Best Sausage for Pizza

Wondering what kind of sausage goes best on pizza?

I’ll slice up (pun intended) all of the different types of sausage that are delicious as a pizza topping to help you choose a flavor profile to suit your taste—or expand your palate.

Best Sausage for Pizza Featured Photo

Pizza is one of the most delicious dishes. Chefs all over the world have gotten creative in the way they prepare pies, proving that this food that we all love will always have a spot in our diners.

From exploring different herbs for sauces to experimenting with various dough-making techniques to selecting the best sausage toppings, there are loads of options to please even the most discerning palates.

And speaking of sausage toppings, given the variety of choices available, it can be stressful to decide which one is best for the pizza you’re trying to make, either for breakfast or dinner.

For delicious pies in the morning, go for breakfast sausage. But if you’re baking for your family’s late-night cravings, Italian sausage crumbled on pizza will be so delicious!

When it comes to picking your pizza sauces, keep in mind that each has a unique flavor. Some sausages impart a spicier flavor to the pizza. Others will add a milder flavor profile.

Many pizza lovers consider Italian sausage to be the best type of sausage out there. It’s either mild or hot. And it has an anise-flavored fennel taste.

In choosing your sausage, check that it has 80 to 85 percent meat and 15 to 20 percent fat content. This guarantees a juicy and succulent sausage without being too greasy in the oven.

Still on the fence about trying out the different types of sausages for your next pizza-making session?

Here’s why it’s time to switch to the best pizza sausages!

Why Go With Sausage for Pizza Toppings?

Sausage is a delicious way of topping pizza. It’s a versatile pizza topping that comes in grounded meat, crumbles, and slices. Also, since it’s a blend of various flavors, such as fennel and spicy red pepper, it enhances the flavor profile to a spicy nuance that no other topping can achieve.

Another reason sausages are a great topping for pizza is because they are rich in protein. Pork sausage, for example, contains approximately 14 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Sausages are also high in Vitamin B12, which helps to maintain blood health and nerve cells. They are also a good source of iron as well as selenium.

The tradition of having sausage as a pizza topping dates back centuries, leaving an unrivaled benchmark. However, make sure to consume meat in moderation.

What Sausage Should You Use for Pizza?

The type of sausage you’ll use will boil down to your personal taste and the variation of ingredients for your pizza toppings. While pepperoni reigns supreme on the pizza menu, sausage is a close contender. Many people also tend to stick to traditional Italian ground pork.

For mushroom fans, you can go for Italian sausage that is milder in flavor. If you want to spice up your pizza, top it with hot Italian sausage which contains spicy peppers. Sweet Italian sausage that contains sweet basil will offer a nice flavor if you’re a fan of Hawaiian pizza.

You can use sausage with 15 to 20 percent fat. This guarantees succulent and savory sausage without too much grease. Make sure to look for sausage with low sugar and sodium content and no nitrites or nitrates.

One of the things I personally like about using sausage over chicken is that it won’t dry out your pizza. You can also add some green peppers and onions for a nice balance of flavor.

Sausage enhances any pizza by imparting an intense flavor profile. Plus, it keeps it moist throughout the baking process.

Best Sausages for Pizza Comparison

  • Dimensions: 8.75 x 6.25 x 1.37 inches
  • Weight: 1.19 Pounds
  • Specialty: Gluten Free
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
  • Dimensions: 8.75 x 6.25 x 1.37 inches
  • Weight: 1.19 Pounds
  • Specialty: Gluten Free
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
  • Dimensions: 8.75 x 6.5 x 1.25 inches
  • Weight: 0.75 Pounds
  • Flavor: Hometown Original
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
  • Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 2 inches
  • Weight: 5 Ounces
  • Flavor: Pepperoni
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
  • Dimensions: 5.6 x 4.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Weight: 12 Ounces
  • Specialty: Organic
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  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Weight: 8 Ounces
  • Flavor: Smoky, Spicy, Tangy, Umami
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
  • Dimensions: 1.25 x 8.9 x 5.4 inches
  • Weight: 0.75 Pounds
  • Flavor: Smoked
View On Amazon →Read Our Review

The Best Sausages for Pizza

A good sausage should be juicy, infusing flavor throughout the pie. With that in mind, here are some of the most popular and best sausages for pizza.

Mild Italian

Fresh Brand Mild Italian Sausage

Italian sausages are typically made from pork. And there is a common misconception that they are all the same. However, some variations are flavored with different seasonings and additives. So each Italian sausage has a distinct taste.

To put it simply, different Italian sausages will go best with various types of pizza paired with your preferred toppings.

But what exactly is a mild Italian sausage?

It’s also known as sweet Italian sausage. The terms “sweet” and “mild” are used interchangeably. Mild Italian sausage is the less spicy version of the Hot Italian (more on this later). It’s typically seasoned with garlic, fennel, oregano, parsley, and red wine vinegar.

Mild Italian sausage is the most popular out of all the types of sausages for pizza. It also goes perfectly with most other toppings. Due to its Italian flavorings, this sausage is also the most common type of meat used for making spaghetti sauces. 

Hot Italian

Fresh Brand Hot Italian Sausage

What’s known as hot Italian sausage contains a dash or two of hot red pepper flakes, which gives it a nice kick. Just like the mild one, it’s made with pork. The common ingredients in hot Italian sausage also includes fennel seed, anise, paprika, and ground black pepper.

With these ingredients combined, hot Italian sausages will add that extra punch to pizzas that come fresh out of the oven. This type of sausage packs a lot of flavor to it and you can season it with either fresh or dried herbs.

If you’re the type who enjoys spicy foods and prefer a flavorful pizza with hot toppings like jalapeños, then hot Italian pizza sausage could be your best option.

Breakfast Sausage

Smithfield Hometown Original Premium Fresh Pork Breakfast Sausage

Breakfast sausage is made of fresh pork with black pepper and fresh sage as the common seasonings. Other varieties also contain maple syrup, cayenne pepper, fennel seeds, thyme, and nutmeg, while some are flavored with cured bacon.

Some people associate breakfast sausages with mild Italian sausage. But the thing is that they have different ingredients and a distinct flavor.

Breakfast sausage is ideal for a breakfast pizza though it’s also perfect to eat at any time of day, whether it’s for dinner or as a snack. If you have kids at home, the mild flavor of this sausage paired with simple toppings will be a great option.


Battistoni Cup and Char Spicy Pepperoni

You might not know, but pepperoni is actually a type of sausage and it’s the most popular pizza topping in many pizza restaurants. It’s made from either pork or beef or a combination of cured pork and beef that has been seasoned with paprika, cayenne, or another chili pepper. And yes, it has a spicy flavor.

Pepperoni is typically soft, mildly smoky, and bright red when it’s raw. The color, thin slices, and distinct flavoring are what separate it from sausages. You can get pepperoni in precut and even in miniature versions.

If you have acid reflux, however, it’s best to ditch pepperoni and opt for chicken sausage instead. Americans who enjoy classic pizza love pepperoni. So if you’re going for it as your pizza topping, you can also add other meats like crumbled Italian sausage or ham.

Chicken Sausage

Applegate, Organic Sweet Italian Sausage

If you dread the porky flavor of other pizza sausage varieties, this one will be a nice shift from pork. Chicken sausage is typically made from the dark meat of the chicken. It is slightly more moist than the white meat since the latter will just dry out during the cooking process.

This type of sausage is often seasoned with sage, parsley, pepper, as well as other Italian seasonings. With a mild taste, chicken sausage goes nicely with other toppings.

One of the things I love about chicken sausages is that it makes for a wonderful alternative if you’re trying to watch your weight or concerned about your diet. You could even make your own chicken sausage recipe and tweak it by adding some red pepper flakes to give the flavor a punch.


urelias Spanish Chorizo All Natural Keto Friendly

This deep red pork sausage is bursting with flavor. Chorizo is a Latin American sausage that is similar to the hot Italian version but with a spicier flavor. It’s fermented and cured, which results in a dry sausage that is edible without having to cook it, similar to salami or pepperoni.

If you want something hot, chorizo can be an ideal topping, unless you’re willing to go through the heartburn. This type of sausage goes well with cheddar cheese since the cheese, like garlic and oregano, softens the flavor.

Chorizo is made with ancho Chile, coriander, cumin powder, paprika, salt, pepper, oregano, bay leaves, cinnamon, and thyme. A combination of flavorful herbs and spices will definitely excite your palate.

As you can imagine, chorizo is full of flavor so you won’t need to add other flavorful toppings to your pizza. Just add onions and garlic and you’ll have a mouthwatering pizza. And while it can get spicy, kids seem to love it too!


Hillshire Farm Turkey Polska Kielbasa Sausage Smoked Sausage

Kielbasa means sausage in Polish. And sausage is very essential in Polish culture. Although many might see kielbasa as a stand-alone meal, it can also be a good topping for pizza if you appreciate its flavor. It’s not like your typical pizza topping, but it will do. You can pair it with some peppers, onions, and mushrooms.

Kielbasa often contains pork or beef or both. It boasts a unique taste enhanced by garlic, marjoram, cloves, pimentos, and smoke. Generally, it would taste like any other sausage: it’s tender, salted, or spiced and is tightly packed.

This sausage is typically grilled, pan-seared, or smoked. It picks up the flavor nuances of the wood used in the smoking process. If there’s one thing you need to keep in mind, kielbasa is quite the greasy choice on the list. Make sure you have a lot of paper towels ready.

Healthy Protein Sausage Options

Pizza may not be the most nutritious food out there, but you could make it a bit guilt-free. There are several healthy proteins to choose from for your pizza sausage. Here are some healthier options you can try:

Chicken. This is my top choice. Chicken is always a safe bet, especially white meat. You can shred some chicken breast and top pizza with it to keep you fuller for longer. Chicken is also a low-fat option that’s high in protein and other minerals like iron, zinc, and potassium.

Low sugar sausages. Take advantage of lower sugar and sodium options. You may also go for sausages that are free of nitrates or nitrites.

Tips for Sausage Pizza Topping

Aside from going for sausages with low sugar and sodium levels that don’t contain nitrites and nitrates, here are a few tips you can follow to make the most delicious pizza sausage:

Pre-cook first. Most raw meats like chicken, bacon, ground beef, and sausage should be precooked before you can top them on pizza. This is to guarantee that there are no raw pieces in your pies. Adding them to your pizza raw may impart a stronger flavor, but it’s always best to cook them first.

There are different ways to pre-cook your sausage. You can either bake it at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or cook it in a pan over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Remove the sausage meat from the casing or package. You can also slice them right in their casings and arrange them in smaller pieces across the pie. Cook the pizza for 10 to 15 minutes, or wait until it’s brown and reaches the desired doneness.

Try a few popular sausage pizza combinations. You have endless options so make sure to add anything you think would be tasty.

There’s a mix of sausage, mozzarella cheese, green peppers, and onions. A combination of sausage, ricotta cheese, minced garlic, and basil leaves are also great options. Another tasty fusion would be mozzarella cheese, red onion, green peppers, and mushrooms.

Tell Tale Signs of Fresh Pizza Sausage

The first thing you should look for when purchasing pizza sausage is the expiration date. Then, keep an eye out for these indications to make sure you’re getting the freshest ground meat possible:

Pink meat indicates freshness. It shouldn’t be grayish in color. You should also be able to smell herb aromas. It may even begin to turn green or sprout some molds. If you notice some browning, you must cook it right away since they are starting to spoil but they are still safe for consumption.

If it smells sour, discard it. A sour smell is the first indication that your sausages have spoiled. Remember that the ground meat shouldn’t smell like anything other than the herbs in it.

Does it have slime? A slimy sausage can be caused by two factors: its casing or just the meat spoiling. Pizza sausages are cased with either natural or artificial casings. If you notice any slime on your sausage, you must throw it away.

A slimy sausage in a natural casing doesn’t necessarily mean that your meat is spoiled. However, this also doesn’t mean it cannot spoil. Slimy meat happens when you store them in your fridge for longer than you should.

Best Sausage for Pizza FAQs

What is the best sausage for making homemade pizza?

It depends on your personal preferences. Most of the time, people associate sausage on pizza with crumbled-up Italian sausage. It’s the same type of sausage pizza you often find at restaurants, with a milder flavor profile and goes well with other toppings.

But if you prefer to add some spicy flavor to your pizza, hot Italian sausage could be your best option. For homemade pizzas in the morning, breakfast sausage is ideal.

Although Italian sausages are the most popular, many pizza lovers like to branch out and experiment with other sausage options. Exploring flavors with different sausages will help you make delicious pizzas.

Do you put raw or cooked sausage on pizza?

It depends on the temperature of the oven and the time for which you’ll be baking the pizza. But generally, you have to cook sausage before putting it on pizza. If you’re going to grill your pizza, you must pre-cook the sausage. If you’re in a hurry, though, you can just toss the sausages on the skillet and it will be good to go.

The thing is, pizzas don’t often take long to bake. When you put them in the oven, raw meats like sausage and bacon usually won’t cook throughout the short baking time. So if you bake the sausage before cooking, it may crisp up on the outside, but it will be undercooked on the inside.

However, you can bake your pizza low and slow in the oven and put the raw sausage on top. It’s worth noting that cooking raw sausage in the oven can produce excess grease, which is something you don’t want in your pizza.

The bottom line is that it’s always the safest option to cook your sausage before topping it on pizza. But in some cases, you don’t have to. With smoked meats like pepperoni and pastrami, you can just toss them on your pizza without pre-cooking.

Can you freeze sausage pizza?

Yes. You can store it in an airtight container or tightly wrap it with plastic and aluminum foil for added protection. If stored correctly, it should last up to two months in your freezer. When you want to bake or reheat it, you can just thaw it and put it in the oven.

For uncooked pizzas, bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 18 to 22 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. But if you’re reheating cooked sausage pizza, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and place a baking sheet.

Can you put raw Italian sausage on pizza?

Before putting Italian sausage on pizza, you need to cook it first. Since pizzas don’t usually take a lot of time to bake in the oven, raw meats like Italian sausage, bacon, or chicken just won’t cook through in such a short duration.

If you extend the baking window, you’ll end up with a charred crust that’s inedible. So, precooking the sausage is always preferable.

Should you brown sausage before putting it on pizza?

Yes. This is an essential step if you’re making a flat pizza that will cook in 10 minutes or less. If you’re making a Chicago-style pizza that you’ll be baking in the oven for at least 20 minutes, you can throw it on raw if it’s placed on top of the pie and broken up into smaller pieces.

How do you prepare sausage for pizza?

Before baking the pie, you want your sausage in raw pieces. The upper edges of the sausage should crisp up and start to sear as your pizza finishes cooking. This will not only enhance the flavor, but it will also give it a bit of crunchy texture for each bite.

Can I make a vegan Italian sausage pepperoni pizza recipe?

Yes, you can definitely make a homemade vegan Italian sausage pepperoni pizza. Just substitute the Italian sausage and pepperoni with plant-based alternatives.

Another way you can create this recipe is to make your own vegan sausage and pepperoni. You can use chickpeas, tofu, and tempeh. These are ingredients you can easily get from the supermarket.

What is the difference between Italian sausage and pork sausage on a pizza?

The ingredients are what separate Italian sausages from other types of sausages. Italian sausage’s main ingredient is fennel. It’s a licorice-scented herb that lends Italian sausage its distinct flavor. This makes such sausage a unique flavor.

Does chorizo taste like pepperoni?

Chorizo is more complex than pepperoni as it comes in several varieties. Spanish chorizo, on the other hand, is the closest similar to pepperoni. Since both contain pork and the same spices, sometimes, you can use them interchangeably.

Final Words

Some of the best pizza recipes are topped with sausage. A delicious sausage pizza is perfect for any time of day, whether it’s Italian sausage, pepperoni, chicken, or breakfast sausages paired with your other favorite toppings. It takes very little time to make and is well worth a try!

I hope I’ve helped you find the right pizza sausage for you. Don’t be scared of experimenting with recipes with different types of sausages. Good luck!