In desperate need of Italian sausage recipes
November 23, 2013 6:28 PM   Subscribe

Due to an impulse purchase at Costco, we have more mild/sweet Italian sausages than I know what to do with. I wanted a couple-few to stuff mushrooms and eat for lunch, and now we have enough to feed the entire neighborhood (which I would do if there were room to invite them over, but there's not). So please, give me your best recipes and ideas for Italian sausage! And your second-best, and third-best... Difficulty: no pasta, bread, or poratoes because we're eating low-carb for medical reasons.
posted by rhiannonstone to Food & Drink (39 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Forgot to add: these are in link form, but the kind I can easily break open, so recipes using either form are fine!
posted by rhiannonstone at 6:30 PM on November 23, 2013

Best answer: Well, you can always make sausage, onions and peppers (to be honest, I just do the sausage, peppers and onions in the pan with olive oil - no wine or tomato sauce - and we never serve it on bread, we just plate it.) My mother also makes meatloaf with 1/2 ground beef, 1/2 sausage meat. You can also make your own breakfast sausage. Also: gumbo!
posted by DarlingBri at 6:36 PM on November 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

Until I got to "low carb" I was going to ask if it would last until Thanksgiving. Because is it really stuffing without sweet Italian sausage? But "low carb" implies you maybe don't eat stuffing? I don't know, maybe there's low carb stuffing?
posted by Sara C. at 6:37 PM on November 23, 2013

Best answer: Cube small, brown and mix it into a scramble with sautéed peppers and onions and maybe some cheddar and some herbs. So good! For dinner do the same thing but let the eggs set in a pan, cut it into pieces and call it frittata.
posted by fingersandtoes at 6:44 PM on November 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Can you eat cabbage on your diet? If so, one of my favorite super-easy ways to use up the cabbage I get it my CSA (and eat sausage!) is to roughly chop half a head of cabbage and put it in the crockpot along with about a pound of sliced sausage and a large can of crushed tomatoes. Add any spices you want and cook on low for 6 - 7 hours. If the sausages are precooked, wait until halfway through to add them. Since you have mild/sweet sausage, you might want to add some crushed red pepper to bring a bit of heat, if that's your thing. Good either way, though.
posted by Salieri at 6:44 PM on November 23, 2013 [7 favorites]

How do you feel about low carb lasagna? With eggplant or zucchini instead of pasta.
You could chop up the sausage, fry/roast the chunks a little and add them to soups or salads instead of croutons.
posted by travelwithcats at 6:45 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

You know you can freeze them, right?

If not, I make a great bolognese from sausage (I also eat low carb, no pasta, but steamed spinach instead with the sauce and some Parmesan).

Saute a diced onion over medium heat til translucent and sweet smelling. Add 4-6 cloves chopped garlic, saute for about a minute or two(do not let brown). Squeeze the sausage out of it's casings (about a pound will do) and stir til browned. Add 2 fat cans of chopped tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, puree, sauce, or whole peeled (cut in the can or squish through your fingers). I usually add some water too, it ends up cooking out.

I usually use hot italian sausage, so add hot red pepper flakes for added yum at any point.

let simmer for about 45 minutes.
posted by newpotato at 6:45 PM on November 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

Soup! Take the sausage out of it's casing, brown with onions, add a can of tomatoes, a can of chick peas and some kind of dark leafy green (I like chard but really anything works), salt and pepper to taste. It's hearty and freezes well.
posted by machine at 6:47 PM on November 23, 2013 [4 favorites]

I just made up a dish last night for my family members and I - we are all sick of all my other (six) traditional dishes. It was sliced zucchini and squash pan-fried with a little oil and salt, then I added a jar of mild salsa (though I've made it before with a can of diced tomatoes) when the vegetables were almost tender. At the end, I threw on a bunch of provolone cheese and added in some sweet sausage that I crumbled and cooked in another pan. It's good over rice or pasta but it's excellent all on its own.
posted by Merinda at 6:47 PM on November 23, 2013

Sausage eaten with another mildly-seasoned or unseasoned meat is pretty good. You'd think that sausage and steak would just taste like the two of them mixed together but there's this gestalt, one sort of gives gustatory perspective to the other.
posted by XMLicious at 6:49 PM on November 23, 2013

Best answer: Ha, I just made this amazing dish from Simply Recipes for dinner tonight and it really hit the spot: Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Sausage and Kale. You don't have to use turkey sausage, regular Italian sausage will work fine. We cook low-carb too and this is a perfect low-carb recipe since it uses spaghetti squash (lower in carbs than most winter squashes). From the same site, we have also made Italian Sausage and Cabbage Stew (omitting the beans), which we didn't like as much, but it's still good.
posted by peacheater at 6:52 PM on November 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

Yeah I always just sautee italian sausages with peppers and onions. Simmer them together for a bit covered with no extra oil until the sausage is browned (the oil from the sausage will be more than enough), and then for uncover it and cook until the oil has been soaked up and/or evaporated. I generally eat it over rice, but you don't have to. I also add red pepper flakes for taste if you like things with a kick.

It's easy to eat quite a few that way, and if you add enough peppers, it's not bad on the veggie intake. Heck, I actually made this for dinner tonight and ate three of them that way. Also it's super delicious.
posted by likeatoaster at 6:54 PM on November 23, 2013

I also wanted to use up some Costco sausage. I made lasagne with chard instead of pasta.
posted by Pudhoho at 6:55 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Not sure how you are with dairy, but I make a soup that can be made with or without cream at the end:

- Break up sausage and brown in small chunks (the size of the end of your thumb);
- Remove from pot;
- Saute a whole sweet onion, chopped, in a bit of olive oil;
- Add a chopped fennel bulb, stir;
- Add 1/2 a red sweet pepper, saute a minute more;
- Add a tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger and a teaspoon chopped garlic, and chopped red serrano pepper, stir a minute more;
- Deglaze with a little white wine or low sodium chicken broth;
- Add two chopped sweet potatoes or other low carb veg of your choice (butternut squash, etc.);
- Put the sausage chunks back in.

Stir it up and add water or more chicken broth to cover. Let simmer about 10-15 minutes until the sweet potato gets soft. Add white beans if you like. Add cream at the end if you want. If not, just mash the sweet potato or squash to thicken it. So good!!!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:01 PM on November 23, 2013 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Can you have dairy? If so, crumble and sauté the sausage and use it as a topping on this low carb hybrid pizza.

Go to Kalyn's Kitchen, and look under the South Beach Phase 1 recipes (avoiding the ones with Dreamfield pastas). She has a lot of uses for sausage and I've generally been happy with her faux lasagnas and stews/soups:
Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna Casserole
Slow Cooker Chickpea Stew Recipe with Italian Sausage, Tomatoes, and Pesto
Slow Cooker Cannellini Bean Stew with Tomatoes, Italian Sausage, and Kale
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Sausage, Spinach, and Cheese
Roasted Winter Squash and Sausage with Herbs

All Day Long I Dream About Food is a good low carb recipe blog as well (she cooks a lot with coconut flour, flaxsee, or almond flour though):
Spicy Sausage and Cheddar Stuffing using her low carb Cheesy Skillet Bread recipe
Bacon, Gruyere and Endive Quiche (Low Carb and Gluten-Free) - you could probably sub in sausage for the bacon
Cheesy Sausage and Basil Stuffed Chicken Breasts (Low Carb and Gluten Free)

Linda of is a good resource as well:
Pumpkin and Sausage Soup
Spinach Sausage Brunch Casserole
Sausage Quiche with Mushrooms
Mushroom, Chicken, and Sausage Casserole
Sausage Pumpkin Chili
posted by kathryn at 7:02 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

No idea of this has a name, but we make a 'no pasta pasta' dish with sausage, lentils and tomatoes. I eyeball everything in the recipe, base on a large or small can of crushed toms. Adjust everything as needed.

Bring some water to a boil and cook some lentils. Cut the sausages into rounds, and brown in a duty oven or pot. Set aside. Dice one onion, sauté until it has some color. Add some mushrooms, diced if they're your jam. Toss some garlic, minced, in along with some sage. Meat back into the pot and let everyone get to know each other. Add can of toms. Drain and add lentils. Bring to a simmer and top with some parm. An egg on top is also nice.
posted by furnace.heart at 7:14 PM on November 23, 2013

Best answer: Sausage, white bean, and spinach (or kale) soups are classic.
posted by cecic at 7:42 PM on November 23, 2013

Best answer: We've been loving this lately:

Sausage and white bean casserole
posted by crunchtopmuffin at 7:58 PM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

Beans & Greens (+ sausage)
posted by hapax_legomenon at 8:11 PM on November 23, 2013

I also avoid wheat, but corn is fine. So a really delicious weeknight supper is a bed of polenta with sauteed sausage, tomatoes, and kale poured over it. And then sprinkled with fresh grated Parmesan.

Polenta is super easy and fast to make. Wicked easy. Meanwhile, in a sautee pan, brown your sausage. Add kale and 1/4 cup water, then stir and put a lid on the whole thing to steam the kale. Finally, open a can of diced tomatoes and pour that over the kale/sausage mix, and stir and steam a little again. Then put some polenta in a bowl and put this mixture on top. I'm telling you - comfort food. So good.

The other wheat-free thing I do with sausage is to cut it into chunks and then roast with root vegetables. Cut up some thumb-size chunks of potatoes (if you do those), sweet potatoes, butternut squash and onions. Toss them in a casserole dish with some olive oil, minced garlic, and dried herbs. Add cut-up chunks of Italian sausage. Roast the whole thing at 425-450, stirring once or twice during roasting time to even out the browning. Also delish.
posted by Miko at 8:47 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

On the rare occasions when we have leftover roasted sausage in the fridge, we slice it long ways and pan fry it to go with our eggs the next morning.

We also freeze sausage (both cooked and uncooked).
posted by rakaidan at 9:48 PM on November 23, 2013

I make a highly ersatz Cajun concoction with these very sausages. Let's see, start by sauteing some chopped onions and garlic in olive oil (make this in a big Dutch-oven type pot). Take a pack of sausages, squeeze them out of their casings, brown the sausage in that same pot. While you do these things, defrost a pound of cocktail shrimp -- just run cold water over them -- and add to the pan. When the sausage is all cooked and the shrimp heated up, add a 28-oz. can of tomato puree and a 28-oz. can of crushed or diced tomatoes. Fill one can half full with water and add that, plus half a small can of tomato paste. Then drain, rinse and dump in a can each of kidney beans, garbanzos, great northern beans, black beans, and canned corn. Finish it off with a tablespoon each of Tony Chachere's Cajun seasoning (did I mention ERSATZ, and if you were wondering why I hadn't added any salt yet, don't worry, it's now in there) and paprika. Maybe put in a bay leaf. Add a little more water if necessary for whatever consistency you prefer. Let it simmer for a good while. Et voila, using up sausage with relatively few carbs.
posted by Smells of Detroit at 10:01 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have made this Slow Cooker Turkey Chili several times and it's great. Super easy, and flexible (you can use different types of beans or tomatoes). It's pretty genius - you basically open up the sausage and use it as seasoned, ground meat!
posted by radioamy at 10:55 PM on November 23, 2013

Came here to suggest the pumpkin and sausage soup linked by kathryn above. Low-carb, easy, and amazingly satisfying on a chilly day.
posted by bink at 11:05 PM on November 23, 2013

Best answer: Mild Italian sausage is great with mozzerella and rapini. Cut off the casings, brown up some sausage chunks, and throw them on a pizza with rapini. Or make this Smitten Kitchen Baked Pasta with Sausage and Rapini thing- it is goooooood.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 11:45 PM on November 23, 2013

Brown the sausage out of its casing with some garlic, add a can of diced tomatoes and a couple of sprigs of sage, simmer on medium heat, then add a tin or two of white beans a few minutes later. Simmer for 30 minutes, stir in some spinach until it wilts, and you've got one of my household's favorite easy dinners.
posted by pineappleheart at 1:13 AM on November 24, 2013

Best answer: We eat a lot of salads with a variety of sausages for protein. (We do cook the sausages in the oven or slice them into pieces and fry them, depending on the sausage.) Italian sausages would taste good on a green salad with a little romano, tomatoes, and any other vegetable you like on salads, really (I'm a fiend for scallions on salad, for example, but I know others think that's wack).
posted by miss tea at 4:15 AM on November 24, 2013

You are not going to believe the crowd-pleasing wonder that is: Sausage with Grapes. I serve with lime wedges to ratchet up the crack factor.
posted by thinkpiece at 5:23 AM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Seconding the sausage/chicken combo. My red sauce Italian local serves roasted chicken with sausages and those canned pepperoncini peppers and a white wine and garlic sauce. Googling "chicken pepperoncini" brings up a lot of recipes to which you can add sausage, sliced or whole.
posted by BibiRose at 6:32 AM on November 24, 2013

We love this, which calls for sausage and is actually simmering on the stove now: Boilermaker Tailgate Chili.
posted by routergirl at 7:26 AM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: What about a tasty cassoulet? It calls for other meat in addition to the sausage, but id' have no qualms about replacing, say, the pork in this recipe with an equivalent quantity of cooked sliced sausage.
posted by Theophylactic at 8:21 AM on November 24, 2013

Best answer: I roast butternut squash till it's almost done, then toss that with some olive oil, onions, peppers, and sausage (cut up), roast it for about a half-hour or until browned. So delicious!
posted by lyssabee at 9:18 AM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Crumble the italian sausage and brown it in a large (LARGE) skillet. when it's brown, add a thinly sliced onion, and cook until the onion is soft and starting to brown. Add a bunch of sliced kale or collard greens, a TABLESPOON of cumin, a can of tomatoes, and 2 cans of black beans, and simmer for about another half an hour. Eat with cornbread.
posted by KathrynT at 9:50 AM on November 24, 2013

Best answer: Sweet sausage with melted escarole. Easy and droolworthy!
posted by poodelina at 11:27 AM on November 24, 2013

Best answer: Very simple but delicious-roasted sausage and Brussels sprouts-a little garlic, so delicious.
posted by purenitrous at 11:34 AM on November 24, 2013

I just ran into this on the web. I have no idea whether it's any good:

Sausage And Cornbread Stuffing

2 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage (The stuff with fennel) casings removed
2 cups Yellow Onions, rough chopped
2 stalks of Celery, rough chopped
1/3 cup Chopped Parsley
Chopped Sage to taste (about 1-2 tablespoons)
Cornbread, and lots of it (probably 2 pounds of the stuff) Buy it or bake it; I don't care. Then break it up into chunks and toast it.
1-2 cups Chicken Stock
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Break up the sausage into nice chunks and brown it in a bit of oil.

Once the sausage is nicely browned, add the celery and onions and sauté until they get a bit of color.

Dump into your biggest bowl and correct the seasoning, add the sage and parsley and mix a bit. Then add as much cornbread as you feel like. My guess is that a 1:1 ratio of cornbread to everything else will work well.

Mix it gently and then moisten the mixture with the chicken stock until it is looks appetizing, but not dripping wet and disgusting looking.

Spoon into greased baking dishes, cover with foil and bake at 350° for 20 minutes.

If you like it sort of crispy, take off the foil for the last 10 minutes.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:37 PM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have this zuppa toscana bookmarked to try. I guess you could sub out the potatoes for something more low carb friendly.
posted by kathrynm at 1:53 PM on November 24, 2013

Response by poster: These all look fantastic, thanks! Lots of great inspiration that helps get me out of the mindset that Italian sausage is good for pastas and sandwiches and not much else. And for those who asked, yes, I've frozen 3/4 of them, but I still need ideas for what to do with those, too!
posted by rhiannonstone at 2:30 PM on November 24, 2013

Sorry, I guess cornbread counts as carbs, too. My mistake.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:28 PM on November 24, 2013

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