Chicken Thigh Breakfast Sausage

I know, I know, the picture above is of a pancake breakfast with sausage links. But I’m going to talk about biscuits and gravy first.

I love biscuits and gravy. I loved it even before I lived in North Carolina, but my time there definitely made it even more of a favorite. There’s just something intensely comforting about a good biscuit smothered in rich sausage studded cream gravy. Or really anything smothered in rich sausage studded cream gravy: waffles, some fried chicken, a few eggs, probably an old tire. I mean, it makes everything better.

But of course not everyone can or wants to eat pork. And there’s a pandemic on. And a winter storm. And the grocery a few blocks away closed, meaning that this carless Chicken Thigh Guy can’t just walk out and quickly grab some sausage when a breakfast craving hits.


Enter my freezer full of chicken thighs, and their ability to stand in for pork in … well, not everything, but a lot of things.

This chicken thigh breakfast sausage is an easy to prepare stand in for pork breakfast sausage. It may even be healthier, but as I’m not a nutritionist, I’m not going to make that claim. The end result is a little bouncier than most pork sausages, but the flavor – which you can adjust by tweaking the spice mixture – is spot on. It makes a great sausage patty, can be rolled and poached to make links, and of course, the true test: it makes a killer, pork free sausage gravy for all your smothering needs.

Check below the recipe card for instructions on how to make links.

Chicken Thigh Breakfast Sausage

Recipe by DrewCourse: Main, BreakfastCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time



Classic American breakfast sausage, but made with Chicken Thighs.


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs

  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt

  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper

  • ½ tsp ground black pepper

  • ½ tsp rubbed sage

  • ¼ tsp dried thyme

  • 1/8th tsp fresh grated nutmeg


  • Cut the chicken into 1 inch pieces.
  • Add the chicken, salt, and all spices to the bowl of a food processor.
  • Pulse until finely ground.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour before using.


  • Like any sausage, you can fry off a small amount to taste, and alter the seasoning as needed.

How to make chicken thigh breakfast sausage links:

You’ll need:
Chicken Thigh Breakfast Sausage
Plastic Wrap
Kitchen Twine

  1. Prepare the sausage as per the recipe above.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a low simmer.
  3. Spread a 12″ piece of plastic wrap on a smooth surface.
  4. Wet the plastic with a little water
  5. using damp hands, or a piping bag, create a ~1″ thick, 8 inch long line of sausage on the plastic wrap, about 1/2 od the distance from the edge.
  6. Fold the short edge over the sausage and pull in back toward you to roll the sausage.
  7. Roll the entire plastic wrap into a tight roll, and twist the ends tightly.
  8. Use string to tie off the ends.
  9. Pinch and twist the center of the roll to create two 4″ long links.
  10. Use another piece of string to tie the center.
  11. Repeat steps 1-10 for additional links.
  12. Carefully lower the plastic wrapped sausages into the simmering water and reduce to the lowest temp.
  13. Cook stirring occasionally, for ~7-10 minutes, or until the sausages are firm and have reached an internal temperature of 165°F.
  14. Remove from the water and allow to rest until cool enough to handle.
  15. Cut the plastic at the string ends and slide out the links.

To serve, brown in a pan until crisped and brown on the surface.

Be sure to check out my other food project, The Weekly Menu!

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Chicken Thigh Breakfast Sausage — The Chicken Thigh Guy | My Meals are on Wheels

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