As part of my goal to eat healthier, less processed and sodium laden foods, I have begun to make my own ground chicken sausage.
Many of us have decreased or eliminated the amount of red meat that we eat. That means that we have pushed aside thick and juicy steaks and ground beef and have begun to eat more chicken.
Pork – NOT The Other White Meat
But what about pork? For many years, due to a popular national commercial campaign, I though that pork was ‘the other white meat’.
To mix up the protein in my ‘healthy’ diet I would add in a little pork once in a while. I would pull out some pulled pork from the freezer for dinner and as a special treat I would eat sausage for breakfast.
I thought I was doing good by getting rid of red meat in my diet. It wasn’t until I was speaking to a friend of mine who specializes in nutrition that I was informed that pork is still considered red meat.
Even though some cuts of pork, such as a pork tenderloin, resembles the color of chicken, it still follows under the category of livestock. All livestock, including lamb, beef and pork are considered red meat.
Ever since then, I have eliminated as much pork from my diet as well. That meant no more pork chops, pulled pork, bacon or sausage.
I didn’t mind giving up thick slices of a pork loin or even ham. But for me, my weekend breakfast isn’t complete without bacon or sausage.
Turkey Bacon and Sausage – Healthy or Not?
My first instinct was to buy turkey bacon and sausage crumbles. It took me awhile to adjust to the changes in texture and taste.
But as a healthier option, it would due. But is it truly a healthy option?
Ever since I have developed food allergies, I have learned to read and investigate nutritional labels on food packages.
Unless I am in the produce aisle, I am always a little, or sometimes a lot, shocked at what I find.
The amount of sodium in a single piece of turkey bacon can be double and sometimes even triple of that in a traditional piece of pork bacon. And it isn’t much better for turkey sausage patties.
I wouldn’t consider that a healthy option at all.
So I began to search for other options.
Ground Chicken Sausage
I really wanted to stick with chicken. I have been making my own ground chicken from chicken breasts for years.
No, I don’t have a meat grinder. My simple Hamilton Beach Duo Food Processor does the trick.
I simply cut the chicken breasts into 1-2 inch cubes and push pulse a few times. Within seconds, I have ground chicken at a fraction of the cost to purchase it at the grocery store.
Now all I had to do was to figure out how to spice it up to get that classic sausage taste.
After a few attempts, I found the perfect combination of spices to make the homemade ground chicken sausage the perfect and healthy breakfast protein.
Because we like our sausage with a little kick, we added a few ingredients to make it a little more on the spicy side. However, if you don’t like any spice you can cut the cayenne and red pepper flakes in half.
However, I don’t recommend eliminating them all together. Just a little bit will add flavor without adding heat to your chicken sausage.
One final tip – don’t skip the overnight refrigeration process. This gives time for the spices to penetrate the meat completely before cooking.
I actually buy chicken in bulk and make homemade ground chicken sausage ahead of time. I grind the meat, mix in the seasonings and place half pound sections into the freezer.
Whenever the urge strikes, I simply pull it out and it is ready to cook. No waiting time required!
To see all of our Breakfast recipes (healthy and not healthy) click here: Breakfast Recipes
Mary and Jim
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- 1 pound chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Cut chicken breasts into 1-2 inch chunks. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the spices and mix until well incorporated.
- Sprinkle the seasoning over the chicken and toss well.
- Place the meat into a food processor and grind until the desired consistency has been achieved.
- Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Use ground sausage as directed in recipes or form into patties and cook until center temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms
Serving Size:1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g