Putting liverwurst on a fresh piece of rye bread with some lettuce, mayo, and some red pickled onions is delicious simplicity at its finest.
Famous for its unique and strong flavor, liverwurst is eaten around the world and is so popular in Germany that different regions take immense pride in their own recipes — much like the U.S. does with BBQ.
We’re big fans of liverwurst at US Wellness Meats, and we’ve collected quite a few methods for eating and making it.
We’re going to briefly cover what liverwurst is, why you should try it, and a few other common questions we get, and then we’ll dive right into our 7 favorite recipes and uses for liverwurst.
What is liverwurst?
Liverwurst is a type of sausage most often made from pork or beef liver and generally includes a variety of organ meats and spices depending on the specific recipe.
There are limitless combinations of organ meats, spices, and other ingredients that can make up liverwurst, and its texture and taste depend on its preparation. For example, some liverwurst resembles summer sausage, whereas other liverwurst becomes a spread similar to pate.
The US Wellness Liverwurst Recipe blends grass-fed and grass-finished beef trim (50%) with beef liver (20%), beef heart (15%), and beef kidney (15%) making a richly flavored sliceable Liverwurst.
Liverwurst is commonly eaten as slices on sandwiches or spread on bread as an appetizer when prepared like pate. Rye bread, red onion, and mustard on an open-faced sandwich is a classic American take on liverwurst, but anything goes, really.
Is liverwurst (liver sausage) good for you?
Yes! Organ meats (a.k.a. offal) are some of the most nutrient-filled foods on the planet. Liverwurst is a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and healthy fats. They have loads of vitamin A, D, E, B12, and K, and they also contain high amounts of iron, magnesium, selenium, and zinc[*].
Like any meat, you can’t go overboard and need to include liverwurst as part of a balanced diet, but when eaten in moderation it is a worthy dietary addition.
What is the best way to eat liverwurst?
As we said before, there is no end to the options you have when making and eating liverwurst. Lots of people love to spread it on fresh bread, but you can also sauté it, fry it, eat it like a traditional sausage — you name it.
What we will say, is that the quality of the meats you use to make your liverwurst or the quality of the prepared liverwurst you buy will make the biggest difference in how enjoyable the experience is. The difference between liverwurst made with low-quality beef and liverwurst made with 100% grass-fed, non-GMO beef is startling. That’s because the feed and lifestyle of the cattle directly play into the texture and taste of the meat.
Remember that liverwurst has a strong flavor, and those factors alone could be the difference between someone loving liverwurst and someone deciding it’s not for them, so our advice is to buy the best, most natural liverwurst and organ meats as possible.
Is liverwurst fully cooked?
Yes! Liverwurst is usually sold spreadable like a pate or sliceable like summer sausage — but either way, it’s fully cooked before you buy it. This means you can let it thaw and enjoy it immediately on a sandwich or plain, or fry it up and serve it as part of a different dish. The choice is yours, but don’t worry — you can eat it right away.
How long does liverwurst last?
Liverwurst in the fridge only lasts a few days — definitely under a week depending on how well it’s sealed and how fresh it is. If you freeze liverwurst, regardless of whether it’s in pate or sliceable form, you should get around two months. In general, it’s best to eat it while it’s fresh, though!
Now, let’s get to the good part — making and eating liverwurst.
Our all-time favorite liverwurst recipes
Whether you’re making your own liverwurst or buying some for yourself, there are a variety of ways to use it and make it. Here are some of our favorite recipes for tapping into the wonderful world of liverwurst.
1. Hidden Liver Meatballs
This recipe uses ground pork to cut some of the metallic flavor in liver sausage and creates a wonderful meatball blend that is perfect for your next pasta night or for eating alongside some greens for lunch. This is also a great recipe for AIP, keto, and low-carb diets!
2. Bacon Wrapped Liverwurst Sliders
No… this isn’t your typical liverwurst sandwich but come on — have you seen a better-looking slider? This recipe uses horseradish and bacon to pack such a big flavor punch that you’ll want to make it again as soon as you finish. This recipe is best with grass-fed liverwurst!
3. Hugh Acheson’s Liverwurst Recipe
This recipe combines chicken livers and pork shoulder to create a lighter version of liverwurst. This liverwurst on fresh bread with some cucumber slices and mayo will make a perfect picnic or charcuterie treat at your next meal.
4. Fried Liverwurst
This recipe uses fresh mushrooms and butter to create a rich sauce to toss the liverwurst in. Adding mashed potatoes and asparagus to this meal would be fantastic. This is a recipe that relies on the quality of the liverwurst to really shine, so make sure you get the good stuff.
5. Homemade German Liverwurst
If you want to capture the liverwurst that your German grandmother or that chef in Berlin made, then this is your best bet. This uses a combination of beef liver and tongue to create deliciously rich liverwurst. It’s actually a fairly similar recipe to our 100% grass-fed beef liverwurst if you don’t want to make it yourself!
6. Hausmacher Leberwurst (Homemade Liverwurst)
This is another recipe that aims to capture that German liverwurst magic. This recipe uses a combination of bacon and pork belly along with a wider variety of spices to create a more complex liverwurst flavor.
7. Pastured Egg and Liver Bowl
This recipe uses ghee to put an Indian spin on a lunch or breakfast bowl. It takes no time to put together — all you have to do is fry up the egg, toss the spinach in some lemon juice, and put some liverwurst on top with the rest of the vegetables!
8. Italian Liver Sausage
We included this recipe for a few reasons. One, it’s an example of an entirely different way to approach liverwurst. This recipe is Italian and uses sugar and wine to coax out very different flavors. Two, Hank at Honest Food has an endearing writing style and is clearly passionate about making delicious food — this one is a bit more of a challenge but you won’t regret it!
9. Liver Sausage (Foodie Version)
If you’re the kind of cook who wants to dive deep into each food they make, then this is the recipe for you. This blog goes into depth on the typical composition and choices you have when making liverwurst, so if you’re planning on making this a habit, give this one a read! It’s also worth reading even if you plan on making one of these other recipes because it will give you context.
10. Bacon and Liver Breakfast Plate
A breakfast plate is one of our favorite simple pleasures, and adding liver to your bacon and eggs tradition is a great way to spice things up a bit. This is perfect for anyone currently on the paleo or keto diet, and it will keep you full for hours. Enjoy!
The bottom line on liverwurst recipes
The world of liverwurst is rich in variability, texture, and deliciousness. It’s really up to you where you’d like to begin — whether that’s buying some delicious liverwurst and making your own sandwiches or choosing a recipe from the list above that has the mix of organ meats and spices you’re looking for.
This liverwurst has finally changed our lives. It is so yummy and when I first presented it to my husband, he literally inhaled it and asked for more! I am so glad we found this!
We are proud to say reviews like this are common after people eat our amazing beef liverwurst. Our liverwurst is a mixture of grass-fed beef trim (50%), liver (20%), heart (15%), and kidney (15%). It is the boldest organ sausage we offer and is an amazingly delicious way to incorporate healthy grass-fed beef organs into your diet.
This liverwurst is sliceable when as opposed to spreadable, but if you’re looking for a pate-style you can combine it with cream cheese or sour cream in a food processor and get a delicious spreadable version.
Get the best liverwurst of your life.
Nathan Phelps is a writer, ethical foodie, and outdoors-aficionado hailing from Nashville, TN. He splits his time between helping sustainable businesses find new customers and managing his ever-increasing list of hobbies, which include playing guitar, baking bread, and creating board games.