Sausage and other processed meats such as bacon, lunchmeat, bologna and salami are notoriously bad for kidneys. Sausage is usually packed with sodium, potassium and phosphate additives. But, you can make your own low sodium sausage at home for a more kidney friendly option!
Is Low Sodium Sausage Healthy?
This homemade low sodium sausage is much healthier than most commercial or store-bought sausage.
Most sausage has around 650mg of sodium for 2 patties, or about 2.5 ounces of sausage. Of course, the sodium amount is very different across brands.
This low sodium sausage recipe only has 167mg of sodium. This cuts the sodium by about 75%! If you leave out the salt entirely, this sausage only has 69mg of sodium per serving.
This sausage is still flavorful without the salt because of all of the tasty spices! Sage, thyme, red pepper flakes and even a touch of sweet from brown sugar help make this sausage delicious without the salt!
This recipe is a great choice for people who need to follow a low sodium diet. A low sodium diet is important for people with heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, and many other health conditions. In fact, a low sodium diet is recommended for everyone in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Most commercial sausage has phosphate additives in it. Phosphate additives can be harmful to people with kidney disease. Making your own sausage at home allows helps make sure your sausage is phosphate additive free.
Remember that all meat does have some phosphorus. Work with your Registered Dietitian to know how much is right for you.
Many processed meats also have extra potassium added to them. Making your own sausage can help make sure there are no potassium additives too!
All meat has some potassium in it. Remember, potassium is only a concern if you have high blood levels. Work with your Registered Dietitian to know how much potassium is right for you.
Protein needs are different for everyone with kidney disease. People who have kidney disease who are not on dialysis should usually limit protein. However, people who are on dialysis need more protein.
Any kind of meat has a lot of protein in it. If you need to limit protein, enjoy low sodium sausage in smaller portions.
Can I Use Other Ground Meats?
Yes! This recipe works with ground chicken, turkey, beef or lamb.
Ground chicken or turkey will have less fat than ground pork. Be careful not to overcook it, or your sausage will be very dry!
Store Bought Low Sodium Sausage
There are not many low sodium sausages available to buy at the grocery store.
Here is a list of the lowest sodium sausages I could find. Let me know in the comments if you have a low sodium sausage you would like to add to this list!
- Applegate Naturals No Sugar Chicken & Herb Breakfast Sausage (310mg sodium per 3 links)
- Applegate Naturals Chicken & Apple Breakfast Sausage (360mg sodium per 3 links)
- Applegate Naturals Chicken & Apple Breakfast Sausage Patties (200mg per 1 patty)
- Applegate Naturals Savory Turkey Breakfast Sausage Patties (250mg per 1 patty)
Note that this sausage recipe is much lower in sodium than any of the store-bought sausages.
What About Turkey Sausage?
People often choose turkey sausage as a healthier option to pork or beef sausage. Turkey sausage and turkey bacon are usually lower in fat and calories compared to pork. However, turkey sausage and bacon are usually higher in sodium.
Always remember to check those Nutrition Facts labels!
How To Serve Low Sodium Sausage
Use this low sodium sausage recipe however you would usually use sausage!
I love to serve it with eggs, fruit and potatoes or toast for a fancy Sunday brunch.
You can also use this recipe in place of ground sausage in recipes. For example, ground sausage is often used in pasta or stuffed vegetable recipes.
I do recommend leaving out the egg if you plan to use this low sodium sausage recipe in ground form, rather than in a patty.
Low Sodium Sausage
- 1 1/4 lb ground pork
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp fennel seed
- 1 dash red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
- Using your hands, mash all together until very well mixed.
- Using a heaping tablespoon, form 12 patties. The mixture will be fairly wet, but will come together with some love!
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Cook patties 4-5 minutes per side.
41 thoughts on “Low Sodium Sausage”
Thank you for the recipe. After molding it into patties before cooking can I freeze it ?
I’m so excited to try this.
Yay! I hope you love it. And yes, I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t freeze it. I’d probably recommend freezing BEFORE you cook it to help it stay as moist as possible!
Thank you so much for this recipe and the additional wealth of information. I am a mother of a daughter diagnosed with ASD and in the process of adjusting/changing her diet. There are so many limitations and I am thrilled to know I can make sausages at home as she has been having eggs and chicken only as her sources of protein. Thank you again, I am typing this in tears!
I’m so glad this is helpful to you!
Hi, I am on a low sodium diet but also a sugar free diet. Can I make this without salt and sugar? Will it still taste good?
I’ve never made it completely without salt or sugar, so I can’t say. All of those spices will certainly still give it a lot of flavor. Give it a go and let us know how it is!
There is a sucralose liquid sweetener with zero carbs and zero calories that I’ve purchased from Amazon. It is very concentrated, and you could add just one drop to the mixture to replace sugar and give it a sweetness. It’s great for sweetening a lot of things, but as I said it’s very concentrated so try one drop and if not enough add another drop. You can add to a recipe but can’t remove it once it’s in there. Here is a link to it on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/JD-Liquid-Sucralose-Concentrated-Sweetener/dp/B01N8QTMN1/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=JD+Liquid+Sucralose+8+fl+oz&qid=1661028805&sr=8-1
Hope this helps.
I’m on a low sodium diet myself and the sodium level of this recipe is quite reasonable. You can always cut the salk and sugar in half, but I would not omit either entirely. Adding a small amount of brown sugar to some meats and sauces is a good way of increasing the favor so that you don’t notice the missing salt. Cutting both in half leaves flavoring but results in a minimal amount of salt and sugar.
Hi Melanie I’m recently been diagnosed with PKD and being followed by a PKD clinical team. The dietitian says I need to avoid phosphoric acid . Is the phosphor in this recipe you mention the recipe same as phosphoric acid ? Is there something in this that I can leave out to eliminating phosphors if it is the same as phosphoric acid? I really want to try this recipe in a vegetable lasagna
Hi Scotty! Great advice from your dietitian! Phosphorus is different than phosphoric acid. Essentially, phosphoric acid is an ingredient that contains phosphorus that is MUCH more readily absorbed than naturally occurring phosphorus. It would be impossible to avoid phosphorus all together. This article explains a little more! I think this recipe in a lasagna would be amazing! Definitely let us know how it works out if you give it a go.
Hey there! After blending all the spices with the pork and egg, can you just fry this up like ground sausage and add it to things like omelettes?
Absolutely! That works perfectly!
Thanks I am definitely going to try this low sodium patty with with beef or pork or turkey. This is the answer to my store bought dilemma
Yay! I hope you love it!
Like others here, I have a low sodium diet.
I used 90% lean pork, and do not add any salt.
It is still very good.
Yay! I’m so glad you like it!
I don’t understand if it is no sodium why salt is added? Is that necessary?
Hello! This sausage is “low sodium”, not “no sodium”. If you are cooking from completely fresh, unprocessed ingredients, you can fit a little added salt! Even just a touch helps he flavor immensely. Of course, you could definitely make this sausage without the added salt if you prefer.
I gave this recipe 5 stars even though I haven’t tried it yet, but I am 5-star happy to have a low sodium sausage recipe to try. I have a question about the one and one fourth amount of meat. My package comes with just one pound of meat. I would rather not buy two packages of meat. How do you recommend adjusting the recipe for one pound of meat?
I’m so glad you are excited about this recipe! Honestly, you could probably just leave all the other ingredients the same and it would come out perfectly – even EXTRA flavorful. You could always just reduce the spices by about 20% (or so) if you prefer. I’d definitely just use the whole egg, since trying to cut that back is just too difficult! I actually really like to get ground meat at the meat counter, and not in the premade packages, because you can get exactly the amount you need for recipes. Hope that helps!
I’m excited to try your recipe. I’ve been hunting for a lower sodium sausage to use in my Thanksgiving stuffing, but the lowest I’ve found in my community still has 340mg/serving. This is so much better. For my family I will need to double the recipe, and I think I’m going to try using 1-1/4 lb ground pork and 1-1/4 lb ground turkey. Thank you so much for your recipe!! Happy Holidays!
Oh my gosh! Thank you for sharing. I haven’t tried it, but I think this would work perfectly in stuffing! Let us know how it goes. I’m SO glad to help you enjoy your Thanksgiving favorites in a more kidney-friendly way! Happy Holidays to you too!
Have you tried freezing this ? Wonder if it would be better to form the patties then freeze or cook the whole batch and then freeze. Thoughts please
I haven’t personally tried freezing this recipe. I’d probably recommend freezing them in individual patties raw. Then, defrosting them and cooking them after. I could see freezing them after cooking making them a little dry!
I made the patties and froze them in pairs, then put them in the microwave on a very low setting to defrost and heat. They were delicious!
Yay! So glad. Thank you for sharing.
I have made several batches of this using ground turkey and eliminating the salt. My husband is on very low sodium diet and he loves the sausage. He said it has a very good flavor. I make them into patties and freeze until I’m ready to cook them.
I am so happy I found your website! My older has been on dialysis for several years and I started preparing meals for him. This helps so
Thank you so much Kristine! I’m so glad my site is helpful to you!
An option for added health… oatmeal, lemon zest, onion too. Kind of like Irish Bangers
I have been making sausage for my husband for years now. I often add a shredded apple for moisture and flavor. I have also found that a burger press for “sliders” makes a perfect patty for freezing.
Amazing ideas all around! Thank you for sharing!
Could ground chicken be substituted in this recipe?
Hi LaToia! Absolutely! I think pretty much any ground meat would work just fine!
It’s great to find recipe low sodium but I also need low potassium, phorporous. Can help with these as well?
Hi Joann! Thank you for your comment. I think that this sausage recipe is probably about as low in potassium and phosphorus as meat sausage can get. Making it yourself (like this recipe) can help ensure there are not any potassium or phosphorus additives in there (like there often are in commercially made sausages). I included the potassium and phosphorus information in the recipe. I hope that helps!
Question, for PKD stage 5, how much is the portion for meat and how often? I read on a post in an FB group that stage 5 patient should stop eating meat. what should we see in the lab result? if potassium and phosphor level is fine but then uric acid is above the range, then meat is not an option? oh and I heard also because meat will reduce the kidney function.
Thanks and sorry for the long comment.
Hi Maria! The amount of protein you need is based on your weight and stage of kidney disease. For stage 5, ideally aiming for 0.55 grams of protein per kg body weight per day is the recommendation. This isn’t much protein! Because meat/fish/chicken have SO much protein in them, it can be hard to include them and not go over your protein goal. Animal protein is also harder on your kidneys than plant protein, so that is another reason to stay away from it. However, you have to do what you feel comfortable with! This article goes over how diet changes based on stage of CKD. And this article talks more about why animal protein may not be the best!
Thank you for posting this recipe WITH an actual serving size for creating the patties and detailed nutritional facts (useful for cardio, kidney, diabetics and more : ) ) Often times recipes do not differentiate sizes and servings, leading one to guess. Cheers!
Yay! Thanks for the comment and you are so welcome! I hope you love it 🙂