Spicy Italian Sausage vs. Papa John’s Sausage You’ll Never Guess Which One Tastes Better!

papa johns vs spicy italian sausage

The spicy Italian sausage is a delicious sausage that’s used in many cuisines.

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If you haven’t tried it, you should definitely give it a go!

However, there are times when you might want to substitute the spicy Italian sausage for another type of meat, such as Papa John’s sausage.

You need to consider several factors before deciding whether or not it’s worth substituting one for the other.

Here are some things to consider.

Papa John’s sausage vs. spicy Italian sausage – The similarities

If you’re a sausage fan, you know that there are plenty of options.

You could say that sausage is one of the most versatile meats in the whole world.

Both Papa John’s sausage and spicy Italian sausage are pork sausages, which means even if they contain different seasonings, both have a similar porky flavor.

They also have a similar texture because they are made from ground pork with additional spices for extra flavor.

They are typically used in pizza as a topping but feel free to use them in other recipes you like, such as soups, stews, hot dogs, or sandwiches.

Papa John’s sausage vs. spicy Italian sausage – The differences

Although sausages from Papa John’s and spicy Italian sausages are both made from pork and widely used on the market, they have many key differences that separate one from another:


Appearance is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of sausage.

The appearance of a link can tell you a lot about the flavor and texture of the meat.

Papa John’s sausage is slightly darker than spicy Italian sausage, usually red or brownish.

The color difference between these two sausages is due to their amount of fat.

Papa John’s has less fat than spicy Italian, so it has a lighter color with less marbling throughout its entire length.

Moreover, spicy Italian sausage is usually sold whole, either raw or cooked.

Meanwhile, when it comes to Papa John’s sausages, we refer to the sausages that this company uses in their pizza, so they have already been sliced and cooked on the pizza.


The texture of both products is essential to the overall experience, and Papa John’s sausage is more rubbery.

You might prefer this option if you’re looking for a chewier bite that won’t fall apart in your mouth.

The spicy Italian sausage has a softer texture with more juice—which makes sense, considering it contains meatballs!

This means you can get more flavor from each bite without worrying about having an uneven crunch-to-juice ratio or swallowing tough pieces of casing before getting any real flavor out of them.

Flavor & Taste

The differences between the two are pretty apparent.

Papa John’s sausage is milder, sweeter, and tangier than the spicy Italian, while the latter has a stronger flavor that’s savory and spicy.

Both sausages are made from pork and spices, but the spicy Italian sausage also contains oregano and red pepper flakes, giving it an extra kick of heat and flavor.

You may recognize this as similar to the distinction between pepperoni versus salami; pepperoni has an extra dose of salt, so it can stand up against cheese and pizza sauce.

Salami tends to have more fennel or paprika in it, which gives it its signature spiciness—and since salamis aren’t usually cooked before they’re eaten (unlike pepperonis), they retain their natural, sultry kick even into your first bite.

Nutrition value

Papa John’s and spicy Italian sausage are delicious, but which one is better for you? Here’s a comparison of the nutrition facts to help you decide! Unfortunately, they are high in sodium, but the spicy Italian sausage has less than the others.

Papa John’s has fewer calories and fat than spicy Italian sausage, so it might be considered healthier.

However, since Papa John’s sausages are already cooked, so it is harder to control their quality.

Cooking method & Time

The cooking method is one of the main differences between the two sausages.

Papa John’s sausage is already cooked and only found in pizza from this brand, which means you don’t have to cook it anymore.

On the other hand, spicy Italian sausage can come raw or cooked, and the cooking time will vary depending on the method and temperature.

For example, you can grill, bake, smoke, or deep-fry them.


The spicy Italian sausage is a raw sausage that must be cooked before eating.

Sometimes, you can still find some packages of pre-cooked Italian sausage that are ready to be served.

They can be served individually or as an ingredient for many other recipes like pizza, sandwiches, hot dogs, stews, soups, or baking dishes.

The Papa John’s sausage is already cooked when you get it, and these slices are included in almost any variety of Papa John’s pizza.

Can you substitute Papa John’s sausage for spicy Italian sausage?

As long as you keep in mind the difference in spiciness, you can substitute one for the other.

Spicy Italian sausage is spicier than Papa John’s and has a bolder flavor profile.

If you are using it in a dish where a milder flavor is preferred, such as lasagna or spaghetti sauce, cut down on the amount of garlic and red pepper flakes used in your recipe.

Papa John’s sausage is milder and sweeter than spicy Italian sausage.

If you have a recipe that calls for spicy Italian sausage and decides to swap it out with Papa John’s, you might want to add extra seasonings.

Also, be careful when substituting Papa John’s sausage with spicy Italian sausage when serving kids.

However, that’s the theory.

The fact is that Papa John’s sausage is likely to be used only in the company pizza, so you might not have a chance to alternate their pizza sausages with something else.


Overall, the two types of sausage are relatively similar, and they are delicious and perfect for consumption at any time of the day.

However, if you want something with a more authentic Italian taste, then spicy Italian sausage is probably better suited to your needs than Papa John’s.

That being said, they’re both delicious options!