Last night I was making a linguiça sausage pasta recipe, but just when I was supposed to use it, I noticed that I, in fact, didn’t have it in stock. So, I started panicking, thinking, “What should I do now?!” Thankfully, there are so many options to use instead, and luckily, I had some Italian sweet sausage in the fridge. So, what’s the best substitute for linguiça sausage?
There are many sausage types you can use as a substitute for linguiça sausage, from Spanish chorizo to Italian sweet sausage, andouille sausage, German-style sausage bratwurst, North American merguez lamb sausage, or Polish sausage kielbasa.
In this article, I will introduce you to several delicious substitutes for linguiça sausage. I’ll cover how each of these can alter the flavor and texture of your favorite linguiça recipes. With my guidance, replacing linguiça will be a breeze. Just because linguiça is the traditional choice for Portuguese and Brazilian dishes doesn’t mean there aren’t other flavorful and exciting options out there. Ready to find your best sausage substitute? Let’s go!
A Spanish chorizo is an excellent option if you’re looking for a closer-to-authentic replacement for linguiça sausage. It has an intense flavor of smoky paprika, garlic, and spice. It also has a coarse texture and is usually sold cured or uncooked, so you’ll need to cook it before consumption.
The flavor of Spanish chorizo brings a lot of heat to your dish, so I usually adjust the recipe by decreasing the amount of chili flakes or other spices that I would typically use.
You may also want to increase the amount of liquid used in your dish since red chorizo can be quite dry. The thick slices will look great in any dish.
Italian Sweet Sausage
If you’d like to use the same flavors of linguiça but with a milder kick, Italian sweet sausage is your best bet. However, this sausage tends to have more fat content than linguiça, which can make it slightly less crisp in texture when cooked.
Italian sweet sausage has a mild flavor that’s enhanced by fennel seeds and red pepper flakes. If you’re using this sausage substitute for something like pasta sauce, it will provide a satisfying balance of sweetness and spice that stands out from other tomato-based dishes.
It also goes well with roasted vegetables or in a calzone, as the spices can bring out the natural sweetness of ingredients like bell peppers, eggplant, or squash.
Hailing from Cajun country in Louisiana, andouille sausage is a smoky and spicy take on traditional pork or chicken sausage. It’s made with smoked pork, garlic, pepper, and other spices for an intense flavor — perfect for adding a bit of heat to your dish.
If you’re looking for a linguiça substitute that still offers a bold kick in flavor and texture, andouille is the one you want to try. Its unique flavor profile means it adds something special to any dish — especially if you want to add some smokiness or heat.
It’s truly a great substitute in dishes like jambalaya or gumbo because the spiciness complements the other ingredients like bell peppers, onions, and celery very nicely. Plus, it’s particularly hardy, so it stays tender even after extended cooking time.
Originating in Germany and very popular in France and the US, Bratwurst is a mildly spicy and highly flavorful option — perfect for anyone who doesn’t want the kick of the other sausages on the list.
Bratwurst is well known for its distinct onions-and-nutmeg flavor, so it offers a great way to add some flavor to your dish without loading it with too much spice. If you’re looking for a milder option that still packs a punch, this one is definitely worth considering.
It has a firmer texture than linguiça, adding a surprising crunch to any dish. This firmness makes it ideal for things like grilled kabobs or fritters. Just remember that because it’s firmer, you’ll need to adjust cooking times accordingly.
A North American spiced lamb sausage, merguez is made with a combination of ground lamb and lamb fat with various spices, such as harissa, cumin, garlic, paprika, and coriander.
Merguez delivers a wonderful flavor and offers a distinctive kick from the chili peppers. The sausage has a coarse texture that differs from linguiça, so you can expect the finished dish to have a unique look and feel.
This is an excellent substitute if you want something more exotic or bolder in flavor. A good example would be when you want to add some zest and heat to your couscous dish or give an extra kick of flavor to your chorizo-style paella recipe. I like it so much that I’ve started making it like this exclusively.
Kielbasa is a hearty, garlicky Polish sausage. It is usually made from pork meat but can also be made of veal or a combination. Kielbasa has a stronger flavor than linguiça and does not have the same smoky taste.
When using it as a substitute for linguiça, you will notice the texture is slightly different, as kielbasa tends to be firmer and less fatty than linguiça. Although it may not have the same level of smokiness, it still brings an intense flavor to your dish.
To get the most out of your substitute, pair it with spicy flavors such as garlic, onions, and peppers — classic ingredients in many popular Polish dishes.