Pepperoni is a popular pizza topping but sausage is another cult favorite and choosing the best sausage for homemade pizza can be a task.
While the popular pizza topping is pepperoni, sausage comes in second, and it has a distinct flavor and gives a nice meaty flavor to a pizza.
I love using sausage on my pizzas to make a little flavor change to the pie, and I can make the pizza a bit sweeter or spicier by using different kinds of sausages.
Sausage is not unhealthy as most people think. Sausage is good for you as it is high in protein, has healthy vitamins like B12, and has a good amount of iron.
It can get a little fatty sometimes, so use it in moderation. Chunks of sausage on pizza is doing no one harm so you can use it on your pie to make it rich and taste good.
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But, if you are making a homemade pizza, which kind of sausage is the best and how do you find the perfect sausage for your taste palate, let’s find out!
What Type Of Sausage Do You Use For Pizza?
The best type of sausage to use for your pizza is Italian sausage.
Italian sausage is an authentic sausage that will get you the best flavors and juiciness on your pizza.
Italian sausage is available in both mild and hot while other specialties have a sweeter version for those who do not like that little kick on their food.
Italian sausage is made of pork and cured and seasoned with fennel. The fennel seasoning is what gives the Italian sausage a unique flavor.
The pork meat is mixed with fats so it does not dry out too easily under the intense heat inside a pizza oven like Ooni.
What Is Italian Sausage On Pizza Made Of?
Italian sausage is made with pork that fennel or anise seasoning. It is also seasoned with dry or fresh herbs to get its unique flavor or change the spiciness.
Most people find Italian sausage spicier than regular pork sausage. The good thing is that Italian sausage can be mild or hot so you can choose which is best for your pizza.
Whether you get mild or hot, Italian sausage stays juicy because of the pork fats. Italian sausage has pork with at least 15% fat.
15% to 20% fat on the pork sausage is perfect for keeping it juicy when cooked. Aside from pizza, Italian sausage is also commonly used in pasta.
How To Cook Italian Sausage For Pizza?
Pre-cooked Italian sausage is the best way to go with your pizza topping. There is no need to completely cook the sausage before putting it on the pizza, but it must be slightly cooked.
This is simple: you only need to heat a skillet and then put the sausage on the hot skillet. Use a spatula to break down the sausage into smaller bits.
Once the water from the sausage evaporates, remove the skillet from the heat and let the sausage bits cool down.
Place the pre-cooked sausage on your pizza and cook it in the oven!
Different Types Of Sausages That Go On Pizza
There are different types of sausages that you can use on your pizza, and these are my top picks for a delicious sausage pizza for a nice homemade pizza.
1. Mild Or Hot Italian Sausages
Yes, all Italian sausages are made from pork but do not have the same herbs and spice seasoning. Mild Italian sausage might be the more familiar one for you.
Mild Italian sausage has a seasoning of fennel, red wine vinegar, oregano, parsley, and garlic. It is also commonly used in pasta recipes.
On the other hand, hot Italian sausage has a seasoning of anise, paprika, ground black pepper, fennel, and red pepper flakes.
These seasonings put that kick in the sausage, making Hot Italian sausage the favorite for people who love spice!
If you think the Hot Italian sausage is not hot enough for your taste, then chorizo is the perfect sausage for your pizza.
This deep red-colored sausage goes well with simpler toppings such as onions and garlic. Chorizo is a flavorful sausage seasoned usually with paprika, bay leaves, cinnamon, and pepper.
3. Breakfast Sausage
Breakfast sausage has sage, thyme, fennel seeds, bacon, and maple syrup. So even though mild Italian sausage and Breakfast sausage are similar, they are not the same.
These seasonings make Breakfast sausage a perfect pair with hashbrowns and cheese. The slight sweetness makes this sausage perfect for homemade pizza with savory toppings.
4. Chicken Sausage
Chicken sausage is made from the chicken parts close to the bones, and that is why chicken sausage is juicier when cooked.
This is the perfect pizza topping alternative if you get tired of pork taste. It is also a bit healthier with fewer fats so it is perfect for diet-conscious people.
Pepperoni is the most popular topping on pizza; many do not realize it is a type of sausage.
I know you already know about pepperoni and how it goes with pizzas with its slight spice and flavorful taste that pairs well with almost any other pizza topping.
Best Store-bought Sausage For Pizza
These are my top picks for the best sausages you can buy from a physical store or online.
1. Longhini Sausage
This first option might not be that easy to come by as they are in New Haven but if you get the chance to, get Longhini Sausages for your pizza!
Longhini sausage has one of the best hot Italian sausages in the industry. Do not worry, even the hot Italian sausage is not that spicy and goes well with other toppings.
I usually just grab a ball from the sausage bag and then crush it, sprinkle it over the cheese on the pizza without pre-cooking and it is ready for the oven!
2. Hormel Italian Sausage
This is your best bet if you want to replicate the taste of the delicious sausage pizza from Domino’s. Hormel Italian sausage is one of the most flavorful sausages you can get.
The best part is you can buy these sausages ONLINE unlike the one above which you buy from a store.
The mild spice on this sausage is perfect for pairing with other toppings. Hormel Italian sausage has pork and seasonings such as garlic powder, paprika, and citric acid.
Adding citric acid preserves the sausage’s flavor so you can still taste the amazing flavors from the spices in the sausage after cooking it.
3. Premio Sausage
Premio Foods has three Italian sausage variations where you can choose between mild, hot, and sweet Italian sausage.
I always go with the hot Italian sausage because it is full of flavor and has just the right spice for my taste buds.
I love how the sausage from Premio Foods has a slight crisp in them when cooked. They stay juicy but the outer parts of the sausage become crispy which goes well with the pizza.
4. Perri Sausage
Perri sausage is perfect for pizzas, especially if you mix it with mushrooms. The slight spice from the hot Italian sausage blends well with the mushrooms and cheese.
The fennel, garlic, and basil seasonings on this sausage produce that unique flavor that is perfect for homemade pizzas. It is fresh, flavorful, and savory.
5. Sprouts Farmers Market Sausage
Sprouts Farmer’s Market is my go-to whenever I am not in the mood for pork sausage. They have great hot Italian chicken sausages that go well with vegetable toppings.
The Hot Italian Bulk Chicken sausages from Sprouts can make your pizza better by adding a little spice while also bringing beautiful flavors from the herbs and seasonings.
It is not spicy so you do not have to worry about too much heat from the sausages. The right balance of flavors on this sausage is also great for other recipes aside from pizzas.
Can You Put Raw Sausage On Pizza?
No, you should pre-cook the sausage before putting it on the pizza to ensure that it cooks simultaneously as the other toppings.
This goes with regular pizzas that will finish cooking in 10 minutes or less.
That is because sausage tends to cook slower than other toppings. So it is important to cook it at least a little before putting the sausage on the pizza.
For pizzas like the Chicago deep-dish pizza that cooks for more than 20 minutes, you can put the sausage raw before cooking it and make sure it is on top of the pizza and in small pieces.
How To Know If Sausage Is Fresh
While sausage is slightly processed, it can go bad if it is not stored properly. You might be encountering a bad one so it is good to know the signs of fresh sausage.
1. Check The Color
Fresh sausage should have a pinkish or deep-red color. Depending on the meat used on the sausage, the color should be between the two mentioned above.
There should be no gray colors on the sausage. Chicken is pale but should still have pinkish colors, while pork sausage has pink and hints of red.
2. Check The Smell
Raw meat does not emit a strong smell. When you smell the sausage, it should only have a fresh aroma from the herbs and spices used to season it.
A pungent, putrid, and sour smell signifies that you should be throwing away the sausages.
3. The Texture
Sausages have a firm texture that is slightly bouncy when poked with a fork, and the sausage should not be mushy.
If the sausages start to develop slime, it implies that bacteria has gone through the packaging and started to damage the sausages.
This slimy texture can even persist after cooking the sausages so it is best to dispose of them when you see this sign.
4. Check The Dates
Some sausages do not show any physical signs that it has gone bad. Your safest bet is to always check the expiry or ‘best by’ date and consume it before.
This is to avoid unwanted flavors or worse, bacteria that can make you sick. So always check the dates to know whether your sausages are still fresh or not.
That way, you can make the best pizzas with the sausage and other toppings that go well.
Best Sausage Pizza Topping Combinations
You can put a lot of toppings on pizza, and the good thing is that you can mix them to create unique and delicious flavors.
These are the best topping combinations with sausage in it.
1. Sausage, Mozzarella Cheese, and Mushrooms
Mushrooms are great vegetables that emit that meaty and earthy flavor. This flavor goes well with the spice and savory flavors that sausage brings.
Counter that with a bit of saltiness from the best cheese for pizza – mozzarella- and your pizza will go to a new level.
2. Sausage And Bacon
Bacon is a great topping that goes well with your sausage pizza and adds some texture with its crispiness that is lacking in the sausage.
This combination can also be made more creative by adding some vegetables with them.
3. Bell Peppers and Onions
Roasted or grilled bell peppers and onions go well with the sausage. They present acidity and sweetness that complement the sausage’s flavors well.
It is also a healthy choice, so I recommend adding roasted vegetables to your sausage pizza.
4. Fresh Herbs And Leafy Greens
Fresh herbs and leafy greens like garlic and basil leaves are also great with sausage pizza toppings. The flavors are light and will make you want to eat more slices.
Anchovies can be used as a topping or mixed with the pizza sauce to add a little savory taste to your homemade pizza.
The slightly salty flavor of anchovies goes well with sausages, especially Hot Italian sausage.
Ham is a great choice for a pizza topping and goes well with sausages. The sweet flavor of the ham counters that mild spice from Italian sausages.
My only advice is to choose the right type of ham as some have strong smoky flavors that can overpower the other ingredients.
Cooking frequently and trying out different toppings will get you the best homemade pizzas with your sausage toppings and combinations!
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