Easy Homemade Lamb Merguez Sausage (No Meat Grinder)

One of the most famous lamb sausages in the world is lamb merguez: a spicy sausage flavored with a caramelized chili and spice paste called harissa. The sausages are originally Northern African but have also adopted by the French and made famous by chefs like Jacques Pepin and others. It’s easy to make at home without a sausage stuffer.

Cooked lamb merguez sausages on a plate with quinoa and lettuce.
Lamb or goat mergues sausages with yogurt, lettuce, quinoa and black walnuts.

Our merguez, made with Shepherd Song grass-fed lamb or goat is easy to make at home, even without a sausage stuffer. Traditionally they’re stuffed in sheep casings, but Chef Bergo rolls his into small cigars when he doesn’t have casings, or if time doesn’t allow.

With merguez, it’s all about the harissa paste, and the very slow cooking of garlic, peppers, and spices until they caramelize, and change in flavor. Just like our recipe with Ras-al-Hanout, traditional recipes can include a long list of ingredients, but Chef Bergo shares a recipe for preparing a simple one on your own. Commercially made harissa paste is also available in just about any grocery store that has a selection of Middle-Eastern foods, however.

Since this is a lean lamb sausage, another important thing to know is that it should be left pink to help keep it juicy, but if you prefer your meat more done feel free, just know the texture may become crumbly.

Chef Alan Bergo

This recipe is by James Beard Award-winning Chef Alan Bergo. He’s a chef from Minnesota and author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora. Learn more about Chef Alan at foragerchef.com. 

How to Make Lamb Merguez Sausage

The sausage is easy to make, first you make harissa paste, then you mix it into the ground meat-that’s it! The images below describe the process.

Lamb Meguez Sausage
Small hand-rolled sausages make a great lunch.

Get Cooking

Other Lamb and Goat Sausage Recipes

Lamb or Goat Hot Italian Sausage

Lamb Breakfast Sausage

Blood Sausage

Mixing ground lamb meat with harissa paste in a stand mixer.
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5 from 1 vote

Easy Homemade Lamb Merguez Sausage

A classic sausage from North Africa loved by the French
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Lamb Sausage, Merguez
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 526kcal
Cost: 10


  • Stand Mixer (optional)




  • 1.5 Tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 12 grams kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Quick Harissa See recipe below

Quick Homemade Harissa

  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, large
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil or lamb fat
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika



  • Roast the bell pepper on a burner until charred all over, then put in a plastic bag, seal and allow to cool, then peel, de-seed, and coarsely chop.
  • Combine the pepper with the garlic, oil, cumin, cayenne and the smoked paprika in a blender or food processor and puree until very smooth. Transfer the puree to a small pan and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly for 15 minutes, or until the mixture is deeply caramelized, it’s orange color will change to a deep red.
  • Alternately, the pepper paste can be baked in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes being stirred occasionally, until deeply colored. Reserve the harissa, you should have about 3 tablespoons of paste.
  • Meanwhile, put the lamb in the freezer for 15 minutes while you allow the paste to cool. The harissa can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.

Lamb Merguez

  • Combine the ground lamb with the harissa, the paprika and the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, and blend on low speed until tacky, about 2 minutes, drizzling in the red wine vinegar as it blends. You can also wear gloves and mash the meat around with your hands if you don't have a mixer.
  • Cook a small piece of the sausage and taste to see if you like the heat/spiciness, adjust as needed, traditionally merguez is very spicy. I like to chill the sausage overnight before cooking, but it can be cooked straight away in a pinch.
  • From here, the sausages can be formed into hand rolled sausages and cooked, or put into sheep casings, which is more traditional. When cooking the sausages, brown them well on high heat quickly, but don’t overcook as they're best eaten pink or medium rare.
  • Serve the merguez with rice, cooked greens, as part of a mixed grill, or a lunch as pictured here with fresh butter lettuce, winter radishes, greek yogurt with a sprinkle of sumac and quinoa with crunchy walnuts.


Ground lamb shoulder will make the best version of this recipe and will be the most juicy, but regular ground lamb can also be used. 


Serving: 4oz | Calories: 526kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 868mg | Potassium: 462mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2183IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 3mg

Lamb Meguez Sausage
A lunch with merguez, butter lettuce, quinoa, black walnuts, yogurt and radishes.