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Sausage! It’s what’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This delicious hot sausage has a bit of spice, but not too much. It’s slightly hot with an undertone of sweet. And it’s made fresh by you, so you’ll know exactly what’s in it.

Not So Hot, Hot Sausage

The flavor of this sausage is slightly reminiscent of Mexican chorizo. I’ve had excellent and tasty chorizo at a small taco wagon in NorCal. It was amazing. When I found chorizo in a local grocer, I was excited to buy it and recreate the tasty dish I’d enjoyed.


No. Wrong. Notta. What I bought was nothing like what I had loved. I quickly discovered why. Have you ever read the package. The “meats” alone is down-right scary. Most start with “lymph nodes, salivary glands, and cheek fat.” Then we move on to “paprika, soy flour, vinegar, salt, spices, red pepper, garlic, sodium nitrate.”

I’ll admit, they lost me at lymph nodes and salivary glands (no, thank you!), then soy flour and sodium nitrate sealed the deal.

Several years ago, we started mixing up our sausage seasonings at home. Last year, I tried different combinations to make a (slightly) hot and spicy sausage. I was looking for something full-bodied with lots of flavor but not overpowering. If you prefer a little more spice, you can increase the chili powder and/or red pepper flakes as desired.

We use ground wild game (antelope, venison, elk, or a combination), which we grind ourselves, to make our sausage. I’ve made this with ground beef and lamb also. I’ve not used pork, but since it’s a common sausage meat, it would be great. We usually make a big batch then freeze it in smaller, meal-size packages.

We use this sausage to mix with eggs, in red sauce to put over pasta, to make into meatballs, as a taco filling, or browned and crumbled to add to stews, soups, or beans. It’s incredibly versatile!

Not Too Hot, Hot Sausage Recipe

Millie Copper
The recipe below is for 1 pound of meat. This easily scales up. We tend to make about 10 pounds at a time to stash in the freezer. 
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Main Course, Soup


  • 1 pound ground meat beef, lamb, wild game, or pork
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder you can substitute about 5 cloves fresh garlic if you prefer.
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder *
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon smoky paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano **
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove
  • 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar


  • Place the meat in a bowl.
  • Add all additional ingredients except vinegar, and combine meat and spices until well mixed.
  • Then add the vinegar, mixing well.
  • Transfer sausage mixture to a colander, with a bowl underneath.
  • Allow to set for 30 minutes. Discard any drippings that have accumulated in the bowl.
  • If making in bulk, divide into meal-size packages (anywhere from 4 ounces to 1 pound) and freeze.


*I like ancho chili powder for the smoky taste, but regular chili powder works just fine. 
**I had no idea there were two different types of oregano until I started researching sausage recipes. Mediterranean oregano, the kind I know from pasta, is different than Mexican oregano. I used Mediterranean oregano when I first started making this sausage because it was what I had. It works, but the flavor is so much more intense with Mexican oregano. Read more about the differences between these two oreganos here
Keyword homemade hot sausage, wild game

Do you mix your own sausage? What are your favorite seasonings?

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