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5 Sausage Recipes for Easy (& Healthy) Weeknight Dinners

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5 Sausage Recipes for Easy (& Healthy) Weeknight Dinners
Sausage recipes
Photo 64138981 © Littleny - Dreamstime.com

When you think of sausages, chances are your mind goes too greasy. But here's the thing: not all wursts are created equal. Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) sausage is actually low in fat, which means it could serve as a base for a wholesome weeknight dinner. The "faux meat" is also easy to cook with, so novice cooks can get in on the action. So, if you're ready to indulge in your comfort food cravings (without the guilt), these healthy sausage recipes will do the trick.

1. Spicy Sausage Ragu

Though it's super easy to reach for a jar of store-bought sauce, making your own can take your pasta dishes to a whole new level. Don't believe us? Just check out this ragu recipe. Made with sautéed tomatoes, carrots, and just the right amount of sausage, the dish is bound to swoon your taste buds.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Add the sausage, onion, and carrots to a bowl along with 2 cups of warm water. Soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, remove the food from the bowl, squeeze away excess liquid, and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage, onion, and carrots, and sauté for 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and cook for another 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package's instructions. Drain and reserve 2 tablespoons of the pasta water.
  4. Toss the pasta with the sauce and the reserved water, divide between plates and sprinkle with grated cheese.

2. Sausage Meatballs

And just like that, this recipe made us realize that meatballs are a cinch to make. All you have to do is toss the ingredients in a bowl, knead them into a fluffy mush, roll them into balls, and bake them until golden brown. Easy! Tip: Even though they're filling on their own, these meatballs would taste great with a cup of orzo pasta on the side.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, add the sausage along with 3 cups of warm water and soak for 15 minutes. Drain, squeeze away excess liquid, and transfer the bits back to the bowl.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400oF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Add the breadcrumbs, eggs, cheese, and garlic, and start mixing with your hands. One spoonful at a time, pour 1 cup of water into the bowl while mixing. Make sure everything is combined.
  4. Scoop about one tablespoon of the mixture into your palms and roll it into a ball. Place it onto the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining meat.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through. Once cooked, toss with your favorite sauce.

3. Sausage Red Pepper Stew

With sausage and peppers swimming in a smokey broth, this stew is perfect for chilly winter nights. But that's barely the best part. Since it contains just veggies, the dish also packs its fair share of antioxidants and protein, which is always a plus.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Add the sausage, onion, and bell peppers to a bowl with warm water and soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, squeeze away excess liquid and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pot over low heat. Toss the sausage, onion, and bell peppers and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for another 10 minutes.
  3. Add the broth and paprika and bring the stew to a simmer. Cook for another 10 minutes or until most of the liquid has reduced. Top with croutons for a munch with a crunch.

4. Mediterranean-Style Sausage Salad

If eating salad for lunch is giving you a serious case of the yawns, we've got the antidote. Equal parts healthy and indulgent, this salad recipe is a blend of Mediterranean's tastiest veggies with a hint of sausage on the side. Can't believe we didn't try this combo earlier!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup TVP sausage bits
  • 4 ounces baby spinach or arugula
  • 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • ¼ cup freeze dried corn (super sweet)
  • half of a small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ¼ feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Add the sausage and corn to two separate bowls. Fill both with warm water and soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, remove the contents from the bowl, squeeze away excess liquid, and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the sausage bits and sauté for 10 minutes or until they're fork-tender. Let cool.
  3. Then, add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix until everything is evenly combined. Top with extra Feta cheese if desired.

5. Beer-Braised Sausage & Potatoes

Just when you thought sausage couldn't taste any better, this recipe adds beer to the mix and break all (flavor) hell loose. Combining the brew's rich flavor with sausage's sharpness and potatoes' tenderness, the dish makes for a killer trifecta that'd make anyone ask for seconds. PS: Serving this dish with basmati rice is optional, but highly recommended.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Add the sausage, potatoes, and bell pepper to a bowl and fill with warm water. Soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, squeeze away excess liquid, and transfer to a saucepan.
  2. Toss with olive oil, heat over medium heat, and sauté for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the sugar, beer, mustard, and salt, and stir until everything is evenly combined. Boil gently until the liquid has reduced in half (about 8-10 minutes). Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Would you try any of the sausage recipes for lunch? Let us know which in the comments down below!

References:

  1. https://thescottishbutcher.com/recipes/spicy-sausage-ragu-rigatoni/
  2. https://bakerbynature.com/italian-sausage-meatballs/
  3. https://mountaincravings.com/roasted-pepper-sausage-stew/
  4. https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/beer-braised-cabbage-and-sausage

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