8 Best Italian Sausage Substitutes That You Can Try

Sausages are favorites among meat-lovers for their yummy flavor and versatility! While there are many types of sausages available (believe me, a whole new article is needed if I start discussing them), we will talk about Italian sausage today, and its substitutes, of course.

Italian Sausage

Italian sausage is a fresh sausage variety made from seasoned pork and other flavoring agents. It is an important, a bit irreplaceable, and mouth-watering ingredient that simply makes your recipe top-notch.

Apart from being a versatile food choice, it is nutritious as well. But what happens when you run out of Italian sausages? You need a couple of substitutes, right. Got any ideas?

Some of the best substitutes for Italian sausage are pork sausage, Toulouse style sausage, vegan Italian sausage, minced meat, and bratwurst.

Your mettle in cooking is tested to a great extent by how well you can cover up an irreplaceable ingredient. Keep reading this article to find out the same for Italian sausage. But only after knowing what Italian sausage is in detail.

Quick Peek: Italian Sausage

Italian Sausage

The following scribbles tell you what Italian sausage is, its flavor, texture, culinary uses, and health benefits.

What Is Italian Sausage?

Salsiccia, or Italian sausage, in America, refers to a type of pork sausage that contains fennel or anise as its important seasoning agent. However, throughout Europe, this can include other seasoning agents as well. 

Describing Italian Sausage: Flavor and Texture

Italian sausages come in hot, mild, and sweet types. The hot Italian sausage is the spicy version with the addition of pepper flakes, while the sweet variety of sausage comprises basil and other herbs.

The mild Italian sausage has the dominant taste of fennel or anise with an earthy flavor. It basically has a soft, crumbly texture which is dependent on the type of meat, ratio of fat to protein, salt, fillers, and moisture level. 

Uses of Italian Sausage

The Italian sausage can be a great appetizer, snack, and a full meal with a side dish. It also works great as stuffings in sandwiches or burgers. It is used to prepare stews, soups, and pasta. A myriad of recipes calls for Italian sausage as the major ingredient. 

Italian Sausage On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

Coming to the health radar, Italian sausage wouldn’t disappoint you. It is loaded with protein and phosphorus, which helps maintain your overall health system.

Pork has an essential nutrient called selenium that boosts your immune system. Want healthier skin, hair, and eyes? Gobble up some sausages. No, kidding!

Why Should We Substitute Italian Sausage?

Italian sausage is a mouth-watering delight in every sense. So, why should we waste our time in substituting for it? Simply because it is not so much of a delight when finding it.

If you are abstaining from eating pork, you may need a substitute that simulates the flavor of Italian sausage without actually using it. There arises the need for the best substitutes for Italian sausage. 

Enough with the chit-chat. You came for the substitutes. Let me give you the list of substitutes for Italian sausage without prolonging further.

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

8 Best Italian Sausage Substitutes

Now that you know Italian sausage in detail let us talk about its eight best substitutes.

1. Pork Sausage

Pork Sausage cut into slices

Pork sausage majorly comprises pork and added seasonings. In fact, it differs from Italian Sausage only when it comes to seasoning. Since the parent ingredient (pork) is the same in both products, pork sausage can replace Italian Sausage very well. 

Just add a few fennel and anise to pork sausage, and you wouldn’t even know the difference. Do you know what fresh pork sausage is called, by the way? Keep reading to find out. *chuckle*

2. Toulouse Style Sausage 

Toulouse Sausage

This fresh French Sausage has a grand name; Saucisse de Toulouse. It is named after the city Toulouse in France. It is made of pork, salt, pepper, garlic, and nutmeg.

(You and I have a connection, pal, if you instantly remembered the Toulouse joke of Phoebe from Friends.)

Toulouse style sausage has a coarseness added to it and a texture very similar to Italian Sausage. You have nothing to worry about the taste or flavor. Add fennel seeds to emulate the magic of Italian Sausage.

3. Vegan Italian Sausage

Vegan Italian Sausage

Vegans must be blessing me for this alternative. Well, if you are out of Italian pork sausage, your next healthy option is undoubtedly vegan Italian Sausage.

It isn’t much you have to consider before adding because vegan Italian sausage tastes exactly like its meatier counterpart, thus becoming a considerable, healthy alternative for Italian sausage.

You would miss out on the flavor of pork, though. Substitute it with enough veggies and go vegan!

4. Minced Meat

Minced Meat

A good substitute for pork in Italian Sausage can be any other meat; beef, chicken, lamb, or turkey. Season the preferred meat choice with garlic, pepper, thyme, fennel, or licorice.

Minced meat of any type can be easily bought from stores, and you can boldly substitute them for Italian sausage.

5. Bratwurst


Welcome to Germany, folks! Behold this German Sausage made of pork, beef, or veal and seasonings, which can be a good substitute for Italian Sausage. Bratwurst can be prepared using different meat varieties.

To replicate the authentic, delicious taste of Italian Sausage, use the pork version of bratwurst rather than the beef one.

6. Meatloaf


There is no talk of American cuisine without mentioning meatloaf. It is a classic American comfort food: a yummy blend of ground meat with seasoning agents, eggs, breadcrumbs, or ketchup. This blend is usually shaped into a loaf and then baked.

Meatloaf has an enriching savory flavor paired well with the flavors of other ingredients used. It has a tender, moist texture as well. Meatloaf, similar to Italian sausage, can replace Italian sausage in stews, pasta, and lasagnas.

7. Minced Soy

minced soy

Minced soy is often used to mimic the flavor of chicken, beef, or other meat flavors due to the similarity in texture and protein content. It is devoid of a flavor of its own.

Therefore, minced soy, a vegan ingredient, can be a great alternative to Italian Sausage when added with appropriate seasonings and herbs.

8. Minced Tofu

Minced Tofu

Another vegan substitute is minced tofu, a derivative of soybean made by pressing curdled soy milk into firm, thick slabs. It doesn’t have a unique flavor of its own to boast of, making it a highly versatile ingredient and substitutes as well.

Like minced soy, minced tofu can be used to swap Italian sausage. They are easily available in grocery stores but with added seasonings. You might have to add other ingredients to get your desired flavor.

Short Recap

If that was an extensive read on best substitutes for Italian sausage substitutes, let me make things easy for you to remember with the following points:

Pork-based Substitutes: Pork-based sausage, Toulouse-style sausage, and bratwurst are the pork-based substitutes for Italian sausage.

Non-Pork-based Substitutes: Vegan Italian sausage, minced meat, meatloaf, minced soy, and minced tofu.

Final Musings

Finding the best substitutes for Italian sausage wasn’t that difficult, was it? All you have to keep in mind is to use the appropriate blend of flavors using the right seasoning agents to simulate the authentic, succulent taste of Italian sausage.

Oh, fresh pork sausage is nothing but Italian sausage, by the way. *laugh* Tell me which substitute you thought was the best replacement for our Italian sausage in the comments. Ciao, ciao!

How To Use Italian Sausage Substitutes In A Recipe

Italian Sausage

Italian Sausage

Italian sausage is a fresh sausage variety made from seasoned pork and other flavoring agents. It is an important, a bit irreplaceable, and mouth-watering ingredient that simply makes your recipe top-notch. Apart from being a versatile food choice, it is nutritious as well. But what happens when you run out of Italian sausages? You use a substitute for it instead!
4 from 2 votes


  • Pork Sausage
  • Toulouse Style Sausage
  • Vegan Italian Sausage
  • Minced Meat
  • Bratwurst
  • Meatloaf
  • Minced Soy
  • Minced Tofu


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I use to substitute for Italian sausage to make it appropriate for vegetarians?

You can go for minced tofu, minced soy, eggplants or squashes to make Italian sausage suitable for vegetarians.

Are brats and Italian sausage the same?

Bratwurst is a type of German sausage made using pork or beef. Italian sausage is a type of sausage made using only pork.

What is the substitute for Italian sausage in soups?

Pork sausage, toulouse style sausage, minced chicken, minced beef, minced turkey are all good substitutes for Italian sausage in soups.

What is the substitute for Italian sausage in lasagna?

Ground pork, bologna and meatloaf are good replacements for Italian sausage in lasagna.

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