Let me preface this by saying that I am basically a complete novice when it comes to cooking. So I apologize if this is a silly question.

I sometimes like to cook things using ground pork sausage, but much of the time it's nearly impossible to find in the local grocery stores. However, they always seem to have ground pork, which I've considered using as a substitute. I know it wouldn't cause my kitchen to explode or anything like that ;-) but I'm curious, what's the difference? What exactly am I putting in my food by using the sausage that I'd miss out on if I used regular ground pork?

  • 3
    Nothing wrong with being a novice. Everyone's gotta start somewhere. Jul 26, 2010 at 4:25
  • Where are you that you have trouble finding this? Any grocery store in Atlanta would have multiple types of sausage, both in and out of casings. Are you looking in the right place in the store? Sausage is sometimes placed a bit weird with respect to meat overall.
    – yossarian
    Jul 26, 2010 at 18:40
  • 1
    I'm in the middle of Pennsylvania. And I completely forgot that they do carry some kind of ground sausage in a plastic wrapper, which I tried once, but it turned out to be highly unsatisfactory.
    – David Z
    Jul 27, 2010 at 1:21
  • The recipe should indicate the type of sausage (there are dozens). Every large grocery store in the US will have breakfast and Italian sausage, sometimes in casings that can be removed.
    – Jolenealaska
    Feb 6, 2016 at 21:27

6 Answers 6


Ground pork is simply that, pork. Pork sausage is ground pork that has been seasoned.

You can substitute, but you'll have to bring your own seasoning.

  • OK, thanks. Any info on what kinds of seasonings go into the sausage?
    – David Z
    Jul 26, 2010 at 1:56
  • 7
    All kinds. That is a vast topic. In the USA pepper & sage are prominent. Italian sausage has fennel & red pepper prominent.
    – hobodave
    Jul 26, 2010 at 1:58
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    @David, there are a few "named varieties" of sausage in the UK, take a look at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:English_sausages ... it might give you some inspiration for seasoning combinations :-)
    – Rob
    Jul 26, 2010 at 8:24
  • 3
    Mexican chorizo is a very heavily seasoned, very greasy sausage. I wouldn't generally recommend it as a substitution for "sausage" in a recipe. It may work, but you should be aware that it will significantly alter the flavor profile, and color of the dish you are making.
    – hobodave
    Jul 26, 2010 at 17:12
  • 2
    Typically though, pork sausage has a great deal of fat added compared to standard ground pork.
    – markh
    Mar 7, 2011 at 20:41

Pork is the word ascribed to the pig animal as a food product. We don't eat "pig" rather we eat "pork." Sausage is ground meat mixed with herbs and spices in some manner of form. Sausage can be made from any meat, it isn't limited to pork.


As you've found, loose ground sausage isn't always available.

If the meat department has fresh sausage, you can buy them, cut the casing and remove the sausage.


Here in the UK you can buy sausage meat from butchers. It typically has added ingredients (rusk, fat etc.) which give it that 'sausageyness' when cooked. Regular ground (minced in the UK) pork is just the minced meat.


Our local, sweet pork sausage: pork, water, salt, pepper, coriander. By reading the label, I can tell what the difference is in this particular package.


in your grocery check by the lunchmeat, etc and you will see the bob evans packages for sure. there will be several different brands of sausage in tubes, use these just like you would bulk from the meat counter.

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