The Best Breakfast Sausage Brands, According to Pro Cooks

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Making brunch this weekend? You'll want the best breakfast sausage on your table. Learn what brands excelled in our Test Kitchen's blind test.

Group Shot Of Breakfast Sausage In Packaging Side By Side, Overhead On Marble.Taste of Home

Are you a brunch fanatic? A pro-pancake-flipper? An expert at eggs? Sure you are! And as such, we’re sure you’ve sauteed up plenty of breakfast sausages to serve alongside your breakfast makes.

This weekend, though, we challenge you to make your best brunch yet by pairing your go-to recipes with the best breakfast sausage. Don’t know which brand is really the best? Don’t worry—our Test Kitchen experts sorted it all out.

How Our Test Kitchen Found the Best Breakfast Sausage

Tkp Breakfast Sausage cropTaste of Home

We took this test (like all our product tests) very seriously. Our Test Kitchen crew tested six brands of breakfast sausage links side-by-side in a blind tasting. Imagining their ideal Saturday morning feast, our team of pros judged each link according to these qualities:

  • Flavor: How does the sausage taste? What spices and herbs are present? Does it seem like something you’d like to enjoy alongside pancakes or eggs?
  • Texture: What’s the texture of the sausages like? Does the casing give a satisfying snap? Is the meat perfectly ground or a bit too coarse (or smooth)?
  • Appearance: How do the sausages look once cooked up? Are they evenly browned? Do they look tasty?

Our Test Kitchen-Preferred Brands

Four brands rose to the top. We hope you include one of these Test Kitchen favorites on your breakfast table.

Best Classic Breakfast Sausage: Bob Evans Original Pork Sausage Links

Bob Evans Original Links On Plate With Pancakes And Packaging On Marble.Taste of Home

A good breakfast sausage has to hit all the right marks: It should cook up nice and brown on the outside, the inside should be savory and tender, and the spices need to be just right to satisfy your breakfast cravings. You’ll find a sausage that hits all the marks in Bob Evans Original Pork Sausage Links.

These pork sausages gained our Test Kitchen’s attention because they absolutely delivered on taste. These sausages had a great pork flavor accompanied by the seasonings we crave in a link like this: black pepper, sage, salt and a bit of rosemary. Getting all these flavors in perfect harmony can be challenging, but our testers unanimously agreed that Bob Evans nailed it.

These links are a bit more petite than other options available, but that makes no difference to our Test Kitchen. You can always pop an extra link on your plate—you’ll want to anyway with a tasty option like this.

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Best Snap: Jones Dairy Farm All Natural Little Pork Sausages

Breakfast Sausage JonesTaste of Home

When you slice into a breakfast sausage, you’re looking for the satisfying snap as you break the casing. This bit of crispness gives the links texture and is often a sign of good things to come. Our Test Kitchen ranks Jones Dairy Farm All Natural Little Pork Sausages as the links with the best snap—and darn good taste to boot.

Each of these links was crispy on the outside and tender inside with a good amount of spice and the right level of salt that had testers asking for a second (or third) link to sample.

These all-natural breakfast links are also sugar- and gluten-free which means they work for many types of foodies (even ones trying to go gluten-free, paleo or keto).

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Best Sweet and Salty Combo: Johnsonville Original Recipe Breakfast Sausage

Breakfast Sausage JohnsonvilleTaste of Home

At breakfast, many of us crave sweet and salty combinations, particularly the flavor of maple combined with salty bacon or breakfast sausage. If this pairing is something you can’t get enough of, snag a pack of Johnsonville Original Recipe Breakfast Sausage.

These plump sausages cooked up with an evenly brown and caramelized exterior which looks tempting on the plate. As far as the flavor, testers detected a hint of sage (a must in many breakfast sausages) as well as a bit of maple. This bit of sweet maple flavor played well against the salty sausage. Our Test Kitchen recommends this brand to serve alongside pancakes, waffles or French toast—basically, any breakfast where you’ll find maple syrup on the plate. Johnsonville breakfast sausage will be these dishes’ perfect match.

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For Grill Fanatics: Smithfield Hometown Original Breakfast Sausage

Breakfast Sausage SmithfieldTaste of Home

If your sausage of choice is normally prepped on the grill, you’ll want to try Smithfield Hometown Original Breakfast Sausage.

These breakfast links cooked up with a slightly grilled, smoky flavor that had several testers thinking of tossing a few brats on the grill for a cookout. This is definitely a bit of a departure from the taste of traditional breakfast sausage, but one that many testers welcomed. How good would smoky sausage links be cooked on your indoor grill and served up with a hash or this blueberry-cinnamon campfire bread?

Snag a pack of these sausages from Smithfield if you want something a little different—though, these sausages still have that snap that we crave from breakfast sausage.

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Editor’s note: If you’re looking for a plant-based meat brand, our team preferred Beyond Meat’s Beyond Breakfast Sausage. In our blind tasting, the testers could tell that these links weren’t made from pork sausage, but they liked the texture. They could’ve used a bit more seasoning but, thanks to the saltiness, definitely weren’t bland like some vegan “meats” are reputed to be.

How to Cook Breakfast Sausage

When you’re ready to eat, there are two easy ways to make sausage in the morning (or in the evening in the case of these breakfast-for-dinner recipes):

  • In a skillet: Add thawed sausages to skillet over medium heat. Cook until heated through (about 10 to 15 minutes) being sure to turn the sausages so all sides get brown.
  • In the oven: Pop thawed sausage links in a shallow baking dish and bake in a 325ºF oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Be sure to turn the sausages so they brown on all sides. The internal temperature should be at least 160ºF. A meat thermometer can help you judge this.

Don’t feel like you need to limit your sausages to a side dish, though. Sausage links are great in recipes like this toad-in-a-hole, frittata and breakfast skewers.

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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an associate editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.