Homemade spicy Italian sausage may look difficult to make yourself, but it really isn’t. Sure, it takes some time, but the results are definitely worth it!

I used to think I was tough. I thought I was rough, hard around the edges and out of my 3 co-workers the the most intimating. Yeah, I was gangster. Until the day I decided to make sausage.

Let me just tell you, making Italian sausage will knock you out of your boots no matter how tall you think you stand. Or at least it did to me.

It wasn’t butchering of the pork, slicing delicately around bone – making sure the fat ratio was just right took me down.

Marinating 4 pounds of cubed pork in my tiny cramped fridge didn’t put me in my place.

It wasn’t the lengthy process of grinding the sausage that showed me I am indeed capable of feeling nauseous.

It was the natural hog casings. The idea of natural casings didn’t bother me, if you’re willing to eat meat, you should be willing to utilize the other parts. The idea of having to handle natural casings gave me pause, but more because I’m rather curious by nature then disgusted.

It was the smell. Oh Lord, the smell. I had ordered casing that came dehydrated in a heavy salt package that needed to be opened and soaked for a while. That first time you smell that, oh, there is no going back. Now, to be fair, I am led to believe that not all natural casings smell this potent and I will be trying some other options in the future.

As for the rest of the Italian sausage making process, it was a breeze.

Learn how to make spicy Italian sausage from scratch! From grinding and flavoring the meat to filling and cooking the casings, this post will show you how!

If you’ve read this far, you probably are the kind of person interested in making anything and everything from scratch. Here are some more things to try while you’re feeling ambitious!

How to make Homemade Pasta
Bone Marrow with Oxtail Marmalade
Smoked & Steamed Homemade Pastrami

If you’ve tried my Spicy Italian Sausage recipe or any other recipe on passthesushi.com please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also follow along for more good eats and travel tips on Instagram @passthesushi & @girlcarnivoreTwitter Facebook.

Spicy Italian Sausage

Homemade spicy Italian sausage may look difficult to make yourself, but it really isn’t. Sure, it takes some time, but the results are definitely worth it!
4.50 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Meat and Poultry
Author: Kita Roberts
2 hours
Serves: 4 lbs of sausage


  • 2 tbsp. fennel seed
  • 4 pounds Pork butt - or pork trim if you are doing your own butchering or cutting about 70% lean and 30% fat
  • 3-4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 4 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. black pepper - coarse ground
  • 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 cup red wine


  • Gently crack the fennel seeds. Combine the fennel with the sugar, red pepper flakes, black pepper and salt. Set aside.
  • Cut the pork into 1 inch pieces, removing any heavy connective tissue or silverskin.
  • Mash the garlic into a coarse paste with the side of a knife blade.
  • Place pork in a large bowl then add the spices, garlic, and the red wine. Mix well to evenly distribute the seasonings.
  • Cover all with plastic wrap to marinate for, at least 2 hours to overnight.
  • Check the soaking directions on the casings you have purchased and plan accordingly. Casings normally come in a salt cure and you will have to rehydrate and rinse them thoroughly before using. You will need 12 to 15 feet of casings for this batch.
  • 1 hour before you are ready to grind your sausage, place all your grinding attachments into the freezer to chill. To make grinding easier, you will want to place the pork in the freezer at least 20 minutes before grinding as well.
  • Set up your grinder with the coarse grinder and grind the meat.
  • Once the sausage has been ground, gently mix it by hand to ensure that everything is evenly distributed.
  • Set up your stuffer, per the manufacturer’s directions. Lightly oil the stuffer tube then slip the casing over the tube, feeding it on until only about 2 inches are hanging off. Have a sterilized needle for poking air pockets ready, and tie off your casings.
  • If this is your first time making sausage (second or tenth) you may want someone on standby for help. Start feeling the ground meat into the sausage stuffer and use your hand to guide the casings. You want the sausage to fill the casings, but not so tight that they rupture. Work at a pace that works for you, trying to avoid air pockets. Continue this process until the sausage is used up.
  • If you would like to portion off your sausage, you can do so by measuring off 5 inch lengths and twisting the sausage (gently) towards yourself, twice. Using your sterilized needle, poke holes in any remaining air bubbles that need to be removed.
  • Put the sausage into the fridge, uncovered for about 2-3 hours to dry out the casings slightly, then package and either freeze for future use or use up in the next few days.



Serving: 1g | Calories: 337kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 735mg

Nutritional informations provided as a courtesy and is only an approximatation. Values will changes based on ingredients used.

⭐ Tried this recipe? Rate it ⭐

Help out the next person and give it a star rating below!

Learn how to make spicy Italian sausage from scratch in this recipe post on PassTheSushi.com

This was an experience, but I can’t say it was the best Italian sausage ever. I made another batch (a beer base for a beer garden inspired party) that I also felt fell a little short in the flavor department. I will be working on improving the flavor with a few more batches, though I can’t promise it’s something I’ll rush to do. Especially knowing what’s in store for me when I open that next package of casings up.

Learn how to make spicy Italian sausage from scratch in this recipe post on PassTheSushi.com


  1. Very impressive! I have no doubt you will nail the flavors, I think it looks perfect.

  2. I always wanted to try my own sausage. Thanks for the warning on the casings. I’ve always considered myself pretty tough too, but smells can take me down also!

  3. WOW! So impressive, that’s amazing! Sounds delicious! 🙂

  4. You are my hero! I have been wanting to do a sausage post for a long time, but mine is just the bulk stuff and wouldn’t make for such beautiful pics! You are a tough one – I wouldn’t have been able to do it!

  5. I have made sausage before and feeding/filling the casings were the hardest part, I would say that is a two person job. Yours look like they turned out great without any excess air bubbles. Like the ingredients used here, I have bookmarked-yum!

  6. Would this recipe be good for making sausage without using the casings?

  7. Ok, I dont think I could’ve handled stinky casings. I think I would have given up. GLAD you didn’t though because I’m sure these taste so good!!

  8. I have never made sausage but I’m adding it to my list. My husband would love it and this sounds so good. I’m not even a fan of sausage!

  9. I have never made my own sausage before, and I think now I never will. It wasn’t high on my list, but really, not sure I need to deal with that smell! Good for you for going back though! I love sausage!

  10. Super impressive! You are totally a sausage gangster 🙂 You’re the second blogger I follow how’s made sausage and its hilarious that y’all both bagged on the smell. Not for the faint of heart! Well done 🙂 Buzzed

  11. First off – congratulations for stepping outside of your comfort zone! Your pictures are incredible as always. I also appreciate the honesty in your post. I have wanted to make sausages…I guess when I do, I’ll make sure to not get salt packed, dehydrated casings!

  12. You made sausage? I’m so impressed! The photos make the sausage look all mysterious and delicious 🙂 I know, weird…

  13. Imwaytoobusy says:

    Wow – you just took this blog to a whole new level. Seriously, you are a bold woman! Pretty sure you just schooled gangster. Fab work, Kita!

  14. Oh my, you did an outstanding job with these!! Homemade sausage is the bestest! But it wants careful attention and patience… we make them every winter and half way through I always have to say, “never again”… winter comes, and I do it again. 🙂

  15. Great job with this Kita! Those are some gorgeous links!

    I’ve yet to tackle the sausage-making, but I’m sure I’ll come around to it – you’ll be the first I tell because I know the natural casings will leave me with a similar reaction =)

  16. Thanks for this recipe, I’ve always wanted to make Italian sausages. The casings, I hope won’t be a problem, my husband is French and one of his favourite things to eat is andouillette, they smell like cows butt! So hpefully I have had some training on this smell.

  17. Kita you are hilarious! Don’t worry your street cred is still good!!!

  18. Oh my… the sausage is beautiful Kita!! Very impressive work. I wouldn’t know the hardship unless you told me. This is just simply gorgeous.

  19. You are a warrior! I’ve always heard that sausage is one of the things you don’t want to see made – or smell…. Great job! We both love sausage, but now hubs can’t eat it – low sodium diet 🙁

  20. I am very disappointed that this does not have a video to go with it. I remember the first few times I made sausage it was not pretty LOL.
    Funnily enough using a sausage stuffing attachment in a large piping bag works well and it is easy to control the pace and afterwards you can gently squeeze the meat into place in the casings. It gives you the feel for the process before using a machine.

  21. The sausage looks fantastic, though! What do you think was wrong or missing with these sausages that you made? Do you think it lacked in flavor? This is inspiring me to make my own, too!

  22. I am seriously impressed, girl! And your pictures are fan-flocking-tastic!

  23. Making your own sausage is impressive. I honestly can’t remember if my casings smelled or not. Maybe I took a bried whif and that was enough to convince me not to smell them any more (and to not remember what they smelled like)

4.50 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating