Make Your Own Portuguese Linguica Sausage

Photo Linguica Courtesy of MorguefileLinguica is a robust Portuguese sausage that receives far less attention than it deserves. Unlike its cousin, chorizo, linguica is more flavorful than hot, and takes full advantage of its signature ingredient, paprika. Linguica works as well with egg and fish dishes as it does with beef in hearty stews. If you are having trouble finding a local source for this under-appreciated delicacy, try making your own linguica using the recipe below.

Homemade Linguica Recipe

5 lbs. boneless pork butt
8 cloves garlic minced fine or pulverized
4 tbsp. paprika (sweet)
3 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. coriander
1 tbsp. cayenne
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. allspice
¼ cup sherry (sweet)
¼ cup vinegar
¼ cup cold water
Sausage casings (optional)
Meat smoker (optional)

Cut pork into cubes and grind on the coarse setting of your grinder. Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for 48 hours. Fill casings with mixture or create loose patties, smoke, and freeze. Smoking adds flavor and complexity to the sausage, so give it a try. The raw sausage should lose about 20% of its volume in the process.

You can see by the ingredient list that linguica relies heavily on paprika for flavor, and includes a bouquet of spices that make a distinctive blend. Underestimated as a flavoring agent, when heated, a quality paprika can make a huge impact on a dish. Here it marries well with sherry and pork to create a truly unique and delicious sausage.

One of my favorite ways to serve linguica is fried in iron skillet in two-inch sections and served for breakfast with scrambled eggs. But it is also wonderful when diced and added to green beans or in a variation on the country hearty beans and rice. For a special treat, try linguica with fresh coriander (cilantro), black beans, and shallots. I'll try and dig up the recipe for next time.

Special Note: Don't short change yourself by freezing your sausage too soon. The longer the ingredients marinate, the better the sausage will be. Oh, and use a quality sherry. Sherry is not a traditional ingredient in 'old country' linguica recipes, but it helps to create authentic flavor - really. Try it.


  1. Anonymous7:58:00 PM

    Thank you for sharing the recipe. I have been looking for a long time how to make it

  2. You're very welcome! I love linguica too.


  3. Anonymous8:27:00 AM

    My father was from the mainland and we used to make upwards of 500 pounds of linguica per year for family use. In his recipe, we did not use coriander, but we did marinate in a "original" 3-gallon crock pot. We smoked it as well as froze it unsmoked. Linguica, as you say, is used for "EVERYTHING" from fried to stews to spaghetti sauce, etc.

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  5. Thanks Alisha. It's nice to get positive feedback.


  6. Anonymous10:49:00 AM

    I am a Portuguese American who family came from the Azores. Our Portuguese Sausages are great. I have been trying to get the smoking sausage down right for years. I think I finely have it right.
    I tried to remember what my grandmother Mary Borges Martin said about how her family made sausage. Family traditions can never go wrong. Instead of adding fat back it used uncured fatty bacon this worked better. Our sausage is mostly leaner them most other sausages.


  7. David,

    Thanks for sharing. Any other observations are really appreciated. I love linguica!


  8. My grandparents are also from the Azores. Mom says grandma used sour orange juice (like Seville) in her linguica, marinaded for 1-3 days. Anyone ever hear of this? She also put some parsley in.

    1. Anonymous1:12:00 PM

      Absolutelty the sour oranges, but not the parsley. Remember, this sausage is as unique as the village or individual. If it works for you, keep it!

  9. Anonymous10:27:00 PM

    thanks this is gonna get me an a for food class

  10. Anonymous10:08:00 AM

    I have been searching for a linguica recipe for so long, THANKS
    My Grandparents were from Portugal also,
    My brothers and sisters are very proud of our heritage and we can still remember my father buyiing fresh linguica at the butcher in the 60's on Jamestown,RI . it was the best and always was the highlight of our portugusse meals.
    Dennis from Hollywood, Fl

  11. Anonymous3:29:00 PM

    Thank you so much! I am going to try this recipe! Here in Minnesota, you can't find linguica and ordering it online cost a fortune! Linguica pizza is a favorite here. my mom used to make eggs and linguica over rice, it can be used for anything :)

  12. Dan Avilla11:27:00 AM

    I've made several batches using this or a very similar recipe and am generally happy with the result. My only concern is that the meat seems to have a grainy texture that I don't recall from the commercial products.

    Any suggestions?

    1. My mother used to make these sausages with real chillies as business and did real well. She used to take orders and we all helped her so we could learn how to make it. That was more than 40 years ago. We are from Macau

  13. Hi Dan,

    I had a problem with graininess in a couple of batches and then discovered that the colder the meat is, the less likely the batch is to be grainy. Hope this helps.


  14. Anonymous5:59:00 PM

    Does this much cayenne make it too spicey?

  15. I don't really think so, but it's a matter of taste.


  16. when I was in the navy years ago we went to the NavyAir Base in the Azores. and went out to a small town just outside the gate and i had some of the best sauage ever, I beleive this was it. I found a receipe for Portuguese Rice on line and it calls for linguica sauage. so thank you for the receipe Im going to make it so I can Taste that taste again Jim

  17. Actually I have perfected the linguica I grew up on and am willing to share:

    Sue’s Linguica
    5+lb pork shoulder, course ground
    1 ½ lb pork fat, course ground
    1-1 ½ heads of garlic, minced or pressed
    1T Cumin
    1T Oregano
    1T Black pepper
    3T Salt
    4-5T Smoked Paprika
    2t Cayenne Pepper (more if you like it hot, less if you don't)
    Mix pork, garlic and fat together in a large bowl or stock pot. Mix spices together until well blended and add to meat and mix well. You can use your hands to blend in the spices or use a mixer with a beater blade. If you use a mixer split the meat and spices in half and blend seperately. Refrigerate for 24-48 hours.
    Stuff in hog casings to about 1” diameter. Don’t overstuff. Twist into 12” links. Smoke with hickory at 200 degrees for 1 ½-2 hrs until internal temp reaches 165 degrees. I freeze the links until ready to eat.
    To serve, fry the linguica in 3" pieces until browned on all sides. Serve in a roll or slice of bread.

  18. Thanks Sue! Sounds delicious.

  19. I am also descendent from St Michael in the Azores. I now live in GA I can find linguica occasionally. My husband and I decided to try to make some. We found a recipe and tried it today, not really the same but similar. It will be good for sauce or soup. Sara your recipe will be the next we try. The sausage we just made had oregano that isn't a taste that in in the sausage I am used to. So after this batch is eaten we'll try yours.
    Thanks to all the comments above. Yes this sausage is as diverse as the different islands and families.


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