Italian Sausage Seasoning Recipe (2024)

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Homemade spicy Italian sausage in 5 minutes? It may seem out of reach, but it's possible with this endlessly flavorful and authentic Italian Sausage Seasoning ready to go in your pantry!

Recipe: $1.00 | Per Serving: $0.06 | Yield: 4 Tablespoons (16 servings)

Italian Sausage Seasoning Recipe (1)

This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated for clarity. The recipe is the same and just as delicious! :)

Jump to:
  • Why You Will Love Making Your Own Sausage Seasoning
  • What's in Italian Sausage Seasoning?
  • Dietary Modifications and Variations
  • How to Make Homemade Sausage Seasoning
  • Tips to Use Sausage Seasoning
  • FAQs
  • More Sausage Recipes
  • Italian Sausage Seasoning

Why You Will Love Making Your Own Sausage Seasoning

Skip the time to age and cure sausage! This Italian sausage seasoning recipe provides a delicious shortcut.

This seasoning can even be used in recipes without sausage or meat of any kind. Add it to roasted potatoes (OMG YUM), bolognese, lentils, roasted chickpeas, or even to a spinach and eggs breakfast that's totally meat-free but with robust sausage flavor. It's awesome.

Versatility, my friends - I'm a fan! You can adjust any of the seasonings to make an Italian sausage blend you enjoy!

Healthier than cured meats! Since cured meats are sort of questionable for our health, this homemade seasoning provides that delicious and umami-rich sausage flavor without gives a similar great flavor without the questionable additives or curing process.

Looking for more sausage inspired dishes on Frugal Nutrition? Check out sausage soup, bolognese,and homemade sausage! And if you want to try out a variation on your sausage seasoning, check out this chorizo seasoning.

What's in Italian Sausage Seasoning?

It's made with a blend of spices to create the flavors you find in Italian sausage. Here's what you need:

Italian Sausage Seasoning Recipe (2)
  • Salt: Sausage is salty, which is one of the reasons it tastes so good. If you're watching your sodium, or you're salt-sensitive, this recipe allows you to moderate the amount of salt here!
  • Spices: You're going to use fennel to give it the classic flavors of sausage along with smoked paprika for a bit of rich smokey flavor, garlic powder for depth for flavor, and cayenne for a bit of heat.
  • Herbs: We're using the classic Italian herbs oregano and basil. Dried, of course!

(You can save 25% off on your herbs and spices with my Thrive Market link!)

What's the Difference Between Italian Seasoning and Italian Sausage Seasoning?

Generally speaking, herbal Italian seasoning is made from a blend of Italian herbs - parsley, basil, sage, oregano, marjoram, thyme, and rosemary.

To make Italian sausage seasoning, a blend of Italian herbs are used along with stronger, deeper flavors like paprika, ground fennel, and black pepper. To make it spicy you can add cayenne or red pepper flakes.

You will also see ground celery seed added to store-bought sausage as a source of naturally occurring nitrates for curing and preserving meat. Celery seed is also rich in flavor, so feel free to add that to your seasoning blend if desired! (It's delicious!)

Dietary Modifications and Variations

  • Paleo: Yup, absolutely! Use it on your favorite meats and vegetables.
  • Vegetarian: Yes! The seasoning itself is vegetarian, of course, and then you can use veggies or lentils as your base instead of meat. Sprinkle the seasoning on for the same great flavor.
  • Optional herbs and spices: Feel free to add ground onion, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley, ground celery seed, or smoked paprika to your spice mix.

How to Make Homemade Sausage Seasoning

This is the easiest recipe of all time.

  1. Start with a mixture of dried Italian herbs. I use oregano and basil but you can add more from the list of optional herbs in the recipe card.
  2. Add your spices like ground fennel, paprika (smoked or not), black pepper, and ground garlic. You can also add additional spices if you want including onion powder and celery seed.

PRO TIP: While the herbs and spices are somewhat variable I think the fennel and paprika are super important to creating that sausage flavor.

  1. Add your spicy seasonings. I like mine spicy, so I add cayenne pepper. Red pepper flakes work too, but I find that their large size is somewhat of a barrier to them mixing well and they tend to sit on the top - making your first few dishes spicier than the rest!

PRO TIP: Store your sausage seasoning in a jar in a cabinet or pantry (where it's dark and cool) so it lasts longer. Spices and herbs generally lose some of the potency the longer they sit so I like to make this in small batches so it stays fresher longer.

Italian Sausage Seasoning Recipe (3)

Tips to Use Sausage Seasoning

Adding to soup or cooking beans. Consider omitting the salt in this blend, and adding it to the final steps of cooking instead. This way you can have more control over how much salt you use, and it won't contribute to longer cooking times for things like beans and grains.

The earlier you mix the seasoning into the meat, the more "sausage-like" texture the meat will get. Check out this awesome article by The Food Lab for more deets on that. You can also follow this homemade sausage recipe!

Use this seasoning on vegetables and vegan dishes - no meat needed!

Use with any type of ground meat including ground beef, pork, chicken, or turkey to make a sausage substitute. Just mix in about one tablespoon into a pound of ground meat and cook it as normal.

The beauty of this seasoning is that it's good on everything. Put it on pasta, on top of your pizza, over roasted peppers, or even on sandwiches.

Some of my favorite recipes using this spice blend include my mushroom bolognese, Italian sausage and spinach soup, and zucchini rollatini.


Is homemade Italian sausage seasoning cheaper than Italian sausage?

It is definitely cheaper to make your own homemade sausage seasoning! Most of the time, high-quality sausage is $8 a pound. I can get pastured ground pork for $4.99 a pound, and make this Italian sausage seasoning for $0.25 per pound of meat. Which definitely makes it cheaper!

Where do you buy Italian sausage spices on a budget?

I often buy some spices at Trader Joe's for just $1.99, but they have pretty limited options, so it's not usually my first choice. I find bagged spices from Thrive Market to be an economical option. Each of these organic spices is $2.99 on Thrive - significantly cheaper than most other locations.

Italian Sausage Seasoning Recipe (4)

More Sausage Recipes

  • Sausage Stuffed Mini Peppers (gluten-free, Paleo)
  • Homemade Maple-Sage Breakfast Sausage
  • Italian Sausage Spinach Soup

Did you like this recipe? If so, please take a moment and give it a 5-Star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review and leave a comment further below! Don't forget to follow me on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest for more delicious recipes!

Italian Sausage Seasoning Recipe (9)

Italian Sausage Seasoning

Caitlin Self, MS, CNS, LDN

Homemade spicy Italian sausage in 5 minutes? It may seem out of reach, but it's possible with this endlessly flavorful and authentic Italian Sausage Seasoning ready to go in your pantry!

5 from 7 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 2 minutes mins

Total Time 2 minutes mins

Course Seasoning

Cuisine Italian

Servings 12 teaspoons

Calories 4 kcal


  • 2 teaspoons salt*
  • 2 teaspoons fennel or 1 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 2 teaspoons spicy cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika


  • Combine all ingredients in a jar or small dish and stir well. Store in an airtight container. (Refrigeration not necessary.)

  • To use: Stir 1 Tablespoons seasoning into 1 pound ground meat. Mix well and use immediately, or let rest for 30 minutes (up to overnight (in the fridge). Form into patties, or cook as you would any regular crumbled sausage. Alternatively, you can brown beef and sauté vegetables as usual, and add the seasoning during cooking.


Feel free to omit the salt. You can choose to add more or less salt while cooking instead.

Makes 4 tablespoons. Use 1 Tablespoon for 1 pound of meat.

This seasoning is also a delicious addition to potatoes, vegetables, soup, beans, rice, and more.

Ground fennel will add a little more flavor if you have a spice grinder!

Optional herbs & spices - feel free to change this up with on-theme dried herbs and spices such as:

  • onion powder
  • marjoram
  • thyme
  • rosemary
  • sage
  • parsley
  • celery seed


Calories: 4kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 0.2gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.05gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.02gSodium: 389mgPotassium: 26mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 226IUVitamin B1: 0.004mgVitamin B2: 0.01mgVitamin B3: 0.1mgVitamin B5: 0.01mgVitamin B6: 0.02mgVitamin C: 0.4mgVitamin E: 0.2mgVitamin K: 4µgCalcium: 7mgCopper: 0.01mgFolate: 2µgIron: 0.3mgManganese: 0.1mgMagnesium: 3mgPhosphorus: 5mgSelenium: 0.2µgZinc: 0.05mgCholine: 1mg

Tried this recipe?Mention @FrugalNutrition or tag #frugalnutrition!

Italian Sausage Seasoning Recipe (2024)


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