This sausage casserole is packed full of flavour, with a mix of warming spices and pieces of chorizo. It makes a great family winter dinner. Plus it can be make ahead of time too!
This is the kind of comfort food that everyone loves on a cold autumn evening. I'm already planning on making it again for Bonfire night!
Easy to prepare, tastes amazing, and doesn't take anywhere near as long to make as a regular casserole.
I first made this recipe a few years ago when our kitchen had been ripped out for renovation and I had a little fold-out table and a one-plate plug-in electric hob to work with. We were going to visit family, and it was my turn to cook dinner for everyone (10+ people). My mum offered to cook instead - given our kitchen situation - but I took it as a challenge, and this it was I ended up cooking. And it was a total success! All made at home on one hob, in one pan, then reheated for everyone to enjoy later.
It's simple to throw together - just adding bit to the pan as go. Here's a breakdown:
- So we brown the sausages in a big pan, then add in red onion, cook for a few minutes, then add in red peppers and chorizo. Fry up for a few minutes until the chorizo starts to sizzle. Next in goes garlic, thyme and paprika, followed by a good glug of red wine (you can leave the wine out if you prefer).
- Bubble up for a couple of minutes, then add in a couple of crumbled up stock cubes and three tins of chopped tomatoes.
- We let that simmer away for 15 minutes to develop the flavours, then add in drained cannelini and haricot beans and heat through for 5 minutes before serving.
You can eat it as a complete meal with a big wedge of crusty bread, or a big pile of creamy mashed potato, crispy roast potatoes, or totally spoil yourself and serve it with buttery mashed potato laced with kale and crispy bacon.
Tips to make ahead:
Cook the whole dish, then cool, cover and refrigerate for up to two days. Take out of the fridge an hour or two before you want to reheat, just to take the chill off the dish. Reheat on the hob over a medium heat, for about 20 minutes. Keep the dish covered for the first 10 minutes to help the heat distribute, then remove the lid and stir every couple of minutes to fully disperse the heat. Ensure the sausages are piping hot throughout before serving.
Use fresh or frozen and defrosted vegetarian sausages, and leave out the chorizo. If you still want that smoky taste, then replace the regular paprika with smoked paprika.
Gluten free version:
Use gluten free sausages (I like Heck gluten free sausages), ensure your chorizo and wine are gluten free (they often are), and replace the crumbled up stock cube with gluten free stock pots or gluten free vegetable bouillon.
The Sausage Casserole Video:
The Sausage Casserole Recipe:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 20-30 depending on how hungry your family are! good quality chipolata sausages
- 1 large red onion - peeled and chopped
- 2 red peppers - deseeded and chopped
- 20 mini chorizo - the bitesize ones, chopped in half
- 3 cloves garlic - peeled and minced
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ½ cup (120ml) red wine - (this is optional, leave it out if you prefer)
- 2 chicken stock cubes - crumbled
- 3x14oz tins (3x400g) chopped tomatoes
- 14 oz (400g) tin haricot beans, - drained and rinsed
- 14 oz (400g) tin cannellini beans, - drained and rinsed
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan until hot, and brown the sausages all over (you may need to do this in two batches if your pan isn't big enough). It should take about 6-8 minutes.
- Add in the onion and cook for a further 3 minutes on a medium heat until the onion softens slightly. Add the red peppers and mini chorizo pieces and cook for a further 3 minutes (try to get the chorizo to come into contact with the pan, rather than resting on top of everything else, this will help them to brown slightly).
- Add the garlic, paprika and thyme and stir. Cook for 1 minute, then add in the wine. Let the wine bubble away for 2-3 minutes until reduced. Scrape up any bits that have stuck to the pan at this point.
- Crumble in the stock cubes and stir, then add in the tinned tomatoes. Stir and bring to a gentle boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring a couple of times during cooking.
- Add in the drained haricot and cannellini beans, stir and cook for a further 5 minutes until heated through.
- Serve with mashed potatoes and peas if you like.
Make ahead:Cook the whole dish, then cool, cover and refrigerate for up to two days. Take out of the fridge an hour or two before you want to reheat, just to take the chill off the dish. Reheat on the hob over a medium heat, for about 20 minutes. Keep the dish covered for the first 10 minutes to help the heat distribute, then remove the lid and stir every couple of minutes to fully disperse the heat. Ensure the sausages are piping hot throughout before serving.
Can I freeze sausage casserole?Yes, cook the dish, then cool, cover and freeze. Defrost thoroughly in the refrigerator, then take out of the fridge an hour or two before you want to reheat.. Reheat on the hob over a medium heat, for about 20 minutes. Keep the dish covered for the first 10 minutes to help the heat distribute, then remove the lid and stir every couple of minutes to fully disperse the heat. Ensure the sausages are piping hot throughout before serving.
Can I make this in the slow cooker?Yes, crumble in the stock cubes and add the tinned tomatoes at stage 4. Bring to the boil, then transfer to your slow cooker and cook for 6 hours on low or 2-3 hours on high. Then stir in the beans and cook for a further 30 minutes on high.
The beans:I like to use a mixture of cannelini and haricot beans in this casserole, but you can swap out the beans if you like. Stick with one type of bean, or use mixed beans, butter (lima) beans, kidney beans, black beans, aduki, pinto, black eye, borlotti, flageolet, or even tinned of baked beans in tomato sauce. Drain and rinse them before adding - unless you're using baked beans in tomato sauce, in which case they can go straight in.
The sausages:I use chipolata sausages, as they're thinner and therefore a little quicker to cook. You can also fit more in the pan in you're cooking for lots of people. Use your favourite variety of sausage through.
If you don't want to fry them, you can grill or oven cook the sausages and add them into the hot pan once browned, then add in a tablespoon of oil and the red onion, and go from there. Nutritional Information is per serving.
This post was first published in October 2016. Updated in October 2019 with new photos, tips and video.
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