork would be a wee bit too fatty, so we opted for a nice, homemade turkey sausage. 

Extra-Lean Turkey Breakfast Sausage Patties

I went ultra-lean on this sausage, but for a juicier end product I have included recipes for “leaner” and “lean” turkey sausage. All are low-carb (obviously!) but lean will have the best texture while maintainig some virtue, and ultra-lean will suit super low-fat dieters.

Turkey Breakfast Sausage (Lean to Ultra-Lean)

Starting with the Spices … Combine all of the following spices, either leaving them whole, giving them a five or six pulses together in your spice grinder (my preferred method), or whizzing them to a powder in your spice grinder.

  • 1/2 to 3/4 Teaspoon Salt (I like 3/4 – but it will still be good with 1/2)
  • 1 Teaspoon Fennel Seed
  • 1 Teaspoon Sage
  • 1 Teaspoon Thyme
  • 1 Teaspoon Pepper, White and/or Black (I use a mix of white and black freshly ground peppercorns)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • Generous Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper

Choose your meat …mix your spices into 1 lb of Ground Turkey, choosing ONE of the folllowing …

  • Lean – Use 1 lb of 93% Fat-Free Ground Turkey (best for egg-free)
  • Leaner – Use 1 lb of 97% Fat-Free Ground Turkey
  • Ultra-Lean – Use 1 lb of 99% Fat-Free Ground White Turkey Meat

Let it Rest … If time permits, cover and chill for at least an hour (preferably overnight) to allow the flavors to meld. If you are in a hurry, skip this step and move ahead to the next one.

Add Some Moisture … Combine ONE of the following egg options into the meat to add a little moisture into that turkey meat …

  • Lean – Use 1 Large Egg (optional)
  • Leaner – Use 1 Large Egg or 1 to 2 Large Egg Whites
  • Ultra-Lean – Use 2 Large Egg Whites (about 6T pasteurized egg white)
  • Time to Cook … Spray a skillet with cooking spray (or use 1 teaspoon of oil) and heat it over medium heat. Scoop the ground turkey (it will be very moist if you added egg, I use an ice cream scoop) into your skillet and flatten it with the back of a spatula. Cover and allow the patties to cook for 3 minutes. Flip, cover again, and allow them to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the turkey is cooked through. Don’t cook them too long, as the meat will dry out, but make sure there is no pink left in the middle. And serve.

    Yields 4 servings (about 8 2-ounce patties)

    Ultra-Lean Turkey Breakfast Sausage Patties

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    34 thoughts on “Homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage – Quick & Lean

    1. Wow. Great recipe. I’ve never seen 97% lean turkey. I usually buy the 93% lean since it’s so much cheaper than ground turkey breast.

      • I forgot to mention about purchasing. For extra lean, Jennie-O (99% looks just like the 93% in terms of packaging, but it usually costs more) and Honeysuckle offer 99% fat free brands, which are pure ground turkey breast. While this ground turkey isn’t as moist, I like that it doesn’t have any funny business in the mix. There are many brands of 93% and I occasionally see 97% store brands.

        Whenever I see any of these versions on for 2/$5 or if they have further discount marks (found 4 packs of the 99% being cleared out for $1 a piece two days before expiry!) it is my cue to get a few packs. They are usually 20 ounce packages, so it is a fair deal. Also, you can often find coupons for brands like Jennie-O in the sunday coupons or mailer coupons.

    2. Wow. These look spectacular! Definitely going in my “try ’em soon” recipe file.

    3. These look borderline amazing!! I am a huge fan of turkey breasts. Great job

    4. I never even thought to make my own sausage – great way to get in lean protein (and I can make mine extra spicy with crushed red pepper!).

      Definitely putting this on the list to make this weekend – thanks for sharing this!

    5. I use turkey sausage a alot and have keep my lips selaed about it, but my husband has started requesting it. He didn’t know I beat him to it. I also like to buy ground chicken and chicken sausage.

    6. This looks really delicious – I like the spice combination.

    7. I have never thought to make my own breakfast sausages – love the recipe 🙂

    8. I would have these as turkey burgers never mind breakfast sausages! I am just imagining the fennel flavoring them right now. What a great idea.

    9. That looks so mouth watering!

    10. *bookmarking this*

    11. Lovely spice blend for the seasoning it looks really tasty. 🙂

    12. I was actually planning on doing this with ground chicken in the next couple weeks! I was going to just make up the recipe, but it looks like yours will be a great starting point. 🙂

    13. Kelli

      Thanks for another great recipe Alisa! I am getting ready to make this for tomorrow. I am going to freeze some though, so we can just pop them in a skillet on busy mornings.

    14. I am allergic to eggs. How would you alter this without the eggs? I’d love to give it a try.

    15. Roselle

      I, too, am allergic to eggs. I ditto Stella’s question above.

    16. Stella and Roselle – The recipe should work perfectly fine without eggs; just be sure to use ground turkey meat that is no leaner than 93%. I was using the extra-lean meat, so it really needed the moisture from the egg. (I will modify the post to reflect an egg-free version too)

    17. tcooke

      Would like a copy of Turkey sausage receipe…how can I get it?

    18. Great recipe. I love turkey and will try this. I really like the spice blend. Thanks!

    19. Danielle

      I just made this and am letting rest for the morning! I went ahead and added some sugar free maple syrup!! Yummy!!!

    20. Yvonne

      I tried the recipe and will make it without the Fennel. Did not care for it. Can a slice of bread moistened improve the texture?

    21. Yvonne – sorry it wasn’t to your taste. The fennel is what makes it breakfast sausage to us, but feel free to omit if you don’t like it!

      As noted, the moisture and texture will depend on the type of meat you use and how much fat is in it. You can always add a little oil. I’m not a big fan of bread in sausage, but that might work for what you are looking for. You can also go another route and try adding some cooked vegetables (ie mushrooms) for moisture.

      • Nancy

        You can use about a T unsweetened applesauce, to make it more moist. Yummy

    22. I love these! The spices are perfect. I flash freeze the patties when they’re raw, store them in a bag in the freezer, and bake them for 10 minutes at 400. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

      • That’s fabulous Jodi! I’m so glad you are enjoying the recipe and good to know on baking times / temps. I freezen them also!

    23. Formygirls

      Dear Alisa,
      I just found your blog and I am so happy. I’m trying to make a recipie book for my college daughter that has become celiac. For a 20 year old the recipies need to be easy, cheap and give you a confort feeling.
      I’m going to try these sausages, I believe they will be a sucess.
      Thanks for sharing your recipies and your happiness.

    24. Susie

      Adding oat meal (regular non-quick cooking type) adds plenty of moisture to homemade turkey sausage and it’s nutritious!

    25. John

      I made this last week and it was perfect. Exactly the flavors I wanted. I have no idea what percent my turkey was, just said ground turkey. I felt it was fairly salty with 3/4 tsp, so I’m using the lower amount next time.

    26. Schroomer

      Thanks for the posting. Getting ready to start a batch and you had the ONLY site with the directions for how to add eggs based on fat content. Brilliant! I’ll repost after making them next week (so they can be part of the Valentines day breakfast I making for my wife). Now I want to look at more postings from your blog.

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