When it comes to toppings, you’re only limited by your imagination. Pizza is a blank canvas begging to be adorned with interesting flavors.
Breakfast sausage is definitely one option you can use. The flavor will be different from pepperoni, but if you like the taste of breakfast sausage, it could make a good pizza topping.
Sausage can be purchased pre-cooked in links. You’ll want to cook these before putting them on your pizza. It’s also possible to purchase ground sausage, which can be crumbled and spread on top of the pizza crust before cooking.
You can also form the sausage into little meatballs and put those on your pizza — they’ll cook while the pizza cooks and have a nice bite to them when they’re done.
Reasons to Use Breakfast Sausage on Pizza
Breakfast sausage is a versatile ingredient that works well in many dishes. It’s particularly good on pizza though, because of the added flavor it provides. Here are a few reasons why breakfast sausage could be a great addition to your next pizza:
It complements other toppings. Adding breakfast sausage to your pizza is a great way to compliment other toppings like pepperoni or bacon. It’s also easy to make and can change the flavor profile of your dish by just changing the spices you use.
It’s easy. Breakfast sausage is easy to make and can be mixed with other meats like ground beef or turkey for an even better taste. You don’t need any special equipment either, just a skillet and some seasoning!
It has a great flavor. Sausage is a pretty strong flavor in itself (even more so if you’re using hot or spicy sausage), so there’s no need to load up on extra spices. A few flakes of crushed red pepper are nice if you like some heat in your life, but that’s about all the seasoning you need.
You can make it or buy it. You can pick up a breakfast sausage pre-made at the supermarket or make your own at home (see recipe below).
How to Prepare Breakfast Sausage to Use on Pizza
Breakfast sausage is so flavorful and delicious on a pizza. What follows are a couple of ideas for using breakfast sausage in two different ways on a pizza.
Fry up some breakfast sausage patties, crumble them up, and spread them over the top of the cheese on your pizza. I like to use Jimmy Dean’s brand of sausage, because it has the right amount of fat in it, without being too lean. The fat helps to make the sausage taste better.
Another idea is to mix some ground sausage with the tomato sauce that you put over your pizza crust before adding cheese. A little goes a long way here!
Tips for using breakfast sausage on pizza
Drain the fat. I was not expecting this tip to be a thing, but as it turns out, breakfast sausage releases a lot of fat as it cooks, which causes the pizza dough to become soggy. After cooking the sausage, drain it on a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess grease.
Use an extra thick pizza crust. Thick crusts are able to stand up to more toppings and heavier sauces without becoming soggy. If you are making a breakfast sausage with eggs and gravy, I would suggest something like Detroit-style pizza dough or focaccia bread for your base layer.
How to Make your Own Breakfast Sausage for Pizza
This is the best sausage recipe that I have ever found. It is not spicy, but you can add cayenne pepper if you like it hot! These sausages are wonderful as patties for breakfast, or as links for dinner. The best part is that you can make them from scratch and know exactly what is going into them!
2 pounds of ground pork
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper, optional
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves or 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
Make-ahead: The seasoned raw sausage mixture can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. It also may be frozen for up to 3 months.
Combine the pork, salt, black pepper, red pepper (if using), sage, and sugar in a large bowl. Mix well with your hands. Refrigerate until ready for use.
Get Creative with your Pizza!
I’d say that the main thing to remember is that breakfast sausage has a lot of fat in it and it’s pretty sweet, so you want to be judicious in adding other ingredients. Here are some things I’d consider putting on said pizza:
Hot sauce. This is a very common topping for breakfast pizza, and for good reason: the heat from hot sauce goes great with the savory fattiness of sausage.
Bacon. If you like one meat on your pizza, you will probably like them all… Bacon tastes great on pizza, especially if there’s already sausage on it. It will add even more savoriness and saltiness to the dish.
Spinach. Spinach would be a great way to add some color and nutrition (and green!) to your pizza. You can toss it with some olive oil before putting it on the pizza so that it comes out nice and crispy (but not burnt) after baking.
Onions/Bell Peppers/Jalapenos/etc. Any of these vegetables would go well with breakfast sausage on your pizza. They add a bit of crunch but also sweetness or spice depending on which ones you use — all good compliments for sausage!
Breakfast pizza. Start with a thin base of pizza sauce. Crumble and cook breakfast sausage (or any other breakfast meat or veggies that you enjoy) and layer it on top of the sauce. Then add eggs, cooked however you like them, but make sure they’re scrambled so that they spread out. Top with shredded cheese and bake until the cheese is bubbly.
Mexican pizza. A thin layer of refried beans makes a great base for this pizza; top with cooked breakfast sausage seasoned with taco spices and shredded cheese; bake until the cheese is bubbly.
There are some times when pizza is simply irresistible, and you just have to give in. And who says you can’t use breakfast sausage with other things? Well, I guess that depends on how you define breakfast sausage, and what kind of pizza it will go on.