Is Sausage Paleo? A Guide to Sausage Types

Most Paleo diet enthusiasts assume that all meats are Paleo and that they are healthy. But sausage is a modern invention and was not available to our Paleo ancestors during that period. So can sausage …

different types of sausage

Most Paleo diet enthusiasts assume that all meats are Paleo and that they are healthy. But sausage is a modern invention and was not available to our Paleo ancestors during that period. So can sausage be considered Paleo?

Sausage is not considered a true Paleo food, but it is Paleo-friendly. True Paleo meats are whole meats that come from free-range or grass-fed animals like poultry, beef, lamb, or pigs. Sausage is processed meat, and processed meats are not strictly Paleo. 

Most types of sausages aren’t paleo because they contain non-paleo ingredients. If you’re on a Paleo diet and are wondering if you can eat sausage, stick around, as this article will tell you why sausage isn’t truly Paleo, and why it’s okay to incorporate it into your diet. You’ll also learn what Paleo brands of sausage are good to try. 

Are Beef or Pork Sausages Paleo?

Homemade sausages made from beef or pork can be considered Paleo, provided they are prepared using ingredients that comply with the Paleo diet. However, since most commercially made sausage, whether beef or pork, contain non-Paleo ingredients, they wouldn’t be considered Paleo.

raw pork sausage on a cutting board

Beef or pork sausages are paleo as long as they contain grass-fed pork or beef, aren’t overly processed, and don’t contain any preservatives or otherwise non-paleo ingredients. However, chances are that your favorite supermarket brand sausages don’t fall in this category. 

Most sausages made for commercial purposes contain several artificial preservatives, with sodium and potassium nitrite being two of the most common varieties. (Source: Food Authority).

The Paleo diet says that we should only eat foods that our hunter-gatherer Paleolithic ancestors ate more than 10,000 years ago. (Source: Mayo Clinic) During this time, before farming practices emerged, the population heavily relied on the following: 

  • Unprocessed meats and fish
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Berries 
  • Vegetables, but not root vegetables

Since sausage ingredients would never make their way into our ancestors’ diets, they render most sausages unsuitable for a paleo diet. 

However, the food industry responded to the growing demand for paleo-friendly sausages. Therefore, if you’ve just found out that you can’t have your favorite brand anymore, there’s no need to panic. 

You should be able to find a delicious paleo alternative by browsing through the selection I’ll be presenting at the end of this read.

Before moving on to other sausage varieties, I want to reiterate that not all sausages are created equal. Therefore, considering the specific brand and meticulously reading through the additional ingredients list is the best possible approach to figuring out whether a sausage variety is Paleo or not.

Cooking Round Breakfast Sausage on a Griddle

Is Breakfast Sausage Paleo-Friendly?

Breakfast sausage is not Paleo-friendly. Out of all sausage varieties, breakfast sausages are the least likely to fit into a Paleo diet, as they are filled with preservatives and other ultra-processed ingredients. However, there are some brands that make Paleo breakfast sausages.

If you’ve been seeing your favorite Paleo influencer make a mean breakfast sausage and want to replicate the exclusive recipe ideas, it’s entirely possible. However, some preparation and forethought are necessary to make sure that what you’re eating is entirely Paleo-friendly.

While blindly picking a sausage brand off a supermarket shelf might not be possible if you’re following the Paleo diet, this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a delicious, hearty breakfast. As long as you specifically look for Paleo-friendly brands, you’re bound to find a formula that you love.

Better yet, put your cooking skills to the test and make your own breakfast sausage recipe. That way, you’ll be 100% sure of what you’re eating, and you can customize the sausage recipe to your liking.

For example, you can create an Italian sausage with your own herbs and spices, or you could create a lovely homemade maple sausage that goes well with your Paleo pancakes.

I highly recommend trying these recipes for breakfast sausage from Allrecipes. They come out excellent every time.

chicken sausage on a pan

Are Chicken or Turkey Sausages Paleo?

Chicken or turkey sausages can be Paleo as long as they don’t contain any added preservatives or other non-paleo ingredients and are minimally processed. Even though most commercial chicken or turkey sausages aren’t Paleo, they’re usually less processed than their beef or pork counterparts.

As a result, it’s generally easier to find a Paleo-friendly chicken or turkey sausage brand than to find one that contains beef or pork. Therefore, if you don’t have a taste preference, opting for poultry is the way to go.

What Are Some Good Paleo Sausage Brands?

Some good Paleo sausage brands include Applegate, Whole Foods 365, US Wellness Meat, Naked Bacon, Aidells, and Pederson’s Natural Farms. Each of these brands makes high-quality, delicious, Paleo-friendly sausages. 

sausages on a barbecue grill

Here’s what you need to know about these brands and the Paleo-friendly sausages they make:

  • Applegate: Applegate is a brand known for its organic, minimally-processed foods, including its sausages, which range from poultry to beef. Their products also come in different flavors of sausage, so you’re bound to find a recipe that you enjoy.
  • Whole Foods 365: Their Paleo-friendly sausages are usually poultry-based, but they’re delicious nonetheless. Their spice blends are some of the best in the market, so you’re bound to elevate your cooking game by choosing these sausages.
  • US Wellness Meat: If you’re looking for beef or pork-based sausages, you can’t go wrong with US Wellness. The company offers a wide array of products that notably surpass their traditional counterparts not only in nutritional value but in taste as well.
  • Naked Bacon: Even though, as the name suggests, this brand is better known for its organic bacon, the naked-sugar-free breakfast sausages they sell are some of the best in the game.
  • Aidells: Aidells makes some of the highest-quality products in the market. They only make two Paleo-friendly sausage varieties, and they’re both poultry-based, but I guarantee they’re delicious.
  • Pederson’s Natural Farms: If you’re after a wider product selection, you can’t go wrong with Pederson’s Natural Farms. They sell a broad range of Paleo-friendly sausages made typically with pork or beef, so you can still experience that traditional taste.

In short, even though most commercially-sold sausages aren’t Paleo, you can still find a few delicious, high-quality varieties that support your quest for an organic, preservative-free diet.