I'm excited to share with you my Sweet Fennel Sausage recipe. It's a simple, no-fuss dish that's big on flavor and just happens to be low carb and keto-friendly too. If you love the unique taste of fennel and the comforting goodness of sausage, this recipe is for you.
It's perfect for a family dinner or a weekend brunch with friends. It's straightforward, delicious and a real taste sensation.
This fennel sausage recipe is: PALEO, PRIMAL, GLUTEN FREE, LOW CARB, KETO and WHEAT BELLY FRIENDLY.
The Inspiration behind my Fennel Sausage Recipe:
A few days back, I got this lovely message from Wendy, a new follower of the blog. She had been checking out my Sage Breakfast Sausage recipe and reached out with a special request.
Wendy had fallen in love with a pizza primarily because of its sweet fennel sausage topping. She was struggling to recreate that distinct flavor at home, and that's where I came in – it sounded like a challenge I couldn't resist! So, here we are with my take on Sweet Fennel Sausage, crafted with Wendy's request in mind.
Is Fennel Sausage Low Carb or Keto-friendly?
Absolutely! This Sweet Fennel Sausage recipe is a fantastic choice for anyone following a low carb or keto lifestyle. The main ingredient, ground pork, is naturally low in carbohydrates and high in protein, aligning perfectly with the macronutrient requirements of these diets.
The addition of fresh herbs and fennel adds a burst of flavor without significant carbs. Even better, we use a clever technique to caramelize the fennel, bringing out its natural sweetness without the need for added sugars.
Fennel Sausage Recipe Ingredients
Here are the main ingredients for this fennel sausage recipe. I want to take a minute to go through them with you:
- Ground Pork: Serving as the core of our sausage, be sure to buy ground pork from the store as it will have the correct balance of protein to fat. Too little fat, the sausage will be dry. Too much and it will swim in liquid fat!
- Fresh Thyme: This herb enhances the sausage with its subtle, earthy tones. If you're using dried, make sure you use less.
- Fennel Bulb: Central to this recipe, fennel imparts a natural sweetness, especially when caramelized, which is key to our sausage's unique flavor profile without adding sugar. Find one that has vibrant green fronds and read the instructions below for preparing your fennel bulb.
- Roasted Garlic: Adds a gentle, sweet flavor, complementing the fennel and enhancing the overall taste of the sausage. You can either use my recipe for roasted garlic or use fresh garlic that you cook for 3-4 minutes in some olive oil to remove the sharp edge.
- Fennel Seeds: These seeds boost the fennel flavor, reinforcing the distinct taste of our sausage. See the notes below for how to toast fennel seeds.
- Balsamic Vinegar: A hint of this vinegar brings a subtle complexity to the sausage, without significantly altering the carb content.
- Kosher Salt: Essential for flavor enhancement, salt helps to bring out the best in all the other ingredients. Be sure you're not using table salt as it will taste oversalted!
- Fresh Cracked Pepper: Adds a slight spicy note, balancing the sweet elements in the sausage.
The STruggle is REAl
Over the last year, I've fallen off the low carb way of eating and I know I'm not the only one. I've gained back over 50lbs and have tried desperately to kick-start myself back into ketosis... but it hasn't worked so far.
It's been a long and painful journey gaining so much weight back. I've learned that restarting low carb is so much harder than I'd ever imagined, but I have a plan that I want to share.
I will be documenting my return to the low carb lifestyle on this site. If you're interested in following along, be sure to subscribe below.
Restarting Low Carb
How to make fennel sausage in your own kitchen:
To begin creating our Sweet Fennel Sausage, start by toasting the fennel seeds in a dry pan over medium-high heat until they brown, being vigilant to stir and prevent burning. Once browned, set them aside.
The fennel bulb preparation is next: trim off the fronds and stalks, halve it, remove the core, and thinly slice the remaining bulb. Cook these slices in a mix of butter and olive oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until they start browning, then reduce the heat and continue cooking until they caramelize beautifully. Once done, give the caramelized fennel a rough chop.
Now, let's create the sausage mixture. In a bowl, combine the ground pork, cooked fennel, fresh thyme, roasted garlic, toasted fennel seeds, balsamic vinegar, salt, and a good amount of fresh cracked pepper. Mix everything well. Cook a small test patty and adjust seasoning if needed.
For the final cooking step, form the mixture into patties and cook them in a heavy bottom pan with some olive oil over medium-high heat. Cover the pan, cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until the patties are cooked through. Serve these delightful Sweet Fennel Sausages hot and savor every bite!
Why is fennel in sausage?
Fennel is a key ingredient in sausage due to its unique flavor profile that perfectly complements the rich taste of the meat. The sweet, slightly licorice-like taste of fennel adds depth and complexity, enhancing the overall flavor of the sausage.
Do fennel and sausage pair well?
Absolutely, fennel and sausage are a classic pairing that works wonderfully together. The natural sweetness and slight licorice-like flavor of fennel contrast and complement the savory, often spicy notes of sausage. Whether used as whole seeds, ground, or sautéed bulb, fennel adds a distinct element to sausage dishes.
How long to toast fennel seeds?
Toasting fennel seeds typically takes about 3-5 minutes. The key is to heat a dry pan over medium-high heat and add the seeds, stirring them frequently to ensure even toasting. Once they begin to turn brown and emit a fragrant aroma, they are done. It’s important to watch them closely during the toasting process, as they can go from perfectly toasted to burnt quite quickly.
What does sautéed fennel taste like?
Sautéed fennel transforms in flavor, becoming softer, sweeter, and more mellow compared to its raw state. As it cooks, the natural sugars in the fennel caramelize, resulting in a delightful sweetness with hints of nuttiness. Overall, it is delicious and a great way to add flavor to many dishes.
Love sausage? Look at these other amazing sausage recipes:
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Old World Sausage and Sauerkraut: Experience a taste of tradition with Old World Sausage and Sauerkraut, a hearty and comforting dish that combines rich sausage with tangy sauerkraut, creating a timeless flavor fusion.
Spicy Tuscan Kale and Sausage Soup: Warm up with this Spicy Tuscan Kale and Sausage Soup, a nourishing and flavorful blend of fresh kale, zesty sausage, and aromatic spices that will transport you to the heart of Italy.
Sausage Stuffed Peppers: Add a colorful and tasty twist to your meal with Sausage Stuffed Peppers, filled with a savory sausage mixture and baked to perfection, offering a delightful and satisfying dining experience.
Simple Sage Sausage Recipe: Revel in the simplicity and flavor of this Simple Sage Sausage, where the earthy tones of sage perfectly complement the rich taste of sausage, making it a versatile addition to any meal.
Butternut Squash and Sausage Appetizer: (NOT LOW CARB) Indulge in this Butternut Squash and Sausage Appetizer that beautifully pairs the sweetness of butternut squash with the savory goodness of sausage for an unforgettable starter.
This website provides approximate nutrition data and information for convenience and as a courtesy only.