If you are new to chicken sausage and wondering How To Cook Chicken Sausage, let me give you 4 ways I use regularly to cook it. They are all simple and will help you to get dinner on the table in no time!
Why Use Chicken Sausage?
For one thing, it is really delicious meal. Chicken sausage can come in such a huge variety of flavors that it is easy to find a flavor that will suit your cravings and meal ideas. Wanting an Italian meal, go for Italian sausage flavor. I have seen a spicy flavored Italian sausage, but also sweet Italian chicken sausages. Both are really good. My family really loves the spicy versions, and a pineapple habanero is our favorite. There is also a sweet apple and jalapeno we love as well. Check around in your local grocery stores, I know you will find a flavor you like.
It is lower in calories than traditional sausage. Pork and beef sausage are much higher in fat, so higher in calories. Chicken sausage will give you a leaner version.
If you are making this for a meal, it is a really simple and quick meal. All the methods I am going to show you will have the chicken cooked within 30 minutes or less. This makes them perfect for a busy weeknight meal.
They make such a satisfying meal. It is filling, delicious, and simple to make.
2 Types Of Sausage
I am going to show you how to cook with 2 types of chicken sausage, raw and cooked (smoked). I like to use both, but let me explain the difference.
Raw chicken sausage is just what it sounds like-raw. I buy these from a local butcher shop, but you can also find them in some grocery stores. I try and look for sausage that has natural flavors and natural casing. This is considered a fresh sausage.
This is not hard to find, just make friends with a butcher and company you like. The advantage of using raw sausage is they are moister. If you are cooking an already cooked product, it is easier to dry them out if you aren't watching.
The other sausage is a cooked sausage. Generally, this is smoked sausage. They will always be marked as "fully cooked". They have great flavor and are so easy to use.
One thing to love about fully cooked sausage is that for a meal all you need to do is reheat. There is not any actual cooking. This makes them perfect for a busy night when you need dinner fast.
Both types of sausage are made with a blend of white and dark meat of the chicken (chicken thighs). They also use different spices for flavoring and chicken broth. You can make them yourself as well, but we won't discuss that in this post.
4 Methods For Cooking Chicken Sausage
There are 4 methods I am going to share for cooking your sausages, you choose what will work best for you.
Each method is simple to do and make, requiring minimal ingredients and methods. You cannot go wrong.
I will start with the easiest way, pan-frying. Basically, the sausage is cooked in a hot skillet. It is simple and no-fuss, but let me explain a little further.
Start by heating your skillet over medium heat. I prefer to use a cast-iron skillet here as it holds heat so well, and gives it the perfect sear. You can also use a non-stick frying pan if you don't have cast iron or any other large skillet.
Once your pan is heated, add a little olive oil, then the chicken sausage. You can use raw or cooked here, just remember the cooked only needs to be heated.
With the raw chicken, you can use a meat thermometer to check for doneness, an internal temperature of 155-165 degrees is what you are looking for. Or, you can just go by color. You want the sausage to be almost all brown instead of a pinkish color. A little pink is okay, but you want most to be brown.
With pan-frying over medium-high heat, the cooked chicken is heated in about 5-10 minutes. The raw chicken will take a little longer, maybe 10-15 minutes. Again, this is such an easy way.
Grilling your chicken sausage is an option as well. This is another really simple method. Heat your grill pretty hot, I like to do about 450 degrees.
Once it is heated, add your sausages. You can use raw or cooked here as well.
The cooked sausage will heat very quickly, just like the pan-frying.
The raw sausage will take longer of course. Make sure you have the thermometer handy or go by color.
When you cook sausages this way, they cook really quickly as they are surrounded by really hot heat.
Sheet Pan Dinner
Another really simple way to create the whole meal on one pan is a sheet pan dinner. The beauty of these meals is everything is thrown on a pan and cooked all together. Is it so simple for one of our favorite weeknight meals.
You can see from the photos I used a mix of sausage, sweet potatoes, yellow onion, and red bell pepper.
All you have to do is place all the ingredients on a baking tray, drizzle with a little oil, and bake at about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. I like to season the veggies too, so I give them a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. This takes 20-30 minutes, depending on what you are baking.
Some variations on this are you could use red potatoes, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, other colors of bell peppers, etc. There are unlimited possibilities here.
I like to use uncooked sausages here, and that is only because it takes longer to cook. That is a personal preference though, you can easily use the cooked as well.
If you line your baking sheet with parchment paper, it makes for a much easier clean up too.
This is the last method and probably my least favorite- boiling. In a large pot, bring water or broth to a boil. Add in your sausage and hold it at a gentle simmer until it is cooked.
If you have smoked sausages, they will cook really quickly. The raw will take a little longer.
What is the best way to cook sausage? Whatever method you prefer. I promise all these methods will produce really great results.
I use different methods depending on what my mood is. Grilling is king in the summer, while I use pan-frying and sheet pans in the winter.
Another method I did not mention is air fryer sausages. The only reason it is not mentioned is I do not have an air fryer. So, for me, it isn't an option. I have read it is a really simple way to make the sausage though.
Finding a good sausage is a system of trial and error. For smoked sausage, our family really likes the Aidells sausage and they have a great variety of flavors.
For raw sausages, my only recommendation is to find a local source. Either a butcher shop or your local grocery store will have it in the meat case.
These are all really great for meal prep. Because sausage is so fatty, it is good to reheat as it won't dry out. So, pack these up for a great work lunch.
If you are nervous about checking the doneness of the sausages by checking for brownish color, make sure you have an instant read thermometer. This takes out the guessing game and is really important with raw chicken.
This will depend on the method used for cooking and the type of chicken sausage you choose to use. But, know it will take between 7-25 minutes.
It is best stored in the fridge in an airtight container, ziplock bag, or wrapped in plastic wrap. I do not suggest freezing the sausages after cooking.
They sure can. I did not showcase this method, but it is so simple. You can sear them on saute, then cover and pressure cook on high for 1 minute. It is really fast!