Homemade Lamb Italian Sausage (or Goat)

With the perfect amount of fennel and seasonings, this time-tested recipe is one of my favorite sausages to make. you’ve ever wanted a simple, delicious, trustworthy recipe for homemade lamb Italian sausage, this is the recipe you’re looking for. Read on and I’ll explain what you need to know.

Traditional lamb Italian sausage recipe
Homemade lamb Italian sausage tied in casings on a baking sheet.

Being trained as a butcher and charcuterie maker in a restaurant where I was sous chef to celebrity Chef Lenny Russo, I learned a thing or two about making sausage. When I just want a simple, delicious sausage though, the recipe I reach for is probably the simplest one I know: a basic Italian-style fennel sausage passed onto me by an Italian chef.

Grass fed goat shoulder
You will want a shoulder of lamb or goat to make the sausage.

The Italian chef was Fillipo Caffari, a butcher and chef from Rome who’s had a storied career in the Twin Cities restaurant industry being at the helm of some of the most accoladed Italian restaurants in the area. I can still  remember the first time I tasted his fennel sausage: the juicy texture, fiery heat from the crushed red pepper and addicting aroma of toasted, coarsely crushed fennel dancing around on my palate.

Grinding toasted black pepper and wild fennel seeds for Italian Sausage
Wild fennel seeds and black pepper. Toasting them before grinding helps to awaken their flavor.

When I got to make the sausage myself a few times, I was really surprised to see how simple it was. There were only a handful of ingredients: fennel seed, crushed red pepper, black pepper,  and salt. Nothing else. I thought there must be some secret ingredient that got added along the way, some herb or spice or something that made it so delicious. Years later I have a better appreciation for simple food, and I understand now that the lack of a bunch of other spices or ingredients is exactly why it tasted so good.

Traditional lamb Italian sausage recipe
Sausages were born to be grilled.

How to Make Lamb Italian Sausage

Like most things, there’s a couple things to note about the recipe (and sausage making in general) but they’re mostly technique based, and do not require any sort of special equipment or processes beyond the meat grinder and sausage stuffer you’ll need to make any sausage at home. One of the most important parts

That being said, if you don’t have a sausage stuffer or a meat grinder, you can make a decent version of this sausage using our grass-fed, ground lamb or goat, but it won’t be exactly the same, and it may not be quite as juicy since there’s a special sort of magic that happens when you make sausage out of only shoulder.

How to Serve Lamb Italian Sausage

The sausages can be grilled or used any way you would Italian sausage. One of my favorite recipes for them is slow-cooking until very tender until they get the texture of pot roast. The sausages can also be added to mixed Italian meat sauces like Sunday Gravy or Lamb Sugo.

Chef Alan Bergo
Chef Alan Bergo, The Forager Chef



This recipe is by Chef Alan Bergo, the Forager Chef. A chef from Minnesota, Alan is a culinary industry veteran, former executive chef of acclaimed Lucia’s Restaurant, and the Salt Cellar. Author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora, he’s one of the most respected voices in the world of foraging and wild food. He’s best known as the founder of Forager Chef, his website focused on wild ingredients that reaches millions of readers each year. Learn more about Chef Alan and his hunt for mushrooms, wild and obscure foods at foragerchef.com. 

Looking to buy lamb or goat online? Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table. We raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment.

Traditional lamb Italian sausage recipe

More Lamb and Goat Sausage Recipes

Blood Sausage

Szechuan Sausage 

Lamb Breakfast Sausage

Traditional lamb Italian sausage recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Homemade Lamb Italian Sausage (or Goat)

Hot Italian sausage made with lamb or goat shoulder.
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time10 minutes
Resting Time8 hours
Total Time9 hours 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Goat Sausage, Italian Sausage, Lamb Sausage
Servings: 6
Calories: 192kcal


  • 1 Meat grinder
  • 1 sausage stuffer


  • 3 lbs lamb shoulder removed from the bone
  • 1 tablespoon dried fennel seed
  • 1 % salt
  • ¾ T black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 10 ft sheep or hog casings


Dice and season the meat

  • Dice the lamb shoulder into 1 inch pieces.
  • Meanwhile, toast the fennel seed and black pepper, then grind/pulse a couple times in a spice grinder to break them up a bit. The spices should not be finely ground.
  • Mix the lamb with the spices, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes, then transfer to a container and allow to rest overnight.


  • The next day, grind the lamb through the medium die of a meat grinder, then pack into casings, tying them off at your preferred length. I like 2 oz, or small sausages, but you can make them whatever size you like.

To use

  • These are fantastic anywhere you would use Italian sausage, and are particularly good grilled on medium high heat until medium, then sliced into coins and warmed up with pasta. They can also be simmered whole in sauces until nearly falling apart.


  • The sausages will last for a few days in the fridge, or they can be vacuum sealed and frozen raw for 6-8 months.


Either lamb or goat shoulder can be used in this recipe. Originally it was made with pork shoulder. 


Serving: 6oz | Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 99mg | Potassium: 427mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.01g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 3mg