One of my all time most used pizza toppings is something I usually call ‘fake sausage’. It generally involved dumping a bunch of sausag-y seasonings on any ground meat I had around as I browned it, and it was a big hit with my nieces and nephews.
I have managed to standardize my recipe a bit for the purposes of this blog post, but there’s still plenty of room for adjusting the seasonings to taste. As I generally make it, it has a strong herby, savory flavor without being too spicy hot.
Using this seasoning blend allows for control over the healthiness of all the ingredients of your sausage, but it also allows for using cheaper meats (such as ground turkey) in place of sausage if you’re trying to save money, and the convenience of being able to make a quick sausage replacement for a recipe out of any ground meat you have on hand.
(Edit: I don’t normally keep fennel on hand, but I have added it to the list of optional spices in the recipe, as you may find it greatly increases the sausag-y flavor of your fake sausage.)
Healthiness Rating: Healthy
One of the main advantages of this seasoning mix is that you have complete control over the ingredients. Want to avoid MSG? Just don’t add any. Want to use only non-irradiated spices? No problem. Want to make sausage out of your grassfed beef? Easy.
Yumminess Rating: Yummy
As every sausage brand and blend is a bit different, this one has it’s own flavor profile, but it’s been pretty popular with everyone who’s tried it, and qualifies as husband approved.
1 lb ground meat of choice
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1-2 tsp cumin
1/2-1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
2-4 tsp dried herbs (your choice of): oregano, thyme, basil & parsley
optional: 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp turmeric, dash (or more) of cayenne, 1/2 tsp fennel
Brown meat in skillet, adding spices as it cooks. (Measuring spices is optional. I prefer the sprinkle, stir, taste method myself. ) If you prefer, you can mix up a larger batch of seasoning ahead of time, and simply add a couple TBSP of the mix to your ground meat, but I prefer to be able to customize the exact blend on the fly as needed.