Wednesday, February 27, 2013



Confession:  I don't like sausage--the kind from pigs anyway.  It's just too greasy and gristly for my liking.  I do, however, love the meatless Boca sausage you can buy at the store.  And not because its meatless, but because its gristless (it always comes down to texture for me!).  It is super expensive though, so when I saw a turkey sausage recipe, I knew I had to try it. 

What I liked:  The texture (of course).  No gristle, and not too mushy.  I thought it was a great idea to cook 1/4 of the turkey first and add it to the mixture as to add substance and sausage-like texture.
The taste was good, but nothing to rave about.  However, the kids all loved it, I think because it wasn't too spicy.

What I didn't like:  The handling.  It was kind of gross molding the mixture and then it was hard to get them into the pan while keeping their link shape.  Once they started cooking, turning them was a NIGHTMARE.  More than half of my links broke apart and crumbled.  That was very frustrating and I forgot to take pictures at this stage. LINK became an inappropriate four-letter word in my house that night.

Conclusion:  Four stars for four reasons:  my kids loved it, it tasted good (even though it didn't look pretty), its healthy, and inexpensive!  Can't wait to see what the rest of you thought! Here's the recipe.


Makes 16 (4-inch) links
White bread can be substituted for the whole-wheat bread.  Do not use ground all-white meat turkey (ground turkey breast) here or the sausage will be very dry.

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound ground turkey (see note above)
2 teaspoons minced fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 1/2 slices high-quality whole-wheat sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Pinch cayenne pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg

1. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add 1/4 pound of the ground turkey and cook, breaking it up with wooden spoon, until well browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the sage and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer the meat to a large bowl and let it cool slightly. Wipe out the skillet with paper towels.

2. Mash the bread and buttermilk together into a smooth paste, then stir it into the cooked turkey along with the remaining 3/4 pound ground turkey, the maple syrup, garlic, salt, pepper  thyme, cayenne, and nutmeg until uniform.  Working with 1 heaping tablespoon of the mixture at a time, use wet hands to shape the mixture into sixteen 4-inch-long links.

3. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the sausages and cook until will browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the sausages to a paper towel-lines plate to drain briefly before serving.

PER SERVING (2 links): Cal 110; Fat 6g; Sat Fat 1g; Chol 35mg; Carb 5g; Protein 12g; Fiber 0g; Sodium 370mg.

To Make Ahead

The raw sausages can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and aluminium foil and frozen for up to 1 month; thaw before cooking.


  1. Okay, I am so glad that I wasn't the only one who had a hard time getting the links to cooperate! I really liked this recipe though and I am going to make it work. Did you use turkey from the meat counter or the tube like I did?

    1. From the tube, didn't even think about the water content. I'm wondering if throwing an egg in would help?

  2. I used tube as well, and added an extra slice of bread. It didn't help. An egg may be good for "stick together-ness", like in meatloaf. Also it seems non stick spray would have worked better than the oil.
    The taste was good. The smell was even better according to my son. I was happy to have tried sage for the first time, and to have learned more about thyme.
    My husband didn't like the turkey texture, but I bet he'll like some sausage flavor mixed with eggs and cheese in his breakfast burrito soon!