8 Best Italian Sausage Substitutes

Italian Sausage

If you like the traditional Italian sausage, however, you don’t have it to use in one of your delicious recipes, there’s no need to worry. We gathered the best substitutes for this sausage and you can still enjoy tasty food.

Italian sausage is made of pork seasoned with fennel and other Italian seasonings. You will need it in recipes like stews, soups, or even plain as it is delicious by itself.

If you don’t have this sausage you can use almost any pork sausage. Or bratwurst sausage. But you also have other options so keep reading to find the best substitute for you.

Substitutes for Italian Sausage

Use the following substitutes as you see fit in your recipes. Most of them can be enjoyed plain or simply fried.

1. Pork sausage

Pork sausage

Pork sausage can be a great substitute for Italian sausage because it is also made of pork so the taste will be very similar.

Still, seasonings differ from one recipe to another so you can’t expect to enjoy the exact flavor. Any pork sausage will work great in stews, meat soups, or even stir-fries. Use it according to your preferences in the quantities you like.

2. Bratwurst


Bratwurst can be a delicious replacement for Italian sausage. This sausage contains pork and beef as well as tasty seasonings for a rich flavor.

The recipes for this type of sausage differ as well. Thus, you will find it made of mostly beef or mostly pork and even veal. If you use this as an alternative to the Italian sausage, however, you want to go for the pork version as the taste will be much more similar.

3. Minced chicken or turkey

Minced chicken

If you don’t have a different sausage to use instead of the Italian sausage, you can always use minced chicken or turkey.

If you season it with fennel, garlic, salt, and pepper, you might obtain even a better taste than the one offered by a traditional Italian sausage. You can find chicken or turkey already minced in stores or you can mince it at home and prepare it just the way you like it.

4. Meatloaf


Meatloaf is a great alternative to Italian sausage even if it is made primarily of beef. You can even find similarly seasoned meatloaves to Italian sausage on the market, so your flavor will be a bit more similar.

You can use meatloaf in stews but also in different Italian dishes such as lasagna or pasta. If you decide to prepare the meatloaf at home, you might even get a more similar flavor as you can add fennel seeds just like in the Italian sausage recipe.

5. Minced soy

Vegans are usually most concerned when they need to replace any type of sausage in a dish. But minced soy is actually a very good alternative. The advantage of soy is that is not very rich in flavor so you can season it however you want.

Add fennel seeds, garlic, salt, and pepper as well as some oregano. You will get a similar taste to Italian sausage. You can use minced soy in pasta recipes as part of the toppings. Or in lasagna, if you want to prepare the vegan version.

6. Minced tofu


Similar to minced soy, minced tofu can also be a great option for vegans who are looking for a replacement for Italian sausage. You can buy tofu from supermarkets already minced.

Usually, you will find it in the refrigerated aisle and some brands offer it already seasoned. Depending on the seasonings your tofu already comes with, you can add something extra to get a better flavor or enjoy it as it is. It works great for toppings, stir-fried and lasagna.

7. Minced beef

Ground Beef

Minced beef by itself only has a similar texture to Italian sausage. If you add garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and the famous fennel seeds, you will obtain a very similar taste.

Use it in any recipe that calls for Italian sausage and enjoy a lovely taste. Some might even prefer this taste as beef can be very rich in flavor when it is seasoned correctly. 

8. Minced lamb

Lamb has a very distinct taste. So, you can use it as a substitute for Italian sausage if you happen to like its flavor. You can mince it at home or buy it already minced. When you season lamb, you want to add a bit more garlic as it tastes even better this way.

How is Italian Sausage Different From Regular Sausage?

The secret of a good Italian sausage stays in the seasonings added to the meat. It can come in a mild flavor or a spicy one that has chili. Unlike regular pork sausage, Italian sausage contains fennel seeds and a lot more garlic.

As a matter of fact, you will taste these 2 seasonings as soon as you try such a sausage. Standard pork sausage can contain different seasonings according to the recipe it follows.

Can You Get Italian Sausage in the UK?

The UK has a market for almost every cuisine in the world. Even so, it is not so easy to find Italian sausage, especially in England. Scotland seems to offer more of such traditional dishes.

If you want to have a good chance of finding Italian sausage in the UK, you can go to the big chains of supermarkets such as Marks and Spencer.

These concept stores can offer you specific, traditional foods of many cultures, including Italian. However, if you try at local markets, your chances of finding Italian sausage are minimal.


Italian sausage is common in many Italian dishes. But not only limited to this cuisine. You can fry it and eat it plain or with a garnish of your choice or use it in pasta and lasagna as well as stews and soups.

However, if you are missing this tasty sausage from your kitchen, you can easily replace it with one of the substitutes in this guide and still enjoy a delicious meal.

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