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How do You Make Chicken Sausage? The Simple Trick to Making Moist and Flavorful Homemade Chicken Sausage

How do you make chicken sausage?

According to Chef John, “Making your own chicken sausage allows you to control ingredients and flavors.”

While chicken sausage offers a lower-fat sausage option, proper preparation requires important steps beyond just mixing chicken and seasonings. 

Did you know mishandling raw chicken raises risks? Or that certain spices boost flavor in surprising ways? 

Discover secrets for safely stuffing casings or forming patties, properly cooking to safe temperatures, and best storage. 

Master these techniques for chicken sausage that rivals traditional pork versions yet is better for your health.

Key Takeaway

  • Grind chicken breasts or thighs into a fine consistency using a meat grinder or food processor. You can also purchase ground chicken from stores.
  • Mix the ground chicken with seasonings of your choice such as fennel, sage, red pepper flakes, etc. Common seasonings for chicken sausage.
  • Stuff the seasoned chicken into casings. Sheep casings or hog casings from the supermarket work well. Twist links to desired size. Cook immediately or freeze for later use.

Selecting the Chicken Meat

Chicken thighs are the preferred cut for sausage

Reason Details
Higher fat content Chicken thighs contain more fat than breasts, around 7g per thigh. This fat creates a richer flavor and moister texture perfect for sausage.
Moist and tender texture The fat marbled throughout the thigh meat keeps it moist and tender after cooking.
Budget friendly Chicken thighs are usually more affordable than breasts.

After years of making chicken sausage, I’ve found thighs to be the best cut. Their higher fat content creates a juicier sausage that stays moist, instead of drying out. 

The fat distributes beautifully throughout the mixture too, rather than creating greasy pockets.

Chicken breasts can also be used

Pros Cons Alternatives
Very low fat Can dry out after grinding Mix 50/50 with thighs for benefits of both
Lean protein Flavor may not be as rich Add extra fat like olive oil to mixture
Budget option Texture can be mealy Marinate longer for more tenderness

While breasts won’t give you quite the same luxurious texture as thighs, there are ways to make them workable in sausage. 

The key is adding back some moisture since their leanness makes them prone to drying out. 

Give marinades or blended fat a try to help the breasts stay juicy and flavorful in sausage form. Just don’t use them alone or the end result may be dissatisfying.

Adding Flavors and Ingredients

How do you make chicken sausage?

Common herbs and spices

Herb/Spice Amount per 1lb of chicken Flavor Profile
Sage 1⁄2-1 tsp Woody, earthy, pairs well with poultry
Marjoram 1⁄2 tsp (or 1 bay leaf) Mild, woodsy flavor like oregano
Celery seed 1⁄2 tsp Bright, crunchy, cuts through fat

I’ve found these classic herbs and spices make chicken sausage sing. Sage, being woodsy and earthy, acts as the perfect partner to poultry. 

Meanwhile, marjoram offers a soft botanical note, and celery seed livens things up with its bright, crunchy nature.

Tangy additions

Add-In Amount per 1lb Notes
Buttermilk powder 1 tbsp Cultured and tangy, adds moisture
Fermented pickle juice 1-2 tbsp Bright acidity and savory flavors
Diced apple 1/4 cup Fresh and fruity with pork-like texture
Minced onion or shallot 2 tbsp Soft allium aroma and flavor
Crushed garlic 1 tbsp Pungent backbone throughout

One of my favorite tricks is mixing in tangy additions like buttermilk powder, fermented pickle juice, or diced apples. 

These ingredients lend brightness and moisture while countering the richness (1). Small amounts of aromatic alliums and garlic amplify flavors throughout too. 

Balance is key, but these touches make chicken sausage sing.

Preparing the Sausage

Grinding the chicken and flavors together

Tool Benefits
Meat grinder Hands-on control of texture. Works best for larger batches.
Food processor Blends components more finely. Better for mixing small amounts.

After trying different methods, I found the food processor excels at blending chicken and seasonings into a smooth mixture. 

The fine chop ensures flavors permeate fully throughout. Be careful not to overmix though, which can turn the sausage rubbery.

Refrigerating before forming improves flavor absorption

Why Refrigerate Benefits
Let sit in fridge for 24 hours Allows flavors to deepen as they soak into the chicken.

The chill time lets flavors meld and penetrate the chicken. I was surprised how an overnight rest in the fridge took my sausage to the next level of taste. 

It’s a worthwhile waiting period that brings out the best in herbs and spices.

Less commonly known benefit of refrigerating

The fridge time also firms up the mixture, making it easier to handle. Without refrigeration, it can be sticky and difficult to work with. Chilling fixes that issue nicely.

Forming into patties or stuffing into casings

Forms Considerations
Patties Quick and easy. No extra tools needed.
Casings Traditional shapes like links. Requires stuffer or improvised method.

Once chilled, form the sausage into loose patties or stuff into casings. Patties are simple while casings allow creative twists and connective cooking methods to char or grill the exterior nicely. Choose what aligns best with your needs and tools.

Cooking Methods

Pan frying is a simple and popular method

How to Pan Fry Sausage Tips
Add 1-2 tbsp oil to pan and cook over medium heat. Move sausages frequently to prevent over-browning. Cook until internal temp reaches 165°F.

After trying different styles, pan frying remains my favorite cooking method. It browns the exterior just right without drying out. Be sure to move the sausage links or patties regularly in the pan to prevent over-darkening.

Other options for diverse meals

Method Benefits
Grilling Creates nice char lines and marks.
Poaching Super tender without risk of cracking casings.
Baking en papillote Steams sausage delicately in parchment.

While pan frying is simple, experimenting with additional cooking styles adds variety. Grilling caramelizes the outside for intense savoriness. Poaching keeps things ultra-moist. 

Baking en papillote steams sausage to fall-off-the-bone tenderness. Consider what you and your family might enjoy most.


Credit : Chuds BBQ

Storing Homemade Sausage

Refrigerator storage for fresh sausage

Storage Type Maximum Time
Sealed container or bag in fridge 3-5 days

Keeping sausage fresh means refrigerating properly. I like to portion mine in a sealed bag or container since refrigeration maintains quality for about a week total. 

Be sure to consume within that window for safety.

Freezer storage for long-term preservation

Freezer How To
Freezer Vacuum seal individual portions and date bags. Sausage stays fresh 6+ months.

When batch-producing sausage, the deep freeze lets you stock up for later. Simply vacuum seal portions airtight before freezing (2). 

Properly stored this way, my homemade sausage maintains incredible quality for half a year or longer. Just thaw overnight in the fridge before cooking.


After many years of making homemade chicken sausage, I’ve learned that with the right techniques, you can create a tasty and healthier alternative to traditional pork sausage. 

By carefully selecting quality chicken, thoughtfully designing flavorful spice blends, and following instructions for grinding, forming, cooking and storing – anyone can enjoy the mouthwatering pleasures of homemade sausage. 

The process may seem intricate at first, but breaks down nicely into simple, achievable steps. With practice come creative new varieties tailored just for your family. 

I hope the guides shared here inspire you to take advantage of this delicious do-it-yourself dish and all the flavorful possibilities of cooking from farm to table.

Have you tried making homemade chicken sausage before? I’d love to hear about your experiences – from favorite flavors to techniques you’ve found most effective. Please leave a comment below.



  1. https://www.mashed.com/1404742/homemade-buttermilk-breakfast-sausage-secret-ingredient/
  2. https://meatcheftools.com/how-long-will-vacuum-sealed-meat-last-in-the-freezer/


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