Cooking sausages for dinner feels a bit like cheating.
They’re full-fat, flavor packed, and please every palate. They work on pasta, pizza, in sandwiches and soups.
They require zero additional seasonings to taste delicious and they are hard to overcook.
But the lack of skill or time required for this sausage and apple bake makes it the perfect weeknight dinner.
If that’s not enough of an advantage, let’s add a one sheet pan technique that makes it possible for you to sit and enjoy a glass of wine while everything cooks.
Now, that’s just unfair.
Let’s make easy sausage and apple bake
Apples, potatoes, and red onions are coated in olive oil, fresh herbs, and a sticky drizzle of honey, then roasted with the sausages. The subtly sweet fruit and vegetables soak up some of the fat as the sausage renders, enhancing their inner savory side.
Then everything emerges from the oven with a golden outer layer, belying the creamy, silky, juicy textures underneath.
This recipe is based on a similar sausage and potato bake from Smitten Kitchen. She inspired the idea to roast the sausages (usually I fry or grill them) and combine them with potatoes and arugula.
I adjusted her method so that everything could roast together at the same time, then I added apples, more spices, and a touch of honey.
The chopped sage and rosemary provide an additional layer of aromatics that seasons everything from the inside out, but they’re not necessary to the success of the dish. If you don’t like those herbs or don’t want to buy them, simply leave them out.
Once the sheet pan comes out of the oven, a pop of crunchy arugula dressed with olive oil and a bit of red wine vinegar tops everything off.
The bright greens lend the freshness and astringency needed to cut some of the richness in this dish.
If you prefer, you can serve the arugula on the side, but I don’t mind when a bit of the vinegar nestles into everything else on the pan. Plus, the aim is to use just one sheet pan.
The dishwasher in your family will thank you, and the eaters in your family will applaud you.
After all, it’s not cheating if everyone wins.
Spicy Sausage & Apple Bake
Cheater's guide to weeknight dinner success: flavor-packed sausages, sweet and savory apples and potatoes, and a pop of fresh arugula. All on one sheet pan.
- 1.5 pounds unpeeled potatoes (red, yukon gold, fingerlings or russet), if small/baby, cut in half, if larger, cut into 1-inch thick wedges
- 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
- 3 apples, cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1.5 tablespoons honey or agave
- 2 tablespoons each chopped sage and rosemary (optional)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 links spicy Italian sausage (about 1 ½ - 2 pounds), cut on a diagonal into 3-inch lengths
- 3-5 cups baby arugula (from one 5-ounce package), more if desired
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
Heat oven to 425°. On a large rimmed baking sheet (or two smaller baking sheets), toss all of the potatoes, onions, and apples with 3 tablespoons olive oil, the honey, optional herbs, salt, and a lot of freshly ground black pepper. Taste a potato or an apple and adjust seasonings as necessary.
Tuck the sausages into the vegetables on the sheet pan. Drizzle or brush the sausages with a little olive oil and roast everything together for 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the sausage is cooked through.
To finish, scatter arugula over everything on the sheet pan, drizzle the arugula with olive oil, red wine vinegar or lemon, and more salt and pepper to taste.
The chopped sage and rosemary are great, but they're not necessary to the success of the dish. If you don't like those herbs or don't want to buy them, simply leave them out. If you prefer, you can dress and serve the arugula on the side. If you don't have a baking sheet big enough to fit all of the ingredients without crowding, use two smaller ones. If the ingredients are piled together, they will steam instead of roast, creating a soft texture rather than beautiful golden-brown edges. If, after the sausages are done, they are not golden-brown to your liking, you can slip everything under the broiler, set to high, for about 2 minutes.