What Is Breakfast Sausage and How Is It Different from Dinner Sausage?

From seventh grade until my senior year of college, I was a vegetarian (well, I ate fish, so I was technically a pescatarian, but I had never even heard that word until college). I also had an egg aversion stemming from a childhood allergy, so I couldn’t stomach plain eggs of any variety. Oh, and I should add that I’m not a big fan of cakes or pies or anything in that area (aka pancakes and muffins). During this time in my life, breakfast was, understandably, a challenge. Many days I would just skip it altogether and not eat anything until lunch. On those days family or friends would go out to a breakfast place, I would peruse the menu with a frowning face and often just end up ordering a grilled cheese or tuna melt.

Fortunately, those days are behind me. I have learned to love eggs, and I do eat meat now (though cake and pies are still not really my thing). Today, breakfast is a delight. And one big reason is sausage. But, apart from it being a satisfyingly meaty a.m. bite, how much do we know about breakfast sausage? Let’s get the facts on an important ingredient in the most important meal of the day. (And if you’re searching for the best breakfast sausage, Sporked has a full ranking.)

What is breakfast sausage?

Breakfast sausage is sausage that you eat in the morning. But even if you’re chowing down on a bratwurst at 9 a.m., most people wouldn’t quite consider that a breakfast sausage. Breakfast sausages are typically fresh sausages seasoned with pepper and sage that Americans eat as part of a “country style” or “farmer” breakfast. While the typical breakfast sausage is made from pork, there are also beef, turkey, chicken, and plant-based breakfast sausages.

What spices are in breakfast sausage?

The primary seasonings in breakfast sausage are pepper and sage. This recipe from Allrecipes also calls for brown sugar, marjoram, red pepper flakes, and cloves. Because people sometimes enjoy their sausage with maple syrup, maple flavorings can also be added to some brands, as is the case with the number one brand in Sporked’s best breakfast sausage ranking.

Is breakfast sausage gluten free?

According to Very Well Fit, breakfast sausage is typically made without any glutenous ingredients, but most varieties are packaged near wheat products, which means some potential cross-contamination. So, many breakfast sausages don’t meet the FDA’s standards for gluten free labeling. There are, however, some brands that ensure they are gluten-free on their packaging, and these include Applegate, Bass Farm, Hebrew National, and Niman Ranch. 

Is breakfast sausage keto?

Because breakfast sausage is mostly made from good ol’ meat, it is indeed keto-friendly. However, be sure to check the label on the sausage you’re thinking of purchasing, as some brands use binding agents that wouldn’t be included on a keto diet, such as maltodextrin. 

How long do breakfast sausages last in the fridge? 

An open package of raw sausage will keep in the fridge for around two days. Some brands, such as Jimmy Dean, make pre-cooked breakfast sausage, and that will keep longer. 

What to do with breakfast sausages?

If you’ve got some breakfast sausages lying around and you’re sick of just plopping them alongside some sunny side up eggs and a couple pieces of toast, there are other options. Try making a hash with potatoes, eggs, peppers, onions, and cheese. Slice them into coins and place them into pancake batter as it cooks for a savory take on flapjacks. Wrap them in puff pastry for an a.m. version of pigs in a blanket. Use them in breakfast sausages. I guess the real question is, what can’t you do with breakfast sausages? You probably shouldn’t puree them into a smoothie. But that’s really the limit. 

About the Author

Matt Crowley

Matt Crowley is a comedy writer living in Los Angeles. He likes maple-flavored snacks, loves every kind of cheese, and is slowly learning to accept mushrooms.

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