Six Fresh Ways to Utilize Burke Coarse-Ground Italian Sausage

Posted by Jessica Danberg on Wed, May 25, 2016 @ 16:05 PM

One of the most common uses of Italian Sausage is on a pizza.  However, there are endless other ways to integrate Italian Sausage on a menu.  Try combining it with trending flavors and ingredients to catch the ever-changing consumers attention.  Here are six new and delicious ways to incorporate Burke Coarse-Ground Italian Sausage into your menu today.

Breakfast Taquitos: Small tortillas tightly rolled and baked.  Packed full of Spicy Italian Sausage, scrambled eggs, sun-dried tomatoes, diced avocado, sharp cheddar cheese, black beans and sliced onion.  Salsa and sour cream make great dipping sauces for this crunchy breakfast recipe.IMG_4728.jpg

These delicious, one-handed breakfast taquitos are packed with protein and healthy fats, like avocado!  Breakfast proteins that provide sustained energy are on trend.  Combining Italian Sausage with scrambled eggs demonstrates that you know how to make protein addition a top priority.  This baked breakfast option would be a great addition for any brunch.

Sausage and Spinach Lasagna Pizza: An oven baked pizza dish layered with fresh pizza dough, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, cooked lasagna noodles, ricotta cheese, spinach and Spicy Italian Sausage. 

IMG_4528.jpgEven though Italian food is nothing new to the food industry, transforming a classic dish can inspire customers to try your new formulation.  This combination of two Italian favorites, pizza and lasagna, is a great way to test out this idea.  Pizza burgers and taco salad don’t have to be the only winners in this category!  

Zany Zoodle & Sausage Pizza: Your favorite pizza dough topped with parmesan cream sauce, mozzarella cheese, dried basil and thyme, roasted cherry tomatoes,and spiralized zucchini noodles – zoodles!  Mild or Spicy Italian Sausage will round out the flavors with a meaty punch.

There is no doubt about it, consumers want better-for-you IMG_4541.jpgoptions when they eat away from home. This trend toward fresh and clean has been growing over the past few years.  Adding vegetables to a pizza is one way to signal that your menu has what the consumers are looking for.  It would also be a great way to sneak vegetables into the diets of the pickiest of kids. 

Spicy Italian Sausage & Kale Tortellini:  Tortellini pasta mixed with Spicy Italian Sausage, onions, garlic, tomatoes and kale in a cream sauce.  A new way to freshen up your traditional tortellini pasta. 

Continuing with the trending fresh and healthy options, superfoods have become a new craze on menus across the country.  This includes ingredients such as pomegranate, acai berries and kale because of their high nutritional value.  Kale can pack a punch with its nutrient dense profile consisting of antioxidants and a high potency of vitamins A, K and C.  Combining a superfood with your protein source will surely draw the attention of the new evolution of health-nuts.    

Sausage & Spinach Stuffed Shells:  Jumbo stuffed pasta shells filled with ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, spinach, and Mild Italian Sausage on top of a red sauce.  A simple and delicious dish that everyone will enjoy!

Although consumers are looking for better-for-you options on a menu, there is still a high demand for comfort and indulgence foods.  Experiment with different types of meat, cheese or vegetables that you have on hand.          

Meat + Margherita Pizza: A classic Margherita pizza made with sliced mozzarella, tomatoes and basil topped with Mild Italian Sausage.  A meaty twist on a traditional Italian pizza.

The classic Margherita pizza is simple, fresh, and seems to be on every pizzeria’s menu these days.  Why not mix it up by adding some sausage? 

Our Italian Sausage is available in spicy or mild and a variation of crumble sizes.  The Coarse-ground texture gives a better bite while being all meat with no fillers.  It is a versatile product that can be incorporated within your menu in many different ways.  Many of the current food trends, like added protein and better-for-you options, pair well with our Italian Sausage.  The recipes above are just a few ideas that incorporate Italian Sausage in a menu, but the possibilities are endless. 

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Burke Announces Exciting, Flavorful Chicken Sausages

Posted by Erika Mertens on Fri, Nov 06, 2015 @ 13:11 PM

Burke recently launched two new Chicken Sausages – Chicken Sausage with Parmesan and Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Asian-Style Chicken Sausage with Ginger and Garlic.

 Bahn Mi Pizza Made with Asian Chicken Sausage w/Ginger and Garlic

On-Trend with Consumers

These unique, flavorful crumbles were developed to help manufacturers and foodservice operators take advantage of two hot trends: consumers’ desire for global flavors, and the growth of leaner protein options as part of a healthier lifestyle.

Delivering Adventures in Eating

Consumers’ palates are changing. They are more adventurous than ever, and want unique, global foods. 82% of consumers are open to trying new flavors1, and look for restaurants that deliver bold menu items.

Leaner Protein for Healthier Lifestyles

Chicken is growing with consumers, and appeals to guests looking for leaner protein options when eating out. In fact, chicken is the fastest growing pizza topping, and chicken sausage is growing the fastest of all chicken formats.2

High Quality, Bursting with Flavor

These fully cooked chicken sausage items start with high quality ingredients. Each delicious crumble bursts with flavor while providing the appeal of leaner protein chicken. Plus, they're IQF so they're easy to use, and deliver the product consistency and safety that manufacturers and foodservice operators expect.

Versatile for a Variety of Menu Ideas

Both versatile varieties are perfect pizza toppings or ingredients that can be used in a wide variety of applications, including on pizzas, in breakfast and lunch/dinner entrees, in soups, pastas, appetizers and more. The possibilities are endless.

1 Mintel, 2014

2 Technomic, 2015


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Tags: Chicken Sausage

2015 Food Trend Report

Posted by Brandi Wilkins on Wed, Aug 05, 2015 @ 09:08 AM


The noteworthy trends in the 2015 Food Trend Report presented by Burke Fully Cooked Meats range from macro trends to specific trending ingredients. One trend that seems to have so many individuals in the food industry talking is how to get the attention and approval from the generation of Millennials. According to Techonomics trend report, Millennials are expected to spend more money than their parents and the rest of the baby-boomer population by 2017.

Our 2015 trends pull from different inspirations and reports, but the overarching trends are inspired by health, social media sharing, trendy ingredients, ethnic cuisines and simple/clean ingredients. So those cruciferous vegetables, such as kale and brussel sprouts, are no longer considered dreaded vegetables your grandma used to serve, but now they are found on inspiring dishes that wake up your palate and leave your customers wanting more.


 Try some of these menu ideas which incorporate trends mentioned in our 2015 Food Trend Report


2015 Trend Inspired Menu Ideas:


Rustica Italiano: Pizza crust topped with a traditional pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, Italian Sausage, diced tomatoes, kale and goat cheese.


Trends include: premium cheeses, cruciferous vegetables adding a bitter new taste

quick_start_quinoa-1Quick-Start Quinoa: Protein-packed quinoa bowl with Maple Flavored Breakfast Sausage, diced granny smith apple pieces, feta cheese crumbles, dried cranberries and a sprinkle of cinnamon. 

Trends include: Better for you options and contrasting flavors 


Roman Special: Pizza crust drizzled with olive oil and a balsamic glaze and topped with mozzarella cheese, caramelized onions, Chicken Sausage with Parmesan and Sun-dried Tomatoes, roasted red peppers and finished off with another drizzle of balsamic glaze.
Trends include: Balsamic glaze, Artisan toppings and chicken sausage. 

To download our 2015 Trend Report click the download button below! Tell us what trend you find most intriguing in the comments below!

Download Your 2015 Trends Piece Today!


Tags: 2015 Trends

Spice Up Your Menu with Chorizo

Posted by Brandi Wilkins on Mon, Aug 03, 2015 @ 10:08 AM

Our cuisine is influenced from cultures from around the globe, providing nearly limitless options when it comes to dining away from home.  Hispanic influenced dishes are among the most popular ethnic cuisines.Traditional hispanic cuisine bring flavor profiles originating from chile peppers, cumin, garlic, and many more spices. Incorporating chorizo into your menu is guaranteed to bring zesty Hispanic flavors to consumers looking for ethnic fusion food choices. 


Millenials are looking for a dining experience that excites and something worth talking about; and this product is it. Adding chorizo to popular traditional Mexican dishes such as tacos and quesadillas will provide ease to your work flow by having Mexican infused flavors incorporated into a quality, fully cooked meat product. Non-traditional Mexican dishes would also be a great way to enhance the bold Hispanic flavors, and add a greater depth of flavor profiles. HAND-PINCHED STYLE® Chorizo Sausage is the perfect ingredient to use when creating innovative appetizers and entrées. Check out how to mix contrasting flavor profiles at the fresh menu ideas below.

Stuffed Avocados: Grilled avocado halves filled with Chorizo Sausage, queso fresco, tomatoes, black beans and topped with a cilantro lime vinaigrette

Eazo Chorizo Queso Dip: Simple, but irresistible dip—warm, melted queso blanco loaded with chopped green onions, pico de gallo and Chorizo Sausage.

Chorizo Cheese Dates: Plump dates with their caramel-like flavors filled with creamy, nutty blue cheese and Chorizo Sausage then warmed in the oven until the cheese is soft and smooth.

Chorizo Manchego, Avocado Pizza: Chorizo Sausage, tomatoes, red peppers, mozzarella and Manchego cheese on an olive oil brushed crust; topped with cilantro and avocados.

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Seasoned Beef Crumbles: The Possibilites are Endless

Posted by Brandi Wilkins on Tue, Jul 21, 2015 @ 13:07 PM

Burke Seasoned Beef Crumbles is one of the most versatile fully cooked meat ingredients offered to prepared food manufacturers today. The authentic beef flavor marries well with a wide range of flavor profiles and cuisines giving you the option to utilize the full potential of this topping in many different product lines. This topping is great for pizzas but can also be utilized in anything from soups to appetizers and everything in-between. 

Additionally, Burke fully cooked Seasoned Beef Crumbles are IQF, or individually quick frozen, which means each crumble is frozen instead of bulk frozen, allowing for free flowing product during your manufacturing process. Our Seasoned Beef Crumbles also contain a proprietary blend of natural antioxidants for the freshest product possible. 

The following menu ideas are some fresh ways to incorporate Seasoned Beef Crumbles into your new frozen prepared food concepts.


New concepts featuring Seasoned Beef Crumbles for prepared food manufacturers:


Savory Sticky Buns: Seasoned Beef Crumbles accompanied by onions, mushrooms, spinach, cinnamon, sage, and garlic powder. All combined and rolled into cut pizza dough strips. Drizzled with jalapeño pepper jelly and cream cheese.



Mediterranean Quiche: A Mediterranean twist on a traditional French recipe. Pie crust filled with a mixture of half and half milk, eggs, Seasoned Beef Crumbles, tomato basil feta cheese, mozzarella cheese, roasted red peppers, spinach, garlic, red onion, and olives





Beefed Up Mozz Sticks: Mozzarella sticks and Seasoned Beef Crumbles wrapped in an egg roll wrapper and baked. Served with a spicy marinara sauce.




For more information about our Seasoned Beef Crumbles and to request a sample visit our website!




Tags: Beef, seasoned beef crumbles

Flavorful Summer

Posted by Brandi Wilkins on Fri, Jul 17, 2015 @ 11:07 AM

The following article written by Dawn M. Canon, Ph.D., C.C.S. gives you an insight into how our research and development team works on a day to day basis creating a product that is YOUnique to you and your company!

With the warming temperatures of summer comes sensational flavors! Everything from traditional barbeque to fresh and flavorful herbs and spices. Tropical and fruity is another summertime favorite. Spending time in a garden or orchard allows us to become familiar with the scents and tastes of raw ingredients, and may inspire us to try something we have never before tried.
Experimenting with ingredients opens the door to new creative options. We learn from tasting, tweaking the formula, tasting again, and repeating if necessary. When the result is a success we can impress even the toughest critics. The science of putting ingredients together in the right combination and in the right amount is then fused with the art of visual presentation. Culinary science allows us to showcase these new creations in a spectacular way.
The Research and Development department at Burke Corporation is actively engaged in formulating products with unique flavor profiles. Sometimes the simple addition of one ingredient can bring new life to a product. There are unlimited options and combinations of ingredients that when brought together properly, will even surpass the desired gold standard.

Seasonal ingredients can offer a fresh perspective. Favorite summertime seasonings include mint, cumin, saffron, fennel seeds, cilantro, cardamom, dill, and coriander. Although cinnamon is often categorized as a winter spice, it can also be a wonderful summertime flavor, and works well with barbeque sauces, poached fruit such as apples and apricot, and meats like lamb and poultry.Bringing out the warm summer flavors and ingredients can bring the freshness of a
new season. Custom formulation is Burke’s specialty. Let the Research
and Development team at Burke Corporation help you provide your customers with a flavorful summer!

Interested in discovering a YOUnique product for you company? Request a sample below!

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Portioning for Success: Your Guide for Portioning Pizza Toppings

Posted by Brandi Wilkins on Wed, Jul 08, 2015 @ 10:07 AM

Pizza topping portion guides are important to any business and indirectly important to your consumer as they expect quality product that is consistent and delicious. Inaccurately portioning product could lead to over or under quality of your product, potentially leading to unhappy customers and loss of profit. Today, consumers want to get an adequate amount of product for what they pay for, but also don’t want an overload of toppings. Knowing the fine balance could help improve ordering and forecasting for your restaurant, not to mention possibly helping your bottom dollar.

Perfect Pizza_Dough
Photo Credit:

Top 3 Reasons to switch to standardized pizza topping portioning:

1.) Standardized training method for all employees.

Every employee has their own preferences when it comes to the amount of toppings needed on a pizza. At first it may not seem like a big deal, until your customers start to notice that every time they order their "usual" it isn't what they usually receive. By starting off with a standardized pizza topping portion guide, it will train each employee to put the same  amounts on every pizza every time, alleviating stress for your employees and preventing inconsistent quality within your products.   

2.) Consistency among product across your menu.

You want to associate your business' brand with the trust among your consumers to deliver the same quality of pizza across your menu. When a non-standardized method of making pizzas is in place, it could lead to your customers being unhappy with the recieving product. An important part of your business is the products you offer, and consistency among your products is a controllable variable within your business worth perfecting.

3.) More accurate ordering, forecasting, and topping usage leading to more profit

Switching from a freestyle approach of making pizzas to a standardized training method can generate more profit by reducing product waste and the risk of product shortage. Knowing the amount that your business will typically go through between each shipment of product will give a numerical way to predict future costs and profits.


To help give you an idea, pizza topping portion guides are typically broken down by size of pizza and the type of topping coverage desired; whether that be light, medium, or heavy. Using pizza topping portioning guides gives employees a guide to follow to meet your businesses quality standards and expectations for consistency.

Are you looking for a guide to help you get started? Request a pizza topping portion guide from us today!

Tags: Cooking Yield, Pizza Toppings, Food Service, Pizza Ingredients

Pizza Insights: Ideas about keeping your operation fresh

Posted by Erika Mertens on Wed, May 20, 2015 @ 15:05 PM

Industry experts offered their insights at the recent International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, NV. Jason Dorsey, Chief Strategic Officer at The Center for Generational Kinetics; Darren Tristano, Executive Director at Technomic; Nancy Kruse, President of the Kruse Company, and Glen Cybulski, COO of Persona Pizza Holdings, among others, shared views on topics including the Millennial generation, trends, and more—and their expertise is well worth sharing here.


Differentiation - Make sure you stand apart from your competition. There are many things you can do to set yourself apart, such as offering unique pizza ingredients, signature sauces, and interesting combinations. 

Pesto Chicken Sausage Pizza | Fully Cooke Meats
Pesto and Chicken Sausage Pizza

Unexpected pizza toppings, like our new Chicken Sausage with Parmesan and Sun-dried Tomatoes, will appeal to patrons looking for a different spin. Or offer a Creamy Beef and Mushroom Pizza with Alfredo sauce, mozzarella, Gruyere, spinach, mushrooms, and our Seasoned Ground Beef. Design a varied menu—and don’t forget about unique drinks and desserts as well.


Appeal to Millennials – Millennials are a quickly growing group of future spenders (and future employees), with a trillion dollars of spending power predicted. It’s important to know what resonates with this generation. 

  • Value – “Value” means a good product/experience at a fair price. To add value, think about quality; ambience; choice; customization; unique offerings; sustainability, social responsibility and local ties; and transparency.
  • Communication – Communicate with your audience digitally, and be specific about your uniqueness. Because this generation is visual, show them what you’ve got to offer rather than telling them.
  • Flavor – The bigger and bolder, the better—especially with pizza. In fact, 54% of all Americans prefer highly spiced foods! And 55% of 18- to 34-year-olds want to try new flavors and lots of variety. A pizza made with our Sriracha Sausage, along with Sriracha cream cheese, mozzarella, green onions, and a honey drizzle, would appeal to this crowd. Ethnic options are on the rise, with Mexican a favorite. Try offering new flavors seasonally or as LTOs to drive traffic.


Honey and Sesame Thai Pizza | Fully Cooked Meats
Honey & Sesame Thai Pizza

With all these trends, customer demands, and upgrades, what about pizza profit margins? While the average profit margin in the industry is 7%, there are ways to increase yours: 

  • Business and menu engineering is key
  • Portion control means less waste
  • Investment in systems and staff pays
  • Partnerships with trusted vendors can lead to success


Most important, embrace who you are and don’t be afraid to blow your own horn.  Make sure your brand is strong and growing, and stay true to it as you innovate. When you strive for differentiation—even if you take baby steps—you’re one step closer to making sure you’re always offering the kind of exciting, flavorful experience Millennials talk about, share, and come back to again and again.

See how our fully cooked meats can help you differentiate your products. Request a sample today!


Tags: Fully Cooked Meats, Sriracha, Pizza, Pizza Expo, Pizza Toppings, Mexican, Pizza Profit, Ethnic, Pizza Insights, Millennials, Customization, Pizza Ingredients, Chicken Sausage, Differentiation, Seasoned Ground Beef

The Lowdown on Millennials: Five Things You Need to Know

Posted by Erika Mertens on Mon, May 11, 2015 @ 08:05 AM

According to Jason Dorsey and Darren Tristano, speakers at the 2015 Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, there’s a swarm of grown-up kids out there who are ready and able to impact your business more than you may realize.

  1. Millennials mean business. Millennials—those born between 1977 and 1995—present an enormous opportunity in the foodservice arena. How enormous? Well, the buying power of this generation represents $1.7 trillion. And by 2017, they are expected to spend more than their parents and the rest of the baby-boomer population. In addition, members of this group could be your future employees, so it pays to understand what makes them tick.

  2. They love to eat out. What they’re looking for: restaurants that offer an overall “experience”; good value (which includes quality, ingredients, options, customization, uniqueness, sustainability, local ties and a fair price). In order of preference, they go for fast food, fast casual, coffee shops, and midscale.
  3. They love their freedom. Millennials are starting their first jobs, getting married, and having children later; 28-year-olds are 3.5 years behind where baby boomers were at that age. Their loyalties are still developing as they continue to sample different choices. This is a huge opportunity for foodservice!
  4. Keepin’ it real. This group values authenticity and transparency. They want to make an impact in the world.
  5. Technology is everything. To communicate with Millennials, use the platforms they know and love. They’re visual learners who respond to photos and videos. They also eat with their eyes so photos on menus are important. Tweets should focus on info that’s local and pertinent to them; only send them 2 to 3 times per week. A LinkedIn account is essential for operators, as it makes them seem more human. Any loyalty program communication should be done digitally (and they expect something for free).
    Photo Credit:

Embrace this incredibly influential generation—Millennials are key to your success—by sampling one of our high quality, great-tasting pizza toppings today!

Tags: Pizza Expo, Pizza Toppings, Food Service, Authenticity, Pizza Operation, Millennials, Customization, Transparency

Eight Mindblowing Facts About Pizza

Posted by Erika Mertens on Mon, Apr 27, 2015 @ 16:04 PM

The power of pizza cannot be ignored: Americans now spend $37 billion a year on pizza, according to a new report from the USDA. Enjoy some of the incredible statistics below, adapted from Angelica Frey,

  1. About 1 in 8 Americans eats pizza any givenday. Pre-teens eat about two times the national average, while Americans over 60 years old eat about half the national average.Burke Fully Cooked Meats | Pizza Facts
  2. More that ¼ of boys between 6 and 19 eat pizza every day. Women eat less pizza than guys at just about every age level, but girls between 6 and 19 still eat more pizza than any other category of guys.
  3. The word pizza first appeared in 997 AD. It was first in a Latin text from the southern Italian town of Gaeta. The text stated that a tenant of a certain property was supposed to give the bishop of Gaeta “duodecim pizze,” or twelve pizzas, every Christmas day, and another twelve on Easter Sunday.
  4. The most expensive pizza in the world costs $12,000. When you order Pizza Louis XIII from chef Renato Viola, you might have to take out a second mortgage. The whole prepara-tion takes place at your house and includes the presence of a sommelier, a sous chef, and chef Viola himself. Toppings for the pizza include three types of caviar, red prawns, Mediterra-nean lobster, and sea cicada. The pizza comes with Remy Martin Cognac and Champagne Krug Clos du Mesnil. Annoy-ingly, this $12,000 pizza is only eight inches in diameter.
  5. The world’s largest round pizza was 131 feet in diameter. Dovilio Nargi led the team of chefs who made the pie. The 51,257-pound pie contained 19,800 pounds of flour, 10,000 pounds of tomato sauce, 8,800 pounds of mozzarella cheese, 1,488 pounds of margarine, 551 pounds of rock salt, 220 pounds of lettuce, and 55 pounds of vinegar.
  6. In the U.S., 4% of pizza eaten by children is for breakfast. Although pizza is predominantly a dinner food for adults, 58% of pizza consumption for kids (teens and under) is for snack-ing, breakfasts, and lunches.
  7. In 2011, pizza was considered a “vegetable” by the government. School meals that are subsidized by the government must contain a certain amount of vegetables. In 2011, a serv-ing of pizza contained at least two tablespoons of tomato sauce actually met those vegetable requirements.
  8. Each year, 251,770,000 pounds of pepperoni are consumed on pizzas. Pepperoni can be found of 36% of pizzas in America. Other countries prefer a wide variety of other toppings.

Tags: Fully Cooked Meats, Industry Trends & Updates, Pizza Stats

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