Homemade Sausage Patties for Breakfast and Brunch

 homemade sausage patties

DIY sausage patties are easy and tasty for brunch and breakfast.

Serve these easy, do-it-yourself pork sausage patties for breakfast, dinner or at your next brunch. The basic seasonings in these skillet sausages mimics the flavor of traditional patties, but you can customize them with any favorite blend of spices, herbs and seasonings. Maybe you’d like them with all Italian-style seasonings. Or Cajun, Moroccan or Latino with chili peppers, cumin and lime zest. Or smoky with chipotle chili pepper or smoked paprika. You can even add a little finely chopped apple or bell pepper.

Nutrition perks include plenty of filling protein from the lean pork, along with B-vitamins and potassium. Even better, these homemade patties mean less sodium than store-bought versions, because you get to control the sodium.


DIY Sausage Patties
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Cook time
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Make homemade sausage patties when you want to customize the seasonings, keep tabs on the sodium and dazzle your brunch guests.
Recipe type: breakfast, dinner, brunch
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8 patties
  • ¾ teaspoon fennel seeds, skillet toasted, then crushed
  • ¾ teaspoon ground sage
  • ½ teaspoon crushed thyme
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  1. Heat an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add fennel seeds and cook, stirring or shaking constantly, until seeds are fragrant and toasted, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Crush seeds with mortar and pestle.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk crushed fennel with remaining nine seasonings until thoroughly combined. In a large bowl, combine ground pork with spice mixture, blending with wooden spoon or hands. (Avoid over-working mixture as patties will be tough.)
  4. Shape into 8 patties, 3-inches in diameter.
  5. Heat an extra-large skillet (12-inch) over medium heat until hot. Add patties and cook until patties reach 160°F in the center, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  6. Serve immediately.

No mortar and pestle to crush those fennel seeds? No worries. Just put the seeds in a zippered plastic bag and pound with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin. Toasting those before crushing really brings out their flavor, so don’t skip that step!

Why Your Kids Need Family Meals Together

Family Meals Matter

Want to give your kids a boost in life? Then sit down at the table and eat together as a family more often. At least three family meals together every week provides benefits that will last a lifetime. That’s right – just three. You don’t even need to eat together every single day like my childhood friends did – they grew up on farms and daily family dinners were as much a priority as feeding the cows and pigs. Three ways your kids get a boost:


  1. Better Behavior and Development

*Higher grades and better academic performance

*Higher self-esteem and greater resilience

*Greater sense of security and connection within the family

*Have a closer relationship to parents and siblings

*Greater understanding and acknowledgment of boundaries and expectations set by parents

*More likely to follow those boundaries and expectations

*More likely to exhibit positive social behaviors such as respect, sharing and fairness

*Less likely to show symptoms of depression, violence and suicide

*Better able to resist negative peer pressure

*Decrease in high-risk behaviors such as drug use, smoking, sexual activity and delinquent acts

*Lower risk of teen pregnancy

*Less likely to develop disordered eating behaviors

Frequent family meals provides connection and fosters emotional balance with your children and teenagers. Three family meals every week is all it takes – the benefits increase even more with each additional family meal.


  1. Healthier Eating Habits

*Healthier eating patterns overall

*Higher consumption of fruits and vegetables

*Higher intake of nutrients needed for proper growth such as protein, calcium and numerous vitamins and minerals.

*More likely to maintain a healthier weight/weight range

*Less likely to have eating disorders and disordered eating

Every meal your family eats together is an opportunity for your kids to learn from YOU – their role model for lifelong food habits – about the importance of regular meals and balanced choices. You can teach them how to have a positive and loving relationship with food, rather than a negative and fear-filled one. You can teach them table manners, too, like napkins on your lap, not chewing with your mouth open and not talking with food in your mouth. You KNOW those will serve them well down the road in social situations.


  1. Conversation Skills

*Greater ability to be an active listener and participant in meaningful conversations

*Enhanced language development

*More likely to have expanded vocabulary

*Better able to express their own opinions and have active voice within the family

In spite of all the technology today, your kids still need to learn how to actually carry a conversation. Meaningfully. Longer than just one sentence. Sitting at the dinner table together gives them this opportunity.

Notice I said sitting at the table. Sitting on the couch or floor in the living room every night with the TV blaring – even as a family – is not the type of togetherness that creates positive outcomes with behavior and conversation.  A calm and pleasant environment is best, so smart phones and mobile devices should be off, too.

Sample “conversation starters:”

*What’s the funniest/strangest/best thing that happened to you today?

*What’s your perfect day? What would you do and who would be with you?
*Name two places you’d like to go for family summer/winter vacation and why.

*What famous person(s) do you respect and admire? And why?

*If you were principal of your school, what would you do different?

family meals, three family meals together, eating together


How to Get Started Eating More Family Meals

*Decide you value eating meals together.

*Make it a family priority.

*Every Sunday, discuss which three meals that week you’ll all eat together. Yes, we’re all crazy busy with work, school, after-school activities, volunteer and community activities. But if you value this family time, you’ll figure out what days and times work. It can be breakfast, lunch or dinner. My childhood farmer friends also enjoyed big Sunday midday meals with extended family. Friends, too. That’s how I know about their tradition!

*Get input from everyone on what to eat/serve. Always include foods you know your kids like, but also be adventurous with new foods.

*Create fun theme nights, like Italian, Mexican, Asian, pasta, soup + salad, cheesy comfort food night. Maybe even breakfast for dinner night with eggs, bacon, sausage and biscuits. Or my favorite – leftovers night. Great way to teach how to enjoy leftovers and cut down on food waste.

*Get everyone involved in shopping, meal prep and clean-up. Even more lifelong skills and lessons plus expanded family time.

*Never lose sight of the fact that family meals are one of the best things you can do to help your kids grow into healthy, happy adults.

Disclosure: As a proud supporter of Indiana Agriculture and Farmers, I’m happy to mention this is a sponsored post for The Glass Barn. All content/opinions created solely by me. The Glass Barn is a physical and online resource providing educational materials on Indiana farming to educators and students; it’s funded by the soybean checkoff. You can visit the Glass Barn at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

 Resources for scientific research and statistics supporting family meals: American College of Pediatricians, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, Cornell University Food & Brand Lab, Food Marketing Institute, Bell Institute of Health & Wellness, Numerous University Extension Agencies and the Journal of Pediatric Health)



Football Strategy for Winning Weeknight Meals

Game Plan: Create nutrient-rich – and tasty – family meals.

Defensive Strategy:  Tackle tasteless foods before they end up off-sides….and off the plate for Mom, Dad and the kids. From entrees and side-dishes, salads and desserts, nothing can be so low in fat or seasonings that it lacks the MVP of family meals: great flavor!

Offensive Strategy:  Half your Plate Fruits and Vegetables. Increase/add nutrient-rich ingredients in every dish if possible, too. Serve whole grains and lean proteins like the six lean cuts of pork, twenty-nine lean cuts of beef, boneless skinless poultry or seafood. Focus on flavor first and foremost. 

Formation:  Front and center with plenty of fall apples. Apples are in-season right now, which means they’re very budget-friendly and taste best. Let apples shine in entrées, side dishes and even desserts.  All fresh apples add fiber, especially the cholesterol-lowering soluble type, plus lots of disease-fighting antioxidants. One antioxidant in particular, quercetin, is being studied extensively and may help reduce risk of some cancers and possibly even Alzheimer’s disease. 

Touchdown to Victory:  A family-pleasing menu filled with great flavor AND good nutrition: Pork, Apples & Onion entrée, Spice Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Apples side dish and Whole-Wheat Rolls.  Use a trans-fat free soft margarine like Country Crock with 70% less saturated fat and 30% fewer calories than butter to coat the potatoes and apples, then roast in the oven while the Pork Tenderloin, Apples and Onions on the stove-top burner!  Sauté the apples in margarine, too, instead of oil and save a few calories.   

Extra Points:  Score extra points with your family by serving a delicious homemade dessert – especially one filled with nutrient-rich ingredients. Try a simple Apple Crisp made with two whole grains: oats and whole-wheat flour. Or Pumpkin-Spiced Apple Crisp with pecans and dried apricots along with those two whole grains.  Or even Apple ‘N Peanut Butter Bread Pudding made with whole-grain bread! 


Spice-Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Apples 

¼ cup Shedd’s Spread Country Crock® Pumpkin Spice Spread

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch wedges

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges 

Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine Shedd’s Spread Country Crock® Pumpkin Spice Spread*with pepper in a small bowl; set aside. Toss apples with one tablespoon spread mixture in medium bowl; set aside. Toss potatoes with remaining spread mixture on baking sheet and arrange in single layer. Bake 10 minutes. Stir in apple mixture and bake, stirring once halfway through, an additional 25 minutes or until potatoes and apples are tender. Gently toss before serving. *Use regular Country Crock and mix with 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice if you don’t have this variety of margarine available.  Makes 6 servings. Prep Time: 10 minutes    Cook Time: 35 minutes 

Dessert recipes mentioned available at www.countrycrock.com. Nutrition information for this sweet potato/apple recipe there, too.


Skillet Pork Medallions with Sautéed Apples & Onions

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons Saigon cinnamon

1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

2 pork tenderloins (2 to 2½ pounds total)

2 to 4 tablespoons trans-fat free soft margarine, divided

2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced

1 large garlic clove, finely minced

2 large red apples (Jonagold or Honeycrisp), cored and sliced into wedges

½ to ¾ cup apple juice 

Mix salt, pepper, cinnamon and brown sugar together in a small bowl. Rub over both tenderloins to completely coat, and then slice each tenderloin into eight medallions. Set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon margarine in a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and brown on both sides. Remove pork and set aside on a covered plate. Heat additional 1 to 2 tablespoons margarine in same skillet, then add onions, garlic and apples and sauté until just becoming tender. Add pork medallions along with apple juice, cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook until pork reaches 145°F and apples and onions are tender. Let pork rest 3 minutes before serving. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

(Recipe adapted from and photo courtesy of porkbeinspired.com)

Disclosure: I’m a culinary-nutrition consultant to Kroger Central Division, various restaurants, numerous public relations representing one or more foods/beverages included in this post and several agriculture organizations.