Sausage is a versatile ingredient, able to play either a starring or a supporting role in your meal plan. It works equally well as a part of breakfast, lunch or dinner. Sausage is also an easy crowd-pleaser and a great way to stretch a meal. Pair it with some foods high in fiber, vitamins and minerals and you'll have a well-balanced plate to serve your family.
Sausage at breakfast, in either patty or link form, is a time-honored tradition. Simply brown your sausages and serve them alongside eggs and pancakes, French toast or waffles. For a more everyday morning meal, you can incorporate loose sausage into scrambled eggs or roll it up with eggs and salsa or creamy Southwestern-seasoned dressing into a breakfast burrito.
Grill sausages and serve them on French rolls at your next cookout -- or get out your grill pan and cook them indoors. Round out the meal with some vegetable-based condiments. Top Italian sausages prepared this way with sauteed peppers and onions. Bratwurst and similar sausages take to mustard and sauerkraut accompaniments.
Sausage is hearty enough that most of these ideas could also make for a light supper dish served on their own. Serve sauteed peppers and sausage slices or a sausage and skillet bean combination next to roast chicken or pork tenderloin. You can also make a batch of bread and sausage dressing to serve alongside your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey -- or next to your next Sunday roast chicken.
As an Ingredient
Sausage is a great way to add some protein to a one-pot meal or pasta sauce. Brown Italian sausage and add it to your favorite homemade or bottled tomato sauce and serve over pasta. Or saute arugula, spinach or chard and mix with browned sausage and mushrooms in olive oil for a greener pasta topping. Another unusual and tasty pasta sauce variation involves sauteed winter squash plus sausage -- a great way to get those ultra-nutritious orange vegetables into your family's diet. Sausage can also be incorporated into rice-based casseroles and layered lasagnas. Some sliced sausage also makes a fine addition to many soup and stew recipes -- try it in white bean soup with greens, for example. Don't forget sausage as a topping for your homemade pizza.
Try stuffing halved bell peppers or cabbage leaves with a mixture of sausage and rice. Or simply brown your sausage link of choice and serve alongside beans and a pan-sauteed vegetable. Sliced bell peppers, green beans, sauteed spinach, broccoli and cauliflower tossed with a creamy Parmesan dressing all make fine accompaniments on the plate here. Or go for the British classic "bangers and mash" and serve your browned links alongside mashed potatoes.