The best sausage comes in a lot of different forms. You’ve got your little links of breakfast sausage, your fat ol’ bratwurst, and spicy andouille—and that’s not to mention Italian sausage, vegan sausage, and stuffed sausage. We looked back through our sausage taste tests and rounded up all the best store bought sausage we’ve tried. Welcome to the sausage party, people.
- Johnsonville Sweet Italian Sausage
The best Italian sausage might come from an Italian butcher shop somewhere in New York or New Jersey, but Johnsonville is making the best Italian sausage you’ll find at the grocery store, no matter where you are. Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling called it rich and fatty, adding that it has “a great, snappy casing and it’s packed with lots of tasty fennel seeds.” Put one of these bad boys on a hoagie roll with peppers and onions and you might as well be at Satriale’s.
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Credit: Merc / Target
- Fat Tire Beer Bratwurst
There are many, many different types of bratwurst, but if you’re into beer brats (that you don’t have to actually soak in beer yourself), these Fat Tire brats absolutely rule. “It’s the perfect beer brat flavor,” Sporked managing editor Gwynedd Stuart wrote in her ranking of the best brats. “Unbelievably fresh and porky, but with that undertone of a refreshing, tasty Fat Tire ale.” If you happen to see these, pick up a pack. Your tailgate parties will never be the same.
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Credit: Merc / Whole Foods
- Hillshire Farms Cajun Style Andouille Smoked Sausage
Whether you’re making jambalaya or gumbo (or something that has nothing to do with Cajun or Creole cuisine), you can’t deny that andouille is an elite sausage, especially if you like spice. But don’t worry. Hillshire Farms Cajun Style Andouille isn’t hot to the point of being unpleasant; as Sporked senior writer Jordan Myrick put it, this is andouille for “anyone and everyone.” It’s fatty without being too fatty and it’s spicy without being too spicy.
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Credit: Merc / Walmart
- Bar-S Cheddar Hot Links
There’s something so pleasing about the phrase “stuffed sausage” and, likewise, there is something very pleasing about smoky hot links stuffed with cheddar cheese. Bar-S Cheddar Hot Links are plump, juicy, and have excellent snap. These are the best sausages at the grocery store if you want sausage with a little oomph.
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Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Walmart
- Beyond Sausage Brat Original
Vegetarian/vegan sausage technology has come a long way in recent years. These Beyond Brats are proof. They taste so much like real sausage—if you fed these to unwitting guests at a backyard barbecue, we’d bet dollars to doughnuts they wouldn’t even know the difference. As Jordan put it, “If I was served one of these, I would think they accidentally served me a real pork sausage. That’s what makes it one of the best vegan sausage options on the market.” And one of the best sausages at the grocery store, period.
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Credit: Ryan Martin / Target
- Farmer John Maple Pork Sausages
Is there anything more amazing than breakfast sausage cooking in a skillet first thing in the morning? Yes. There is. Maple breakfast sausage cooking in a skillet first thing in the morning. And these Farmer John sausages taste as good as they smell. “The flavor is out of this world,” Justine wrote in her ranking of the best breakfast sausage. “The maple coats your mouth. The fat is rich and decadent without feeling greasy. It’s filled with umami.” Grab these at the grocery store if you want to have a very good morning once in a while.
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Credit: Liv Averett / Target
Best Italian Sausage