The Best Homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage / A Happy Hike & Anniversary!

A long time ago I dabbled at making homemade turkey breakfast sausages and I don’t know why I stopped doing it. For the past week I have been thinking about making them again and finally on Saturday morning I did just that. These really are the best tasting turkey breakfast sausages I have ever had! Katy said they are a blue ribbon winner in her book! Darn it, the whole family loved them and I thought I was going to freeze most of them to enjoy for my breakfast for the next couple of weeks. Ha – ha. I guess I will be making another batch this week. 🙂

 A little sauteed apple and onion with just the right blend of herbs combined with lean ground turkey breast is all it takes. Well that and just a little bit of time to make the meat mixture into 24 patties and cook them up.

You can take this basic recipe and play with it if you wish. If you like a little sweeter breakfast sausage add a little real maple syrup. Prefer things to be in on the spicy side – add more crushed red pepper.

This is how I enjoyed them for breakfast. So satisfying and it kept me full for hours.

Turkey Breakfast Sausage

  •  1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup shredded peeled Fuji or Braeburn apple (I didn’t peel it and tossed it in the food processor with the onion)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 pounds ground turkey breast (93/7)
  • Cooking spray


Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and apple; sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Remove onion mixture from pan; cool completely.

Combine onion mixture, thyme, sage, salt, pepper, and turkey, stirring well to combine. Divide mixture into 24 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Cook in 2 or 3 batches depending on how large your skillet is but don’t over crowd the skillet. I did 3 batches of 8, cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining patties.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 3 patties)

CALORIES 155 (15% from fat); FAT 2.5g (sat 0.5g,mono 1.4g,poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 28.1g; CHOLESTEROL 70mg; CALCIUM 23mg; SODIUM 349mg; FIBER 0.7g; IRON 1.5mg; CARBOHYDRATE 3.4g WWPP 4

Adapted From Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2002

Saturday was a beautiful sunny day so after our hearty breakfast we decided to go for another hike near where we went last week. Since the packages of ground turkey come in 1.25 pound each I had some leftover from making sausages. I browned it in a skillet with some chopped onion, seasoned it with cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. At the end I tossed in some salsa. After it cooled it was transferred to a to go container over a bed of lettuce, topped off with little salad tomatoes, chopped green onions and cilantro. A nice salad for our hike and still with in the guide lines of the 17 day diet.

We didn’t go on the same route as last week but part of this hike did intersect with part of a trail we were on last week. Saturdays hike was a challenge as we started out on a training route for firefighters! What were we thinking? 🙂 It was a rocky mess to say the least. You can’t tell how much of an incline it was from this photo. The trail was a steep grade up the hill side for almost a mile with no switch backs. It took us nearly an hour to climb our way up. Talk about a work out – we were so proud of our 50 something selves when we reached the top.

 This sign was at the top of the hill.

Break time! I enjoyed snacking on this sweet, juicy apple.

The view at the top was amazing.

Late afternoon it was snack time again. Almonds are not included in the first cycle of the 17 Day Diet but I swapped them for a serving of healthy oil since I needed something to fuel my body while hiking. We hiked a total of 10 miles and it took us about 5 hours. I think we burned a ton of calories!

Nutmeg Notes

I started the 17 Day Diet on Friday and so far so good. I wasn’t perfectly on plan all weekend but I am not getting hung up on being perfect. Perfectionism has gotten me into trouble in the past – it’s that all or nothing thinking. Modifications to the food plan had to be made while we hiked, like eating nuts instead of having a healthy oil that day. Three cups of green tea were not consumed on Saturday but I managed to drink two. Yesterday we had dinner with friends. Before we left our house I ate a little protein to take the edge off my hunger. Not everything was on my plan so I skipped the appetizers, took a small serving of the entree and loaded up on the salad I took, skipped dessert and had a great time! Again I was not perfect but I made the best choices I could!

Sunday hubby Tom smoked a whole chicken, chicken legs and thighs so we have lots of protein to bag and freeze for easy heat and eat meals. I also stocked up on a variety of frozen fish, tons of veggies, fresh and frozen berries and FF Fage yogurt. I have some new recipes lined up to try that are low carb and will fit nicely into my food plan.

Blog Anniversary!

Life has been so busy that I almost forgot to mention that Nutmeg Notebook is 2 years old this month! A lot has changed in two years. Hundreds of new recipes have been made and posted on the blog. We have tried many new foods. Traveling and hiking have fed our adventurous side.

 Health and body wise in the past year I have:

  •  Completed my adventure with Invisalign braces to straighten my teeth and had two mouth surgeries. (Yipee!)
  •  I had a personal milestone by hitting menopause this month! 🙂 (Is this a good thing?)
  •  Discovered that despite a healthy diet I am borderline high cholesterol! (Yikes!)
  • Gained 12 pounds the latter part of the year. (Ouch – that stinks :()

I must say that it’s embarrassing to have gained weight after all this time. At one point I thought I had this weight thing handled and would be maintaining my happy weight with no struggles. 🙂 What I have learned is that I have to be flexible and adapt my food plan as needed. I have to stay keenly aware of my tendency to be an emotional eater. At this stage in my life I gain weight easily and lose it slowly. It is what is. I have no choice but to keep trying new things to see what works best for this changing body of mine. I am looking forward to another year of blogging.

 Thank you for reading my blog and supporting me on this journey. The best part of blogging is having made friends with all of you! 🙂

With gratitude,


Add Your Thoughts – I love hearing from you!

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  1. Racheal @ Running with Racheal says:

    I cannot wait to make these. My husband is going to be so pumped! Thanks for sharing the recipe! 🙂

    1. Tami says:

      Racheal you are so welcome and I hope your husband loves them as much as we do. Please be sure to come back and let me know how it goes

  2. Jan says:

    Happy blogaversarsy! Those turkey sausages look great. I might just make them – no, really!!

    Do not worry about your total cholesterol without thinking about a couple of things. No study has ever found lowering cholesterol in women with NO risk factors impacts heart disease. The other point is that the risk for coronary artery disease seems to come from small particle LDL cholesterol, which regular ol’ cholesterol tests do not measure. Your doc has to order a special test (not just a routine cholesterol profile) to measure small and “fluffy” LDL. Also, what is your HDL? Trust me, the Lipitor and Crestor drug companies are getting rich from unnecessary treatment, although some people do need to be treated – the drugs just don’t need to be in the water supply as many docs would have you think. Enough medicine.

    I understand the feeling of embarrassment about gaining weight. I have regained a little and am dealing more with body and self-confidence issues than health issues. Trying hard to remember eating is about health…

    1. Tami says:

      Jan thank you for the wealth of information about cholesterol and the information about the “fluffy” LDL. I will ask about that the next time I see him. My doctor said he wasn’t too concerned right now but we need to watch it.

      He said “Just imagine what your LDL would be if you didn’t already exercise and eat a healthy diet.”

      I do have a history of heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes in my family so this did scare me. My LDL cholesterol was 149. The HDL was 66.

      No drugs for me but I am on fish oil and trying to eat lots of cruciferous veggies to keep it under control. What bothers me is that I do so much right and eat pretty darn healthy so I was shocked at my results. It makes we wonder what is yet to come.

      I do hope you will try the sausage recipe and report back to me!

  3. Helen says:

    The midlife quick to gain slow to lose thing really sucks. I have determined to be super vigilant once I’m in maintenance this time. Before I gave myself a lot of leeway but will not being doing so in the future. Being at a happy weight is too important for me.

    My 68 year old aunt did the 17 Day Diet and had great success. Lost about 30 lbs. She refused to give up her wine though knowing it might slow her loss but told me she had nothing but time so she didn’t care lol!

    1. Tami says:

      Good to know about your aunts success with the 17 day diet. Too funny about her not wanting to give up her wine – not a problem for me!

      So far so good – although on day 3 I was really wanting some carbs!

      I guess I will have to join you in being “super vigilant” in maintenance. I would rather be at a healthy weight too!

  4. Karen@WaistingTime says:

    “At one point I thought I had this weight thing handled and would be maintaining my happy weight with no struggles.” – Me too!!! Happy blogoversary:) Do you read Sharon’s blog? She’s been having great success with that diet plan and I keep meaning to read more about it.

    This recipe is one I think I might actually try! Have you refrigerated or frozen them? I’m thinking with your clan they all get gobbled up:)

    1. Karen@WaistingTime says:

      I forgot to mention that I have found that same thing with buying ground turkey and chicken. Some stores I go to have 20 oz in a package, some have 19.2 (!?) but one does have it a pound. Crazy!

    2. Tami says:

      I do read Sharon’s blog and she is the one who inspired me to try the 17 Day Diet. I read about her success and how easy it was for her to stick with the food plan. I saw a couple of talk shows that were talking about the same book and decided to give it a try. I might have to do a post about the basics of the plan for those who are interested in learning more.

      You are so right – my clan gobbled these sausages right up and none made it to the freezer. I am sure they will freezed just fine. We freeze turkey burgers all the time and then gently reheat them in the microwave on a lower power with great results.

      I don’t understand why ground poultry is packaged in such strange amounts – I always have to get creative with these little bits that are leftover. 🙂

  5. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    Happy Birthday to your blog!

    Great hike! Isn’t getting to the top of a strenuous (and sometimes a bit scary!) hike the best?!

    I’m just catching up on blog reading, and I’ll have to check out your post about the 17 Day diet next!

    I, too, gained some weight last year, and it certainly had to do with emotional reasons. I like your attitude about not having to be “perfect.” It’s so important.

    1. Tami says:

      Thank you Andrea! Getting to the top after a hike like that is exilerating!

      It looks like several of us have experienced some recent weight gain and are trying to figure out how and what to do to lose it and keep it off!

      I might need to do a post about the details as a couple people have asked about it. In the meantime here is a link to a review of it on Web MD


      1. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

        Thanks for the link to the review. I really look forward to seeing how it works for you. I like the idea of “cleaning things up” a bit initially. And I like that it’s not super low calorie for too long.

  6. Jody - Fit at 54 says:

    Will be pinning those recipes! YUM!

    Those are such beautiful pics Tami – how lucky you are to have that close! Hey – a great leg & butt workout! 🙂

    AS for Menopause- are ya sure??? I was close to a year without & got some visits! :-O Crazy friggin hormones!!! 😉 YUP, totally get the easy on & especially at this age! UGH!

    I love your take on the 17 day diet. I have always modified to meet what is right for me. Honestly, I eat very similar to that diet except my way.. so I am sure it will be good for you! 🙂

    Happy blog anniversary!

    1. Tami says:

      We do feel like we are fortunate to live where we do and have such easy access to amazing places to visit and hike. You aren’t kidding about it being a great butt workout – woo hoo!

      Yep, it’s been 13 months of no periods for me! Yes, the hormone changes are something else, the changes in the body and all of it are mind boggling.

      I do think it will be a good food plan for me. The other cycles involve carb cycling with one day of higher carbs (albeit healthy ones) followed by a lower carb day. That might do the trick for me – at least I am hoping so. I do think we have tweak our food plans to make them work for us. There isn’t any one size fits all plan! 🙂

      Thanks for the anniversary wishes.

  7. Cammy-TippyToeDiet says:

    This looks tasty! But it has me wondering what makes it (or any meat) sausage? The addition of spices? I’ve honestly never thought about it. 🙂 Anyway, I have my fingers crossed that Kroger has a sale on turkey breast really soon. I’ve eaten all my freezer stock.

    1. Cammy@TippyToeDiet says:

      Ack! Forgot to wish you a very happy Bloggiversarsy! I enjoy reading your blog, following your adventures, and pretending I’m going to prepare all your recipes someday. 🙂

    2. Tami says:

      Inquiring minds want to know! Okay so I googled what is sausage and here is what it said on Wikipedia;

      A sausage is a food usually made from ground meat (normally pork or beef), mixed with salt, herbs, and other spices, although vegetarian sausages are available. The word sausage is derived from Old French saussiche, from the Latin word salsus, meaning salted.[1]

      Typically, a sausage is formed in a casing traditionally made from intestine, but sometimes synthetic. Some sausages are cooked during processing and the casing may be removed afterwards.

      No casing on this one so then is it a sausage – I don’t know!

      Thank you for the bloggiversary wishes Cammy. I am delighted to know that you enjoy the adventures and miss – adventures. I do wish you would stop pretending and actually try my recipes! 🙂 Pretty please….

  8. Renee@Mykitchenadventures says:

    Happy Blogversary!

    I imagine the menopause thing and the weight gain go hand in hand…and I would have to say…even if it’s not a great change ( the menopause) what can you do? it happens and you can’t change it…so embrace it for the good part! 🙂

    How fun to be able to hike such a beautiful area! Love that and all your pictures! I make homemade breakfast turkey sausage all the time, and on a recent trip to Penzeys’ I picked up a jar of their breakfast sausage spice mix which is pretty darn good! I will have to try adding apple some time!

    1. Tami says:

      Thank Renee. You are right the menopause thing is what it is and we have to learn to work with it! Thans for the tip about the Penzey’s sausage spice mix. We don’t have a Penzeys but I bet I can order it on line!

  9. Dr. J says:

    I have certainly enjoyed the blogging you have done Tami, so thank you for that!

    I am not a fan of cholesterol lowering drugs either. I suspect if you lose the weight you gained, your numbers will improve. I have a friend, post menopausal, who dropped her cholesterol numbers 50 points with improved diet and exercise.

    1. Tami says:

      Wow that is an impressive improvement in your friends numbers! I hope I am as successful with mine. 🙂

  10. Jan says:

    Made your turkey sausage recipe tonight for dinner (along with eggs). They were a hit! I put too much fresh sage in and next time will use a sweet onion. But wowser, they were just as tasty as they sounded and looked on your blog!!

    1. Tami says:

      Jan thanks for the feedback, good to know you liked them! Bummer about using too much sage, I didn’t have any fresh so went with the rubbed sage and it was perfecto!

  11. Lynn P. says:

    Hi Tammy,

    I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate reading your blog.

    We love your breakfast muffins, I have made them many many times! I have checked in from time to time here for a turkey sausage recipe because it is somehting that seemed would be a good fit for your recipe choices and now it is here! I plan to make these today, many thanks again for all that you share.

    1. Tami says:

      Lynn you are so welcome and thanks a bunch for the sweet comments. It makes me smile from ear to ear to know others are enjoying the recipes I post!

      Happy Cooking! 🙂

  12. Sharon says:


    I am so excited you are doing the 17-Day Diet. Hope you find as much satisfaction with it as I have. After around 10 weeks on it, I am still losing steadily (albeit very slowly) and it’s become such an innate part of my day, I hardly have to think about it anymore. I’ve pretty much settled into living between Cycle 1 and Cycle 2 only rarely venturing into a day that includes foods from Cycle 3.

    As for the menopause thing, all I can say is UGH! I wrote about this a long time ago, but for me, menopause changed everything with the way I lost and maintained weight. I lost my weight in 2006-2007, experienced menopause in 2008/2009 and began regaining these 30 pounds (still only half of what I lost) in 2009/2010. Losing it is a totally different battle this time and once I get it off, you better believe it’s STAYING off.

    So I’m trying to encourage you to be thankful you caught it at 12 pounds. You may struggle harder than before to get it back off, but once it’s off this time, take my word for it (and Helen’s!!) and KEEP IT OFF! It’s just not worth the post-menopause struggle.


    And Happy Blogoversary! Your was one of the first I found after starting mine in May of 2010 and I’ve enjoyed your blog and found a friend!

  13. Ann says:

    Happy Blogiversary! What a great hike. Looks tough. The turkey sausage looks yummy. I’ve got to try that one. Menopause changes how your body distributes and stores fat. It’s not uncommon for women to gain weight through the menopause. It’s not good or bad, just a new phase in your life. You are on the track of fixing it and that’s what matters. Really watch the carbs. In menopause more carb is stored as fat. As usual love the blog.

  14. Judy says:


    Yay! for you girl–it is an awesome website and I enjoy reading about your adventures in life and food! Keep it going girlfriend!!

    1. Tami says:

      Thank you Judy! It’s a labor of love and I have “met” so many new friends through the blog.

  1. Turkey Breakfast Sausage » Nutmeg Notebook says:

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