If you love cooking up Cajun dishes, with their fantastically spicy and wholesome flavors, then you’ll have come across the andouille sausage.
This is one of the most important ingredients to many cajun dishes, like gumbos and jambalaya, giving them some of their signature flavor.
But what happens when you don’t have an andouille sausage to hand? They can be quite expensive, and they aren’t always available everywhere. Can you still make the dish taste great?
Thankfully, you can! With the help of a variety of different types of smoked sausage, you can still complete your favorite cajun dishes.
They may not bring exactly the same flavor to them, but they’re more than worthy (and delicious!) as alternatives.
In our handy guide below, we’ve got 5 great andouille sausage alternatives for you, with an explanation of what makes each one so great.
What Makes Andouille Sausage Special?
Before we get to our list of great andouille sausage alternatives, it’s worth looking at why andouille sausage is such a sought after flavor in the first place.
Put simply, andouille sausage is a smoked pork sausage. It has a particularly spicy edge to it, thanks to cayenne pepper.
This perfect combination of delicious meat and spice is what makes it so popular with lots of cajun dishes, such as jambalaya and various gumbos.
These dishes are famous for their spiciness, and a lot of that can come from the andouille sausage.
With that being said, you can get milder andouille sausage if you want, allowing you to cater dishes more to your own tastes.
However, andouille sausage isn’t always available everywhere.
You can get it very easily if you live in Louisiana, and you should be lucky in plenty of the other Southern States too, but people living outside those areas may struggle to find these.
For this reason, you may need some delicious andouille sausage alternatives. Read on!
5 Great Andouille Sausage Alternatives
1. Smoked Sausage
Our first andouille sausage alternative is the classic smoked sausage, which won’t surprise you!
As you can imagine, the typical smoked sausage has plenty in common with an andouille sausage, capturing its smokiness and character well.
Though it may not seem like it has a similar texture to an andouille sausage, you can get smoked sausage in a whole range of different thicknesses.
As a result, you can get one that’s going to feel a lot closer to an andouille sausage’s texture, making your cajun dish feel like it should originally.
You shouldn’t expect the smoked sausage to give you the same spiciness that an andouille sausage would, but you can always add some extra spices to your cajun dish instead to make up for it!
This alternative is definitely a sausage that will go well with jambalaya dishes, particularly because it goes very well with rice.
2. German Bratwurst
You may have heard of this special type of German sausage before, but you might not have ever tried one.
Now is your chance, because a German bratwurst can be a fine alternative to an andouille sausage when making a cajun dish.
What makes it a good substitute? Well, you can sometimes find a German bratwurst that has been seasoned with cayenne pepper, just like andouille sausage.
This means that it can certainly bring some of the same spiciness that the other sausage does, replicating its flavor. On top of that, bratwurst is made of pork too.
Better yet, a thinly sliced German bratwurst also has a similar texture to andouille sausage, meaning that your cajun dishes will keep the same feel to them too. A cajun chili is a great fit for a German bratwurst.
3. Italian Sausage
For an andouille sausage alternative that has a milder flavor to it, with less spice, you may want to use an Italian sausage.
Although they have some spice, thanks to the chilies and fennel that are used to make them, it should be a lot milder on the whole.
It also has a different feel and texture to andouille sausage, which may affect your enjoyment of whatever cajun dish you apply it to.
Andouille sausage uses fat in its construction, giving it some of its famous feel, as well as tripe.
An Italian sausage doesn’t use either of these, which is one of the reasons that it can have a very different texture and character to it.
With that being said, if you’re only a moderate spice fan and you want a delicious sausage in your cajun dishes, then this is a great pick!
You’ll probably have tried chorizo before, since it’s one of the tastiest and most flavorful types of sausage out there! As a result, it earns its place as a good andouille sausage alternative.
The key factor that makes it a great substitute is its spiciness, since chorizo is a type of sausage famous for being spicy and smoky.
Since these are characteristics of andouille sausage, it makes it a great alternative.
Better yet, it also has a similar texture to the andouille, meaning it’ll fit right into your cajun dishes without changing their feel.
The one thing you need to look out for, however, is what it’s made out of. You’ll want a pork chorizo as an andouille sausage alternative, but some can be made from beef or chicken instead.
These will change the taste of your cajun dish, so be aware that you’re getting a pork one!
5. Polish Sausage
We’re finishing our list of andouille sausage alternatives with the polish sausage, a unique and delicious type.
This variety works particularly well as a substitute for andouille sausage because of its spiciness.
Although it isn’t quite as spicy as andouille, it still has a good amount of kick to it, and it should contribute well to the spiciness of whatever cajun dish you’re cooking up.
Polish sausage gets its spiciness by having both red pepper and garlic being used in its construction, which both help to give it a solid amount of heat.
On top of that, it will also have a smoky flavor, as well as hints of marjoram and pimentos.
Known as Kielbasa in Poland, you can get these sausages made out of either pork or a blend of pork and beef.
Since andouille sausage is pork, you’ll want to stick to the pork-only Polish sausage in order to replicate andouille’s taste as closely as you can.
Andouille sausage is a key ingredient in many cajun meals, like gumbo and jambalaya. If you don’t have some to hand, you can use these andouille sausage alternatives!
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