Perfect Breakfast Sausage (Paleo, AIP, GAPS, Wahls, Low-FODMAP, Whole30)

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sausage patties on a white plate with sliced oranges in the background

“There are more different sausages in Germany than there are breakfast foods in America, and if there is a bad one among them then I have never heard of it.”
~ H.L. Mencken

In Search of Excellence

My husband grew up in Wisconsin, where there are many German immigrants, and that means many varieties of excellent sausage. He’s spent his adult life elsewhere, and the look on his face when he tries sausage in other states, is usually one of intense disappointment. He eats it anyway (because he loves sausage), but he longs for something better. When I found out I had a nightshade sensitivity, we stopped buying sausage altogether, because red pepper or paprika is usually an ingredient. So, I set myself the task of creating a breakfast sausage recipe that was nightshade-free AND got my husband’s seal of approval.

My first step was research. I scoured the internet for sausage expertise, and I learned some valuable tips that take an average sausage recipe to one that is superb:

  1. Always add a little cold water to the recipe. Pork is a unique meat; it has the ability to absorb moisture. If you’ve ever eaten dry, crumbly sausage, it was missing that added water.
  2. Good sausage needs to be at least 20% fat. Sadly, a lot of conventional pork these days has been bred to compete with the ever-popular chicken breast. How many of you have seen the commercials advertising pork as “the other white meat”? And how sad is that? Who wants pork to taste like chicken? Don’t get me wrong, I like chicken, but I have no desire to have all my meat taste the same. If you have access to a butcher who will grind your meat for you, ask for 80% pork shoulder ground with 20% pork fat. If that’s not an option, buy 1 pound of ground pork for each of your local farmers and meat counters, and compare them. The pork that looks like it’s scattered with white pieces has the fat you’re looking for.
  3. Lastly, you want to get the seasonings just right – enough flavor to taste like sausage, but not so much you can’t taste the meat. This recipe is the result of many experiments, and my husband positively lights up whenever he takes a bite. Success!

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Perfect Breakfast Sausage | Phoenix Helix

Perfect Breakfast Sausage (Paleo, AIP, GAPS, Wahls, Low-FODMAP, Whole30)

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  • Author: Eileen Laird
  • Total Time: 18 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 lb. ground pork (ideally 20% fat)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper (optional – omit for AIP)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried sage
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. dried ginger
  • 3 Tbsp. cold water
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil


  1. Add pork to a large bowl. Use a Kitchenaid mixer with a paddle attachment, if you have it. Otherwise, any large bowl and your hands will do.
  2. Blend spices and water together in a small glass measuring cup. Pour on top of the pork, and blend well.
  3. Shape into 8 thin patties.
  4. Melt coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry patties 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Turn patties over and fry 3 minutes more.
  5. Enjoy!


  1. You can freeze these, separated by parchment paper. They reheat well.
  2. And if you'd like to try another flavor variation, try Primal Palate's AIP-Friendly Breakfast Spice Blend.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Category: Main Courses
  • Method: Stovetop

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Credit: recipe photograph taken by Christina Feindel

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50 comments on “Perfect Breakfast Sausage (Paleo, AIP, GAPS, Wahls, Low-FODMAP, Whole30)”

  1. Cathy Schulte Harvey

    Delicious! I know lots of people like their sausage and bacon with maple syrup, but I am not one of them. This is a great recipe without any hint of maple syrup. I made them into little balls and par-baked them at 400 degree for 10 minutes and then put them into little AIP crusts for a wonderful sausage muffin.

  2. Ok I admit, I was super skeptical as I’ve made several aip sausage recipes and they just didnt do it. But this!!!!! This I could eat every morning!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!

  3. I double this recipe and press the meat mixture into a 7×11 glass dish and score it for 16 servings. Then bake. Cut it the whole way through and freeze the pieces on a cookie sheet then into a container. Guess I am lazier than everyone else and hate standing in front of a pan. Plus I like to have more in the freezer!

  4. Sooooo good. My first recipe on AIP – and I love it!!! My three year old also loves it. I’m so glad I took a risk and doubled it to freeze some for hectic mornings.

  5. Thank you for creating a breakfast sausage recipe without ginger in it! For some reason a AIP bloggers always want to put ginger in recipes (like sausage) where it really doesn’t belong. This is delish!

    1. Hi Sarah. I’ve heard from readers who batch cook this recipe that they do bake the patties, but they don’t get the caramelization that happens in a skillet. You might have to do some experiments to find the best time and temperature. Start with 400 degrees and 20-25 minutes and see how that goes.

  6. Thank you very much for this recipe. I just started a low-FODMAP diet, and this delicious sausage has already saved me during several meals when nothing sounds appetizing.

    1. Regular dried thyme, Melissa. Although I’m sure ground thyme would be fine, too – it would just be a slightly stronger flavor since you’d fit more in a teaspoon.

  7. Hi! I can’t eat pork, so I’m wondering if subbing in ground turkey or another meat would work. If so, should I still add the water? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Jenna. You can definitely substitute another meat, but then don’t add the water. Pork is unique in its tendency to absorb liquids. I would also recommend doubling the cooking fat, to retain the moisture of the leaner meats. Let us know how the substitution turns out!

  8. we are currently waiting for these sausages in the fridge to get full of flavor.
    this is my first AIP recipe of sausages I am trying to get my husband off of the commercial sausages

    so here’s to hoping!!!

    1. Yohan, yes you can substitute but you’ll want to alter the recipe just a bit. Don’t add the water – pork is the only meat that absorbs water. If you have very lean beef, add a little extra oil to the pan when you’re cooking, and maybe cook it a little shorter time. I also have a recipe for flavor burgers, that has 3 herb variations for beef. Have fun experimenting!

  9. Hi Eileen, I just love these ‘sausages’ (we call them rissoles here in Australia) I’ve made them 4 times already in double batches! Love the combination of flavours and the ‘porkiness’ of them. I even love them cold straight from the fridge! Thanks for an amazing recipe!

  10. I’ll have to try this recipe. I’ve been making my own sausages for over a year now, but I’ve only been using a couple of recipes (my pork sausage recipe includes some maple syrup – yum!). I need more variety. I don’t think most people realize how easy it is to make homemade patty sausages!

  11. Hi Eileen! I recently subscribed to your blog and so I saw this right away this morning. I happened to have taken out a lb of pork last night to make breakfast with this morning. Perfect timing. They were delicious (tho fairly salty so I would reduce some). Thank you for all you do here on this blog….your AIP roundtable posts and recipes have been a lifesaver for my family. Cheers!

    1. Wow, that IS perfect timing. I’m glad you enjoyed them, and yes, adapting the spice to your taste will make them even more perfect for you. Thanks for writing, and happy holidays!

  12. I thought sausage was out of my life forever, because of nightshade peppers and spices. I do believe I will be able to eat this one!! If hubby can get the butcher to do it right, I sure will be trying this, even though we don’t have a Kitchenaid. Thank you, Phoenixhelix!! I printed the recipe.

  13. We lived in Germany for three years, years ago, when my husband was in military service and learned to LOVE German sausages. There is just no comparison in our stores. I’ll be trying your recipe asap. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Coincidentally…I just got home from a month and a half in Germany with my daughter whose husband is in the military! I am of German heritage and was raised with my German grandmother living with us so I have a good idea of what good German food tastes like. I also enjoyed my brats while in Germany and am looking for a recipe to try. You are right, there is no comparison to the brats you get in Germany and the ones you get in North America! I’ll be making these sausages tonight tho in hopes of something yummy. Tschüss!

        1. These were a super hit in our house last night!! I realize you left some spice out due to AIP, but I added a smidgen of garlic granules and teeny tiny amount of fennel seeds, and wow! We are in love! Thank you for this delicious pork sausage recipe. I’ve been trying many and who would have thought less is more (re spices). Yum. The addition of water was genius! Exactly what I have been looking for. Not exactly German in origin but this is a keeper! Thanks so much.

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