A package of sausage is one of the most versatile building blocks when it comes to making dinner. First of all, there are so many different kinds of sausage available. For starters, there are raw sausages, cooked, smoked or cured sausages, so that’s a significant amount of variety right there. Then sausages range from very spicy, to mild or sweet, and many have other seasonings built in, from spices to herbs to nuts.
How to Cook Sausage
Fresh sausages are made from uncooked ground or pureed or chopped meat, and they must be kept refrigerated and cooked before serving. They are usually prepared by grilling, pan frying (whole or removed from their casings), or roasting or broiling.
Pre-cooked sausage, as the name suggests, doesn’t have to be cooked, though in general you will want to heat them up so they taste best. These include things like hot dogs, and some wursts.
Then there are smoked sausages, which are “cooked” using a smoking process. Andouille, kielbasa and other sausage fall into this category, preserving using cool smoke in a contained environment. These can sometimes be heated, and sometimes be served at room temperature.
Cured sausages are very popular in Europe, known as charcuterie in France, or salumi in Italy. they are basically salted and air dried. Many salamis fall into this category, as does prosciutto, most hams, speck and coppa.
Sausages are a great short-cut ingredient because they bring so much built in flavor to a dish. Also, they are often inexpensive, which is another bonus. And if you are sticking to a low-carb diet, they are a great centerpiece for a meal.
Try these 15 easy sausage recipes to switch up dinner this week!
Katie Workman is a food writer, and the author of Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook. She writes a regular column for the Associated Press, called Kitchen Smarts, as well as other cooking and lifestyle features. Katie has written for many publications including The Wall Street Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, Cooking Light, Eating Well, Parents, Rachael Ray Every Day, and various online outlets such as FoodNetwork.com, Food52, thekitchn.com, and Simply Recipes. She has appeared on the Today Show, Access Hollywood Live, NPR, and many other shows. Katie is co-host of two cooking shows on Bluprint.com: Real Life Kitchen and Efficient Weeknight Cooking. She also posts regularly on her popular blog, themom100.com.