Chicken Apple Sausage Recipe

Chicken apple sausage is even more magnificent when it’s homemade. Like this recipe which has a slightly sweet lilt that’s perfect for breakfast. Here’s how to make it and how to cook it. No meat grinder required.

Chicken Apple Sausage Recipe

Seriously, it’s so easy to make your own homemade chicken apple sausage. You won’t ever go back to store-bought. Trust us. You get to say what quality of ingredient you include and holy heck, does it taste insanely phenomenal. Here’s how to make it and how to cook it. Because we’re lazy, we opted for the easier-to-shape chicken apple sausage patties, but by all means, if you want go ahead and make your own links, as in the photo above, we hook you up with the how-to in the variation just beneath the recipe. This recipe has been updated. Originally published April 22, 2015.Renee Schettler Rossi

Chicken Apple Sausage Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 45 M
  • Makes 12 patties


  • 1 1/2 pounds (750 grams) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, roughly chopped and frozen for 1 hour
  • 1/4 pound (125 grams) sliced bacon, roughly chopped and frozen for 1 hour
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, grated, and squeezed dry
  • 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons whole white or black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed


  • 1. Working in batches, place the chicken in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground, probably 6 to 8 pulses. Transfer to a large bowl. Dump the bacon and butter into the food processor and pulse until coarsely ground, maybe 3 or 4 pulses or so. Add the bacon and the butter to the chicken and stir by hand until combined. Add the apples and combine.
  • 2. In a spice mill or with a mortar with a pestle, grind the coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and peppercorns together to a medium-fine grind. Add the ground spices to the chicken mixture along with the salt, nutmeg, and cayenne. Mix with your fingertips until well blended. Pinch off a small amount and heat it in a little oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, turning once, until cooked through. Taste and adjust the seasonings in the uncooked sausage mixture accordingly.
  • 3. To make patties, using your hands, shape the sausage mixture into 12 to 15 patties, each about 3 inches (7 1/2 centimeters) in diameter and 1/2 inch (12 millimeters) thick. (The patties can be made up to 1 day ahead, tightly covered, and refrigerated or frozen.) To make links, see the variation below.
  • 4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Working in batches, add the patties and cook until the bottom is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and cook until the patties are golden brown on the second side, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain briefly, then serve.

How To Make Chicken Apple Sausage Links

  • If you prefer sausage links to sausage patties, you’ll also need a meat grinder (or a stand mixer with a sausage-stuffing attachment), a total of about 6 feet small pork or sheep casings (available from most butchers and Whole Foods Markets), and the instructions that follow.
  • 1. Place the sausage mixture in the freezer. Meanwhile, soak the casings in a large container of warm water for 30 minutes.
  • 2. Drain the casings. Working over the sink, gently run warm water through each casing segment, pinching both ends and lifting up the water-filled casing. Cut out any sections of casings that leak.
  • 3. Slip the end of a casing onto the meat grinder (or sausage-stuffing attachment), leaving about 6 inches of overhang. Grab the mixture from the freezer and tightly pack the chilled mixture into the canister. Start cranking the meat grinder handle very slowly (or turn the stand mixer on low speed) until the meat begins to collect in the casing. Tie the far end of the casing in a knot. Continue cranking (or increase the speed of the meat grinder or stand mixer to medium-low) and pass more mixture through the tube, holding the filled casing loosely in one hand to regulate how tightly it’s packed. When the casing is stuffed to your liking, even out the width of the sausage and then remove the casing from the grinder (or attachment) and measure about 6 inches unfilled casing and then tie a knot in that end. Twist the stuffed casing to create links that are even in size. (The extra casing before the knot is to compensate for the amount of casing used in twisting.) Prick the links with a needle (or pin or skewer) all over to allow steam to escape while cooking. If not using right away, arrange the links on a wire cooling rack placed over a baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight. (This allows the casings to dry and results in crisper casings when the sausages cook.) Then transfer the links to resealable plastic bags and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Hey, there. Just a reminder that all our content is copyright protected. Like a photo? Please don't use it without our written permission. Like a recipe? Kindly contact the publisher listed above for permission before you post it (that's what we did) and rewrite it in your own words. That's the law, kids. And don't forget to link back to this page, where you found it. Thanks!

Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Larry Noak

Oct 17, 2016

This amazing recipe will be added to my breakfast/lunch/dinner rotation. It's as good as can be. It far surpasses any store-bought chicken apple sausage and is very simple to make. I make many types of sausage and always use a meat grinder. I nearly feel foolish now that this recipe simply instructed us to use a food processor. I challenge anyone to detect the difference. I used half boneless, skinless thighs and half boneless, skinless breasts. I found the amount of spice to be perfect.

I have two minor tips that will make this much easier. First, cube the meat before freezing in a one-gallon resealable plastic bag. Flatten the cubes into a single layer and it will freeze faster and come apart more readily when it's time to add it to the processor. And I simply peeled the apples then grated them on a box grater. You really do not need to core or even slice the apples just, peel and grate, turning the apples as you go. One last hint, DON'T FORGET TO SQUEEZE THE JUICE FROM THE GRATED APPLES. Simply put the apples in a couple of paper towels and wring them. You will be surprised how much juice there is! This recipe made 1 dozen man-sized patties, which of course means...I will need more! I used about 3 tablespoons oil and cooked them for about 5 minutes on each side. I would also like to mention that I wrapped the patties separately in plastic wrap and then put them in baggies. In a moment of sheer laziness, I also put them on a plate, covered them with a paper towel, and microwaved them on high for 2 minutes and 10 seconds. To my delight and surprise, they were delicious and if you're thinking they might've been rubbery...they weren't! I've had these with pasta and on biscuits. These are so good that I find myself just eating them on their own, straight from the skillet or microwave.

Testers Choice
Susan Bingaman

Oct 17, 2016

Why buy sausage when it’s so easy to make your own? This recipe has 3 things going for it: 1. No special equipment needed. Grinding the chicken and bacon in the food processor makes this recipe accessible. 2. I can control the sodium. We watch how much sodium we eat and tend to skip sausage because it’s just too salty. This chicken apple sausage is super flavorful but not super salty. 3. It tastes naughty. Chicken sausage tends to be dry and icky. Not this chicken apple sausage. That little bit of bacon and butter add richness and flavor to plain old chicken breast. If I couldn’t see what I was eating, I would never guess this sausage was made with only chicken breasts. A few things to make this recipe go a bit faster: I grated the apple in the food processor, and then swapped the grating disc for the metal blade to grind the chicken. I cut the partially frozen chicken breast and bacon into large chunks and processed them in batches with diced cold butter, so all I had to do was combine it with the spices. The less mixing I had to do, the better. I halved the recipe and got 6 patties. I cooked them on my nonstick griddle set to 400°F and they cooked without any oil in about 10 minutes, flipping once. Perfect for breakfast.

Testers Choice
Alexandra M.

Oct 17, 2016

This recipe is a winner. Not only does it yield a batch of super satisfying sausages, but I also get the satisfaction of making my own meat products. (This is not something I usually do!) I used a mix of chicken breasts and thighs, which was great. I found the amount of spice to be perfect, and I would definitely not skimp on the nutmeg or cayenne. (Actually, I'd add a bit more cayenne next time.) Before pulsing the meat in the food processor, I cut it into 1-inch chunks. For me, this was imperative. Also, I had to pulse the meat a lot to get a course grind (~15 times for the chicken and ~8 times for the bacon).

Important: You need a spice mill to grind the peppercorns and coriander seeds. There is NO way that you can grind these spices with a mortar and pestle. Trust me. I tried it, and nearly sprained my wrist. (I ended up chopping them with my sharpest sushi knife—there was no other way, since I don't own a spice mill. This was annoying.) After tasting a tester patty, I was very pleased. I added 1/2 teaspoon salt to the mixture, but overall the flavor was perfect—peppery and subtly floral. The sausage mixture yielded 15 small patties. The cooking time was accurate, but I can't say if more cooking oil was needed for subsequent batches, as I froze most of the patties. To serve, I braised a few sausages in broth with some tomatoes and cabbage and served it over polenta. This was so tasty and inexpensive!

Testers Choice
Pat Francis

Oct 17, 2016

Making chicken apple sausage at home is a good way to ensure that you know exactly what you're serving and eating—no mystery ingredients. For those of us less on the DIY end of the spectrum, forming the spiced meat into patties rather than stuffing it into casings makes the process less labor-intensive yet produces results that are just as tasty. These patties are a case in point. Adding some bacon to chicken breast meat increases the fat content for better binding and cooking and also enhances the flavor without sacrificing all the advantages of white meat chicken. Fennel, coriander, nutmeg, and black and cayenne peppers provide a warm spicing that plays off the lean (but not too lean) meat mixture and sweet-tart apple shreds. I ground the chicken in two batches.The bacon fat held the pieces together pretty persistently, which is why it took so many more pulses to grind it than the recipe indicated.

The recipe produced 15 sausage patties. One was a little small, but that’s accounted for by the bit of the mixture I cooked as a test piece. I cooked them in 3 batches, adding an extra tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil to the pan after the second batch. I cooked each batch 4 minutes on the first side and 3 minutes on the second.

Testers Choice
Linda Pacchiano

Oct 17, 2016

This recipe makes very good sausage. The bacon and the apple help to keep the patties somewhat moist. I might add even more of these components the next time I make this recipe. The combination of spices worked quite well and was just about the right amount. I cut back slightly on the nutmeg and the cayenne and there was a nice level of heat in the finished product. I didn’t get a strong sense of the bacon in the cooked patties. Following the dimensions stated in the recipe, I was able to create 16 patties. I'm cooking some of them to eat this weekend, but the rest I'll freeze, uncooked, for future use. The batches cooked perfectly in 6 minutes—3 minutes on each side, with more olive oil added as needed. The recipe takes about 30 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes of cooking for a total of 50 minutes from start to finish. A final note: when you squeeze the grated apple dry, be sure to catch the juice from the apples and either drink it, use it in a salad dressing, or for some other delicious purpose.

Testers Choice
Helen Doberstein

Oct 17, 2016

I adore sausage with fennel, so this recipe started off on the right foot for me. Chicken, fennel, and apple—what’s not to like? I used 4 small chicken breasts weighing just a smidgen over 750 grams, 4 slices bacon weighing 120 grams, and 2 smallish Granny Smith apples. I liked the rustic chunkiness for the meat after using the food processor. After mixing it all together, it seemed a little wet. I wasn't able to use the mixture right away so had to cook and taste it the next morning. The mix still seemed a little moist but workable. I got 11 patties out of the chicken mix, but admit I was a little generous with a couple of them. Cooking time was just right at 4 minutes per side. Since the meat used was chicken, I chose to use the longer cooking time to be on the safe side. I used a nonstick pan so no additional oil was needed. I cooked 6 sausages and froze 5 for another time. The fennel was a lovely addition to the chicken meat, and I enjoyed the floral notes from the cardamom and nutmeg and the hint of heat from the cayenne. I served these sausage patties with rye toast, sunny-side up eggs, and sliced tomatoes. Yum! These would also make a great chicken burger for the grill if the patties were larger.

  1. teddi says:

    I would love to get the recipe for in-casing sausage. I could then use it in multiple ways for multiple meals. Patties are great, but not when you’re adding them to a sauce or stew of some sort. Many thanks for this and for all of your wonderful recipes!!!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      You are so very welcome, teddi! And we added the how-to for making sausage links just beneath the recipe. Kindly let us know how it goes!

  2. Kathy says:

    Please! I’d love the how-to for the sausage links. I just got the accessories for my KitchenAid, and haven’t used it yet. This would be a great first project!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Kathy, congrats on your KitchenAid accessories! We’ve added the links how-to just beneath the recipe. Would love to hear how it goes!

      • Kathy says:

        These are fabulous! I made them exactly from your recipe, but used my accessories. It made 12 plump links, plus enough left in the tube & feeder for 2 small patties. Fried up the patties right away, topped with an egg, and put them on English muffins for supper. I air-dried the links overnight and packaged for the freezer.

        This worked so well that you’ve given me the confidence to try another type of sausage. Maybe pork next time?

        • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

          TERRIFIC, Kathy! Thrilled to hear it. Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know. Looking forward to hearing about the next recipe from the site that you try!

  3. MiniMick says:

    Awesome! As the sausage-making season is coming closer, I’m looking for new recipes to try out. Thank you for sharing!

Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Send it along. Covet one of those spiffy pictures of yourself to go along with your comment? Get a free Gravatar. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.


Daily Subscription

Enter your email address and get all of our updates sent to your inbox the moment they're posted. Be the first on your block to be in the know.

Preview daily e-mail

Weekly Subscription

Hate tons of emails? Do you prefer info delivered in a neat, easy-to-digest (pun intended) form? Then enter your email address for our weekly newsletter.

Preview weekly e-mail