Homemade Hot Italian Sausage Subs

Hot Italian Sausage Sandwich with Side Salad

Hot Italian Sausage Sandwich. Heroe. Hoagie. Sub. Call it what you want, I call it good. I don’t know why it goes by four different names (maybe there’s more). Maybe it goes by different names depending on what part of the country you live in. I guess that makes sense to me. Would probably clear up why there are so many different ways for you to top them. Me? I’m not Italian. I’m no expert and I’m not going to debate the proper way to make one.

If you have been following along, you may recall that back on April 2, we made some Texas Hot Links. In that post, I mentioned that we had also made some Hot Italian Sausage and that I would be following up on it at a later date….well, that date is finally here. Lucky you, huh?

Hot Italian Sausage

As always, when undergoing a new food, I try to look at as many recipes as I can, comparing them, trying to figure out if its authentic (or close), how the ingredients might work together, that kind of stuff. The recipe I ended up going with was from TheSpicySausage.com, and was suggested by Dyal_SC over on The Barbecue Bible. The thing I liked about it was that it seemed simple in the different amount of ingredients, but each would add a nice flavor.

Host of Characters (starting at top with salt going clockwise. Fresh parsley not included in pic)

Hot Italian Sausage

5-lbs pork
1-cup cold red wine
1-cup chopped fresh parsley
5-tsp salt
1-tbsp garlic powder or-4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
1-tbsp fresh ground pepper
3-tsp cayenne
5-tbsp fennel seed (the one change I made was reducing it to 4 and then grinding in a spice grinder)
2-tsp crushed chili peppers
5-tbsp paprika

Combine all, mix well & stuff into hog casing

Stuffed and ready to be linked

You maybe thinking to yourself, “I don’t have a stuffer.” Or, “I don’t want to bother with stuffing Italian sausage links.” That is ok. We actually made a double batch of this recipe. Half of it got stuffed into hog casings. The other half was placed into bags and frozen as is to use in other recipes like spaghetti or lasagna where you might want to use uncased sausage.

Onto the Egg with some peppers and onions

I was originally planning on using the sausage first with spaghetti and a marinara sauce. Mrs. G suggested subs. I took it into consideration, but was going to ignore her, but after the day I had yesterday and still needing to go to the store for ingredients, I figured she was right (as usual) and my plans have been shelved until I have more time to implement them.

Further talk on how to top the subs also led to disagreement. Mrs. G wanted to go with peppers and onions. Me? I’m not a big pepper fan, at least when it comes to bell peppers. Can’t stand green and have just started to learn to like red, orange and yellow. Her idea, while a classic, just wasn’t appealing to me. I was thinking more along the lines of marinara and some cheese. How can you go wrong with that?

Halfway done

I set up the Egg at 400F with a raised grate to cook the sausage. If you are using gas or charcoal, I would suggest going with a medium heat and leaving part of the grill with no heat so you can move your sausage back and forth to prevent burning or the casing from splitting and losing all that juice. I also used a cast iron pan to saute the bell peppers and onions. For the sausage, you are going to want to shoot for an internal temp of 160F (which should carry over to 165F, the safe point for sausage). How long will depend on your grill and the temp you are cooking. Mine took about 15-20 minutes. Make sure to keep a close eye on it to prevent the casing from splitting. When the sausage is done, throw your buns on to warm them if you like.

Buns warming

Depending on how you roll (no pun intended), you may opt to skip the toppings.


Or you may go the route I chose and top with marinara sauce and some cheese.

If you do, take a picture before sticking it into the microwave to melt the cheese. That didn't really lend to an appetizing picture.

Or you may agree with Mrs. G that peppers and onions are the way to go.

Hot Italian Sub with Peppers and Onions

Whichever way you choose, you can’t go wrong. The sausage had a wonderful flavor. The garlic, fennel and parsley flavors really stood out. The heat came through nicely from the cayenne, red chili flakes and pepper, but did not overwhelm or overpower the other flavors. I want to say I even detected a hint of the wine, but I may have been imagining it. And the juice! This sausage came out so juicy it exploded into your mouth when you took a bite! I must say that this might just be the best sausage we have done so far. I can’t wait to try some of it in some spaghetti and am really looking forward to using the uncased sausage in something or other. If you are on the fence about making your own sausage, I highly encourage you to take the leap. This is so much better than the pre-made stuff you buy at the store.

Side by side comparison. And yes, Mom, I had a salad with mine, too. 🙂

34 thoughts on “Homemade Hot Italian Sausage Subs

  1. Looks great. Why the ill will towards the green peppers??? (Although I feel the same way, regardless of color – guess I am an equal opportunity pepper hater). I am bookmarking this one, but I will cut way down on the fennel or might even leave it out completely, it is just one of those spices, like cumin, that I don’t have the taste buds for. Next step has to be making your own buns, right? And, there is a sentence that is GOLD in the last paragraph…I’ll let you figure it out…I know you can find the hidden gem. Great post, and why do you have to post these in the morning, when I haven’t even thought about breakfast yet?!?!?!?

    1. Just have never liked them. I like all other kinds of peppers….japs, serrano, anaheim. All of them but green bell peppers.

      Homemade buns are on the list of things to try my hand at. I just don’t always have the time to mix, let it rise, punch down, knead and all that stuff. That would be more of a weekend thing.

      I think I know what you are referring to, but we’ll let it go unsaid.

      Sorry to post so early. Its usually the first thing I do in the morning.

      1. I feel that same way about the peppers…bread making is a long process but you will find it very rewarding. Lol about the sentence…and just giving you a hard time about the timing of the posting, but it does look delicious, and sorry Mama G, but give me the sauce and cheese version!

  2. Very nice! Glad you liked the recipe… Wish I could take credit for it. I need to make more of those soon!

  3. I love the sausage recipe. Thank you so much for posting it and for the reminder that I could just make bulk sausage since I don’t have a stuffer. I was just about ready to write it off before I saw that tidbit. I’m with you on the green peppers, truth be told. Sometimes they have to be in there, but I don’t think they usually enhance a meal. Red, orange and yellow are definitely more appealing.

    1. You are so welcome. I suppose if you don’t have a grinder, you could aslo buy pre-ground pork from the supermarket, but try to get 80/20, if possible. If you have a Kitchen Aid Mixer, you can always buy a grinder attachemnt for grinding. But from what I’ve heard, you do not want to use it to stuff sausage. I’ve heard lots of complaints about it.

      I omit green peppers from every recipe, personally. Drives Mrs. G nuts. LOL

  4. My wife won’t eat peppers either. So, when I’m craving fajitas, I go it alone. *sigh*

    Although she DOES like olives.

    This is similar to the sausage we’ve made, minus the spice. Ours was a sweet italian. And it was divine! So, I can only imagine the greatness this has.

    In case you’re taking a vote, I’m with Mrs. G on this one. 😀

    1. I love fajitas, but I cook the peppers off to the side for those that like them. Me? I skip them.

      Again with the olives? 😉 I did have an olive in my bloody mary the other night. I ate it, but didn’t care for it much. They aren’t as bad as green peppers.

      And no, I’m not taking a vote. 🙂

  5. I have sausage on my smoker as we speak!! I do agree with the Mrs’ – peppers belong on a sausage! But then again im in Chicago..thats just how we roll

    1. Thank you. It is and once you get the basics down, you can start tweaking it to suit your palete. Maybe more fennel if thats what you like, or more red pepper flakes. Whatever you want. Plus you know there aren’t any other “things” in there.

  6. Homemade Italian sausage? OMG! It looks absolutely delicious! I’m not a big dog fan, but I wouldn’t hesitate to eat these hoagies or whatever you call them. YUM!

  7. After seeing this, I am inspired to finally break out that christmas present from my mom and make some of these bad boys…. what kind of pork are you using?

  8. i tried theft italian (hot) that is found them to hot but i think its because of paprika 5 tbsp is to much i usually enjoy hot foods but this hot

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