But in your local Whole Foods refrigerated case is another easy all-natural option that offers 14 varieties of chicken sausages with 70 percent less fat than pork sausage, without nitrates, preservatives and artificial ingredients. In full disclosure, the good people at Al Fresco All Natural Sausages sent me a few of their products to try out, but I wouldn't share this with you if they weren't pretty darned delicious. Well, actually, I didn't share them with anybody because they were so good. Sorry about that, Dana and Nicki.
Available in both breakfast and dinner varieties, Al Fresco sausages don't set out to pretend to be pork products. Lower in fat, they clearly aren't going to have the same mouthfeel as a good, greasy Jimmy Dean patty. Instead they depend on combinations of natural flavors and textures to make up for their lack of fat. I particularly enjoyed the appple maple breakfast links, which did not have the artificial maple flavors that characterize cheap breakfast patties.
Dinner sausages come either fully cooked for convenience or fresh so you can boil them like a brat and finish them on your grill. Two varieties, the spinach and feta and the sun-dried tomato with basil were standouts among the fully cooked options. I've worked both the spicy chipotle and hot Italian uncooked varieties into recipes with none of the diners at my table noticing that I'd used a healthier alternative to pork sausages. Pretty sneaky.
The folks at Al Fresco have a long list of recipes for almost every occasion on their website, so click here and start snacking. There is certainly great value to buying fresh-made from your local butcher whenever you can, but when it comes to convenience, flavor and a relatively healthy alternative, Al Fresco All Natural Sausages are a pretty good option.