SMASH Italian Recipes With These Substitutes For Italian Sausage

If you’re seeking an Italian spin on your favorite substitute for Italian sausage and are ready to improve them, here are some alternatives that will help you easily produce great-tasting dishes. Find out how to give your favorite foods a fresh twist and a makeover. This article demonstrates how to utilize various Italian sausage replacements in excellent Italian meals.

What is Italian Sausage Made of?

What is Italian sausage? It comprises a range of meats, such as beef, veal, and pork. There are several methods to produce distinctive tastes. 

Italian sausage is sure to satisfy, whether you like spicy or sweet. To fit your demands, a range of sizes and variations are also available. Italian sausage comes in many flavors, including sweet and spicy varieties.

There are two other great options: standard Italian sausage and garlic. The sausage size may vary based on the meat used, but it should have an elongated, tube-like appearance.

Cooked Sausages in close up view

What Spices are in Italian Sausage?

Italian sausage ingredients might differ significantly depending on the brand you choose. Others add oregano or rosemary to their links to enhance the flavor, while others may use salt as part of their recipe. 

What spices are in Italian sausage? Some manufacturers utilize garlic, pepperoni, or other spices to give their products an Italian taste. Its peculiar flavor comes from preparing Italian sausage with meat and spices.

Black Pepper

The components of Italian sausage include black pepper. Black pepper enhances the flavor of food and gives it a pleasant taste.


Many meals, particularly those including meat, require the addition of salt. Salt adds flavor and aid in preservation. When food is salted, the liquid inside its cells expands, increasing the volume of the food.


Origanum vulgare is the source of the herb oregano in Italian cooking. Its oils are to combat germs since they contain antibacterial qualities.


Thyme is a member of the mint family of plants. It thrives in arid conditions and grows well in warm temperatures. It smells nice, like bay leaf and rosemary. When taken orally, it functions best.


Is high in antioxidants and vitamins, especially vitamin C and B complex. Garlic aids in reducing cholesterol and preventing heart disease. Regular garlic consumption helps strengthen the immune system and lower cancer risk.


Basil may flavor sauces, salads, and soups and has a powerful aroma. While some individuals adore basil’s distinctively sweet fragrance, others find it disgusting.


People use rosemary to flavor meals and relieve headaches. When routinely breathed, rosemary enhances memory. It offers the meal a pleasant scent and unique flavor.

The History of Italian Sausage Making

Italian sausages are among the most well-known and well-liked varieties worldwide, and with good reason. In addition to components like pig, beef, and veal, they contain less-fine elements like breadcrumbs, spices, herbs, and garlic. Their distinctive flavor comes from the heavy use of Italian herbs like oregano and fennel.

It’s a common misconception that Italian sausages originated there. However, it’s still commonly accepted that these sausages bear a significant Italian influence. 

Italian sausage making is similar to that of many other European nations. The Greeks and Romans were known to make sausage at one point or another.

Nowadays, although prepared in countries other than Italy, many commercially produced sausages may have the designation “Italian,” which refers to the ingredients or the method of production. Bresaola, Luganega, Cotechino, Coppa, Zampone, and Mortadella are some popular Italian sausages. 

The fresh sausages contain fat and coarsely ground pig put into a connected casing and sold individually or in links. In addition to pigs, the other meats used include cattle, chicken, venison, and wild boar. 

However, most are ready-made sausages and are ready-to-eat, cured sausages. The well-known and often copied Italian salame consists of a fairly gently flavored variation of salami.

Italian salame varieties often consumed include Cacciatoro, salame di Felino, salame Fiorentino, salame Milano, salame Milanese, salame Napolentano, salame Sardo, and salame Ungherese.

Italian sausage is a beloved ingredient for pasta, risotto, stews, and soups. As luncheon meat, its slices are for snacking or can be ground and used in various meals and stuffings.

Making sausages is a skill that descends via generations in Italy. Both a lot of manual effort and a lot of talent are required. Italians view sausages as a vital component of their culture and take great delight in them. They also prepare them with great care so that everyone may enjoy them.

Grilling sausages

A List of Substitutes for Italian Sausage

These are the greatest alternatives when you don’t feel like preparing Italian sausage.

Andouille Sausage

French-born andouille sausage is a type of smoked sausage. Andouille is chunkier than other sausages because it uses whole pigs instead of chopped meat. It has a unique flavor and smell.

The whole pig’s digestive system, including the stomach and small intestine, is used to make traditional French andouille sausage. The beef is into slices or cubes, blended with onions, spices, and wine.

This meat is further placed into a pig’s huge intestine-made casing to create a substantial sausage. The andouille sausage comes in smaller andouillettes forms. Instead of using the big intestine, the andouillettes’ casing is from the pig’s small intestine.


Polish smoked sausage is called kielbasa. It’s a wonderful alternative to andouille sausage. Not every kielbasa comes from pork. It contains beef and other types of meat.

It is smoked and somewhat resembles andouille sausages in terms of texture. It works as a substitute in many recipes. Kielbasa has a strong cardamom taste, so it’s vital to keep that in mind. When used in a recipe, this could stick out a little.

However, this cardamom flavor is simple to cover up. To tone down the taste of the cardamom in your dish, add some Cajun spice or black pepper. Additionally, it will acquire a stronger flavor akin to andouille sausage. 

Pork Sausage

Since hog sausage is likewise composed of pork and has a flavor similar to Italian sausage, the Italian pork sausage can be a perfect replacement.

However, spices vary from recipe to dish, so you can’t count on getting the precise flavor. Any pig sausage will taste fantastic in stews, meat soups, or stir-fries. Use it in the quantity you like and according to your tastes.


Andouille sausages often have a distinct flavor and texture than bratwurst. However, they are in their raw form.

To get a taste comparable to andouille sausage, you can flavor the bratwurst using a variety of spices. They serve as a suitable andouille sausage replacement because of this.

Kielbasa and bratwurst both contain meats other than pork. However, we would advise sticking with the port type if you want a taste comparable to that of andouille sausage.

When you desire a thick texture in your sausage, these German sausages might not be the ideal replacement. It is because ground beef makes bratwurst. They are a wonderful replacement since they are chunkier than other sausages.

To create a taste profile reminiscent of andouille sausages, you may season raw bratwurst with various spices, including garlic flakes, paprika, black pepper, allspice, thyme, and sage. Additionally, you may smoke them to provide a smokey flavor.

Minced Chicken or Turkey

You may easily substitute minced chicken or turkey for the Italian sausage if you don’t have any other sausages. 

Seasoning it with fennel, garlic, salt, and pepper may taste better than a genuine Italian sausage. You may buy your chicken or Italian turkey sausage in supermarkets, and then you can mince it yourself at home and cook whatever you choose.

Toulouse Style Sausage 

Saucisse de Toulouse is the fancy name for this fresh French sausage. It has the name of the French city of Toulouse. It contains pork, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and garlic.

The texture of Italian sausage and the coarseness of Toulouse-style sausage are very comparable. You need not be concerned about the flavor or taste. To recreate the enchantment of Italian sausage, add fennel Italian sausage seed.

Vegan Italian Sausage

Vegans must be grateful to me for this option. So, if you run out of Italian swine sausage, vegan Italian sausage is unquestionably a nutritious substitute.

The fact that vegan Italian sausage tastes just like its meatier version makes it an effective, healthy option to Italian sausage, so it isn’t much you need to consider before adding.

However, you would be lacking in pork taste. Replace it with enough vegetables to make it vegan.


Mexican chorizo is a hot sausage. Given that it has an equally smokey and spicy taste to andouille sausage, it is the finest alternative.

In contrast to andouille sausages, chorizo often has a dark red tint. However, chorizo does resemble andouille sausage in terms of its smokey taste and chunky texture.

Since chorizo often has a considerably chunkier texture than any other type of sausage, it makes an excellent replacement. However, given that the sausage contains red peppers, it will give your dish a jolt of spiciness.

You can’t tell the difference between chorizo and andouille sausage, especially in gumbo and jambalaya. You may swap it 1:1 for any recipe ingredient if you want.

Tofu Sausage

Tofu sausages are the greatest option if you’re searching for a  vegetarian substitute for Italian sausage or a vegan alternative to andouille sausage! Several tofu sausages resemble andouille sausage in flavor.

Pork and tofu are unquestionably significantly different in taste and texture. However, it makes a good alternative because it is high in protein and has a smokey flavor.

There is no need for additional spice or flavorings in tofu sausages intended to serve as andouille substitutes. Additionally, you can smoke it. It gives it the same smoky texture as andouille sausages.

They may be used as a 1:1 substitution in recipes and have a rich flavor. Furthermore, you rarely notice the difference if you swap them for andouille sausages in any dish!


Even though meatloaf comprises beef, it is a fantastic substitute for Italian beef sausage. You may also get meatloaves seasoned similarly to Italian sausage, making the flavor a little more comparable.

Meatloaf is suitable for stews and other Italian meals like lasagna or spaghetti. When making meatloaf at home, you may get a taste that resembles Italian sausage when you use fennel seeds.

Minced Soy

Vegans are typically the most worried when it comes to the substitution of sausage in a recipe. Minced soy is a great substitute. Soy has the benefit of not having a strong flavor, so you may season it however you choose.

Spaghetti recipes may use soy mince as a garnish. If you want to make the vegan version, you may use lasagna.

Minced Tofu

Minced tofu, like minced soy, may be an excellent alternative for vegans searching for a substitute for Italian sausage. You may get already minced tofu from supermarkets.

It is in the refrigerated section, and some companies sell it already seasoned. Depending on the current herbs, add more seasoning to your tofu to improve the flavor or eat it. It works well for lasagna, stir-fries, and toppings.

Minced Beef

Minced beef has a texture comparable to Italian sausage. You may get a fairly similar taste by adding fennel seeds, salt, pepper, onion, garlic, and other seasonings.

Enjoy a delicious flavor by using it in any dish that asks for Italian sausage. Though beef may have a fairly rich flavor when properly seasoned, some people may even appreciate this flavor.

Minced Lamb

Lamb has a flavor all its own. So if you enjoy Italian sausage flavor, you may use it in place of it. It can be pre-minced or purchased already-minced. It would help if you seasoned the lamb with more garlic since it tastes much better.

Why Would One Want to Substitute Italian Sausage?

A Wonderful Inclusion in Any Diet

Italian sausage is delicious, filling, and adaptable. It contributes iron, zinc, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B12, selenium, and folic acid in addition to protein. Additionally, it is a healthy choice for many diets because it is low in fat and cholesterol. 

Sausages come from many types of meat, including pork shoulder, beef, lamb, veal, turkey, chicken, duck, rabbit, ostrich, and deer.  Add them to pasta meals, casseroles, salads, soups, sandwiches, and more!

Simple to cook

Even though it doesn’t need a specific recipe, you can cook Italian sausage differently than other ground meats.

For instance, fresh meats like chicken breasts take around 40 minutes to cook, whereas dried Italian sausages, depending on their thickness, require roughly 4 to 6 hours. Instead of cooking them, you may quickly brown uncooked sausages in the oven by placing them on a baking sheet.


Italian sausage is ideal for breakfast, lunch, supper, snacks, and drinks due to its meaty texture and mild, sweet flavor. Due to its adaptability, it pairs nicely with a wide variety of foods, including cheeseburgers, tacos, pizza, omelets, enchiladas, and more!


Italian sausage is both high in protein and low in fat. If we consume meat, lean meat like chicken and fish should be, as animal products make up less than 30% of our diets.

Italian sausage includes 10% less fat than standard sausage, but it also has more fiber and vitamins than most other forms of meat. Vitamins keep our skin smooth and our bones strong, while fiber helps us feel fuller for longer.


Italian sausage’s taste makes it suitable for many dishes, especially tomato-based sauces. The meatball sub sandwich, pizza toppings, chili con carne, lasagna, meatloaf, and spaghetti sauce are a few more words employed. 

Italian sausages add a delicious flavor to practically any dish when mixed with vegetables, peppers, mushrooms, onions, garlic, herbs, spices, and cheese.

How is Italian Sausage Different from Regular Sausage?

The flavors added to the meat are still the key to a superb Italian sausage. It might have a mild Italian sausage taste or one that is hot and contains chile. Italian sausage has significantly more garlic and fennel seeds than typical pork sausage.

You will taste these two spices when you eat a sausage like this. Depending on the recipe it uses, common pig sausage might include a variety of spices.

Grilled sausages

That’s a Wrap

When trying to substitute for Italian sausage, there are several factors that you would have to consider to achieve the best result possible. You would need to think about the overall taste and texture of the recipe, which would also depend on what type of dish you are making. 

We recommend you try a few recipes to get a general idea about how your subs will work. Then, if you decide to continue with these types of replacements, you need to test them out in various dishes.