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This apple onion chicken breakfast sausage recipe has just the right balance of sweet and savory flavor, and is perfectly seasoned with a few herbs and spices. It freezes well, which makes it great for meal prep!

paleo apple chicken sausage patties

It’s funny how food cravings go.

Take a bagel, for example.

I’ll get the idea of the perfect bagel in my head, which for me either means an everything bagel lightly toasted with vegetable cream cheese, or a plain bagel untoasted with cream cheese, lox, red onion, and tomato. Either way, served with a cup of nearly black coffee on the side.

I build the idea up so much in my head, it’s like I’m almost ready to go to NYC for the weekend just to experience bagel perfection. (Ok, that’s just a smokescreen…I’m always ready to head to NYC.)

But then I get the perfect bagel and it’s not nearly what I’ve built it up to be. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great, amazing even. It’s just not the mind-blowing experience I had in mind. Which is what I try to remind myself of when one of those random cravings strike.

The exception to that rule is my recent craving for breakfast sausage. But that’s only because I knew I could make a healthy version that would knock the socks off of any sausage-lover out there!

top view of breakfast spread with chicken sausage patties and hash

Why You’ll Love This Chicken Breakfast Sausage Recipe

  • Budget-friendly. Instead of buying a convenience item like pre-made sausage patties, make them yourself to save money!
  • Much more delicious. You can use fresh, quality ingredients and customize the recipe to suit your tastes.
  • Ingredients you can pronounce. Sausage can be sketchy! Make it yourself so you know exactly what’s going in it. No fillers or preservatives here!
  • Meal prep. This sausage freezes really well, and you can reheat it directly from the freezer.
front view of breakfast chicken sausage patty in dish

What Makes Breakfast Sausage Different?

There are a lot of different types of sausage; Italian sausage, Polish sausage (like kielbasa), and Spanish sausage (such as chorizo), to name a few! So what gives breakfast sausage its distinct flavor? The spices and seasonings!

Many breakfast sausage recipes use a blend of savory herbs, such as sage, marjoram, thyme, etc.

Spices, such as fennel seed, paprika, nutmeg are also common ingredients. 

And specific to breakfast sausage (instead of other types of sausage), there is often a sweet component to balance out the savory flavor. For example, brown sugar or maple syrup are both delicious additions to breakfast sausage.

This recipe uses a mix of sweet and savory sautéed onion and apple, plus herbs and aromatics like thyme, sage, fennel seeds, and nutmeg. This sausage is sweetly savory, super flavorful, and juicy. It’s perfect on a bed of sweet potato hash or cauliflower hash, topped with a fried egg.

The best part is that this recipe makes a big batch so you can stock your freezer with the perfect breakfast food for those mornings when you don’t have time to whip up a batch!

breakfast spread of chicken sausage patties with coffee

Chicken Breakfast Sausage Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions

Ingredients Explained

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas where applicable. For the full recipe (including the ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

  • Coconut oil – we use this to sauté the onion and apple, and also to pan-fry the sausage patties; you can substitute with olive oil, avocado oil, or ghee (clarified butter)
  • Onion – for savory depth of flavor and aroma
  • Apple – use crisp sweet apples; I leave the peel for color and nutrition, but you can peel the apples if you prefer
  • Garlic – adds flavor and aroma
  • Ground chicken breast – ground turkey breast will work just as well
  • Minced fresh thyme – or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves instead
  • Salt – so our homemade breakfast sausage isn’t bland
  • Minced fresh sage – this herb pairs really well with poultry, such as chicken or turkey; if you don’t have fresh sage, you can use 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed sage leaves instead
  • Fennel seeds – a classic ingredient in breakfast sausage
  • Black pepper – for a balanced flavor profile
  • Nutmeg – nutmeg is another classic spice in breakfast sausage
  • Apple cider vinegar – helps create a balanced flavor profile and acts as a meat tenderizer

How to Make Homemade Breakfast Sausage

Step 1: Sauté the Onion and Apple

Melt 3 tablespoons coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and apple, and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down to medium-low, add the garlic, and cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat and cool completely.

Step 2: Make the Sausage Mixture

Combine the cooled apple/onion mixture, ground chicken breast, thyme, salt, sage, fennel seeds, black pepper, nutmeg, and vinegar in a large bowl. Just mix until the apples and onion are incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.

Step 3: Shape the Sausage Patties

Scoop the sausage mixture into 3-tablespoon-sized balls (I use an ice cream scoop for this), and then flatten the balls into 2 ½ to 3-inch circles. (Like making mini hamburgers.)

Step 4: Cook the Sausage

To cook on the stovetop, heat a large skillet or griddle (I use my cast iron griddle, but a nonstick surface will also work) over medium to slightly medium-high heat. Add a little bit of coconut oil and spread it around to coat the skillet or griddle. Add the sausages and cook until they’re golden on both sides and fully cooked inside, about 3 to 4 minutes per side, flipping once. You can work in batches if they don’t all fit at once. (Don’t press down on the sausages as they cook because this will release the juices that keep them moist.)

To cook in the oven, preheat the oven to 425F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and grease it with a little coconut oil. Line the sausages up on the prepared baking sheet, and bake until they’re fully cooked, about 5 to 6 minutes per side, flipping once. (Note that if they’re cooked in the oven, they won’t be golden on the outside unless you run them under the broiler.)

Serve the sausage with eggs or vegetable hash if desired.

close up front view of dish of breakfast chicken sausage patties

Storage and Reheating

Store cooked breakfast sausage covered in the fridge for up to 4 days, or in an airtight container layered between pieces of parchment paper in the freezer for up to 2 months.

You can reheat this breakfast sausage right from the freezer (there’s no need to thaw it first!). To do so, put the frozen sausages into a skillet with a splash of water, cover the skillet, and cook until warm throughout, flipping once. 

Special Diet-Friendly

This recipe is paleo and Whole30-friendly! It’s naturally gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and refined sugar free. And with just 4 grams net carbs per serving, it’s also low carb and keto-friendly!

More Paleo Breakfast Recipes

top view of homemade breakfast sausage with coffee

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Apple Onion Chicken Breakfast Sausage Recipe (Paleo)

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Yields: 13 servings
This apple onion chicken breakfast sausage recipe has just the right balance of sweet and savory flavor, and is perfectly seasoned with a few herbs and spices. It freezes well, which makes it great for meal prep!

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Ingredients
 

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil plus more for frying
  • 1 large onion finely diced
  • 2 medium crisp sweet apples washed, cored, and diced small (not peeled)
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 pounds ground chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh sage or 3/4 teaspoon dried, crushed sage leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds gently crushed in your palm
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Instructions
 

  • Melt 3 tablespoons coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and apple, and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down to medium-low, add the garlic, and cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat and cool completely.
  • Combine the cooled apple/onion mixture, ground chicken breast, thyme, salt, sage, fennel seeds, black pepper, nutmeg, and vinegar in a large bowl. Just mix until the apples and onion are incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.
  • Scoop the sausage mixture into 3-tablespoon-sized balls (I use an ice cream scoop for this), and then flatten the balls into 2 1/2 to 3-inch circles. (Like making mini hamburgers.)
  • To cook on the stovetop, heat a large skillet or griddle (I use my cast iron griddle, but a nonstick surface will also work) over medium to slightly medium-high heat. Add a little bit of coconut oil and spread it around to coat the skillet or griddle. Add the sausages and cook until they’re golden on both sides and fully cooked inside, about 3 to 4 minutes per side, flipping once. You can work in batches if they don’t all fit at once. (Don’t press down on the sausages as they cook because this will release the juices that keep them moist.)
  • To cook in the oven, preheat the oven to 425F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and grease it with a little coconut oil. Line the sausages up on the prepared baking sheet, and bake until they’re fully cooked, about 5 to 6 minutes per side, flipping once. (Note that if they’re cooked in the oven, they won’t be golden on the outside unless you run them under the broiler.)
  • Serve the sausage with eggs or vegetable hash if desired.

Notes

  • Net Carbs: 4g per serving
  • Recipe Yield and Serving Size: This recipe makes about 26 sausage patties, and each serving is 2 sausage patties, for a total of 13 servings.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Don’t skip this! It doesn’t make the sausages tart like you might think; it basically tenderizes the meat.
  • Storage: Store cooked breakfast sausage covered in the fridge for up to 4 days, or in an airtight container layered between pieces of parchment paper in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • Reheating: You can reheat this breakfast sausage right from the freezer (there’s no need to thaw it first!). To do so, put the frozen sausages into a skillet with a splash of water, cover the skillet, and cook until warm throughout, flipping once.

Nutrition

Serving: 2sausages | Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 356mg | Potassium: 410mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 41IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Breakfast Chicken Sausage, Breakfast Chicken Sausage Recipe, Breakfast Sausage, Breakfast Sausage Recipe, Chicken Breakfast Sausage, Chicken Breakfast Sausage Recipe

Share it with me on Instagram and leave a comment to let me know your thoughts!

healthy breakfast sausage recipe pin

This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on March 26, 2014. I updated it with more information on October 23, 2020.

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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Recipe Rating




13 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for a great recipe! I was looking for something different and this fit that bill. We loved the apple and thyme/sage combo. I doubled the recipe and used my 1/4 scoop to make patties. I pre cooked four in the toaster oven (won’t do that again as there was zero color) and froze the rest. These defrosted quickly and I pan fried them and the color and flavor were spectacular. So my advice is cook in some butter or ghee or whatever because you’ll love these! Even my picky SO who hates apples loves these sausages. I’ll be making more soon!

  2. In the notes you have about freezing and reheating cooked patties. Can these sausage patties be frozen uncooked?

    1. Pamela, I haven’t tried freezing the uncooked sausage patties, but yes, I think it would work fine. If you do that, be sure to freeze each wrapped in parchment paper so they don’t stick together; or you could flash-freeze the patties in a single layer and then stack them once they’re frozen. If you try it, let me know how it goes!

  3. Just made these – I’m a fan! Used ground turkey instead of chicken b/c that’s what I had in the fridge, I followed the instructions to a T otherwise, turned out great! The only thing I’ll change next time (and there will definitely be a next time!) is that I’ll try grating the apple instead of dicing, hoping that will help them stay together in the pan a bit more. Spices were perfect – not a fan of fennel but it married so well with the other herbs, I’ll keep making them with it! Thanks for the recipe, it’s a keeper.

  4. CakePants says:

    Ooh, these look delicious! I love the combo of chicken and apple – I’ve never tried making my own breakfast sausage before, but these look tons better than the ones I’ve bought in the store in the past. Yum!

  5. Oh,my goodness, that looks good! I love breakfast sausage, but I can never just enjoy it without having to wonder exactly what’s in it! Now I can! Thank you, Faith!

  6. Chicken sausage with apple sounds delicious…and yes,perfect for breakfast Faith…
    Hope you are enjoying your week :D

  7. im doing whole30 right now and bagel sounds perfect! I have been making chicken kebabs regularly for the past week or so and it worked wonderfully. I should do these for a change.

  8. It’s hard to stop a bagel craving, I’ll concede, even though you’re quite right – they never really live up to the hype! These patties, though…totally trump bagel, in my opinion!

  9. My husband has been very interested in making his own sausage, these sound delicious!

  10. Love this recipe! I always keep my freezer stocked with some type of homemade sausage and I think my son would like the apple in this!

  11. A tasty combination! These sausages sound mighty delicious.
    Cheers,

    Rosa

  12. I’ve never even considered making my own sausage. Truth be told, I don’t enjoy sausage…but I think its because its usually that overly processed version that I try…this I could get behind!

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