Ladies and gents, it's that time of year again when my freezer is so packed with venison meat that I can hardly keep it closed! That's not even an exaggeration. There is at least 25 pounds of various cuts of deer meat stuffed in my freezer right now. I am blessed by the acquaintance of quite a few hunters that like to give me their excess deer meat, and I'm certainly not complaining.
I feel like I should probably disclose that I would NEVER pull the trigger on a deer (or any animal for that matter), but I will absolutely pull the trigger on eating it (without even the slightest bit of hesitation). That begin said, to my plant-based readers: I'm truly sorry, but this post just isn't for you.
Let's chit chat a bit about the benefits of eating venison, shall we?
Perhaps the idea of eating Bambi's mother makes you cringe. I totally get it (that movie was traumatizing), but here me out on this. Venison is just as high in protein as beef but with far less calories, cholesterol and fat. Not to mention, unlike the majority of farm-raised animals, wild deer have never been exposed to unsanitary living conditions, a grain-based diet or any artificial hormones. All things considered, meat from wild deer is extremely high-quality, healthy and nutrient-dense. Does it get anymore Paleo than eating an animal that lives off of it's natural habitat? I don't think so.
I get that not everyone has a connection to a wild game hunter, but that doesn't mean you can't source high-quality, grass-fed venison meat!
With a simple google search, I discovered dozens of online vendors that will ship USDA quality venison straight to your door! I am not affiliated with any of the following meat suppliers, I just liked what I saw and thought I should share!
I also found quite a few specialty butcher shops that sell venison in my area! It's definitely something worth asking the Google gods about.
If for whatever reason sourcing venison for this recipe just isn't in the cards, that's totally okay!
Ground turkey makes a great substitution for the deer meat in this recipe! Ground turkey and ground venison are very similar in that they're naturally lean and awesome for absorbing flavors!
Speaking of the leanness of turkey and venison:
The fat content in turkey and venison is practically non-existent, which is why we're adding bacon to this sausage! Without adding that extra bit of fat from the bacon, we run the risk of drying out the patties. When cooked to the right temperature, these sausage patties are juicy, soft and absolutely mouthwatering. Thanks bacon! ***If you're having trouble finding Whole30 compliant bacon, no worries. You can easily swap out the bacon for pork belly or pork fat. It might not be on the shelves at your local grocer, but the butcher can mostly likely grab some for you.
If you've ever popped a raw cranberry into your mouth, then you probably know that they're definitely an acquired taste. They're very tart which is why they're usually sweetened in dishes to reduce their sourness. The tart bits and pieces of fresh cranberries in this sausage offer just enough acidity to round out the bold flavors of the venison and homemade sausage spice. It might seem a bit strange, but it works. Pinky swear.
The perfect blend of dried herbs and spices makes the perfect homemade sausage spice.
No sausage is complete with out the perfect mixture of seasonings (and lots of it). Without a liberal amount of spices, these patties would taste more like burgers. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against a good burger, but that's not what we're going for here.
I make my own Whole30 sausage, and you should too!
Store-bought Whole30 compliant sausage can seriously break the bank, which is why I almost always make my own. It's also pretty scarce in many grocery stores. Just like bacon, most packaged sausage has some sort of sugar in it, but that's okay! Now you can easily make a huge batch of this sausage to freeze (or cook and then freeze) for a quick on-the-go breakfast protein!
How to make homemade sausage patties:
If you've never made sausage before, I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised with how easy this recipe is! Here's how it's done:
- If cooking immediately, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix all sausage spices together thoroughly. Add ground meat, bacon and cranberries to the bowl and mix everything together very well.
- Using wet hands, form the sausage mixture into 12 half-inch thick patties (using about ¼ cup of meat per patty).
- If you are not cooking the patties right away, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. If none of the ingredients for the sausage were previously frozen, you can also freeze the raw patties. Simply wrap each patty in parchment paper and store in an air-tight container or Ziploc for up to 4 months.
- If you're cooking the patties right away, simply bake in an even-layer on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet for 22 to 25 minutes or until the sausage is cooked through (flipping each patty halfway through the cooking time). The proper internal temperature of fully-cooked venison is 160 degrees. The proper internal temperate of fully-cooked turkey is 165 degrees.
These patties can just as easily be cooked on the stove. Simply spray a skillet with cooking spray and brown the patties over medium-high heat (about 5 minutes per side). Reduce the heat to medium-low, add ½ cup of water to the skillet, cover and let simmer for 10 - 12 minutes or until the sausage is cooked through.
Are these sausage patties low carb & Keto-friendly?
Of course! You can cut more carbs from this sausage by omitting the cranberries, but seeing as there's only 3.5 grams of carbs in ¼ cup of raw cranberries - I don't think using them in this recipe is going to make or break your journey into ketosis.
So there you have it, classic breakfast sausage kicked up a few notches. I really hope you give these homemade sausage patties a try! They encompasses savory sausage flavors with bursts of tart cranberries and salty bacon. In my humble opinion, they're so much better than any store-bought sausage (and so much cleaner). If you try this recipe, please let me know by commenting, rating and sharing your sausage success on Instagram using the tag #paleoishkristaeats. Enjoy!
Pin Now! Make Later!
Looking for more Whole30 compliant breakfast ideas for the January Whole30? Check out the recipes below!
- Whole30 Sheet Pan Breakfast Bake
- Whole30 Loaded Brunch Casserole
- Whole30 Italian Sausage Frittata
- Air Fryer "Roasted" Potatoes
Venison Breakfast Sausage with Bacon and Cranberries
- 1 ½ pounds ground venison or ground turkey
- 4 ounces bacon about 4 slices (or pork belly/pork fat)
- ¼ cup fresh cranberries chopped
For the homemade breakfast sausage spice
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon ground sage
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon celery seed
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- If cooking immediately, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix all sausage spices thoroughly. Add ground venison (or turkey), pork and chopped cranberries to the bowl. Stir everything together very well.
- Using wet hands, form sausage mixture into 12 ½ inch thick patties (using about ¼ cup of sausage mixture for each patty). If freezing raw patties, see Recipe Notes.
- If cooking immediately, arrange sausage patties in an even-layer on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, flip the patties and bake for an additional 12 to 15 minutes or until the sausages reach the proper internal temperature.
- The proper internal temperature of fully-cooked ground venison is 160 degrees.
- The proper internal temperature of fully-cooked ground turkey is 165 degrees.
- Cooked patties will last in the fridge for 3 to 4 days and in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.
- To reheat, simply reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until the sausage is heated through. If kept in the freezer, thaw completely before reheating in the microwave or on the stovetop.
- Freeze raw patties only if none of the ingredients were previously frozen! To do so, individually wrap each patty in parchment paper and store in a Ziploc freezer bag in the freezer for 3 to 4 months.
- Thaw completely before cooking through.
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