How Long Does Homemade Breakfast Sausage Last?

Sorry, avocado toast lovers, but the 20-teens are long over and once again, sausage reigns supreme as one of the nation's top breakfast foods. In fact, 2023 data from Statista indicate that breakfast meats such as sausage and bacon are second to eggs as America's favorite choice of protein to start the day. A Mashed survey on breakfast foods also showed similar results, with eggs in first place, followed by meat, although we suspect that many prefer the two in combination. That being said, most breakfast sausage fans may make use of a store-bought brand, but you might be surprised at how easy it is to DIY the stuff. Our easy breakfast sausage recipe, from Mashed developer Kate Shungu, involves little more than mixing ground meat with seasonings. One thing you need to be aware of, though, is that it might not last as long as the sausage you purchase from a supermarket.

According to Shungu, the maximum amount of time you can keep the sausage patties in the refrigerator is five days. This doesn't exactly make them the best meal prep option, since if you make the patties on a Sunday, you'll have to be sure to use them up by Thursday. Still, you can always just eat cereal on Friday or maybe swing through the drive-thru at McDonald's, Taco Bell, or whichever other fast food chain offers your preferred breakfast items.

Of course, you can always freeze the patties

If you're a dedicated meal prepper, though, you're probably already thinking freezer, and yes, of course, you can freeze these sausage patties. Many store-bought breakfast sausage brands come in a frozen state, so why should homemade sausage be any different?

All you need to do is follow the first three steps of the recipe, right up to the point where you form the sausage patties. At that point, flash-freeze them on a wax paper-lined pan (parchment paper works, too, although it does tend to be quite a bit more expensive). Once they're frozen solid, you can remove them from the pan and store them in a heavy-duty plastic freezer bag without fear that they'll all clump together. If any moisture gets in the bag they might stick a bit, but a whack on the counter will soon separate them.

If you have the time, you can thaw the required amount of sausage patties overnight in the refrigerator before you want to eat them, but that's not strictly necessary since you can also fry the frozen ones. Start with a hot pan, then lower the heat when you put the patties in. Cook them for about five minutes per side. Then either use a meat thermometer to check that they've reached 160 F, as recommended by the USDA, or break one patty open to see if it's cooked inside.