What is the Best Substitute for Italian Sausage?

by Charlie
Published: Last Updated on
Italian Sausage substitutes

Italian sausage is loved for many reasons, including but not limited to its lovely taste and versatility. It’s the type of food additive that you can always have around you and rest assured that it will make your dish significantly better. 

Over the years, many people have experimented with Italian sausage and have found it to be pretty effective in cooking. But, there are times when it might not be so ideal and you need something to stand in its palace. 

So, what is the best substitute for Italian sausage? Pork sausage has emerged as the best available substitute, thanks to its striking similarity with Italian sausage. As long as you can season it right, you’ll find that pork sausage can be a pretty perfect Italian sausage substitute.

An Overview of Italian Sausage

Italian sausage is a lovely addition to many meals that are pretty popular in the West. Made from seasoned pork and additions like red pepper flakes and fennel seed, this sausage has a distinctly mild flavor. However, many recipes also call for the addition of several other ingredients if you’d like to give the sausage more taste. 

One of the many reasons why Italians sausage is so loved is the fact that it fits into different dishes. From pasta and hoagies to rice dishes and even snacks, this sausage is a pretty versatile food option. You can even grill it and add it to a barbecue dish or a pastry. Its flavor is lovely, and it won’t threaten to overshadow the other elements of your dish. 

As long as it is made well, you will find that Italian sausage is more than a delight to your dish. 

Why Replace Italian Sausage?

  • Non-availability: While many people love it, Italian sausage isn’t so easy to find. If you’re unable to get it around you, then a substitute will have to suffice. 
  • A change of taste: Sometimes, you want something different in your recipe. If you love experimenting with food, you’ll need an Italian sausage substitute from time to time. 

Options for Italian Sausage Substitutes

Best Overall Substitute for Italian Sausage: Pork Sausage

So we’ve pointed out that there are several types of sausage in the world – of which Italian sausage is one. So, if you’re looking for an ideal substitute, it seems only right that you get a sausage as well. 

To wit, say hello to pork sausage. Also made of pork, this sausage gives a significant similarity to the Italian sausage that we all know and love. You should know that there are different types of pork sausage on their own – but, the most ideal Italian sausage substitute will have to be ground pork sausage. 

Depending on where you live, ground pork sausage is a great option if you need something quickly. Thanks to its similarities, you will barely need to make any modifications to it. If you like, you could use it in your recipe just as you would use the Italian sausage. 

That said, you could decide to make some changes to the ground pork sausage as well. Most food aficionados will recommend that you season the sausage with a bit of fennel. This will modify its taste a bit and help you to achieve that Italian sausage flavor you love so much. 

You could also add some spices and other ingredients to give the sausage more flavor and tang. Once you’re done with the seasoning, you should be able to use the pork sausage as an ideal Italian sausage substitute. 

Pork sausage works in pretty much anything you can use Italian sausage for. It is excellent in stews, stir-fry dishes, and meat soups. Since it is a one-for-one substitute, you don’t need to make changes to the application proportions. Get your sausage in the dish and enjoy it! 

Best Readily-Available Substitute: Toulouse-Style Sausage

Toulouse-style sausage is another famous sausage option that was named after a place – Toulouse in France. Also known by some as Saucisse de Toulouse, this sausage comes with a 25% belly meat and 75% lean meat combination. 

Thanks to its easy availability, Toulouse-style sausage also works as a great alternative to Italian sausage. You might have to watch out for it based on where you are, but the sausage option is usually available in most grocery stores. 

Toulouse-style sausage also features some of the most fundamental ingredients in Italian sausage. So, you get a similar taste and flavor profile. If you’re looking to make the sausage even more identical, however, all you have to do is season it with some fennel and you’re ready to go. 

You could also add several other spices to help adjust its texture and make it more similar to Italian sausage. However, you will need to be careful with that. If you love to experiment, you could check out different ingredient additions and spice options available before trying it out. 

As expected, Toulouse-style sausage is a good one-for-one replacement for Italian sausage. So, there’s no need to adjust its proportions. 

Best Beef-Based Substitute: Bratwurst

If you’re looking for a substitute for Italian sausage that doesn’t use so much in terms of beef content, then a bratwurst could very well be what you need. While it has pork in it, bratwurst is more of a beef variant. Even better, it has several lovely seasoning options that allow you to enjoy its lovely flavor. 

Bratwurst recipes differ significantly. You could find recipes that rely more on the pork content if you want something more pork-based, and you could go the direction of beef if you want a change of taste for once. The only limit here is your imagination – be free!

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