Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post
A handy, protein-packed breakfast option, these homemade turkey sausage patties are simple to prepare and can be refrigerated or frozen in advance. You mix into the ground poultry with a medley of quintessential breakfast-sausage seasonings: fennel seed, sage, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and a pinch of allspice; turkey’s (or chicken’s) neutral flavor is the ideal carrier. Then you form the mixture into disks that are smaller than hamburger patties. Be sure to buy ground dark-meat turkey or ground turkey sold as 93 percent lean, instead of a “low-fat” kind, because some fat is needed to achieve that rich sausage essence. Besides, even with that much fat, the meat qualifies as lean.
You can serve the patties just as you would other breakfast sausage — alongside eggs or pancakes, for example — but here they star as a perfect protein for these tasty breakfast sandwiches, stacked on whole-grain English muffins with a juicy slice of tomato, some spinach leaves and slices of buttery avocado.
The patties can be cooked and refrigerated for up to 3 days, or individually wrapped and frozen for up to 1 month; defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
FOR THE SAUSAGE
1 teaspoon whole fennel seed
1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic (garlic powder)
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 pound ground dark-meat turkey (93 percent lean)
1 tablespoon olive oil
FOR THE SANDWICHES
8 whole-wheat English muffins (not honey wheat)
2 cups lightly packed fresh spinach leaves
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
Flesh of 2 ripe avocados, sliced
Hot sauce and/or ketchup (optional)
Whisk together the fennel seed, sage, salt, pepper, thyme, garlic powder and allspice in a small bowl.
Place the turkey in a medium bowl, then sprinkle the seasoning blend evenly over it. Use your clean hands to gently work the seasonings into the meat, being careful not to over-mix; it’s okay if they are not absolutely evenly distributed throughout. Form the mixture into 8 patties that are about 3 inches across.
Heat half the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add half of the patties; cook until nicely browned on the outside and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; repeat with the remaining oil and patties.
To make the sandwiches, toast the English muffins. Place a few spinach leaves on the bottom half of each one. Add a cooked sausage patty, then a slice of tomato and a few slices of avocado on each portion. Add hot sauce and/or ketchup, if desired, then place the top of the muffin on the sandwich. Serve right away.
Makes 8 servings
Serving size: 1 sandwich
Per serving: Calories per serving: 320; Total Fat: 15g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 40mg;Sodium: 440mg; Total Carbohydrates: 31g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 19g