Healthy Sausage Brands, Recipe, and Tips

Choose Lean Chicken Sausage Brands or Make Your Own at Home

Healthy Sausage Brands and Tips

Do you love sausage but hate the fat and calories? Finding healthy sausage is getting easier as more brands are making sausage with lower fat ingredients like chicken.

Brands like Thin 'n Trim make low-fat sausage (70 calories per link) from healthy ingredients like skinless chicken meat, red bell peppers, and fennel. Another popular and easy-to-find brand is Applegate Farms that makes a wide variety of healthy dinner and breakfast sausage that are lower in calories than traditional pork sausage. A third healthy sausage brand is al fresco. The Apple Maple Chicken sausage contains just 60 calories per link and is made with skinless chicken, maple syrup, brown sugar, and dried apples. 

Remember that when you're choosing healthy sausage at the market, always use the nutrition facts label and the ingredients list as your guide. Sometimes, turkey or chicken sausage sounds healthy but actually contains more fat and calories than traditional pork sausage. 

So what's the best way to enjoy healthy sausage? Make it yourself! Try this healthy sausage recipe made with ground chicken, apple and bacon. Then use the flavorful meat to make sliders, egg dishes, sandwiches and more. It's a great way to boost your metabolism with lean protein.

8 Simple Steps to Make Healthy Sausage

Begin by gathering and measuring your ingredients. This recipe makes about 9 pounds of meat. Making sausage in bulk allows you to freeze individual portions and use them in different recipes for months. If you don't want to make that much, divide each ingredient in half or in thirds to make a smaller batch.
Chicken, Apple and Bacon Sausage Ingredients

  • 7.5 pounds of frozen chicken breast (no skin, no bones), partially thawed
  • 1 lb bacon
  • 9 ounces dried apples
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Dried sage
  • 3 bouillon cubes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 cups pure pressed apple juice (unsweetened, not from concentrate)

Simmer Apple Juice

The flavor in any variation of chicken and apple sausage comes primarily from concentrated apple juice. So, it's worth it to get a high quality brand that is unsweetened and unfiltered. Bring your three cups to a boil. Then simmer until it cooks down to about 1/2 cup. Don't overcook the juice. If it starts to thicken to a syrup, you many have cooked it too long. Make sure it doesn't smell burnt or smoky.

Grind Lean Chicken

The next step is to grind your chicken for sausage. A Kitchen Aid mixer with the meat grinder attachment works well for this step.
To get started, make sure the poultry is partially thawed. Then cut each breast into one-inch strips and feed it into your meat grinder. Use a course grind setting. If you don't have a meat grinder, you can substitute ground chicken from your local grocer. This may, however, change the nutritional information for your chicken sausage.

Grind Dried Apples

The next step is to add dried apples to your homemade sausage recipe for texture and flavor.  Try to find dried apples that don't contain added sugar or flavors. Put the apples through the meat grinder to continue to build the base of your chicken apple sausage.

Add Bacon

Even healthy chicken sausage needs some fat. Commercial sausage makers may add fat sources like chicken skin or dark meat for texture and flavor. But bacon works well, too. If you add one pound of bacon to this recipe the fat content is still low. But feel free to experiment and add less if you want a version that is even lower in fat.

Season the Sausage Mixture

Add the seasonings and blend with your hands. The mixture should stay cold. Use clean rubber gloves when mixing the ingredients.

Once you've got the ingredients well blended, grab a pan and cook a small portion to taste. Adjust the seasonings as needed. This is where you can customize your homemade chicken sausage. Don't be afraid to play with flavors to find something that you like.

Regrind for Better Texture

Your homemade sausage is almost done. Put the entire sausage mixture through a second grinding using a finer setting on your meat grinder.  This will help to blend the chicken, apple and bacon sausage flavors and get a better texture.

Prepare Sausage for Storage

Once the whole sausage recipe is complete, divide it into individual portions (70 grams each) to freeze and use at a later date. Take an ice cream scoop and place one full scoop on parchment paper. Then fold the paper over and press into a patty. Use a digital kitchen scale to make sure the portions are correct. You can also purchase sausage skin from your local butcher to make sausage links if you prefer.

Healthy Sausage Nutrition

Now that the meat is prepared and packed into individual portions, assemble the individual packets into larger freezer bags. The healthy sausage is easier to store that way.  Be sure to write nutrition facts on the outside so that if you are counting calories, the information is handy and easy to see.

Nutrition Facts (per 70 gram serving): 117 calories, 4 grams fat, 4 grams carbohydrate, 15 grams protein.

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