Healthy Recipe: Chicken, Apple and Bacon Sausage

How to Make Your Own Healthy Sausage

Chicken, Bacon and Apple Sausage Slider. Malia Frey

Do you love sausage but hate the fat and calories? Store bought chicken sausage is sometimes healthier, but not always. The best way to get healthy sausage is to make it yourself. Try this Chicken, Apple and Bacon Sausage recipe. Then use the flavorful meat to make sliders, egg dishes, sandwiches and more. It's a great way to boost your metabolism with lean protein.

Find Healthy Sausage Recipes

Flying Sausages by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly. Malia Frey

This Chicken, Apple and Bacon sausage recipe is adapted from a version in by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly. It is my favorite resource for learning how to make sausage. You can find the book online or you can simply experiment with ingredients on your own. You'll find that the healthiest sausage recipes are the ones you develop yourself.

Healthy Sausage Ingredients

Gather and measure your ingredients. Cohdra/Morguefile

Begin by gathering and measuring your ingredients. This recipe makes about 9 pounds of meat. Making sausage in bulk allows you to freeze individual portions and use them in different recipes for months. If you don't want to make that much, divide each ingredient in half or in thirds to make a smaller batch.

Chicken, Apple and Bacon Sausage Ingredients

  • 7.5 pounds of frozen chicken breast (no skin, no bones), partially thawed
  • 1 lb bacon
  • 9 ounces dried apples
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Dried sage
  • 3 bouillon cubes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 cups pure pressed apple juice (unsweetened, not from concentrate)

Make More Flavorful Sausage

Simmer the apple juice and let it thicken. Malia Frey

The flavor in any variation of chicken and apple sausage comes primarily from concentrated apple juice. So, it's worth it to get a high quality brand that is unsweetened and unfiltered. Bring your three cups to a boil. Then simmer until it cooks down to about 1/2 cup. Don't overcook the juice. If it starts to thicken to a syrup, you many have cooked it too long. Make sure it doesn't smell burnt or smoky.

Grind Chicken for Sausage

Grind chicken for sausage using a stand mixer. Malia Frey

The next step is to grind your chicken for sausage. I use my Kitchen Aid mixer with the meat grinder attachment but other meat grinders work just as well.

To get started, make sure the poultry is partially thawed.  Then cut each breast into one inch strips and feed it into your meat grinder. Use a course grind setting. If you don't have a meat grinder, you can substitute ground chicken from your local grocer. This may, however, change the nutritional information for your chicken sausage.

Grind High Quality Dried Apples

Add dried apples by putting them through the meat grinder. Malia Frey

The next step is to add dried apples o your homemade sausage recipe for texture and flavor.  Try to find dried apples that don't contain added sugar or flavors.  Put the apples through the meat grinder to continue to build the base of your chicken apple sausage.

Add Bacon to Sausage Mixture

Add bacon by putting it through the meat grinder. Malia Frey

When you make your own sausage, you can control how much fat and calories go into the final recipe. But remember that even healthy chicken sausage needs some fat. Commercial sausage makers may add fat sources like chicken skin or dark meat for texture and flavor. But I like bacon. If you add one pound to this recipe the fat content is still low. But feel free to experiment and add less if you want a version that is even lower in fat.

Season the Sausage Mixture

Blend the sausage mixture, but keep it cold. Season to taste. Malia Frey

Add the seasonings and blend with your hands. The mixture should stay cold. For this reason, I use clean rubber gloves when mixing the ingredients. It is more comfortable on my hands and then the heat from them doesn't warm the meat.

Once you've got the ingredients well blended, grab a pan and cook a small portion to taste. Adjust the seasonings as needed. This is where you can customize your homemade chicken sausage. Don't be afraid to play with flavors to find something that you like.

Regrind for Better Blend, Texture

Complete a second grinding to get a better texture. Malia Frey

Your homemade sausage is almost done! Put the entire sausage mixture through a second grinding using a finer setting on your meat grinder.  This will help to blend the chicken, apple and bacon sausage flavors and get a better texture.

Prepare Sausage for Storage

Measure individual portions of sausage using a kitchen scale. Malia Frey

Once the whole sausage recipe is complete, I divide it into individual portions (70 grams each) to freeze so that I can use it in recipes at a later date. Take an ice cream scoop and place one full scoop on parchment paper. Then fold the paper over and press into a patty. Use a digital kitchen scale to make sure the portions are correct.

Nutrition Facts

Write nutrition facts on the freezer bags. Malia Frey

You're almost done making your own Chicken, Bacon and Apple sausage.  Now that the meat is prepared and packed into individual portions, assemble the individual packets into larger freezer bags. The healthy sausage is easier to store that way.  Be sure to write nutrition facts on the outside so that if you are counting calories, the information is handy and easy to see.

Nutrition Facts (per 70 gram serving): 117 calories, 4 grams fat, 4 grams carbohydrate, 15 grams protein.

Best Cooking Methods

Cook your chicken sausage without adding fat. Use a George Foreman Grill or non-stick pan. Malia Frey

Are you ready to eat your homemade Chicken, Apple and Bacon Sausage? You don't have to  add fat like cooking oil or butter when you prepare this meat. There is already plenty of flavor in the recipe and if you are trying to lose weight, you don't want to add more fat and calories.  So use a non-stick skillet or grill.  I love use my George Foreman Grill to cook sausage patties.  It's easy to heat and easy to clean.

Tips for Eating Chicken, Bacon and Apple Sausage

Pair Chicken, Bacon and Apple Sliders with fruit or a salad. Malia Frey

Once you've finished making your own Chicken, Apple and Bacon Sausage, you'll find plenty of ways to enjoy the meat. I like to use the low fat sausage patties for sliders. But there are countless ways to use the recipe. Try crumbling some of the sausage into an omelette, in scrambled eggs or on a spinach salad. Press the patties thinner and make a lean sandwich for lunch or pair it with a healthy Sweet and Tangy Kale Salad for dinner. Enjoy!

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