Juicy and flavorful beef breakfast sausage is easy to make at home with lean ground beef, spices, and olive oil.
I like to make several of them ahead of time and enjoy them throughout the week! They reheat beautifully in the microwave.
Savory breakfasts can be just as good as sweet ones, and these tasty sausages are the proof. Served with eggs, they're perfect for breakfast or brunch - delicious, filling, and you can make them in advance and reheat.
I love making this homemade sausage because it's not just very flavorful but also so easy to make. You simply mix the ground beef with seasonings, shape the mixture into patties, then cook the patties for a few minutes in olive oil.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make beef breakfast sausage. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Ground beef: I use lean ground beef (85% lean and 15% fat). A leaner mixture is going to be too dry, in my opinion. I once tried using a 90/10 mix and it definitely wasn't as good.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use or the sausage might be too salty.
Lots of spices: I like to use onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, dried thyme, dried sage, and crushed red peppers. Please make sure the spices you use are fresh. A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Olive oil: I use it to fry the patties. Other options include avocado oil and butter.
Making homemade beef sausage is easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Combine the beef with the spices and mix. Try not to over-mix (over-mixing will result in dense sausage), but do make sure the mixture is uniform and the spices are distributed throughout.
Divide the mixture into four patties (or into eight small ones). Cook them in olive oil until cooked through, 4-5 minutes per side over medium heat.
You can easily double the recipe, cook the patties in batches (or use a double-burner griddle), and keep the leftovers in the fridge for a few days. They also freeze well.
Frequently asked questions
It's typically made with ground pork. However, some people prefer to avoid pork for various reasons, and for them, beef is actually a great option that tastes really good.
Yes, absolutely. Although it's typically made with pork meat, beef is a great, flavorful option that pairs well with the typical sausage seasonings. Other options include ground chicken and ground turkey.
There are two main differences. The first is the meat used - beef for burgers and pork or chicken for sausages. Although as you can see here, sausage CAN be made with ground beef.
The second main difference is the seasoning. A burger is often seasoned very minimally, with just salt and pepper. Sausages are heavily seasoned and often contain spices such as paprika, sage, and thyme.
Variations and substitutions
Here are a few ideas for you for varying the basic recipe:
- As mentioned above, you can cook the patties in butter instead of olive oil. It's very tasty!
- The spice combination I use, especially the thyme and sage, is a classic one. But you can experiment with your favorite spices. Tasty options include dry mustard and oregano.
- Add 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan to the mixture.
- You can form the mixture into eight small patties instead of into four larger ones. If you do, they'll be ready faster - you'll need to cook them for about 3 minutes per side over medium heat.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. They keep quite well actually, and you can reheat them in the microwave on 50% power.
I also enjoy them cold for my lunch, with Dijon mustard, fresh-cut veggies, and quick pickles or pickled red onions. And sometimes I have one of them in a cloud bread sandwich and pretend I'm eating a burger!
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Beef Breakfast Sausage
- 1 lb. lean ground beef (85/15)
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Place all the ingredients except for the oil in a medium bowl and use clean hands to combine them into a uniform mixture, but don't over-mix.
- Divide the mixture into four ½-inch thick patties. You can also divide it into eight small patties if you wish.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and cook them until browned and cooked through, 4-5 minutes per side.