Chicken Sausage Brands Ranked From Worst To Best

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Human beings have been consuming sausage for nearly 4,000 years, according to Atlas Obscura. The meat, minced and encased in a skin along with some liquid, fat, and salt, can be smoked, dry-cured, or fermented, depending on the region it's prepared in. And because sausages exist in most corners of the world, there are endless possibilities for fillings, spices, and texture.

Chicken is one such filling that has gained popularity in recent years. Whether you're trying to eat less red meat, decrease fat intake, or manage a pork allergy, there are plenty of reasons to give chicken sausages a try. They contain more protein than pork sausages, too. They are versatile — you can prepare them in all the same ways as pork sausage, whether in a bun, sliced into a stew, or stir-fried with your favorite veggies.

We've sorted through the many chicken sausage options from worst to best and come up with a list of 13. Consider it a head start on your next trip to the grocery store. Just don't forget the mustard.


Aidells makes a chicken sausage for nearly every occasion. There are more than 15 varieties, including chicken recipes that include apple, habanero, green chile, artichoke, garlic, bacon, mushroom, spinach, feta, Swiss, and even mango and pineapple.

There's so much going for this sausage and so many reasons to pick this up on your next trip to the grocery store. All sausages are nitrite/nitrate-free, MSG-free, and hormone-free. Already, we're off to a great start.

The flavors are also spot on and the sausages are full of spice. So why did they come in last on the list? There have been a few packages sold that contained bones or other hard materials. One Yelp reviewer said, "I love their product. I buy it often at Costco to make chili. I found two huge bone pieces in my chili today, and they were sharp pointy pieces that may have punctured my intestines on the way down. Be careful!"

Another Yelp reviewer said, "Sausage is very tasty, but I found large bone fragments in chicken sausage. Beware!"

These shoppers may have experienced isolated incidents, but we cannot recommend the product, despite the delicious taste and variety.

Good & Gather

Target's Good & Gather brand makes its chicken sausage in four different flavors: apple and gouda, red pepper, mozzarella and provolone cheese, Andouille, and jalapeño and cheddar. The range of seasoning would suit a lot of different meal ideas. But ultimately, these sausages suffer from a real lack of flavor.

"They tasted like sodium and that's it. Disappointed," said one Target reviewer. If you want them to be more of a supporting character in your dinner, they may suffice. But if you're looking for a sausage that brings the taste, this brand is probably not going to impress you.

We've also deducted a few points because of the pork intestine casing, which is surprising given its nitrite- and antibiotic-free ingredients. It's not a dealbreaker, but combined with the bland taste, it's difficult to rate this product any higher. Look for cellulose casings that you can remove before cooking, if you'd rather avoid the animal product.


Aldi's proprietary meat brand Never Any! is the grocery chain's commitment to healthful products. There are no hormones, no artificial ingredients, and the prices are more affordable than similarly-marketed name brands. Spinach & feta, mild Italian, tomato basil, and apple round out the flavors. It's a rather promising lineup, but unfortunately, the products fall short on flavor.

An Aldi reviewer said, "Mild Italian Chicken Sausage with mozzarella cheese, peppers, and onions is a good, healthy option that tastes great, and it's a nice alternative to hot dogs or brats. I can't taste the peppers, onions, or cheese much, but I still like these chicken sausages."

We do love the pronounceable ingredient list, but the lack of distinctive flavor disappoints, unless you're looking for a more neutral sausage base. Otherwise, if you're drawn to the Aldi price and health-conscious ingredients, you will have to doctor these up to make them pop.


Applegate makes a corn syrup-, antibiotic-, nitrite/nitrate-free chicken sausage that is worth picking up. It is a step up in flavor, compared to the previous entries, and it will come through in the texture department, which is half the battle. An integral part of sausage preparation is its texture, which can be smooth, firm, coarse, or soft, and is determined by the ratio of meat to liquid and fat. Chicken sausage usually has the consistency of ground meat.  

Overall, reviews are favorable, but there are enough negative assessments to raise some questions. For the most part, they go like this one from a Walmart reviewer: "The maple flavor tastes phony and is way too strong."

We'll chalk this up to personal preference, though, and recommend Applegate as a healthful and tasty-enough alternative to pork. The chicken sausages are available in chicken apple, fire-roasted red pepper, spinach and feta, and sweet Italian variations, according to the company website

Dietz & Watson

These Dietz & Watson chicken sausages are available in myriad flavors — asiago and spinach, apple and chicken, buffalo style, Italian style, tomatillo salsa, tomato and basil, sriracha, Andouille, and spicy cheddar.

They deliver on both flavor and texture. But it's possible to offer too much of a good thing, and that's where these Dietz & Watson chicken sausages may fall short. One Amazon reviewer wasn't a fan of just how much flavor these have. "Some folks don't want to taste the sausage I guess. If all you want is the cheese — this is a good option." It sounds counterintuitive to crave a chicken sausage with a milder flavor, but sometimes a subtle protein can let other ingredients shine.

Overall, though, many reviewers felt favorably about these. The blends include enough flavor for them to be the main character of any dish you're cooking. They'll work better when they're not competing with tons of other flavors or textures, so you may be totally content with these on a bun. Drizzle with mustard, add some chopped onions, and enjoy.

Al Fresco

Al Fresco is a company that makes several types of chicken products, including chicken bacon, chicken meatballs, and chicken burgers. Its chicken sausage is notable for its many flavors, which include garlic and herb, buffalo style, sweet apple, roasted garlic, spinach and feta, roasted pepper and asiago, sweet and spicy BBQ, mild Mexican style, rotisserie-style, and mild Italian style. There are plenty of choices for the curious consumer, but is this line worth picking up? We say yes.

One Walmart reviewer agreed: "These are so delicious, tender, and full of flavor." Another reviewer said that the sausages were "a little spicy," which is good news for all the spice nuts out there.

These are encased in pork, so those with allergies or aversions may want to take care. But other than that, the ingredient list for Al Fresco chicken sausages is pretty straightforward and very pronounceable. The sweet apple chicken sausage, for example, contains chicken, sugar, dried apples, and just a few other spices and seasonings.

Member's Mark

Sam's Club has put a few sausage varieties in one package, offering a fun and clever experience. If you don't want to commit, or want to figure out which flavor is your favorite, the combo is a no-brainer. It includes honey habanero, mozzarella and roasted garlic, and gouda and pear. Sam's also produces a single pack of apple smoked chicken sausage, the simplest flavor in its product line.

One Sam's Club reviewer was impressed with the honey habanero flavor: "It is much more spicy than your run-of-the-mill, off the shelf 'spicy' but that's exactly what makes it fantastic. ... So juicy even my husband was surprised it was chicken."

Chicken sausage is just as versatile as pork sausage, when it comes to preparation. When they are sold in exciting flavors, they are elevated just a bit more. The Member's Marks sausages aren't shy about bringing bold, delicious flavors, and combined with price and a little fun, they are worth tossing into your cart.


"It's so flavorful, I hardly knew it was chicken! Most of the chicken sausage I have tried was too salty or too spicy (I guess to make up for missing fat) and I just couldn't eat it. ... And another plus; it browns! ... If you're just looking for a taste alike with less fat and calories, this is it!" said one Amazon reviewer.

And we agree. Premio's line of chicken sausages includes six different well-seasoned varieties. Two, the sweet Italian and hot & spicy Italian, are antibiotic-free. The other four are sweet Italian, sweet Italian with kale, hot and spicy Italian, and cheese and garlic.

This is yet another chicken sausage that is encased in pork, so avoid it if you see fit. But Premio's range of nicely balanced flavors puts it high on our list. You might even be able to trick some pork fanatics like this Amazon reviewer. "I can pull it off as regular pork sausage when I cook it in sauce, as some family members say they don't like chicken or turkey sausage. They can't tell the difference, it's great because I am trying to cook healthy for the family."

Boar's Head

Most consumers know Boar's Head as one of the leading producers of deli meat. In 2020, 84 million consumers bought the company's products, beating out every other brand, according to Statista. So, the manufacturer knows a thing or two about lunchmeat. It only makes sense that Boar's Head chicken sausage would be noteworthy, too.

First, the varieties, which can work for any meal of the day: There's blazing buffalo, chorizo, breakfast, uncured bacon and cheddar, honeycrisp apple, and bratwurst. 

Next, the flavor: Shop Smart Guide reviewed the bratwurst flavor and was impressed with its simplicity. It complements other foods without overwhelming them, the variety of flavors offering a wonderful head start for meal ideas. Of course, a simply seasoned bratwurst sits beautifully by itself in a toasted roll. This one gets extra points from us.

We also love that the sausages are free of nitrates and nitrites.


Johnsonville sausages are available in cajun, chipotle Monterey jack cheese, three cheese Italian style, and apple flavors. It's also available as an Andouille-style rope sausage. With all of the different flavor options, these make for a super easy meal starter. You know those evenings when you need to get some food on the table, but aren't quite sure where to start? Well slice up the three-cheese Italian style, add to some tomato sauce and eat over zucchini noodles. Or take the cajun style and slice it and eat over rice with a side of steamed veggies.

The possibilities really are endless, mainly because there are so many types of chicken sausage by Johnsonville but also because they all taste great. One Johnsonville reviewer even uses their instant pot to make a little mealtime magic. They said, "These sausages are the Bomb! I have grilled them and served them in hot dog buns and they were a big hit. My favorite way to cook them is in my Instant Pot with fresh green beans, tiny gold potatoes, chicken stock, and a little Cajun Seasoning. The Bomb!"

Hillshire Farm

Hillshire Farm smoked chicken sausage isn't a clean-ingredient meat product — it's got corn syrup and soy protein concentrate, MSG, sodium nitrite, and more. So, you've got a dilemma, if you're looking for a health-conscious pork alternative. The package promises rustic smoked flavors, with garlic and without, and it delivers.

"This sausage combines a truly delicious taste of great spices. Outside grilling will be a new experience," said one Hillshire Farm reviewer. Instead of the smaller, bun-sized links, this is a larger rope-style sausage that would be great on a grill. You can just grill the larger rope and slice it into the desired size once browned.

Another reviewer thought the bold flavor was unusual in a pork-free product. "The flavor of this sausage is amazing! I have not found any chicken or turkey sausage that contains as much flavor as pork sausage. My family has not eaten pork for sometime now and it is great to be able to enjoy sausage again." 

Since this list focuses on taste, Hillshire Farm takes a top spot. 

Trader Joe's

It seems that we can always count on Trader Joe's. The brand's chicken sausage takes the list's second-best spot, not for its variety, but its excellent flavor. The sausage is available in three versions: Andouille-style, sweet apple, and organic sweet Italian. Sometimes, your local store will have items that are not listed online, so you may be in for a welcome surprise when you visit.

What we love about these sausages is that they've got a clean ingredient list — organic chicken, water, organic Italian seasoning, organic basil, organic garlic, and celery powder. All pronounceable and nothing mysterious.

But what good is a clean ingredient list if the product doesn't taste yummy? Thankfully, these sausages are more than that. They are absolutely delectable, a balanced blend of sweet and savory that works well for most meals and preparations.

 "These fully cooked Trader Joe's Chicken Apple Sausages are delicious. ... Because they are already cooked, it's hard to mess up these super flavorful links," said a Trader Joe's Grocery Reviewer. We wholeheartedly agree.


Gilbert's Craft Sausages makes only craft chicken sausages, so it's the company's specialty. The products are 100% pork free, including the casing, which is made from beef collagen. The brand claims it gives a better snap, and it's also just a better solution for those who want to keep pork out of their diets.

At the top of our list, the sausages check a lot of boxes. They're all natural, and the company abides by humane chicken practices. But one of the factors that sets these sausages apart from others is that they're individually packed. So you can cook just one at a time, without worrying about when you'll eat the rest of the pack. It's a minor detail that lets us know that Gilbert's really thinks about how its customers consume its products. (Individually wrapping each sausage doesn't use more plastic, according to the company website.)

While there isn't much that can compare to the flavor of pork, these sausages are nearly as good. They aren't trying to replicate pork; they have a unique flavor of their own.

They are available in 10 flavors: Caprese, pineapple and ginger, bourbon apple, fig and feta, Andouille, smoked gouda, sweet pepper and onion, Tuscan, ancho queso, along with a chicken bratwurst.