Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fast Food Redo: A Healthy (Turkey) Sausage Muffin

I confess to having a weakness for sausage; grilled in pasta, on my pizza and especially with a piece of cheese on a English muffin. A fast food favorite that really needs a makeover as for example, the McDonald's Sausage McMuffin clocks in at about 370 calories with 23g of fat and 9g of saturated fat. (A Sausage McMuffin with Egg is 450 calories--Yikes!). When I found a recipe for "The Champ's Sausage Without Guilt", (in a used book I purchased for $2.00! Sorry to digress there but I do love my bargains); The Healthy Gourmet by Cherie Calbom, M.S., C.N., I thought that this savory turkey sausage patty would be a wonderful, healthy alternative paired with some cheese on a whole wheat English muffin.

Calbom says: "I created this recipe for my friend George Foreman, who has a weakness for breakfast sausage. This moist, flavorful sausage, served with a country-style biscuit, makes a complete breakfast."

The Champ's Sausage Without Guilt
The Healthy Gourmet, Cherie Calbom, M.S., C.N.
(Makes 8 2-inch patties or 5 larger patties)
Prep Time 10 min / Cook Time 10 min

1 lightly beaten egg white
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely snipped dried apple or 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh Red Delicious apple
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground sage
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 lb lean ground turkey breast
vegetable oil for frying

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the egg white, onion, apple, bread crumbs, parsley, sea salt, sage, nutmeg, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Add the ground turkey and mix well.

Shape the mixture into eight 2-inch patties, or larger if desired. Brush a skillet lightly with vegetable oil and cook the sausage patties over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the meat is no longer pink and the juices run clear, turning once. Or, preheat a grill or grilling machine, and grill for 4-5 minutes.

Nutritional Breakdown of Turkey Sausage Patties (per serving of 2" patty) Cal. 58, Fat 1.0g, Protein 7g, Sodium 346mg, Carbs 50, Cholesterol 11mg, Sat Fat .3g, %of calories from fat 16%.

Notes/Results: The sausage patty is very good; juicy and quite tasty. Although the recipe says you can use diced dried or fresh apple, I used fresh Granny Smith apple that I grated to add to the moistness since ground turkey breast on it's own can be a bit dry. I liked the spices just fine in this recipe as written, but to make it fit my favorite sausage profile, I will add a bit more black and cayenne pepper and some fennel seeds when I make it again. I made larger patties to fit on the muffins better and ended up with five. When cooking the patties, I used cooking spray instead of vegetable oil to cut down on the fat a bit more. To serve, toast a whole wheat English muffin and place a piece of cheese on it, top with turkey sausage patty and serve. I used a thin sliced, smoked fontina cheese, but you could choose a lower-fat / lower-calorie cheese if you prefer, (and some sauteed spinach would be delicious on it too).

So, how did it stack up against the fast food version? (Remember 370 cal, 23g of fat and 9g of saturated fat). My version, (taking into account the larger patty size), has about 295 cal, 10g fat and 4.6g sat fat--and that's with the full-fat cheese. A healthier choice for sure and it tastes even better, fresher and not greasy.

Keep the cooked turkey sausage patties in the fridge or freezer and with a toaster and a microwave, you can have one ready to go in about 5 minutes. This is a keeper recipe for sure!


  1. OMG, this is making me hungry. It's perfect for me. I usually skip lunch, but I try and eat breakfast. Something a little hardier would be just the ticket, like this delicious turkey sausage on an English muffin. YUM.

  2. yummy! what a great re-do :)

  3. Wow, Deb! Those sausages look so good! I agree - with a little cheese on an english muffin and a squirt of ketchup and that is one good breakfast!

  4. Goodness! That looks so good. I am with you on the granny smiths, they are my fave. I definitely want to try these, I would love a healthier yummy sausage mcmuffin. Mmmm.

  5. We have definitely been into the turkey sausage and turkey everything around here lately! That flavor combo sounds delicius, may have to try it.

  6. Yummy! Looks so Delicious Sausages looks so Delicious!

    Thanks for sharing your recipe:)

    Join, post your comments!
    and if you can visit me I can visit you:)

    Have a great Day!

  7. Rock that McMuffin, girl!

    McDonald's = poison, so any chance to re-create that sandwich is A+ in my book!

  8. Excellent healthier sausage version - so yummy with cheese and an English muffin!

  9. yum!! I love sausage and breakfast sandwiches too. I love the apple in there, but I think you're right about it needed some fennel.

  10. I'm such a huge fan of the breakfast sandwich. All the tasty parts of a breakfast in to-go, convenience form. :) I love the healthier take on this. Such a great idea with the turkey sausage.

  11. I'm a real fan of breakfast sandwiches. I put the creation of the egg mac muffin among the worlds greatest inventions. The sausage looks wonderful.

  12. Bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches on a bagel used to be my breakfast of choice. I love the sound of this sausage and would definitely add the fennel as well.

  13. Looks like a great breakfast to me! Sounds like a great thing to make ahead and throw together in the morning real quick. And, it will keep you out of the drive thru!!

  14. What a great idea! I love fennel in my sausage...lots of it! Seriously satisfying breakfast sammie :D

  15. I adore the McDonalds sausage & egg muffin - I think it is their one menu item that I unashamedly love. So thankyou for coming up with a better option! This looks great.


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