We’d eat these two any day.

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We’re all accustomed to eating specific things for special occasions. Cake typically coincides with a birthday or anniversary, turkey is pretty synonymous with Thanksgiving, and many expect to see a roast at Christmas. But there are some foods that may not be linked to a holiday that still represent a special occasion, just during a more normal day of the year. For us, sausage signals a slow weekend morning or breakfast after an overnight visit to grandma’s house. Weekday breakfasts tend to be quick and utilitarian, but a noteworthy Southern breakfast takes more time (and contains a few more calories). Since it’s important to us, we set out to find the best sausage options available at the store. After comparing 6 of the most popular brands for mild breakfast sausage, we found 2 to be heads and shoulders above the rest.

Johnsonville Original Recipe Breakfast Sausage

Most other “mild” breakfast sausages not only lack spiciness, but they lack flavor entirely. However, we were surprised by the flavor present in Johnsonville’s Original Recipe Breakfast Sausage—the spices added to these sausages are the right blend and proportion to enhance the lip smacking goodness of pork meat without either taking over the taste or being completely hidden. This sausage makes a great addition to a breakfast biscuit with egg and cheese, providing the classic peppery hint of sausage spice.

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Jimmy Dean Regular Pork Sausage

We’ve got to hand it to Jimmy Dean. Their Regular Pork Sausage has no bells and whistles, no intense or unconventional seasonings, and no surprising additives. We can’t quite figure out what it is that makes it so good, but their meat is simply more delicious and flavorful than the others. Of all the sausage we tried, it had very little noticeable seasoning, but it was still by far the richest in juicy pork flavor. This is the kind of sausage you want to eat by itself on a breakfast platter with a couple scrambled eggs and some toast.