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Reduced-Fat Italian Sausage

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“I got this recipe from "A Guy's Guide to Great Eating" by Don Mauer. I am IN LOVE with this recipe and have been making it for years! I never buy pre-made italian sausage anymore. Recently, I've started "cutting" my 93% lean ground beef with TVP (textured vegetable protein), which makes this even leaner (and cheaper)! (The 93% lean ground beef goes on sale about once a month for under $2/pound...I load up during those times!! TVP is also less than $2/pound at bulk health food only use a few ounces for this recipe.) If you use all ground beef, you'll need a full pound. (Note: The yield is equivalent to one pound in mass, but will weigh less than that since TVP is lighter than beef.)”
1 pound

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 14 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • 14 cup hot water
  • 14 teaspoon beef bouillon (optional)
  • 12 lb 93% lean ground beef
  • 14 cup white onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dry red wine (if using cooking wine, omit the salt listed below)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 14 teaspoons fennel or 1 14 teaspoons anise seeds
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 34 teaspoon salt (again, omit if using cooking wine)
  • 14 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I use a spoonful for more spice)
  • 14 teaspoon black pepper
  • 18 teaspoon bay leaf, crushed


  1. In a small bowl, combine the dry TVP, hot water, and bouillon (if using). Let sit for about 10 minutes, or until all of the water is absored.
  2. By hand, combine the TVP with the ground beef; mix very well.
  3. Gently mix in the remaining ingredients (also by hand).
  4. Saute in a skillet over medium-high until beef is cooked.
  5. Great in any recipe (spaghetti, pizza, stuffed peppers, etc.) Freezes well.

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