Moroccan Spicy Lamb Sausage (Merguez)

One of the most famous lamb sausages in the world is merguez: a spicy sausage flavored with a caramelized chili and spice paste called harissa. Merguez is originally from the Maghreb (Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt) but has become popular outside of its North Africa, particularly in Israel and the Middle East where few people eat pork. Merguez is also popular in parts of the UK and France with large Algerian and Moroccan populations. It is a popular street food in France where it is grilled and eaten in sandwiches with pomme frites and Dijon mustard. It is also a key component in the elaborate Parisian Couscous Royale.

Moroccan Merquez sausage

Merguez- Moroccan Spicy Lamb Sausage

Merguez has a distinctive, lamb-y flavor and bright red color from paprika, as well as some juiciness from harissa or roasted red peppers. The recipe below shows how to make Merguez at home with and without casings or a big to-do. Their great served with couscous, like in Couscous Royale, along with sautéed bell peppers, or on rolls. Make the full recipe and freeze what you don't use.
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Course: Lunch, Main Course, Street Food
Cuisine: African, Morocco, North Africa
Prep Time: 1 hour
Chilling: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 18 sausages
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Stand Mixer with paddle attachment (or wooden spoon & muscle)
  • 2 Medium bowls
  • Large bowl
  • Meat grinder (optional)
  • Sausage stuffer
  • Instant read thermometer


  • 3 lb Lamb shoulder (Sub: ground lamb)
  • 1 lb Fat back (lamb or pork)
  • 2 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Ground coriander
  • 5 cloves Garlic
  • cup Harissa (Sub: 1 cup roasted red bell peppers diced) Homemade Harissa Recipe
  • tsp Black pepper
  • 2 tbsp Spanish paprika
  • 2 tsp Dried oregano
  • ¼ cup Dry red wine, chilled
  • ¼ cup Ice water
  • 20 feet Sheep casings, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes (optional)


  • Prep – Trim fat off lamb. Cut lamb and fat into ¾-inch dice. Mince garlic. In a large bowl, add lamb, fat, and all ingredients other than wine and water. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes until ready to grind.
  • Make Filling – Fill a large bowl with ice and place a medium bowl in the ice. Grind the meat mixture through a small die into the bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add wine and water and then mix for about 1 minute on medium until mixture has developed a uniform, sticky appearance. If no stand mixer, use a wooden spoon. Remove enough to to make a small "test" sausage and place the rest of the mixture in the refrigerator.
    Cook test patty in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Taste and adjust seasonings in mixture, if necessary.
  • Stuff Casings – Stuff the meat mixture into casings then twist into 8-inch (20 cm) links. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
    Moroccan merguez sausage
  • No Casing Option – Instead of stuffing casings, Merguez can also be made without them as well. Once filling is made, form filling into oblong or round patties and refrigerate before using.
    Moroccan merguez patties
  • Cooking Merguez – Gently sauté or roast at 350°F (175°C) until an instant read thermometer inserted into the middle the sausage registers 150°F (65°F). To grill, cook sausages over medium-high direct heat until done. Let rest for 5 minutes.


Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 879mg | Potassium: 177mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 39IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg

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