Zalzett Malti ~ Maltese Sausage

Maltese Sausage
Maltese Sausage

OMG!!  Yes!!!  This is how excited I am at finding the right recipe to make these garlicky Maltese sausages!


Ask any Maltese person which food they miss the most when living abroad and the top three answers would probably be…Ftira, Gbejniet and Maltese Sausage!  So far I’ve attempted the first two with great success but somehow making sausages seemed a little bit daunting for me. Just the thought of handling meats and the idea of stuffing casings and actually getting the results I craved for, just didn’t seem possible. Until I saw how Karl, from A Maltese in NY, does them and that took away all the mystery. Having a sausage stuffer attachment or a sausage machine would definitely help the process but if you’re like me, and have no room for any more gadgets, you can certainly stuff them by hand.

Coke Funnel
Coke Funnel

When I want to make something there is very little that can stand in my way. So the first stop was to go and find a funnel with a tip wide enough to get the ground meat through and into the casings.  Of course, as luck would have it, none of the stores nearby carried any and since time was of the essence (I had waited 20 yrs and could  not wait a moment longer) the next best thing was to make my own.  And it worked like a charm! I got a small 500ml coke bottle and cut the top 1/3 off and used that.

Garlic Cloves
Garlic Cloves

So once I had the funnel, the ground pork, the casings and all the rest, I set about making them.  I am not going to say it is easy to fill these sausage manually as I got pretty frustrated at times. Like when I tried to take a short cut and stuffed more than I should and ended up ripping the casings only to have to start all over again.  But once I got going, and realised I had to be patient and take my time, it was ok.  I shall be making these again and again.  They are worth all the work involved!


4.5 lbs of ground pork butt or shoulder (2kg)
1oz black pepper ground (30g)
0.5-1oz coriander seeds crushed (15g-30g)
1-2oz sea salt (30g-55g)
10 garlic cloves minced
bunch of parsley finely chopped

I asked the butcher at Whole Foods to mince the meat for me and he was very helpful and even explained to me the difference between the pork butt and shoulder.  How the pork butt has the fat in the meat and the pork shoulder has the fat all around.  I took his word for it. He also said that they use what they call the Picnic to make their sausages as it is “more economical and more flavourful”, and that’s what I used.


Put all the ingredients together and mix well. Fill the casings according to your machine’s instructions.  Or, if you don’t have the machine…start by putting the opening of the casings to the funnel, hold on tight to it and stuff the filling until you get enough to have two sausages any length you like.  Leave about two inches of casing on either side, cut and tie a knot at both ends and twist in the middle.  Prick them all over so they don’t explode when you cook them.  Rinse them and hang them to dry for two to four days in a cool place.

Thank you Karl for sharing your wonderful recipe. Now everybody will be able to taste of Malta wherever they may be.

Drying Maltese Sausage
Drying Maltese Sausage

62 thoughts on “Zalzett Malti ~ Maltese Sausage”

  1. Oh my gosh! Georgina you always inspire me to make new things and this is going to make it to my blog soon and credit to you again soon my blog might become a Maltese food blog as wel ha ha ha your sausage look beyond phenomenal they are the most beautiful sausages I ha e ever seen and I love garlic and also how you hang them!!! I think they are the best tasting hanging decor ever!!! Thank you again for sharing and I just can’t wait to taste and to make them! Thanks to you and Karl I Jane yet one more gadget to buy!!! Sigh!!!!

    1. Ha ha…you inspire me Ivy, I inspire you!! We learn from each other and that’s what all this fb and internet has done to the world:) So much to learn and so much to try…looking forward to sharing these with you and I hope you like them when I do:) See you soon duda 🙂

      1. Hello . Georgina, thank you for the recipe. When you say cook them, do you mean boiling them ?, and could you please tell me for how long, before you dry them. Thank you kindly.

  2. The one advantage of a sausage-stuffing funnel like this
    over the one made from a plastic Coke bottle is that the commercially-made funnel has room on the tip to slide the casing up so the casing can be “dispensed” as the sausages are filled.

    While I was looking for that, I found this very interesting technique:

    And you can always make patties, as someone pointed out in one of the conversations I read.

    Have fun sausaging!………….Robin

    1. Robin, the coke funnel was a necessity. I bought a funnel and once I had that, I bought the rest of the ingredients. Once I got home I noticed it was the wrong kind of funnel but by then I had the stuffing all ready to be made into sausages and had no room to store in the fridge so I had to do some quick thinking and the coke bottle was what I had and was thrilled that it worked cause it saved me going out in 100 degree weather looking for a funnel

      The links and ideas you posted are excellent and very very clever ways to stuff sausages when a machine/stuffer is not available. Thank you so much for posting. I definitely want to try that chinese spoon method for sure:)

    1. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed them Gina…next time we’ll try them on the bbq. They are so versatile…so many way you can enjoy these fabulous sausages. I should do a post just about that one of these days.

  3. As always, you never cease to amaze me dear cousin of mine – with what you are capable of and how you express yourself – such a delight!

    1. Thank you Tiffany…maybe it’s known for it’s sausages only by the maltese people:) I love them and not crazy about any others I have to say. I’d love for you to try them if there’s a way…

  4. just bought a sausage filler miss my maltese sausage but didnt have a recipe, i am going to try yours love making maltese food when i was younger (9) my mother started to teach me how to cook, my father would make the sausages and ravioli my mother would make the rest, any way when i make them ill tell you how they come out…. cant wait

    1. Oh I hope you like them…I find I put in less pepper nowadays than stated in my recipe…but that’s a matter of taste of course. Good luck and I look forward to hearing from you 🙂

      1. Hi Georgina
        well i tried your recipe and the sausages turned out great,
        the only problem was stopping my son from eating them all, at the moment i have only fried them next they will go in a tomato sauce to have with spaghetti, now i have the freezer well stocked. The new machine worked well and as it was my first attempt at making them i think i did rather well.
        keep up the good work….. thanks.
        viva malta.

        1. Ooh…I am so happy to hear back from you David…and to know that you are happy with the sausages is the cherry on top. Enjoy the taste of Malta right in your kitchen 🙂 Happy New Year!

          1. hi Georgina

            Happy new year
            yesterday a friend in work brought me in a fresh killed rabbit, great i thought stew was one the menu, havent made it for a while, so cleaned, dressed, soaked in a nice red, fresh vedge and herbs, after baking it for an hour had a taste, it required a touch more salt, so instead of using the salt cellar i thought maltese sausages after frying of three they were added to the stew and carried on braising for a further hour, i love experimenting with my food and this turned out great the sausages turned a meal into a feast the only thing missing was maltese bread.
            A good thing ive found at the moment i cook for my family and it seems i can never get i t right its, he wants , she wants, i want, so ime cooking three different meals, for the last fore days i cooked traditional maltese and we all enjoyed… no more menus…

          2. Another success story I see 🙂 Well guess what I have in the freezer? But a rabbit ready to be cooked as well! I have been looking for a different variation to my usual stew and I’m liking your idea a lot. I just made me a fresh batch of sausages as well, so I’m good to go. Unfortunately, my kids are not as willing to try Maltese food like yours and look forward to the day that happens. Totally understand what you mean…I usually cook three different things as well…we love them anyway right? 🙂

            So have you tried the making the ftira from this blog yet? A friend of mine makes an excellent Maltese Bread too if you want to give it a go…here’s the link… He is the one we have to thank for the Maltese Sausages recipe. Chime in anytime David:)

      1. Hi Georgina.

        My sister just turned me onto you blog and it’s great! I left Malta in ’87 and also figured out the hard way how to make bread using a starter (mamma in Maltese) but will try your recipe. I visit Malta every year so I’m lucky to get all the original foods at least once a year!

        As to eating raw Maltese sausage, the answer is in the salt content and distribution. Regular sausage gets .25 oz of salt per pound. To eat it raw you double that. Makes for a salty product but I’ve made it many times and never an issue. The other thing is to make sure the salt is well distributed. I mix all ingredients in a bowl and re-mix it 3-4 times in 1 hour intervals. This ensures that all the meat (and potential bacteria) comes in contact with the salt.

        If you are going to cook it stick to the .25 oz/lb. the salty version is only edible raw in my humble opinion.

        On more tip. It you don’t want to stuff, lay out cling film maybe 1.5 feet. Form a “tube” of the mixture on the long side if the film. Roll as tight as possible. Prick the plastic all over with a toothpick. Squeeze from both end the eliminate air pockets. Twist every 6 inches to form individual sausages and store n the fridge or freezer. carefully unwrap and cook.

        Thanks for the blog, will keep reading and trying your recipes/tips.

        1. Hi Sandro

          Can you thank your sister for me? 🙂 I knew it had something to do with salt but did not know the exact amount. I wasn’t even going to put the recipe on because you don’t want to be the reason why people get sick. Thank you sooo much for enlightning us. I just love raw sausage with Maltese bread and it’s a pity to have to cook it to be on the safe side.

          I am hoping to go to Malta this year and I am going to go crazy with all the lovely foods I miss 🙂

          I have not updated this site for a while…life gets in the way sometimes…but if you need any maltese recipes, just email me…I’ll do my best to find it for you and make sure it’s a good one 🙂 Good luck with the maltese bread/ftira….I hope you like it.

        2. Hi Sandro

          Can you thank your sister for me? 🙂 I knew it had something to do with salt but did not know the exact amount. I wasn’t even going to put the recipe on because I didn’t want to be the reason why people get sick. Thank you sooo much for enlightning us. I just love raw sausage with Maltese bread and it’s a pity to have to cook it to be on the safe side.

          I am hoping to go to Malta this year and I am going to go crazy with all the lovely foods I miss 🙂

          I have not updated this site for a while…life gets in the way sometimes…but if you need any maltese recipes, just email me…I’ll do my best to find it for you and make sure it’s a good one 🙂 Good luck with the maltese bread/ftira….I hope you like it.

    1. Hi walter, I brought sausages home from malta one year and did eat one raw like I had done in the past I was two days on the toilet I would not recommend it better safe than sorry.

  5. Well since most think Maltose sausage is dangerous eaten raw I won’t ask about “Mazzit” I love that but last year when in Malta nobody sold it.

  6. Well since most think Maltese sausage is dangerous eaten raw I won’t ask about “Mazzit” I love that but last year when in Malta nobody sold it.

    1. We are not really saying that Maltese sausage is dangerous eaten raw, because first time I made it, I had it on my ftira and it was delicious with no repercussions. But I’d rather cook it and be safe. As for Mazzit, every since Malta joined the EU, I don’t think they’re allowed to sell it anymore. I think you can find it in England still. And I have seen it sold in California in some Mexican Food stores. I’m not a fan of mazzit but I know a lot of people who are. Good luck in finding it Walter 🙂

      1. Thanks for answering my question regarding Mazzit.
        Here in Canada you can buy blood pudding but it’s not the same.
        I understand that it is an acquired taste though.
        Good day to all.

      2. Hi georgina,
        ‘Mazzit’ here in the uk is called black pudding it is mainly eaten at breakfast with sausage bacon and eggs, its very nice I eat it often….. viva malta

  7. The ones I find here have jalapenos and cilantro in them which make them interesting. I used to love it until I learned what it’s made from. The power of the mind is strong 🙂 Have a great day 🙂

  8. Hello everyone.
    My wife and I tried the “Zalzett Malti” and it was a huge sucess.
    I have pictures of us making them, unfortunately I cannot insert them here.
    Thanks again for all the info.
    Walter & Susan

    1. Hi Walter and Hi Susan,

      So happy to hear that you made the sausages and that you loved them 🙂 I would love to the see the pics. If it’s easier for you, you can post them on my fb page…

      Or you can send them to me and my husband (I’m not that tech savvy) will post them on here.

      Thank you so much for leaving positive feedback…enjoy sausage making 🙂

  9. Hi; Thanks for a great blog which I have just found. Through it I have managed to track down some Bajtra Liqueur which I only had one taste of last time I was in Malta. The shops at the airport were closed as it was a Sunday (I think late evening)

    I had bought six Matese sausages (they were fresh at the store the day before) some gbejniet tal-bzar (my favourite) and two loaves of fresh Malta bread (which I lived on) hobz biz-zejt for breakfast while I was there to my brother’s great irritation.

    My sausages, unfortunately were confiscated when I got to Toronto and I spent the rest of my travel time to Northern Ontario mourning their loss but if I tried to smuggle them in and got caught they cost $200 each in fines, I don’t like them that much, now I don’t eat pork at all or rabbit which I used to get from a farm and for a while I even raised my own. I did prefer them raw too but I have a very dicky digestion now so no more.

    I will try the Maltese bread which is an ongoing project of mine, occasionally it turns out pretty close but other times no, I’m still trying to get the holes (best part HaHa)

    Anyway thanks for the blog, I shall enjoy the Bajtra 😉


    1. Hi Vicky

      I don’t know how I did not see your msg here…so sorry about that.

      Ooh you made me smile about your mourning the sausages…but yeah…not sausage is worth $200 that’s for sure.

      I know…when my family asks me if there’s anything I want from Malta, it’s always something to do with food 🙂 Even a simple Knorr Fish Stock…makes me happy.

      So I cook rabbit here once in a while, but it does not come out the same as in Malta…even though they’re fresh…just something about Maltese food that tastes so fresh and real!!

      I heard about the Bajta Liquor…and am going to put it on my list “to try” next time I visit.

      Please let us know how you like the ftira when you make it….hopefully you’ll enjoy it just as much, in the morning/afternoon/night 🙂

      Thank you for dropping in 🙂

  10. Gosh, you’re an ace. I went and bought a sausage machine and I’ve made some and they look good – have not cooked them yet, so I’m not sure if I can come close to emulating your skills.

    Will they remain stable with with just a twist in the middle if you cut them in two, or should they be cooked together?
    Many thanks for sending me back to my youth ,

    1. What I do these days is that I freeze them in twos and they stay in tact quite well when I cut them in the middle. If you decide to dry them (which I have but am a bit nervous about these days) they should be ok too. I hope you like them when you make them. They have become a staple in my kitchen and like you, take me back to my youth. The best feeling in the world isn’t it?

  11. Thank you, I live in the UK and wondered how they were made. I loved them as a kid cooked or raw. As I don’t have a machine or a type of funnel I was wondering why not do these without the casing similar to the flat lamb mince kebab you see in Greek/ Turkish kebab shops. Just a thought. Thank you for sharing.

    1. That is a great way of doing it too. Quicker and easier. In fact I take it out it out of the casing when I cook with it. Thank you for your input.

  12. Hi Georgina
    I just came across your site and I am impressed. My wife and I are originally from Malta, and have been living in Sydney Australia for over 50 years. I was brought up in Malta and left there when I was 18 whereas my wife came to Australia as a small child.
    I like your various recipes and now that we are retired we will have time to make some Maltese specialities. However I would never eat Maltese sausage that has been cooked, it has always been eaten raw in Malta, when it is cooked it becomes too salty.

    1. I do like me a raw maltese sausage too…but a lot of people would think this is unheard of. I do hope you try AND like the results of what you try from my blog. Nice to hear from you Joe 🙂

  13. Hi Georgina, thanks so much for this recipe! My in-laws are Maltese, and my husband and I made a batch of these for my father-in-law for Father’s Day last year (only just getting around to leaving a comment now). He was so pleased and both he and my mother-in-law said they tasted exactly as they should. We are making another batch this weekend to take to our Australia Day bbq get-together as a laugh. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me such a beautiful comment…it makes me so happy 🙂 I think it’s time I made some too. Enjoy your weekend bbq…nothing better than Maltese sausage on the barbie…I shall be thinking of you 🙂

  14. This recipe seems fine but there is not enough salt in it. Maltese people eat their sausage raw and it has to be very fresh ( less than a week old). I lived in Malta till I was 18 then migrated to Australia 53 years ago. Here in Sydney we can get authentic Maltese sausage and we always eat it raw as we have always done. I have given it to my Aussie friends and they loved it, similarly I would not dream of cooking it, boiling it, grilling it or applying any form of heat to it. That is not a Maltese sausage.

    1. Maybe we could consider the cooked version a Maltaussie sausage? Would love to know where you get your maltese sausages in Sydney, I looked all over!

      1. Hi Brooke
        The best place to get Maltese sausage is from Zammit Smallgoods at 10-14 Hallmark St Pendle Hill ph 98964511. While you are in Pendle Hill make sure you take an Esky and tour the area. There is another shop which is Pendle Hill Meat Market and they have a vast array of meat and groceries at wholesale prices. They are at 142 Bungaree Rd
        Pendle Hill. Ph 96313133
        There is another company making so called Maltese sausage, it is an Italian company based in the Brookvale area, stay away from them, the spices are all wrong. They sell their product through Harris Farm Markets.
        Enjoy your Maltese foods.

  15. Hi Georgina, I notice in the recipe that you measure your salt, pepper and seeds in ounces. Can you tell me what that works out to in teaspoons? Any advice if there are no butchers to grind the meat? thanks

  16. Hi Georgina,

    Thanks for the fab recipe – do you have any more information on the ‘Picnic’ that your butcher recommended? Is it a mix of pork butt and shoulder or something else?


  17. Hi Georgina, I have just come upon your zalzett recipe and on one of the comments by Sandro, where he says that one must use .25 Oz of salt per pound. I live in Malta. What’s that in grams or teaspoons please? Thanks

  18. Thank you, David for your reply. Sorry I just saw it now. Much appreciated. About to make them now. Hope they’ll come out ok. My husband likes them raw, so I’ll have to add the amounts of salt you gave me.

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