In and out of the oven in a few… quick and easy! What should I call it? Sausage casserole? It looks so much like your favorite parmesan… how about Italian Sausage Bake? A sausage lover’s heaven!!
Whatever your favorite Italian sausage, hot or sweet… any veggies you find in your fridge… all submerged under tomato sauce or marinara sauce with loads and loads of mozzarella. End result: gooey, cheeesy goodness. One of the crowd pleasing, happy family week day meals you will make during these hunkered down days!
This is going to be a short and sweet post. Not only because it’s a short and sweet recipe, but because I promised my husband. He sometimes gets smacked in the head with my long posts, especially some Indian ones. He is my editor, you see! Food blogger’s husband! Such a fate, when he was one of those who would jump straight to the recipe without glancing at the main post… There I go, talking again…:)
A little history of this Italian sausage bake
I must tell you, this is a casserole he created 6-7 years back in our tiny little oven when we lived on our sailboat. We were anchored out somewhere near Ft. Lauderdale and somehow we couldn’t make it to his favorite Italian restaurant, where he had been going since he was a kid.
So what was second best? Make your own Italian thing, with whatever you have that day. And that day we happened to have some sausage, cheese, veggies, and of course boater’s pantry staples like pasta and sauce. And that is how this baked sausage parmesan-like dish came into this woman’s life… Just like that!!
All you need
- Italian sausage – Any Italian sausage you feel like that day, or have at home. Hot or sweet. Pork, chicken, turkey. The choice is yours.
- Tomato sauce – You want some flavored tomato base sauce, like my marinara sauce.
- Mozzarella cheese – Yey, of course!
- Mushrooms – Great for any Italian dish.
- Green papers – Any other bell peppers would do too.
- Oil – For sautéing.
AND THAT’S IT..!!
How to make it is EASY too…
You can make it as one pan meal if you are using cast iron or something similar, so no more dealing with multiple dishes later. Mine was busy with something else, anyways…
All you need to do is give some color to your sausages by frying them in a little oil over medium high heat, about 3 minutes per side. Then add about 1/2 cup water to the pan and cover to steam them for about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Start getting your oven preheated to 375°F at this point. Slice your mushrooms and sauté for 3-4 minutes, then add in green pepper strips and cook until they are a little soft, about 5 minutes.
All that’s left now is to assemble your casserole with sausages and veggies. Submerge them with tomato sauce and give a good layer of that yummy mozzarella. Cover and in it goes into the oven for 20 minutes.
Finish up by broiling for a few minutes to get some nice color to your cheese. Once done, you will be greeted this amazing mozzarella bubbling away giving you C’mere looks!!
How should I serve this dish? We love it with a nice crusty bread or pasta. As you can see on the Gypsy Plate picture, this time we had it with bowtie pasta. Rotini and fettuccine also go great with it.
Any low carb options? Oh yes! You do want some side dish with this bake, and I am a huge fan of zoodles! I prefer a little bit wider oodles with this dish, so set my spiralizer to the widest setting for what I call “zucchiccine“!
I am trying to cut down on fat, what alterations can I make? This simplest change you can make is the mozzarella cheese. We used full fat, but it also comes in part skim and fat free. You can also try chicken sausages. I have found that most are not very accurate replacements for Italian sausages, but the one exception to this is Publix Greenwise chicken Italian sausages. They taste almost identical to pork Italian sausages with significantly less fat.
How well does this store? Leftover store great! Refrigerate, covered, for up to four days. You can also freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months. This is a great make ahead meal as well. Just cook your sausages and veggies and assemble your casserole, then either refrigerate or freeze until you are ready to bake it! If freezing, thaw overnight in the fridge. Also, add an additional 20 minutes bake time, you will be adding them to the oven at a lower temperature.
What other veggies go well here? Any kind of peppers are perfect. The green ones we used give a little bit more bite, whereas red, yellow and orange give more sweet tones. Spinach is nice, and gives some of that green power. We wanted to go real simple with this batch, but if you want to crank up the flavor add some chopped garlic! Other options? Try some black olives or artichoke hearts!
Well without saying much further, just grab a loaf of your homemade bread or a side of pasta (or zoodles) and dig in!! You see, I promised, short and sweet! The recipe and the post!
While you’re here, check out my roundup of the 35+ best Sausage Recipes.
P.S. Stay safe and stay sane my friends, we’ll get through this!
Italian Sausage Bake, on my Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 4 Italian sausages
- 8 oz mushrooms
- 1 bell peppers
- 24 oz marinara sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil
- Heat oil in frying pan over medium high heat. Add sausages and cook 3 minutes per side until browned. Add 1/2 cup water to pan, cover and cook 5 minutes. Remove sausages from pan.
- Slice mushrooms and add to pan, sauté 3-4 minutes. Cut pepper into strips, removing seeds, and add to pan. Sauté 5 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. In a baking dish, layer sausages and vegetables. Pour in marinara sauce evenly. Top with shredded mozzarella. Bake 20 minutes. Finish by broiling a few minutes, just long enough to give a nice golden color to the cheese.
- Remove from oven and rest 10 minutes. Serve with pasta or bread.
You can save yourself some dish washing by sautéing and baking in a cast iron skillet.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 542Total Fat 36gSaturated Fat 13gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 23gCholesterol 75mgSodium 1717mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 5gSugar 14gProtein 29g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
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