A spice grinder filled with red chili flakes and seeds on a digital kitchen scale, with a can of chili powder and a measuring cup with ground spices nearby, suggesting the preparation of a homemade spice blend as

List of Spices Good for Sausage (Quantity Guide also)

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Writer / Enthusiast / Meat Curer / Forager / Harvester | About Tom

For decades, immersed in studying, working, learning, and teaching in the craft of meat curing, now sharing his passion with you through eat cured meat online resource.

When it comes to the spices, herbs and aromatics you can use in a sausage, it’s pretty endless. The combination and synergy definitely can produce more then the ingredients separately.

However, not all things work together in terms of spices and herbs!

Over the 20 odd years I’ve been making and studying sausages.

I’ve had friends and acquaintances that have come with some interesting “concoctions” of sausage spices, some spices were not so good together – to say the least.

I’ll give you an expansive list of the spices I know, and I will talk about quantities I used as a guide based on weight. This will help you to come up with your own creations.

I’ll also highlight the ‘proven’ spices for sausages that have lasted decades of at times, hundreds of years. Becoming classics of a culture.

Many foodies seek new and exciting flavors, including myself. Though, simplicity has its beauty, like Butifurra Spanish Sausage – GOOD Quality Pork, Salt, Pepper.

Good Spices for Sausage

Sausages x4 large
A Batch We Made -Sausages – Hickory Smoked Hot Dogs With Wild Venison, Merguez, Nuremburg Wurst And Wild Venison Slim Jims

In a list format here are the common types. However, this is not exhaustive or limited to these!

It’s the more common sausage spices I’ve seen across the globe in classic recipes that have lasted hundreds, sometimes over a thousand years!

  • Allspice
  • Anise
  • Basil
  • Bay leaves
  • Black pepper
  • Caraway seeds
  • Cardamom
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Celery seeds
  • Chili powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Dill seeds
  • Dill – dried
  • Fennel seeds
  • Fenugreek seeds
  • Fenugreek – ground
  • Garlic powder
  • Garlic – Granules
  • Garlic – Fresh
  • Ginger
  • Juniper berries
  • Mace
  • Marjoram
  • Mustard seeds
  • Nutmeg
  • Onion powder
  • Oregano
  • Paprika (sweet and/or smoked)
  • Parsley
  • Poppy seeds
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Rosemary
  • Saffron
  • Sage
  • Savory
  • Star anise
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric
  • White pepper
  • Lemon zest
  • Mint
  • Szechuan
  • Sumac

You really can’t go wrong with a few spices like:

  • Garlic
  • Peppercorns, crushed or ground.

Nutmeg and cinnamon are some of my favorites. They are powerful, for pork-based sausages you need to go easy on them like 0.05 to 0.2% spice weight to the full weight of the meat.

First let’s start with some classics based on regionality.

Common StylesStyles/RecipesCommon Spices/HerbTaste
Spanish SpicesSpice forward, flavor richPimentón/Paprika – Hot/Sweet/Smoked, Garlic, PeppercornsSpicy, Smoky
Italian SpicesFennel, Basil, SubtleFennel, Garlic, OreganoAromatic, Balanced
English SpicesVery SubtleSage, PeppercornsEarthy, Herbaceous
Eastern European SpicesKielbasa, Garlic, Often SmokedBlack Pepper, PaprikaRich, Hearty
German SpicesWurst, SubtleAllspice, Mace, MarjoramSubtle, Rich
Asian SpicesGinger, Soy Sauce, Spice Forward FlavorStar Anise, GarlicSavory, Umami

Since sausage can mean fresh raw stuffed into a casing, cooked, or dry cured salami sausage. I will list various examples.

In certain countries, like Scotland and the USA sausage could mean a sausage patty.

Meat sausage pattie large
Scotland and USA may call this a sausage (pattie/patty). Minced/Grinded meat with salt and spices – just no casing on the outside and a different shape.

Like the patty you find in a burger. I’ve focused here more on the cased type of sausage.

The sausages that interest me the most are included in this article. They are based on classic styles that have lasted, at times hundreds of years.

For example, the Nuremburg Sausage, which has a 500-year-old recipe (family connection) It’s also street-food showcased with food carts all across Nuremburg, Bavaria, Germany.

From my experience making sausages and salami for decades, I sometimes cross over the spices for dried or fresh sausages.

Also, sausages like Spanish Chorizo, have Fresca aka Fresh or dried versions also.

Grouping spices for different flavor styles of more classic and celebrated sausage spices. Here are some tables which highlight sausages from regions.

Spices for Spanish Sausage

SausageStyleSpices
ChorizoFresh or DriedPaprika (sweet and/or smoked), Garlic, Black pepper, Oregano,
SobrasadaDriedPaprika (sweet and/or smoked), Cayenne pepper, Garlic powder, Black pepper, Nutmeg
MorcillaReady to EatPaprika (sweet and/or smoked), Cayenne pepper, Black pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Cloves (blood based sausage)
LonganizaDriedPaprika, Cayenne pepper, Garlic powder, Black pepper, Oregano, Allspice, Cloves
SalchichónDriedBlack pepper, White pepper, Garlic powder, Nutmeg, Coriander, Cloves
ButifarraFresh/RawWhite pepper (only traditionally, quality of pig) optional – Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Cloves,

Spices for Italian Sausage

Most Italians I’ve met made sausage salami with red wine (garlic infused in wine), pepper and salt. This is a very, traditional homemade type of salami.

I’ve mixed both the fresh sausage that you cook, and also the salami dried sausage. Just to showcase the spices in various forms.

SausageStyleSpices
Luganega di MonzaFresh/RawWhite pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Parmigiano Cheese
CotechinoFresh/RawNutmeg, Cinnamon, Cloves, Black pepper, Coriander, Garlic powder
Salsiccia di BraFresh/RawWhite pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Mace (Fresh, Eaten Raw!)
SoppressataDried/Ready to EatPeppercorns, Chili, Garlic
MortadellaReady to EatBlack pepper, Pistachios, Nutmeg, Coriander

Spices for United Kingdom Sausage

Mild flavors here, from what I know and what I’ve researched

Welsh Sausages:

SausageStyleSpices
Glamorgan Sausages (Selsig Sir Forgannwg)Veg, To FryParsley, Thyme, Nutmeg, Welsh Cheese, White Pepper
Laverbread Sausage/PattyRaw to CookLaverbread (Seaweed), Bacon, White Pepper, Salt

English Sausages:

SausageStyleSpices
Cumberland SausageFresh/RawBlack pepper, White pepper, Sage, Thyme, Nutmeg, Mace
Lincolnshire SausageFresh/RawWhite pepper, Sage, Thyme, Nutmeg, Mace
Pork and Leek SausageFresh/RawBlack pepper, White pepper, Sage, Thyme, Leeks

Spices for Eastern European Sausage

Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia – these countries have overlapping traditions. Since modern day country borders are often meld cultures together.

Paprika is more common in Hungary, although, you will find a lot of crossovers with other spices.

Czech Republic Sausages:

SausageStyleSpices
Klobása Ready to Eat or DriedGarlic, Marjoram, Caraway seeds, Black pepper
Jitrnice (Liver)Ready to Eat, ReheatedGarlic, Marjoram, Thyme, Allspice, Black pepper
Utopenec (Pickled)Ready to EatGarlic, Black pepper, Bay leaves, Allspice

Polish Sausages:

SausageStyleSpices
KiełbasaReady to Eat (Cooked/Hot Smoked)Garlic, Marjoram, Allspice, Black pepper
KrakowskaReady to Eat (Cooked/Hot Smoked)Garlic, Coriander, Allspice
KabanosyReady to Eat (Cooked/Hot Smoked) Garlic, Black pepper, Caraway seeds
Wiejska (Country Sausage)Ready to Eat (Cooked/Hot Smoked) Garlic, Black pepper

Hungarian Sausages:

SausageStyleSpices
DebrecenerReady to Eat (Cooked/Hot Smoked) Black pepper, Sweet Paprika, Garlic, Marjoram,
Gyulai SausageDried/Ready to EatPaprika, Black pepper, Garlic, Caraway seeds
Csabai SausageDried/Ready to EatPaprika, Black pepper

Slovak Sausages:

SausageStyleSpices
Krvavničky (Blood Sausage)Ready to EatGarlic, Marjoram, Black pepper, Allspice, Thyme
Jaternice (Liver Sausage)Ready to EatGarlic, Marjoram
Oškvarková Klobása (Scrapple Sausage)Raw/Needs CookingGarlic, Cuman, Pork Crackling

Spices for German Sausage

SausageStyleSpices
BratwurstRawWhite pepper, Black pepper, Nutmeg, Mace, Coriander
FrankfurterReady to EatWhite pepper, Nutmeg
BockwurstReady to EatWhite pepper, Nutmeg, Coriander
KnackwurstReady to EatWhite pepper, Black pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cardamom
Thüringer RostbratwurstRaw/Needs CookingCaraway seeds, Mace, Garlic, Marjoram, White Pepper, Cardamom

Bavarian Sausages:

SausageStyleSpices
WeisswurstReady to Eat (Warmed)White pepper, Mace, Lemon zest
NürnbergerRaw/Needs CookingBlack pepper, White pepper, Marjoram, Mace, Allspice

Spices for Asian Sausage

Chinese Sausages:

SausageStyleSpices
Lap Cheong (Southern China)Ready to Cook WithSoy sauce, Rice wine, Five-spice powder, White pepper
Xiang Chang (Hunan)Ready to Cook WithChili, Garlic, Sichuan peppercorns, Fennel seeds

Chinese Variations of Lap Cheong:

  • La Chang: Dried, hard sausage made from pork with high fat content, smoked, sweetened, and seasoned
  • Run Chang: Duck liver sausage
  • Xiang Chang: Fresh, plump sausage with chopped pork and un-rendered fat, sweet taste
  • Nuomi Chang: White sausage of glutinous rice and flavorings, sometimes containing blood, steamed or boiled
  • Xue Chang: Blood sausage with blood as primary ingredient
  • Bairouxue Chang: Blood sausage with chopped meat in blood mixture, popular in North East China

Thai Sausages:

SausageStyleSpices and Seasonings
Sai Ua (Northern Thai Sausage)Raw/Needs CookingLemongrass, Galangal, Kaffir lime leaves, Red curry paste, Coriander
Sai Krok Isan (Fermented)Raw/Needs CookingGarlic, Shallots, Sticky rice, Cilantro, Pepper

Vietnamese Sausages:

SausageStyleSpices and Seasonings
Nem Chua (Fermented)Eaten RawGarlic, Shallots, Chili, Sugar, Rice vinegar, Fish sauce
Nem Nuong (Fermented)Raw/Needs CookingGarlic, Lemongrass, Fish sauce, White pepper
Gio Lua (Vietnamese Ham)Ready to EatFish sauce, Black pepper

Korean Sausages:

SausageStyleSpices and Seasonings
Sundae (Korean Blood Sausage)Ready to EatSweet rice, Pork blood, Garlic, Ginger, Black pepper

Filipino Sausages:

SausageStyleSpices and Seasonings
Vigan LongganisaRaw/Needs CookingGarlic, Paprika, Annatto seeds, Black pepper

Toasting or Dry Frying Spices for Sausages

For any dry spice you can often dry fry then in a frying pan, until aromatic over a medium heat. This can add another layer of complexity to your sausage spice!

Whole spices are ideal for this, then wait until they cool.

Once cool, then smash in a mortar and pestle or use a spice grinder.

Guide to How Much of a Spice for Sausages

Often 0.1 to 0.2% spice weight as a percentage of the total weight of the meat.

Metric is easy for these calculations.

ie. 1000 grams of meat / 1 kilogram

0.1% of 1000 grams = 10 grams

Which approximate to about 2 level teaspoons.

Be aware, teaspoon and tablespoon are very inaccurate for measuring recipes, weight should be used.

For ingredients like salt, the shape and size of salt varies ALOT. Therefore, the volume of teaspoon can be very different between salt brands/types.

For some classic recipes like Nuremberg sausage, the same percent of salt and marjoram is used. 1.5% for my recipe. Since marjoram is a dry green leafy herb, it’s like often ALOT!

Another example is classic Chorizo, again, the same amount of good quality dulce paprika as salt. Which is ALT of paprika!

Take note, these recipes were developed over hundreds of years!


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