How Long Does Ground Sausage Last in Fridge & over 30 Recipes!

How Long Does Ground Sausage Last in Fridge & over 30 Sausage Recipes!

An often asked question is How Long Does Ground Sausage Last in Fridge? This comprehensive guide will show you how to properly purchase, store, thaw and cook sausage.  From juicy pork sausages to spicy Italian links, they come in various forms and flavors, adding a burst of taste to meals. But just like any perishable food, sausages have a limited shelf life, and understanding how to store them properly can help maintain their freshness and flavor. So, let’s delve into the nitty-gritty of sausage storage and answer the burning question: How long does sausage last in the fridge?

Shelf Life of Sausages

The shelf life of sausages can vary depending on factors such as the type of sausage, fat content, storage conditions, and whether they are cooked or raw. Generally, uncooked fresh sausages, such as raw pork sausages or raw chicken sausages, have a shorter shelf life compared to cooked or cured varieties. The best way to ensure you eat the sausage before it goes bad is to check the expiration date. Check the date at the grocery store, to ensure you are not buying something that has an expiration date of the next day or so. If you know you are not going to eat the sausage within the expiration date, freeze it.

Varieties of Sausages for Cooking or Snacking

  1. Raw Sausages: Raw sausages are uncooked sausages typically made from ground meat mixed with seasonings and spices. They include varieties such as ground sausage, made of pork, chicken or turkey. Ground breakfast sausage, such as Jimmy Dean sausage comes packaged in a tube, and has a longer shelf life than what is purchased fresh at the meat counter. The shelf life of Italinan Sausages can also be a bit longer, but storing it in the freezer will definately extend the life.
  2. Dry Sausages: Dry sausages are cured and air-dried sausages that undergo a fermentation process. They have a firm texture and intense flavor due to the drying process. Examples include salami, chorizo, and pepperoni. Dry sausages are often enjoyed as a snack on their own or sliced and added to sandwiches and charcuterie boards.
  3. Hot Dogs: Hot dogs, also known as frankfurters or wieners, are cooked and smoked sausages typically made from finely ground meat, usually pork, beef, or a combination of both. They are encased in a casing and are fully cooked during processing, making them ready to eat with minimal preparation.
  4. Pre-cooked Sausages: Pre-cooked sausages are fully cooked sausages that only require reheating before consumption. They are convenient options for quick meals or snacks and come in various flavors and styles. Common examples include bratwurst, turkey sausage, chicken sausage and kielbasa. Pre-cooked sausages can be grilled, pan-fried, or heated in the microwave or oven.
  5. Smoked Sausages: Smoked sausages are sausages that have been cured, seasoned, and smoked to enhance their flavor and preservation. Different kinds of sausage in a range of flavors and can be made from different types of meat, such as pork, beef, chicken, or turkey. Examples include smoked Polish sausage, andouille, and smoked bratwurst. Smoked sausages can be enjoyed grilled, sliced and added to soups or stews, or served as a standalone dish.
  6. Homemade Sausage: Deer meat sausage or fresh made breakfast sausage. The key to know how to keep this fresh, is based on the sell by date on the meat that it is made from. Always choose the freshest package of meat, and once sausage is made, store in air tight containers and freeze, marking the date to ensure freshness.

How Long Does Ground Sausage Last in Fridge or Freezer

Proper storage is crucial to maintaining the freshness and safety of sausages. Here are some general guidelines:

  1. Refrigeration: Store sausages in the refrigerator at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). Keep them in their original packaging or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap to prevent air exposure and retain moisture.
  2. Freezing: For longer shelf life, sausages can be frozen. Wrap them in freezer paper or airtight heavy-duty aluminum foil, or place them in freezer bags to prevent freezer burn. Properly packaged sausages can last in the freezer for 1-2 months without significant loss of quality or flavor. It is still safe to eat if frozen for a year, but it will have a loss of quality and flavor.
  3. Storage Period: In the fridge, uncooked fresh sausages typically last for a couple of days, while cooked sausages  last 3-4 days. However, always check the sell-by or use-by date on the packaging for guidance.
  4. Signs of Spoilage: When inspecting sausages for freshness, look out for signs of spoilage such as a sour smell, slimy texture, off-color, or black spots. If they exhibit any of these signs, discard them immediately to avoid the risk of foodborne illness.

How Long Does Ground Sausage Last in Fridge: Food Safety Tips

To ensure the safety of your sausages and prevent foodborne illness, follow these food safety guidelines:

  • When shopping for ground sausage, check the experation date, ensuring that it is within the window that you will use it.
  • Cook sausages thoroughly until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius) to kill harmful bacteria.
  • Avoid cross-contamination by storing raw sausages separately from ready-to-eat foods, such as pasta sauces or fresh meats.
  • When handling raw sausages, wash your hands, utensils, and surfaces thoroughly to prevent the spread of bacteria.
  • Cooked sausage should not be left out at room temprature for more than 2 hours.
  • You can prolong the life of your fresh sausage by cooking it and storing it. Once you’ve cooked the sausages, they will last three to four days in the fridge and up to four months in the freezer.

How to safely thaw frozen ground sausage

  1. Refrigerator Thawing: This is the safest method for thawing sausage. Place the frozen sausage in its original packaging or an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. Allow enough time for the sausage to thaw completely. Depending on the size and thickness of the sausage, this process can take anywhere from several hours to overnight.
  2. Cold Water Thawing: If you need to thaw the sausage more quickly, you can use the cold water method. Seal the frozen sausage in a leak-proof plastic bag to prevent water from entering. Submerge the bag in a bowl or sink filled with cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes to maintain a cold temperature. Thawing using this method typically takes a an hour or so, depending on the amount to be thawed.
  3. Microwave Thawing: While not recommended due to the potential for uneven thawing and partial cooking, you can use the microwave to thaw sausage if you’re in a hurry. Use the defrost setting or set the microwave to low power and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Cook the sausage immediately after microwaving to prevent bacterial growth.
  4. Cooking from Frozen: In some cases, you can cook frozen sausage without thawing it first. This method works well for cooking the frozen sausage in a pressure cooker or instapot. When you get home and realize you forgot to thaw the sausage, this is a way to still cook it without thawing for an hour.
  5. Do Not Thaw at Room Temperature: Avoid thawing sausage at room temperature, as this can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria. Bacteria multiply rapidly at temperatures between 40°F (4°C) and 140°F (60°C), known as the “danger zone.” Thawing sausage on the countertop can result in the outer layers reaching this temperature while the inner parts are still frozen, increasing the risk of foodborne illness.

By following these guidelines, you can safely thaw frozen sausage and enjoy it in your favorite recipes without compromising taste or safety. Remember to always cook sausage thoroughly to an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) to kill any harmful bacteria before consumption, avoiding the chance of food poisoning.

Knowing how long ground sausage can stay in the fridge or freezer depends on various factors. This includes the type of sausage, storage conditions, and proper packaging. By following general guidelines and using common sense, you can extend the freshness of your sausages and minimize food waste. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and prioritize food safety. And remember, a delicious sausage is a fresh and safely stored one!

Recipes using Sausage!

Italian Sausage Recipes:

Italian Sausage Pasta Bake

Cheesy No-Boil Lasagna with Spinach & Italian Sausage

Italian Meatballs without Egg

Sausage and Peppers Recipe-Primavera Kitchen

Easy Sausage Casserole – It’s Not Complicated

Italian Sausage Recipe (Homemade) - CopyKat Recipes
Homemade Italian Sausage is the best because you can adjust to be sweet or spicy. Get the easy recipe with video and learn how to make Italian sausage.
Check out this recipe
Photo credit: CopyKat.Com
Italian Sausage Recipe (Homemade) - CopyKat Recipes

Italian Sausage Chili No Beans – 24 Bite

Crockpot Sausage and Peppers – Primavera Kitchen

Breakfast Ground Sausage Recipes

Meatballs  in Broth, My Mother’s Recipe- The Perks of Being Us

 

Sausage Balls Recipe – Dinner at the Zoo

Egg and Sausage Breakfast Sandwich – Chef.Sous.Chef

Breakfast Sausage Potato Hash – Kelsey Smith

Hanky Panky Recipe (Quick and Easy Appetizers) - Grits and Pinecones
Check out this Hanky Panky Recipe for old-fashioned, delicious, cocktail rye bread appetizers, topped with a combination of sausage, hamburger meat, and cheese
Check out this recipe
Photo credit: Grits And Pinecones
Hanky Panky Recipe (Quick and Easy Appetizers) - Grits and Pinecones

Bratwurst Sausage Recipes:

Beer Brats Recipe – Valerie’s Kitchen

Bratwurst Soup – Where is my Spoon

Brats in Air Fryer – You Say Potatoes

Kielbasa Sausage Recipes:

Easy Slow Cooker Kielbasa and Sauerkraut – Season & Thyme

Simple Kielbasa Sheet Pan with Potatoes and Peppers – Planted in Arkansas

Kielbasa and Potatoes Recipe
This Kielbasa and potatoes recipe is both inexpensive and an easy to make. An easy kielbasa dinner that is both flavorful and satisfying.
Check out this recipe
Photo credit: Mom Foodie
Kielbasa and Potatoes Recipe

Deer Sausage Recipes:

Ground Venison Italian Sausage – Peak to Plate

Venison Sausage and Gnocchi Soup – Peak to Plate

Homemade Venison Summer Sausage Recipe
Venison summer sausage is a delicious and savory treat that is perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re looking for a healthy snack or a flavorful appetizer, this sausage is sure to satisfy your cravings. When
Check out this recipe
Photo credit: The Rustic Elk
Homemade Venison Summer Sausage Recipe
Mouthwateringly Meaty Venison Sausage Rolls
Infused with red wine and flavoured with fresh thyme and sage, these venison sausage rolls are an autumnal twist on the traditional British snack.
Check out this recipe
Photo credit: The Rare Welshbit
Mouthwateringly Meaty Venison Sausage Rolls

Andouille Sausage Recipes:

Spicy Cajun Pasta with Sausage and Tomatoes – Blackberry Babe

Cajun Deviled Eggs – Living Chirpy

Cajun Spaghetti with Andouille Sausage - Happy Honey Kitchen
Cajun spaghetti with andouille sausage is a creamy pasta recipe made with simple ingredients. This Cajun spaghetti sauce is a crowd-pleaser!
Check out this recipe
Photo credit: Happy Honey Kitchen
Cajun Spaghetti with Andouille Sausage - Happy Honey Kitchen
Low Country Breakfast with Shrimp and Andouille Sausage
When it comes to breakfast nobody does it better than the South! And this Low Country Breakfast is one of my favorite examples of Southern Breakfast
Check out this recipe
Photo credit: Ask Chef Dennis
Low Country Breakfast with Shrimp and Andouille Sausage

Chorizo Sausage Recipes

Mexican Waffles with Chorizo – Beyone Mere Sustinance

Mexican Chorizo Gravy and Biscuits – Erica’s Recipes

Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms
Mexican Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms with a cilantro ranch dressing are my take on a classic stuffed mushroom with Mexican flavors. This healthy Mexican appetizer combines (Mexican) chorizo with ground turkey, cotija queso, egg, and a stale tortilla binder. Perfect as a starter or finger food for game day!
Check out this recipe
Photo credit: Beyond Mere Sustenance
Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms
Prawn and Chorizo Risotto
Easy enough for a weeknight dinner, but decadent and full of flavour to impress your fanciest guests, Prawn and Chorizo Risotto is a keeper!
Check out this recipe
Photo credit: Somebody Feed Zeb
Best Breakfast Enchilada Casserole Ever
Easy breakfast enchilada casseroles, a perfectly seasoned Mexican egg casserole made with flour tortillas, topped with a creamy cheese sauce.
Check out this recipe
Photo credit: Every Day Eileen
Best Breakfast Enchilada Casserole Ever
Chorizo Sweet Potato Hash
Start your day off right with this satisfying sweet potato and chorizo breakfast hash. It’s hearty, good for you, and most importantly, tastes fantastic.
Check out this recipe
Photo credit: Camp Grill Eat
Chorizo Sweet Potato Hash

Pre-Cooked Chicken or Turkey Sausage

Trader Joe’s Tortellini with Chicken Sausage & Asparagus

Trader Joe’s Chicken Sausage & Kale Gnocchi

Air Fryer Turkey Sausages and Potatoes
Tasty, nutritious, and perfect for quick weeknight dinners! This air fryer smoked turkey sausages, potatoes, and asparagus is easy to make!
Check out this recipe
Photo credit: N Kechia Jaeroh
Air Fryer Turkey Sausages and Potatoes
Chicken Sausage Pizza
Easy Chicken Sausage Pizza is made with cauliflower crust, then topped with cheese, chicken sausage and spinach for a healthier pizza recipe.
Check out this recipe
Photo credit: The Almond Eater
Chicken Sausage Pizza
ground sausage links on a white plate

How Long Does Ground Sausage Last in Fridge + Recipes

Ingredients

  • Italian Sausage
  • Breakast Sausage
  • Bratwust Sausage
  • Kielbasa Sausage
  • Deer Meat Sausage
  • Andouille Sausage
  • Chorizo Sausaage
  • Pre-Cooked Chicken or Turkey Sausage
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More articles on how long food lasts:

How Long Does Raw Steak Last in the Fridge (& 50+ Steak Recipes!)

How Long Do Cherry Tomatoes Last + Over 20 Recipes!

Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

Hi, we are Bruce and Dina Miller. We love to cook every night. We enjoy making a few healthy dishes, and also comfort food. We love crafting cocktails too! Come take a look, we would love to share our recipes with you.

Comments

  1. DK Reply

    5 stars
    Thanks for these amazing tips on how to use and preserve ground sausage! Definitely learned a lot!

  2. Harriet Young Reply

    5 stars
    So many amazing recipes and tips! I have saved this page and I know I will come back to it time and time again. Thank you!

  3. veenaazmanov Reply

    5 stars
    Very informative. Thanks for the tip and tricks too. Sausages are my family favorite meal option.

  4. Gianne Reply

    5 stars
    The detailed information on storing ground sausage in the fridge was useful, and the variety of recipes provided great inspiration for using up leftover sausage.

  5. Gianne Reply

    5 stars
    This is a game-changer! So many amazing recipes and helpful tips for storing sausage. I can’t wait to try them all!

  6. Julia Reply

    5 stars
    I want to try all these recipes, they look amazing! Thank you for the tips on storage ideas!

  7. Paula Reply

    5 stars
    These sausage recipes look delicious! Excited to cook my way through this list.

  8. Tayler Reply

    5 stars
    This was such a helpful post! I never know how long meat lasts. And I can’t wait to try all of these recipes- especially the Low Country Breakfast with Shrimp and Andouille Sausage.

  9. Elisa Reply

    5 stars
    Great post!!! I had no idea of how long meat lasts at the fridge or freezer. Will keep it handy for future references for the other recipes. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply

      Elisa,

      Y’all just made our day! Thank you so much for the kind words!

      Dina and Bruce

  10. Chenee Reply

    5 stars
    These are great tips. I have some sausage in my refrigerator right now that I was wondering about!

  11. Kim Reply

    5 stars
    Thanks so much for this information! Food safety is so important to me.

  12. Donalyn Reply

    5 stars
    I love this collection! I swear we usually have 5 or 6 kinds of sausage at any given time. I’ll be going through these ideas in the days to come, I am sure.

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