Ground chicken sausage recipe? Help a mostly vegetarian cook out.
October 27, 2021 7:13 AM   Subscribe

I have a 1-pound package of sweet Italian ground chicken sausage meat -- and by "ground" I mean it's not in patties or links or anything, it's like ground hamburger meat. I need ideas for what to do with it, and all the recipes I keep finding assume I'll be slicing up links or using whole giant sausages or something. I'm not an instinctive cook and mostly don't cook with meat (though not an actual vegetarian), so I'm stuck. Any ideas? All ingredients welcome.
posted by JanetLand to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, you can just crumble it and cook it in the pan, and then add it to other things. I really like adding crumbled sausage to greens (stewed, or sauteed - garlicky, or spicy), and to pasta. You can also use it to flavor a tomato sauce - you can either cook it on its own (and then cook the sauce on top), or right in the sauce (for a longer/slower sauce).
posted by entropone at 7:15 AM on October 27, 2021 [2 favorites]

It's great as an alternative to ground beef in a lasagna. Here is an example, but you can use any lasagna recipe that includes ground beef, just sub in the sausage.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:16 AM on October 27, 2021 [2 favorites]

What you have is often referred to as "bulk sausage" - and yes, I would just brown it in the pan and add it to other things. Personally I would probably use it for pasta with red sauce.
posted by mskyle at 7:17 AM on October 27, 2021

I also love using ground sausage to make asian-style lettuce wraps.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:19 AM on October 27, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Lentil and sausage soup, one of my go-to winter meal preps. For variety, you can serve over cooked rice, or one of my favorite tricks is to serve it with a baked regular or sweet potato on the side.

(Tip: you can substitute Italian Seasoning for the individual dried herbs in this recipe.)
posted by Lyn Never at 7:22 AM on October 27, 2021 [4 favorites]

It will make a fabulous pasta sauce. Crumble and brown in a pan, set aside. Saute some chopped onions and green bell peppers, garlic, tomato paste. Add a can of tomato puree, add the sausage back in, simmer.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:30 AM on October 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

Jambalaya! You can make it from scratch, using whatever recipe's ingredients appeals to you. Zatarain's makes a box mix that you just add the meat and some olive oil to, and it is decent. They also make a black beans and rice mix that I frequently use and add chicken, or chicken sausage, to. Italian Sausage Soup - again, there are numerous recipes, but my grandmother made it with either sliced links or crumbled sausage, orzo - or the pasta (or rice) - of your choice, onions, carrots, garlic, spinach and chicken or vegetable stock. It's delicious with Locatelli cheese sprinkled over it and a big piece of crusty bread : )
posted by racersix6 at 7:34 AM on October 27, 2021 [2 favorites]

Chili. This will likely use up the entire package in one go, and it's already got some seasoning in it so you won't have to add as much other seasonings.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:28 AM on October 27, 2021 [4 favorites]

Smitten kitchen has a great sausage risotto that this would be lovely in. I often use the leftover ground sausage in an omelette with sauteed mushrooms.
posted by jeather at 8:39 AM on October 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

Cream-based (rather than tomato based) sauces also play nicely with bulk chicken sausage; I'm a fan of this style of sausage-and-ravioli recipe.
posted by nbier at 8:40 AM on October 27, 2021 [2 favorites]

Meatballs comes to mind -- something like this?
posted by Erinaceus europaeus at 9:13 AM on October 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

That would be perfect in Zuppa Toscana.

(Also nthing chili, red pasta sauce, lentil soup, etc. Very versatile!)
posted by hydra77 at 9:33 AM on October 27, 2021

You could use it in a breakfast casserole like this one or this one.
posted by sigmagalator at 9:48 AM on October 27, 2021

Best answer: What you need is Roberto Stew
posted by wowenthusiast at 9:56 AM on October 27, 2021

We like to do some combination of sausage/squash/greens/pasta like so. Delicious with goat cheese on top and sage.
posted by damayanti at 10:01 AM on October 27, 2021

Does it say the other ingredients on the package? For some reason, I really don't like ground poultry meat when it is crumbled into stew or sauces, but I do like meatballs, like in the recipe linked by Erinaceus europaeus. I think I would try to adapt it to something like Tsukune (Japanese Chicken Meatballs), which are my favourite type of chicken meatballs, but wether that could be done would depend on the components in your sausage meat. Salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder breadcrumbs/flour are all fine, then you just have to add ginger and egg, and none of the other ingredients in the linked recipe. Fennel will be OK. but if there are other herbs in there, I'd go with an Mediterranean style recipe. One idea could be kibbeh
posted by mumimor at 10:06 AM on October 27, 2021

I was trying to make something else but ended up with this pasta sauce that could not be simpler: smash 4 cloves of garlic, add to hot oil in frying pan. Slice open casings of 2 sweet Italian sausages, crumble into pan and brown. Add contents of small can of whole tomatoes but not all the liquid, smush the tomatoes. Add whatever herbs you think will suit and a handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, stir until melted. That’s it. It was plenty good over pasta.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:34 AM on October 27, 2021

Best answer: Before you do anything else with it, pinch off a little ball of it, roll it around and then flatten a bit. Place it in a hot pan with some neutral oil and cook it through to taste it. Because it is pre-seasoned sausage meat you are unfamiliar with, you don’t know if it will be really heavily flavored with salt and spices or very plain.

If it is very plain, a recipe with lots of other flavorings will be easier to substitute your sausage meat into, like a chili or jambalaya or complex soup.

If when you taste it you get a strong flavor of salt and spices, a recipe with other plain ingredients to balance that out, or one where the sausage meat is used in large chunks on its own, will work out better. The first would be something like a tomato sauce where basically you might sauté and onion, brown the meat into crumbles, add canned tomato and let it simmer for a while, that’s it. Or something cream based, or with a large amount of vegetables so the sausage is used more like a flavoring (example: browned sausage bits and slow cooked collard greens). The second would be something like meatballs or patties served with a starch and a vegetable on the side, both cooked simply so the sausage flavorings aren’t fighting with anything.

I would personally probably make tomato sauce because I know I can taste the sauce and add a bunch of things if the sausage is too plain as it’s simmering away, but if it’s very aggressively seasoned to begin with I would avoid that because I’d have to make way more sauce than I’d use up to stretch the seasoning out. Tasting is important!
posted by Mizu at 10:45 AM on October 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

^ Oh heck, I forgot an ingredient: a can of cannellini beans, drained and smushed.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 12:36 PM on October 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

I came back to this thread to suggest supplementing this recipe with little meatballs made of the sausage meat: Thomasina Miers’ recipe for roast broccoli and white bean puttanesca. It would certainly be delicious, and if you serve the meatballs on the side, it will be a meal to be shared by vegans and omnivores alike.
posted by mumimor at 12:48 PM on October 27, 2021

I use Italian chicken sausage A LOT. One recipe I like a lot is J Kenji Lopez Alt's sausage bolognese. (Link is a video but there's a recipe in the description. Definitely recommend watching the video as he is really good at demystifying things.)

You can also make bulk sausage into meatballs, as others have suggested, and those are great in pasta, soups, etc. You might not need to add a binder, but if you do, an egg and/or some breadcrumbs (if you don't have any, you can toast a slice of bread and crumble it up, or even crush a few crackers.) Just roll them into balls and bake or pan-fry.

Some weeks when I have the time and wherewithal to do meal prep, I'll brown a pound of sausage in a pan, then separately sautee a pan of mushrooms, spinach, or whatever veggie I feel like. I can use those throughout the week in pasta, omelettes, quick soups (just add broth and some seasonings), etc.
posted by lunasol at 12:52 PM on October 27, 2021

Best answer: Meat loaf?
Mix with beaten egg, fine chopped 1/2 apple & onion, shredded sm russet potato.
Mold into buttered loaf pan. 375 degree oven, 1 hour.
If not spicy enough (see taste test mentioned above), add 2 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/8 tsp ground clove, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper.
Works with ground pork, beef, chicken, turkey, emu, etc.
Slice and serve or freeze slices to be thawed for later.
posted by Mesaverdian at 2:34 PM on October 28, 2021

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