Sausage Casserole served with Salad

1-2 lbs. sausage, casing removed, in 1 inch chunks
1 sweet onion, coarsely chopped
1 c. chopped pepper (green, red, orange, yellow) coarsely chopped
1 lb. sliced mushrooms
4 C. marinara sauce (homemade or jar)
2 C. shredded cheese (I used 6 cheese Italian)
Olive oil

Brown sausage chunks in olive oil until fully cooked. I use a meat thermometer so as to not undercook. (165 degrees). Remove and set aside on paper towels to absorb grease.

In the same skillet, brown your choice of veggies. Alternatively, you can use mushrooms or peppers that come in jars already prepared. You want the veggies to be soft.

Drain veggies and wipe out the pan with a paper towel, leaving only a small amount of the fat behind. Return the sausage to the pan and stir in the marinara sauce.

Sausage and Sauce

Assemble layers in a casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray, beginning with veggies, then meat, veggies again, then meat.

This can be covered with foil and frozen or refrigerated at this point for future use.

Sausage and Sauce.2

If frozen, cook covered in 350 degree oven for 75 minutes. Uncover and check with meat thermometer. When it reaches 165 degrees internal temp, you are ready to turn the oven up to 400 and melt the cheese across the top. You can broil it at the very end if you like it crispy.

If thawed or cooking from the refrigerator, it only takes 35 minutes or so before you are ready to check the temperature, turn the oven up and top with cheese.

This is another family favorite. The variations are also endless. I’ve been known to use other meats such as meatballs or shredded chicken or pork that is store bought or that you froze for future use. Also, using salsa to change it to a tex mex meal works. Using cream soups gives it another twist. Legumes or tofu can be used in place of the sausage for a meatless night.

If you absolutely have to have your starch/carb, this can be served on a hoagie bun or over noodles, rice, or baked potato.

We paired it with a nice salad. The kids had garlic toast with it, but I ate mine without and didn’t miss it as much as I thought I would. The sausage casserole is filling and satisfying.

Sausage and Sauce and Salad