11) Morningstar Farms from The Ultimate Breakfast Sausage Taste Test (Slideshow)

The Ultimate Breakfast Sausage Taste Test (Slideshow)

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Jane Bruce

11) Morningstar Farms

This poor vegetarian option just couldn’t compete with the meaty competition. A couple of tasters actually spit it out, but most merely grimaced. The texture was very soft, mushy, and mealy, and the seasoning mix was odd and off-putting. One taster was a bit more forgiving: "Not bad, but not a sausage." We'll be sticking to their veggie burgers

Serving Size: 2 links
Calories: 80
Fat: 3 grams
Sodium: 300 milligrams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Price: $4.36/8 ounces

Jane Bruce

10) Jennie-O Turkey Sausage

These skinless turkey sausages were bland, and the dry, crumbly texture reminded our tasters of a turkey burger. The spice blend was also a little odd; we tasted lots of dill in the mix.

Serving Size: 2 links
Calories: 130
Fat: 10 grams
Sodium: 310 milligrams
Cholesterol: 45 milligrams
Price: $2.49/12 ounces

Jane Bruce

9) Bob Evans Original

These classic breakfast sausages were a bit of a letdown. Our tasters found them to be gummy and bland, with an odd aftertaste. "Slimy and salty, with no real spice or pepper," one taster noted. They were overly greasy, and didn’t contain that sage-y, peppery flavor that you usually look for in a breakfast sausage.

Serving Size: 3 links
Calories: 140
Fat: 11 grams
Sodium: 320 milligrams
Cholesterol: 25 milligrams
Price: $5.99/12 ounces

Jane Bruce

8) Trader Joe’s Chicken Breakfast Sausage

Our tasters weren’t too impressed by Trader Joe’s "hard" and "overly salty" offering. There was no shortage of sage flavor, however, and you could really taste the turkey. But as far as breakfast sausages go, this one didn’t win many of us over.

Serving Size: 2 links
Calories: 110
Fat: 6 grams
Sodium: 570 milligrams
Cholesterol: 45 milligrams
Price: $4.36/16 ounces

Jane Bruce

7) Shady Brook Farms

This turkey sausage tasted more like a turkey burger or turkey meatloaf than sausage. It was dry and crumbly, and had an oddly sweet aftertaste. The casing also came completely off during cooking, resulting in an oddly textured finished product. There also wasn’t much in the way of identifiable spices, except for a heavy hand with the salt.

Serving Size: 2 links
Calories: 120
Fat: 7 grams
Sodium: 500 milligrams
Cholesterol: 45 milligrams
Price: $6.19/16 ounces

Jane Bruce

6) Johnsonville Vermont Maple Syrup

This pork link had some real maple syrup thrown in the mix, which divided our panel. "Sweet and bizarre," said one taster; "would be perfect with pancakes," said others. The texture wasn’t too heavy overall, although some found it too greasy. The appearance was odd, however: "They look like little brown eels," one taster noted.

Serving Size: 3 links
Calories: 170
Fat: 14 grams
Sodium: 470 milligrams
Cholesterol: 35 milligrams
Price: $5.99/12 ounces

Jane Bruce

5) Applegate Naturals Chicken and Sage

This natural offering could have used a pinch more salt, but had a nice, peppery flavor, a hint of spiciness, and a subtle sweetness. The lumpy appearance and texture was a bit unappealing to some, however.

Serving Size: 3 links
Calories: 100
Fat: 7 grams
Sodium: 350 milligrams
Cholesterol: 45 milligrams
Price: $6.99/7 ounces

Jane Bruce

4) Jones Hearty Pork Sausage Links

These fine-ground, giant all-natural sausages were quite greasy, but for those who are OK with that were was a lot to like here. The salt and seasoning wasn’t overpowering (but there were definitely hints of sage), and the pork flavor really came through. "Tastes like the inside of a Chinese wonton, in a good way," one said, while another felt that "all you can taste are salt and fat."

Serving Size: 1 link
Calories: 210
Fat: 19 grams
Sodium: 320 milligrams
Cholesterol: 35 milligrams
Price: $4.99/12 ounces

Jane Bruce

3) Parks Brown 'n Serve

We didn’t have extremely high hopes for these, especially after seeing their weird beige color out of the box, but they ended up doing quite well. "This is what I look for in a breakfast sausage," one taster said, and most others agreed. While some complained that these were a bit too oily, others enjoyed the good balance of spices and sage, and one noted that it "reminds me of Christmas and fireplaces." These were also the least expensive of the bunch.

Serving Size: 2 links
Calories: 150
Fat: 13 grams
Sodium: 330 milligrams
Cholesterol: 40 milligrams
Price: $1.99/6 ounces

Jane Bruce

2) Banquet Brown 'n Serve

Many complimented the well-balanced seasoning and soft, juicy texture of these pork links. "These taste indulgent, not just like fat," one taster noted. That softness bordered on squishiness for some tasters, but with an even spice mix and satisfying overall experience, most tasters couldn’t find much to complain about.

Serving Size: 3 links
Calories: 180
Fat: 16 grams
Sodium: 410 milligrams
Cholesterol: 30 milligrams
Price: $2.49/6.4 ounces

Jane Bruce

1) Jimmy Dean Original

The classic pork offering from the master of breakfast sausage was a near-universal favorite. Our panel found the texture to be soft, plump, and juicy, and the flavor meaty, not overly salty, and with just the right amount of sage, spices, and pepper. "I could eat this every morning and be very happy," said one taster. We’d advise against it, though: this offering might have tasted the best, but it also had the most fat and cholesterol of anything we tried.

Serving Size: 3 links
Calories: 260
Fat: 24 grams
Sodium: 510 milligrams
Cholesterol: 50 milligrams
Price: $5.99/9.6 ounces

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The Ultimate Breakfast Sausage Taste Test (Slideshow)

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