Top 8 Italian Sausage Substitutes that are just as Meaty

Italian Sausage Substitute

If Italian sausage has always been your go-to option but you’re finally ready to expand your palate, there are plenty of Italian sausage substitutes that are as meaty and delicious. 

Italian sausage comes in varieties, hot or sweet are the common choices. Hot Italian sausage is made from pork and seasoned with garlic, anise seed, salt, and red pepper flakes. Sweet ones just remove the spice and are mostly made with the same ingredients. 

Sausage is among the top processed meats loved by many. This tasty seasoned meat is almost always available and affordable in grocery stores or local markets so it’s no wonder why it’s a favorite. There are plenty of sausages available and Italian sausage is just one of these treats.

Try These Italian Sausage Alternatives

1. Breakfast sausage

This type of sausage is typically served at breakfast in America, thus its name. Breakfast sausages are made with ground pork and seasoned with a mixture of spices and herbs like thyme, sage, and pepper.

Just like Italian sausage, this alternative is eaten the same way. It’s delicious on its own as a side to complete your breakfast meal. Some would also add it to sandwiches, top it on pastas, or eat it with rice.

2. Ground Pork

Ground pork is a base to many sausages but on its own, it’s delicious enough to replace other meat. There are so many ways to cook and enjoy ground pork in place of Italian sausage.

One of the charms of cooking sausages is they’re so easy to cook and are packed with flavor so there is barely anything to adjust. So, if you’re using ground pork, just keep things simple by prepping the pork with your choice of seasonings. Herbs and spices are definitely needed for mouth-watering aroma and taste.

3. Bratwurst

A German sausage made from beef, pork, or veal, bratwurst can also replace Italian sausage anytime. 

If you love the taste of Italian sausage, choosing Bratwurst made with pork will be the closest alternative. Bratwurst is typically seasoned with salt, nutmeg, marjoram, caraway, white pepper, and garlic.

4. Toulouse Sausage

Toulouse sausage, sometimes called Toulouse-style sausage or known as Saucisse de Toulouse in its native area in Southwest France, is another tasty substitute for Italian sausage.

Its ingredients are pretty similar to Italian sausage which is pork with seasonings packed in a casing. This sausage is quite juicy as it is constructed with 25% belly meat and 75% lean meat of pork.

5. Minced beef

If you’re after the meaty goodness that comes with Italian sausage, you can also use minced beef in a pinch.

Minced beef can be prepared and cooked the same way as ground pork. Of course, there is a distinct difference between the taste of beef and pork so it may affect your recipe.

For a straightforward use and cooking method, adding seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic, pepper along with herbs or spices can turn this food pretty similar to any sausage of your choice.

Italian Sausage Substitutes for Vegan Diets

6. Plant-based Sausage

With the rise of vegan diets and health conscious eaters, food manufacturers have come up with ways to satisfy the demand. Plant-based sausages are claimed to taste exactly like an all-natural meat-based sausage.

These plant-based sausages are already pre-made and are usually seasoned so you can easily cook it the same way you would typical sausages. There are plant-based Italian sausages that you can purchase so you won’t have a hard time picking which version is the closest to Italian sausage.

7. Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a popular vegan alternative not just to sausages but all kinds of meat. This legume has a chewy texture that mimics meat so it can be a doable protein replacement.

To use in place of Italian sausages, you can mash chickpeas and blend it with bread crumbs. Add spices that you like and after mixing, form some sausage patties for a fuller bite.

8. Tofu

Tofu is also the next veggie replacement for most meats including sausages. There are firm tofu available in the market that when cooked right can mimic meat in both texture and taste.

To replace Italian sausage, it’s easier to turn tofu into a sort of crumbled sausage to avoid complicated preparation methods. On its own, tofu has a bland taste but when it’s mixed with other ingredients, it’s an excellent absorber that turns into a mouth-watering protein source.

In case you’re adamant in making sausage patties or links, it’s possible with more effort into prepping and cooking.

Relevant FAQs

What is Italian sausage made of?

Italian sausage, as it’s commonly referred to, is made with pork seasoned with anise, fennel seed, garlic, salt, etc. While there are various mixtures depending on the brand, fennel is the typical seasoning for this pork sausage.

This processed meat is used for many dishes including pizza, pastas, soups, stews, and more. It is also often enjoyed on its own as either a side dish or a main lunch meal.

What are the differences between Italian sausage and regular sausage?

Which red meat that goes in the sausage is a vital point for comparison for the many sausages available in the market. Another thing that sets Italian sausage apart is its use of fennel that basically creates its identifiable taste.

Is chorizo like Italian sausage?

Although both are made from pork, chorizo is a Spanish or Mexican style sausage. Chorizos are typically made with pork, garlic, and smoked paprika. It is also usually smoked that gives it a smoky full-bodied flavor. 

The sharp and often spicy taste of chorizos set it apart from sausages including Italian sausage so it’s not an interchangeable food. If you’re in a pinch and you’re up for a change to sausages, do try chorizo, it’s also a wonderful delicious treat.

To wrap it up:

There are probably hundreds of sausages that you can choose in place of Italian sausage. But considering what makes up salsiccia, Italian term for this processed meat, any of the list above are sure to rev up your appetite.

The vegan Italian sausage substitutes may not totally give the meaty flavor but those are the closest things that are also as delicious as they are nutritious.

Don’t limit yourself to Italian sausage and enjoy the food choices above for your next meal.