There’s a reason why andouille sausage is a popular choice for Cajun dishes – its smoky, peppery flavor is simply delicious.
The trick to cooking with andouille sausage is knowing how to best substitute it when necessary.
As a key ingredient in many Cajun dishes, andouille sausage brings a unique flavor to gumbos, étouffée, jambalaya, and more.
It isn’t always easy to find outside of Louisiana.
And when you do find it, the price tag isn’t always so friendly to your wallet.
Fortunately, several different types of smoked sausage can be used as a substitute in recipes calling for andouille sausage.
While these options may not exactly match the taste and texture of andouille sausage, they’re close enough to get you through any recipe you need to prepare.
What is Andouille Sausage?
If you’re a fan of Cajun and Creole cuisine, then you’ve likely had andouille sausage.
This smoked sausage is pork and derives its spicy flavor from cayenne pepper.
While it’s popular in Louisiana, andouille sausage can be found in the other Southern States as well.
The exact origins of andouille sausage are unknown, but it is believed that the sausage was introduced in Louisiana in the late 1700s.
Typically, this smoked, spicy pork sausage is used in dishes like gumbo or jambalaya, giving these dishes their characteristic spiciness.
Both mild andouille sausage and spicy andouille sausage are available, so you can alter the spiciness of your dishes to suit your tastes.
Andouille sausage can be purchased pre-cooked or uncooked, so it’s perfect for those who love to cook at home.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Andouille Sausage
There are many substitutes for andouille sausage that you can use in recipes like gumbo or jambalaya, so you won’t have to go without this spicy Cajun/Creole flavor.
1 – Italian Sausage
If you don’t want to substitute your andouille sausage, but need a milder version of the sausage, consider using Italian sausage.
This is a pork sausage with fennel and chilies added for spice.
While the flavor differs slightly from andouille sausage, it’s milder and tends to be less spicy.
Italian sausage is delicious on pizzas or in strombolis.
It also tastes great alongside such dishes as baked spaghetti or lasagna.
In addition, you can grill this sausage and serve it alongside your favorite pasta dish.
While Italian sausage is a tasty alternative to andouille sausage, it’s necessary to note that it does not contain tripe or fat.
It may be rather different in taste and appearance than traditional andouille sausage.
2 – Polish Sausage
Another alternative to andouille sausage is Polish sausage.
Also known as kielbasa, it derives its heat from garlic and red pepper.
It’s usually available in rings or links, so you can use these sausages for your favorite recipe that calls for andouille sausage.
While Polish sausage can be somewhat spicy, it’s not nearly as hot or spicy as andouille sausage.
It does tend to have a different flavor, but it works well with various recipes.
In addition, you can grill Polish sausage and serve it alongside your favorite pasta dish.
3 – Smoked Sausage
A rather simple substitute for andouille sausage is smoked sausage.
This is typically made out of pork, so it isn’t as spicy as your typical andouille sausage.
However, the smoky flavor makes it a viable alternative to traditional andouille sausage.
Smoked sausage also comes with an array of different thicknesses so that you can choose one closest to andouille sausage in terms of texture.
Smoked sausage is delicious with many dishes, including jambalaya or casseroles.
It also goes well with pasta or rice.
4 – Chorizo
Chorizo is another spicy sausage that can be used as a substitute for andouille sausage.
It’s commonly made out of pork, but it may also be made out of chicken or beef, so you need to check the ingredients before purchasing it.
Chorizo has its origins in Spain, though it’s popular throughout Europe and in the New World.
It’s a flavorful sausage similar to andouille sausage in terms of texture.
Chorizo can be used in many dishes, such as chili or scrambled eggs for breakfast tacos.
You’ll often find it served alongside refried beans and Mexican rice.
5 – German Bratwurst
The final substitute is bratwurst, which is a type of German sausage.
Like andouille sausage, it’s made of pork and seasoned with cayenne pepper.
It has a meaty flavor that pairs well with most dishes, such as stews or grilled vegetables.
While the texture of bratwurst is somewhat similar to andouille sausage, it does tend to be thicker to hold itself together.
However, when sliced thin, it is somewhat comparable in appearance.
You can also use bratwurst in recipes like jambalaya or chili when you need a substitute for andouille sausage.
It goes well with sauerkraut roasted potatoes and most pasta dishes.
Andouille sausage is a spicy Cajun meat that has roots in France.
It’s traditionally made with pork and tripe, including cayenne pepper for heat.
While traditional andouille sausage tends to be rather fatty, you can substitute the dish in various recipes using Polish sausage, Italian sausage, smoked sausage, chorizo, or bratwurst.
These alternatives have a smoky flavor, and most include some spice.
In most cases, you can use these substitutes to replace andouille sausage without any major alterations to the dish.