How many calories are in 1 cooked Beef Sausage?

Quick Answer

On average, a single cooked beef sausage contains around 250-350 calories depending on the size and ingredients. Most beef sausages range from 4-6 ounces in weight before cooking. Once cooked, the sausage will lose around 20% of its weight due to fat and water loss. This means a 6 ounce raw sausage will provide around 140-210 calories when cooked.

Calorie Range in Beef Sausages

The number of calories in a beef sausage can vary considerably based on several factors:

Sausage Size

Larger sausages contain more calories. A typical supermarket beef sausage ranges from 4-6 ounces raw weight. Here are some calorie estimates based on uncooked weight:

– 4 oz beef sausage: 170-240 calories
– 5 oz beef sausage: 210-300 calories
– 6 oz beef sausage: 250-360 calories

So on average, every additional ounce of raw sausage adds around 40-60 calories.

Fat Content

Fattier sausages contain more calories than leaner varieties. Most beef sausages contain 20-35% fat before cooking. The more fat, the more calories per ounce. For example, 4 ounces of 20% fat sausage may provide around 170 calories, while 4 ounces of 35% fat sausage may contain 240 calories.

Fillers and Binders

Many sausages contain fillers like breadcrumbs or oats, and binders like milk powder or eggs. These extra ingredients can increase the calorie count compared to plain beef sausage with just meat and fat. Read the ingredients list to determine if fillers have been added.

Cooking Method

Frying, grilling, or broiling sausages causes some of the fat to drip off, lowering the calories per serving compared to the raw amount. Boiling keeps more of the fat, providing slightly more calories when the cooked sausage is eaten. However, the differences are usually minimal.

Typical Calorie Count of Popular Beef Sausage Varieties

Here is the approximate calorie count for 1 cooked link or patty of some common types of beef sausage:

Sausage Type Calories (Average)
Hot dog (beef) 140
Bratwurst 180
Knockwurst 190
Italian sausage 260
Breakfast sausage 270
Chorizo 290
Banger 310

As shown, the number of calories can vary significantly based on the specific type of beef sausage. Hot dogs and bratwursts are on the lower end, while bangers and chorizo are higher in calories.

Factors That Affect Calories in Beef Sausage

Several key factors impact the calorie content in different types of beef sausage:

Meat to Fat Ratio

Some sausages are leaner with more beef and less fat, while others are very fatty. The higher the fat content, the more calories per serving.

Fillers and Binders

As mentioned earlier, fillers add extra calories beyond just the meat and fat. Binders like eggs and milk also boost the calorie count.

Spices and Flavorings

Heavily spiced sausages tend to be higher in calories than plain varieties. This includes hot Italian sausage and spicy chorizo which get calories from oils, garlic, peppers and other flavor boosters.

Curing and Smoking

Cured and smoked sausages like hot dogs contain preservatives and absorbed smoke compounds that slightly increase the calorie content.

Portion and Link Size

The calories are higher in large linked sausages compared to smaller cocktail-size links of the same type. Larger patties also have more calories than smaller patties.

Beef Sausage Nutrition Facts

Along with calories, beef sausages contain a mix of fat, protein, vitamins and minerals. The nutrition facts can vary based on the specific ingredients:


Most of the calories in beef sausage comes from fat. This includes both saturated fat and healthier mono/polyunsaturated fats. Expect 10-15g of fat per 3-4 oz cooked serving. Some specialty sausages are even higher in fat.


Beef sausages provide a good amount of protein in addition to fat and calories. A typical serving will have 10-15g of protein from the beef. This makes sausages a more filling choice compared to other high-fat foods.


There are minimal carbs in plain beef sausages, usually less than 2g per link. Carbs increase slightly in sausages with fillers added.


Processed meats like sausage tend to be very high in sodium, with 500-800mg per serving. This is around 25-40% of the daily limit.


Beef is one of the best sources of iron, providing 1-2mg per serving. This helps red blood cell formation.

Other Minerals

Small amounts of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium are found in beef sausages. There are also trace levels of vitamins like vitamin B12, niacin and vitamin B6.

How Many Sausages Should You Eat?

Beef sausages can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet, but portion control is important given the high calorie and fat content:

– 1 medium sausage (3-4 oz) provides enough protein and nutrients. This supplies around 220 calories and 12g fat.

– Limit intake to 2-3 times per week to keep saturated fat low. Avoid daily sausage consumption.

– Round out meals with vegetables, whole grains and other unprocessed foods. Don’t get all your calories from sausage alone.

– Opt for leaner sausages when possible to cut some fat. Remove skin after cooking to further reduce fat.

– Avoid oversized or double sausages that provide excess calories and fat for a single meal.

With sensible portions, beef sausage can be included alongside many other healthy foods as part of your regular diet. Just don’t overdo it.

Cooking Tips to Make Sausage Healthier

You can take steps when shopping and cooking sausage to cut some fat and calories:

– Choose sausages labeled “lean” or at least with under 30% fat. This reduces excess saturated fat.

– Cook on a rack over a baking sheet to allow fat to drip off instead of frying. Grilling is also a healthier cooking method.

– Don’t prick sausages with a fork before cooking. This lets juices and fat escape.

– Remove the skin or casing after cooking to reduce fat intake, or buy skinless varieties.

– Avoid breading or deep frying sausages, which significantly increases the calories and fat.

– Limit high-fat condiments like mayo. Use mustard, relish or sauerkraut instead.

– Pair sausages with a salad or vegetables rather than starchy sides or fatty toppings.

Health Risks of Eating Too Many Sausages

While the occasional sausage is fine, regularly eating multiple servings can negatively impact your health:

– Weight gain – The high fat and calorie levels promote weight gain if eaten frequently.

– Heart disease – Processed meats like sausage have been tied to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.

– Cancer – There is an association between high intake of processed meats and increased cancer risk.

– Diabetes – Sausage is very high on the glycemic index, which may worsen insulin resistance.

– Inflammation – The preservatives used in cured/smoked sausage can trigger inflammatory pathways.

– High cholesterol – The saturated fat in sausage raises LDL cholesterol levels in some people.

– Foodborne illness – Raw sausages may contain pathogens that cause food poisoning if not cooked thoroughly to 160°F internally.

To limit these risks, keep your overall sausage intake in check and enjoy as part of an otherwise balanced diet. Moderation is key.

Healthier Alternatives to Beef Sausage

For those looking to lower their intake of processed meats, here are some healthier alternatives that still provide satisfying protein and flavor:

– Turkey or chicken sausage with reduced fat content

– Veggie sausages made from soy, beans, lentils, mushrooms or other plant proteins

– Salmon or tuna sausage patties

– Plain Greek yogurt mixed with spices as a spread or dip

– Grilled chicken, shrimp, or lean steak

– Tofu dogs in place of hot dogs

– Portobello mushroom caps as a plant-based replacement

– Lentil and bean based patties or meatballs

– Ground turkey or bison burgers with spice mix added


Here are answers to some common questions about the calorie content of beef sausages:

Are beef sausages healthy?

In moderation, beef sausage can be part of a healthy diet, providing protein, iron, B vitamins, and zinc. However, the high sodium and saturated fat content means they should be consumed in limited amounts. Choosing leaner sausages and preparing them in a healthy way improves the nutritional profile.

Why do calories vary so much between sausages?

The wide range in calories depends on size, meat-to-fat ratio, added fillers and binders, spices, curing method, and other factors. Smaller, leaner plain sausages are lower in calories than large, high-fat seasoned links. Check labels and compare brands to find lower calorie options.

What is the lowest calorie beef sausage?

The lowest calorie option is a beef hot dog at around 140 calories on average. Hot dogs contain more water and less fat compared to other types of sausage. Lean breakfast sausage links are also lower in calories at 170-220 per patty.

Should I eat beef or turkey sausage?

For fewer calories and less fat, choose turkey sausage. A 3 oz turkey sausage patty has about 110-170 calories compared to 220-260 calories in a beef patty of equal size. Just check the nutrition label, as some turkey sausages can be just as high in fat as beef.

Which cooking method results in the lowest calorie sausage?

Grilling, broiling, or baking sausages allows fat to drip away, lowering the calories compared to pan-frying or boiling. Removing the skin or casing after cooking also reduces calories. Avoid deep frying sausages.

The Bottom Line

A single cooked beef sausage in the 4-6 oz range provides about 250-350 calories on average. However, the number of calories ultimately depends on the size, specific type of sausage, ingredients, and cooking method. While sausage tastes great, limit your consumption to 2-3 times weekly and balance it out with plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.

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