Fennel-Rich Turkey Sausage

By • March 24, 2013 12 Comments

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Author Notes: My grandparents had a small wild fennel field growing and there was a huge field of fennel growing elsewhere in the neighborhood as well. Those were the days when the neighborhood kids would meet up in the wild field of “licorice sticks,” some of which were taller than I, to play our imaginary games. Then there were times I’d help my grandmother collect pollen or help to dry the mature flower heads for culinary purposes.

Fast forward to today being in the kitchen with fennel on my mind - I always gravitate towards playing with seeds or pollen vs. using the bulb; I love the numerous possibilities there are to season something up, and I love the fragrant aroma of licorice filling my kitchen, as well.

I was inspired to create this recipe for various reasons: playing with seeds and pollen, thinking of a chicken-apple sausage show I watched on Emeril a few years ago and thinking about my Lemon Glazed Meatballs, a ground turkey recipe here on F52 that has pleased the palate of many. Anyway, with this recipe I combined the flavors I like, ones that make sense in my mind for sausage, I also added grated apple and carrot for a little sweetness. A combination of seeds and pollen were used, if you can’t get the pollen it will be fine without, although I recommend it…just remember that little goes a long way.

Today, with this sausage we made brunch sliders, melted shaved Grana Padano and added an egg. This recipe is so versatile; besides sliders you could grill, broil or fry patties for a breakfast side, or use it in a turkey dressing, for example. The choice is yours to make. Enjoy!

Makes 1-1/2 pound bulk sausage

  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds or 3/4 tablespoon seeds and 1/8 tsp. fennel pollen
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
  • 3 smashed and chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon herbs de provence
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorn
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink peppercorn
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes – or to your taste
  • 1/3 packed cup curly parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely diced tart apple
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  1. Combine all of the dry ingredients - fennel seeds through red pepper flakes in a mini food processor; pulse them to a powder.
  2. Add the parsley, carrot and apple; pulse a couple times to incorporate. Set aside until needed.
  3. In a large bowl mix the turkey and pork together.
  4. Add the reserved seasonings to the meat mixture; mix until well incorporated.
  5. Form into patties. Grill, broil or fry to your heart’s content.

More Great Recipes: Appetizers|Breakfast & Brunch|Entrees|Sandwiches|Side Dishes

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Comments (12) Questions (0)


over 2 years ago Jennifer Ann

Luscious! Do you think cooked sausages would freeze well?


over 2 years ago lapadia

Hi Jennifer, sorry it took me so long to get back, I didn't email notice of a comment. I've done it but I have a vacuum sealer which is marvelous because I pop the frozen sealed bags in warm water to bring back to a nice temp for eating, but on the other hand, if sealed up nicely I think they would freeze well. Let me know how it goes (assuming you wouldn't be vacuum sealing).


over 2 years ago cookinginvictoria

Looks absolutely delicious! Who could resist a fennel-rich turkey sausage and egg breakfast slider? Not me! Lapadia, I really like the array of spices that you have included in this recipe, especially the pink peppercorns and the herbs de Provence, and that you are using fennel seeds AND the pollen. Call me old fashioned, but we have loads of wild fennel growing in our yard and every summer I harvest the pollen from the flowers and cook with it all winter long. Love your headnote too about kids playing in the fields of licorice sticks -- sounds just like the neighborhood where my Italian grandparents lived when I was growing up!


over 2 years ago lapadia

Thanks so much, CIV! How fun to have wild fennel growing nearby, and I love that you harvest the pollen! We probably have so much in common coming from our grandparent's kind of neighborhood, actually my parents lived one house up; a beautiful neighborhood in Pt. Townsend, WA, a quaint Victorian town. Since you would probably come across the PA ferry to get to the states I'm thinking maybe you have been to my old home town?


over 2 years ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.



over 2 years ago lapadia

Thanks for stopping by and for your comment, SLC!


over 2 years ago inpatskitchen

This is fantastic! I'm throwing away my turkey fennel sausage recipe and using yours from now on..


over 2 years ago lapadia

OH! Thanks, I didn't know you had one...on F52? Would love to check it out! Thanks for checking mine out :)


over 2 years ago Bevi

Wow - sounds wonderful. Such versatile uses for this recipe!


over 2 years ago lapadia

Very versatile, a little something on the spicy side; thanks for checking it out!


over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Your sliders sound fantastic, and I love the apple in the sausage. I suspect it brings out the best in the fennel.


over 2 years ago lapadia

Thanks, B! The apple does help to bring out the flavor and can give a surprising sweet/tart taste if you get a mouthful all in one bite.