How many calories are in 1 turkey sausage link?

Turkey sausage links are a popular alternative to traditional pork breakfast sausage links. Many people choose turkey sausage because it is generally lower in fat and calories than pork sausage. But just how many calories are actually in one turkey sausage link? Let’s take a closer look.

Quick Answer

On average, one turkey sausage link contains about 50-80 calories. However, the exact calorie count can vary considerably depending on the specific brand and size of the sausage link. Lean turkey sausage links may have as little as 45 calories per link, while larger or higher-fat varieties may contain up to 110 calories per link.

Calorie Range for Turkey Sausage Links

Turkey sausage links can range from about 45 calories on the lower end up to 110 calories on the higher end per link. Here is an overview of the calorie range found in popular brands of turkey sausage links:

Turkey Sausage Brand Calories per Link
Jennie-O Lean Turkey Breakfast Sausage 45
Butterball Turkey Sausage Links 50
Jimmy Dean Turkey Pork Sausage Links 60
Shady Brook Farms Turkey Sausage Links 70
Jones Turkey Sausage Links 80
Aidells Fully Cooked Turkey Sausage Links 90
Al Fresco Spicy Jalapeno Turkey Sausage 110

As you can see, there is considerable variability in calories in turkey sausage links based on factors like meat leaness, brand, flavorings, and size. Leaner turkey sausages tend to be on the lower end of the calorie range, while links with higher fat content or larger sizes are generally higher in calories.

Factors Affecting Calories in Turkey Sausage Links

There are several key factors that impact the number of calories found in turkey sausage links:

Meat Leaness

The leanness of the turkey meat used to make the sausages directly affects calorie content. Leaner cuts and trims of turkey will produce lower calorie sausage links versus fattier grinds of meat.

Added Fats

Many turkey sausages have added fats like oils, butter, or cream to impact flavor and texture. The more added fats, the higher the calorie count.

Portion Size

Larger sausage links naturally contain more calories than smaller or “cocktail”-sized links. A typical turkey breakfast sausage link is around 1.5-2 ounces. Jumbo restaurant-style links may be 3-4 ounces.

Fillers and Binders

Non-meat fillers and binders like breadcrumbs or flour add extra calories. Some turkey sausages rely more heavily on these non-meat fillers.


Ingredients added for flavor like sugars, seasonings, peppers, cheeses, etc. can increase calorie content, especially in boldly flavored turkey sausage varieties.

So in summary, the leanness and quality of the meat, size of the link, and any extra ingredients included in the sausage all impact the calories per link.

Comparing Turkey Sausage to Pork Sausage Calories

Turkey sausage is nearly always lower in calories than pork sausage. On average, a pork breakfast sausage link contains about twice the calories of a turkey sausage link. Here is a direct comparison:

Sausage Type Average Calories per Link
Turkey Sausage Link 50-80 calories
Pork Sausage Link 100-160 calories

The leaner turkey meat, combined with less saturated fat, accounts for these large differences in calories between pork and turkey sausage links. So turkey sausage is clearly the better option if you are aiming to control calories.

Lowest Calorie Options

If you really want to minimize calories when eating turkey sausage, choose options that are:

  • Made with lean turkey breast meat
  • Minimally processed
  • Free of added oils or fats
  • Lower in fillers like breadcrumbs
  • Cooked without added fat
  • Small or cocktail-sized links

Some good specific low-calorie turkey sausage options include:

  • Jennie-O Lean Turkey Breakfast Sausage (45 calories per link)
  • Butterball 50% Less Fat Turkey Sausage (50 calories per link)
  • Applegate Organics Turkey Breakfast Sausage (60 calories per link)

Choosing low-calorie turkey sausages like these can allow you to enjoy the great taste and nutrition of turkey sausage as part of a healthy diet.

High Calorie Options to Avoid

On the other hand, some turkey sausage links are quite high in calories, containing well over 100 calories per link. Here are some common culprits to watch out for:

  • Jumbo restaurant-style links
  • Sausage with cheese chunks or bacon bits
  • Brats and heavily seasoned sausages
  • Turkey sausages with added oils
  • Gourmet or artisanal turkey sausages

So inspect turkey sausage nutrition labels closely and beware of these overly indulgent varieties that drive up the calorie counts. Stick to plain, leans turkey sausages to keep calories under control.

Turkey Sausage Nutrition Benefits

Beyond being lower in calories than pork sausage, turkey sausage links can offer other valuable nutrition benefits:

Lower Saturated Fat

Turkey sausages are significantly lower in heart-harming saturated fat compared to pork breakfast links.

Higher Protein

Turkey meat is an excellent source of satiating protein. Each link provides 7-10 grams of protein.

Vitamins and Minerals

Turkey sausages supply important nutrients like niacin, vitamin B6, zinc, and phosphorus.

Lower Sodium

Many turkey sausage options keep sodium in check, unlike highly processed pork sausages.

So in moderation, turkey sausage can be included as part of a balanced, nutrient-rich diet. Just keep calories in a healthy range by choosing wisely.

Cooking Methods for Turkey Sausage

To limit extra calories, it’s also important to select healthy cooking methods for turkey sausage links. Here are some good options:


Cook sausage links in a lightly greased non-stick skillet over medium heat until fully browned on both sides.


Place links on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway.


Heat grill to medium-high heat and cook sausages for 8-12 minutes, turning frequently.


Microwave links on a microwave-safe plate for 2-3 minutes, carefully flipping halfway through.

Avoid deep frying or cooking with added oils or butter to limit excess calories.

Healthy Serving Sizes

To keep your meal balanced, stick to a 1-2 turkey sausage link serving size. Measure out a healthy portion to avoid overdoing calories:

  • 1 average size (2 oz) turkey sausage link = 50-80 calories
  • 2 average size links = 100-160 calories
  • 3 jumbo links = 240-360 calories

Pair your 1-2 link turkey sausage serving with veggies, fruits, whole grains and other nutrient-dense foods as part of a complete breakfast or meal.


Turkey sausage links can be a flavorful, lower calorie substitute for pork sausage. On average, turkey sausage contains about 50-80 calories per link. However, there is wide variability based on the leanness of meat, size, added fats and other ingredients. To minimize calories, choose plain, lean turkey sausages with minimal fillers or additives. Limit portion sizes to 1-2 average links and select healthy cooking methods without added oils or butter. Overall, turkey sausage can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced, lower-calorie diet.

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