Homemade Linguica: Portuguese Smoked Sausage

No meat grinder necessary! This Homemade Linguica, a Portuguese Mild Sausage, is incredibly easy to make and tastes great. This recipe contains No MSG, Nitrates, Nitrites, or High Fructose Corn Syrup.

an image of homemade linguica Portuguese smoked sausage

What is linguica?

Linguica is a mild Portuguese smoked sausage. Chourico is its spicy counterpart made differently only by the addition of hot peppers. Traditionally a Piri Piri hot pepper powder would be used to spice the meat. However, since most exotic peppers are not readily available throughout the United States, cayenne pepper makes a viable substitute if piri piri peppers are not available in your area.

If you prefer to stick with tradition, you can shop for ground piri piri peppers or pimenta moida sauce online. My family always used a pimento moida sauce like Howard’s hot pepper sauce to season our Portuguese dishes. 

Since Portuguese cuisine is highly regional food in the United States, we have a difficult time finding linguica and chourico in the stores here in South Carolina. We do have one local store that carries it but it is popular and sells out quickly. For that reason, my husband and I decided it was time to start making our own.

an image of herbs and spices on a sheet of parchment ready to be added to the ground pork for making homemade linguica sausage

How do I make homemade linguica?

Making Homemade linguica is easy and starts with a spice blend of paprika, hot peppers, dried parsley flakes, dried oregano, garlic powder, salt, and onion powder together with some vegetable oil and sweet red wine.

You can start with whole pork and grind it yourself or let your local butcher do the work and grind it for you. I have done this both ways and both work very well. Having the meat pre-ground for me took much of the labor out of making my own sausages. I highly recommend it.

The one great benefit of this DIY is that we can control the ingredients. There are no added corn syrup, colors, nitrates, or MSG in our end product. It’s a product I feel good about serving it to my family.

ground pork mixed with herbs and spices ready to be put into casings to make linguica sausage


Can I freeze Homemade linguica and chourico sausage?

Yes! Homemade sausages both smoked or fresh are able to be frozen. They are good for up to 6 months in the freezer.

Can I make linguica and chourico sausage without the casing?

Absolutely! If you make this sausage and do not wish to put it into casings, you can form it into patties or free-form links. I would put these on a sheet of parchment paper [paid link], grid-style wire rack, or another tray before heading to the smoker.

Do I have to cook linguica sausage in the smoker?

No! You can do this in the oven as well. I have included instructions with the recipe

freshly stuffed linguica sausage ready for the smoker.

If you’ve never made homemade stuffed sausages before, it’s not as difficult as you imagined. I encourage you to give it a try.

A tray of homemade linguica Portuguese smoked sausage after it is done smoking.


An image of linguica, Portuguese smoked sausage.

Homemade Linguica Portuguese Mild Sausage

Ronda Eagle | Kitchen Dreaming
Linguica is a Portuguese mild sausage. Chourico is its spicy twin made different only by the addition of hot peppers. This recipe yields 5 pounds of sausage.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Portuguese
Servings 20 servings
Calories 168 kcal


  • 5 pounds pork butt , cut into 1/2-inch pieces OR 5 pounds ground pork
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke OPTIONAL: I use this for the portion I package as loose sausage so it has a smoky flavor. Not necessary for the sausage going into the smoker.
  • 2/3 cup sweet red wine , preferably Madeira. [See Note 1]
  • 4 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional for chourico spicy sausage version)
  • 1 teaspoon piri piri pepper or cayenne pepper powder (optional for chourico spicy sausage version) [See Note 2]
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup wood chips , soaked – your favorite flavor


  • Combine the pork, garlic, salt, paprika, white pepper, oregano (or marjoram), sugar, black pepper and red pepper in a large bowl and mix well. If using cubed pork butt, pass through a food grinder [paid link] fitted with a coarse die. (Alternately, transfer in 2 batches to a food processor [paid link] and process until finely ground.) If using ground pork, mix the pork and spices together and proceede to step 2.
  • Transfer to a large bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to meld.
  • The following day, add the wine and liquid smoke to the meat and stir well to combine.
  • To test the seasoning, heat the oil in a small skillet, and cook about 2 teaspoons of the mixture. Adjust seasoning, to taste.
  • Smoking the Links:
  • Preheat a home smoker to 175 °F.Load the wood chips. I use applewood or cherry. You may use whichever flavor you prefer the best.
  • Smoke the sausage for about 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165 °F. We use an internal thermometer for this which we place inside a link in the smoker. [See Note 3]
  • Remove the links from the smoker and use as desired.
  • We serve ours with Baked Beans & Brown bread.


1). Portuguese sweet red wine, called Madeira, is a fortified wine and is not found in most grocery stores. Since it is a fortified wine, which has a higher alcohol content, it is only available in liquor stores in the US.
2). Cayenne pepper isn’t a traditional spice seasoning to the Azores. Hot parprika or piri piri (pepper) sauce would traditionally be used in its place. However, since most types of exotic peppers (for piri pirir sauce) are not readily available throughout the United States, cayenne pepper is a viable substitute for the hot paprika and homemade piri piri sauce.
3). If you do not have a smoker, these may be prepared in the oven. Cook in the oven at 175 degrees F for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.


Serving: 4ozCalories: 168kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 22gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 778mgPotassium: 436mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 764IUVitamin C: 1mgVitamin D: 1µgVitamin E: 1mgVitamin K: 3µgCalcium: 25mgFolate: 1µgIron: 2mgZinc: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

31 thoughts on “Homemade Linguica: Portuguese Smoked Sausage”

  1. Brown’s Valley Market in the Napa Valley sells one of the best linguicias I have tried. Silva’s is the best bulk made I have found. I’m going to try and make my own and see how it turns out.

  2. Hi. Just want to clarify or I might be way off. I’m not using the smoker and don’t use the casings. I still have to “smoke” the patties in the oven, right? Then I can freeze the patties until I sue them?

  3. Not Linguica but for chourico, my mom used red wine, garlic, paprika, pimenta moida and cayenne pepper. Basically anything available in Toronto at the time. My dad and I would cube the pork normally a shoulder and a leg my mom would season it up leave in the cold room overnight and then we used the grinder to fill the casings. My mom would tie them up and then we smoked them in a home built smoker.Those were the later years earlier than that a pig would be slaughtered and it became an event when masalas (blood sausages), choiricos sometimes linguica’s would be made.

    Thank you for sharing Portuguese cuisine I know it would make my mom proud.

    • Hi Andrew,
      You’re welcome to omit the liquid smoke. I like it in there for the portion I package for loose sausage. For wood, you can use whatever you like the best. I prefer applewood or cherry. You may prefer the flavor of hickory – which, I do not.

    • Hi Judy,
      I buy the casings online but most outdoorsman type sporting good stores sell them as well – outdoor world, bass pro shops, cabelas – to name a few I can think of that I know carry them. They can be stuffed with a handheld stuffer but I use my kitchen aid mixer with a sausage stuffing attachment. The same stores above, as well as Amazon sell stand alone stuffers for folks who make quite a bit of sausage. When I don’t have casings, I just free-form the meat into sausages or patties and cook them that way. I have a couple of other sausage resides that do not require the casings or a sausage stuffer.

    • I recently moved to Tucson Arizona. Was unable to find good Portuguese linguica other than Gaspar’s Portuguese sausage from Massachusetts. after months of searching the Tucson stores butcher shops looking for someone to make it for me. I was informed by one of the local butchers that a company from California was selling their product in Target stores in Arizona. I immediately went there and found a whole case because no one knew it was in stock. I purchased 10 packages at $4 a package good luck! keep searching.

      • Sounds great, Ed. But I do not believe that it is available in all areas. I have found some other spanish sausage in the deli that works well if I buy a hunk and dice it. I make my own linguica now and smoke it.

      • @Ed.
        I’m almost originally from MA and Gaspar’s was our favorite. I now live on the east side of Tucson. I used to order from there but it was a pretty penny.
        I always check the grocery stores and, after 18 years, my local Safeway finally started carrying it. I buy it every time I go whether I need more or not (I always need more) to make sure they keep carrying it. Make sure you check it out. Although I wouldn’t put the Safeway version completely on par with Gaspar’s, it’s a pretty good incarnation. I’ve gotten bad ones–particularly in Seattle where they seem to think it should be sweeter and not spicy.
        I will check out the Target version.

        Back to this recipe, I will give it a shot as well. Thanks!

      • OMG I am in Tucson. The closest I have found to Gasper’s is Silvia’s brand sold at Safeway & Bulk at Sam’s Club.
        Black bear diner used to have it on their menu, but it was very vinegary much like California type linguica.

  4. Thanks! It’s good to see the Portuguese Cuisine being perpetuated. I just had one question? In all my years I’ve never seen Cayenne Peter in true Portuguese recipes. My family either used hot paprika and Piri piri sauce for heat or made and used Pimenta Moida/ Portuguese Pepper paste to marinate. This is a staple in the Azores.


    • Hi Kelena – your rendition sounds great. Thank you. While cayenne pepper may not be traditional, it is a viable substitute for those of us in the states who do not have bird’s eye or Thai peppers readily available in the grocery store. You’d probably be surprised to learn that in my area, we don’t find much in the grocery aside from jalapenos and bell peppers. The substitute for hot paprika is sweet paprika with some cayenne added for heat. So while not completely a traditional Portuguese recipe, it is still very close to the original except for the addition of a tiny amount of cayenne pepper for the heat in the chourico. That being said, when I lived in an area with a dense Portuguese population, Portuguese pepper paste was always readily available to me, however, after moving away, it is not – as it the case for most Americans – hence the necessary substitution with cayenne.

      • I can relate. Get some birds eye seeds and grow pepper plant they should flourish in SC. I find my Penton here in Hawaii from Spain both hot and sweet even smoked Paprika I find Spanish versions at our TJ Max and Ross stores in their food sections from time to time and stock up! Check Amazon they get everything from piri piri to pepper paste it really makes a difference. JMO. But they look ono!


Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating