Turkey Sausage vs Pork Sausage: A Choice Between Tasty and Lean Sausage

December 13, 2022
Written by Kristy J. Norton

As you'd expect, pork sausage is quite fatty and contains too much unsaturated fats. Meanwhile, turkey sausage contains leaner meat. Sometimes nothing seems to be better than pork sausages; It is juicy and tastes flavorsome.

However, turkey sausages are considered healthier, at least more than pork sausages. But that's not all! Throwing in the weight of my cooking experience on the topic, I'll tell you more reasons you may want to choose a poultry sausage over the pork version. You'll also see why pork sausage makes a difference for some sausage lovers. 

Turkey sausage vs pork sausage

Turkey Sausage vs. Pork Sausage: A Side-by-side Comparison 

Per 1 Serving of 48 Grams

Pork Sausage

Turkey Sausage

Calories

165

88.9

Total Fat

14.6 grams

6.2 grams

Saturated Fats

5.1 grams

1.8 grams

Protein

7.8 grams

7.1 grams

Cholesterol

37 mg

35.6 mg

Meat Used

Ground Pork

Ground Turkey

Data source: Eat This Much (Turkey sausage and pork sausage)

Pork Sausage vs. Turkey Sausage: What's the Difference?

The key difference is basically that ground turkey is used in turkey sausage, and ground pork is used in pork sausage. 

Turkey sausages can appear drier and might also have thinner textures and a somewhat milder flavor, but it's a substitute for pork sausage, which you can use in almost any recipe. 

What might make it different would be the ingredients used. This mostly includes spices or preservatives, which can vary from brand to brand. 

Moreover, pork sausage seems to be cheaper because it's the generally available sausage type. Additionally, turkey meat is considered a premium type of meat product because it's largely white meat.  

As you can see, there's not a lot more on the physical appearance comparison perspective. But on the nutritional value aspect, the difference is like darkness and broad daylight.

Turkey sausage vs. Pork Sausage: Which Is Better?

Turkey sausages have less fat content compared to pork sausage, which has more calories and saturated fat. There are 0.7 grams of polyunsaturated fat out of 28.4 grams serving of turkey sausage. Pork sausage contains just 2.3 grams of polyunsaturated fats out of a 28.4 grams serving with 22.4mg of cholesterol. 

This is why turkey sausage may be a better option for sausage lovers with heart concerns. Turkey sausage contains just 2.3 grams of total fat per serving of 1 ounce and 0.6 grams of saturated fat compared to 11.8 grams of fat (total) and 3.8 grams of saturated fat in pork sausage. 

This is absolutely the main reason I prefer turkey sausage to pork sausage. 

Turkey products are a healthy, low-fat, high-protein option. This way of looking at turkey meat, in general, has been extended to sausages.

If you plan to lose weight, choosing turkey sausages is the better option. It contains the amino acid, tryptophan, which has been shown to control appetite and help lose weight. 

Is Turkey Sausage Safe to Eat?

Turkey sausage is a healthier option compared to pork sausages. But first of all, in any of its presentations and varieties, sausages are processed food.

So, my recommendation is to limit its consumption and ensure you're taking it with a balanced diet. Take the dish with natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. You can also serve turkey sausage with scrambled eggs or omelette.

Rather than focusing on whether a sausage is made from pork or turkey, you must analyze the nutritional value and ingredients on the label.

If a sausage claims to be turkey, it must contain only turkey. Some poultry sausage commercial brands are fond of including ingredients such as soy, corn syrup, and even nitrates, often without turkey being the main ingredient. 

This is why I feel that if pork or turkey is better, it will depend on factors such as your taste, as well as the ingredients, and the quality of the product.

However, generally speaking, we shouldn't always assume that all turkey products are healthier. For example, a cut of turkey that includes a lot of the skin part would be high in fat. This can be up to 5.5 grams of fat and 169 calories in a 3.5-ounce (100 grams) of turkey cut with the skin, according to Healthline. In comparison, a 3.5 oz skinless turkey contains just 0.4 grams of total fat and 113.8 grams of calories.

Turkey sausage with potatoes

What Really Are Turkey Sausages?

As it is named, these sausages are made of ground turkey. It is low in fat content and is a healthier alternative to commercially prepared pork sausages. 

Comparatively, turkey sausages have similar characteristics as chicken sausages since they're all poultry sausages. The meat is thin with a light taste. The texture is slightly grainless but has very little connective tissue. The milder flavor of turkey will give it a wonderful flavor when you add in the spice of your choice. 

The good thing is that turkey and chicken sausage usually has fewer additives like sodium than pork. So it's a top choice for those diagnosed with heart diseases.  

What Are Pork Sausages?

Pork sausage is a package of sliced or stuffed pieces made of coarsely ground and cured pork. 

The meat used is usually from pork's legs or shoulders stuffed in a thin sleeve or skin called casing. It can also be cut in patty shapes. 

Other ingredients used include potato starch and dried corn syrup. Note that pork sausage is a specially prepared meat that may have been aged to prolong shelf-life. 

What Is Special About Turkey Sausage?

What makes turkey sausages different from other sausages is their high-quality protein composition. One portion of the Applegate breakfast turkey sausage is loaded with 11 grams of proteins with just 90 calories

The high-quality proteins from turkey sausage can help your body recover and repair from injuries and aging. Likewise, your cellular systems will be able to utilize the proteins to generate energy. 

Can You Substitute Turkey Sausage for Pork Sausage?

It would be a good idea to replace pork sausage with turkey sausage. But this will be best done with items like pork casings, sea salt, and paprika so it can look and taste more like the actual pork sausage. 

Usually, the recipe varies, and you need the right judgment. Depending on how you serve them together or put them on toast, you may notice some differences in texture or flavor. You can't expect turkey sausage to taste or feel like pork sausage because there isn’t a lot of fat.  

Pork sausage has a lot of fat. But the fat serves a function – to keep the sausage moist during the cooking. 

So that's why turkey sausage (which is leaner) is drier and doesn't taste like the traditional pork sausage. Sausage is said to be better when the meat contains a minimum of 20 percent fat. There’s no way you’re getting that from turkey, which can have 1 to 7 percent of fats. 

If you think 20 percent fat is a lot, then you should stay away from pork sausage as some brands have sausages with up to 50 percent fat

The fat also increases the taste but commercially-prepared pork sausages are far from healthier. In addition, like turkey sausage, pork sausage is commonly seasoned, cured, and smoked. This means you can keep the sausage for a long time. Using salt during this process is an easy way to avoid bacteria growth. 

Grilled Turkey Sausages with Tomatoes

FAQs

Which Sausage is the Healthiest?

Chorizo, bratwurst and Italian sausage crafted from poultry meats are some healthy variations of sausages. They contain more polyunsaturated fats and less saturated fat. These are cholesterol-reducing fats you should be eating. The problem with saturated fat is it can create plaques in the arteries and cause serious heart diseases including stroke, according to the NHS.

Does Turkey Sausage Taste Like Pork?

Turkey sausage doesn't taste 100 percent like the traditional sausage made of pork because of the absence of fat. Turkey sausage instead is leaner and has a more meaty flavor

Conclusion 

Pork sausage is the best if you want real sausage. Meanwhile, you can bet on turkey if you're worried about the fat content in pork sausage. If you're watching your weight and need something healthier, you can always choose poultry sausage. But don't expect them to be as flavorful and moist as real sausage. It's the little price you pay that should be worth it on health considerations. 

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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