Roasted Sausage with Broccoli and Fennel

By • January 11, 2014 • 52 Comments

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Author Notes: This year, one of my main resolutions in the kitchen is to find or come up with more weeknight recipes that are truly manageable and satisfying. I'm still trying to learn how to keep things simple during the week. Many of the recipes out there labeled as “Quick! Easy! Delicious!” don’t come close to meeting those expectations. We all know that feeling of walking in the door after a long day and not knowing what to make -- or being overwhelmed by a lot of dinner prep. I came up with this recipe with these things in mind. It requires just a few minutes of hands-on time (with the oven doing the rest of the work), and the combination of roasted sausage, broccoli, and fennel is pretty hard to beat. A few details make this dish really good: nestling small pieces of sausage among the broccoli and fennel ensures that everything is done at the same time, and tossing everything with a tangy, lemony mustard sauce ups the flavor substantially. Though no sides are needed, some crusty bread, polenta, or a leafy green salad would make fine accompaniments. Avocado is also a swell companion.EmilyC

Food52 Review: EmilyC's mix of broccoli, fennel, and sausage makes for an especially quick and easy supper while also hitting all the flavor, color, and texture notes a cook or eater could ask for. Our family likes broccoli stalks as much as florets, so I added those as well -- peeled and sliced into thick coins. The whole-grain mustard is a smart addition that adds a friendly kick, and I used spicy sausage, so just the slightest dash of cayenne was all I needed. Garnished with fennel fronds, it is beautiful as well as scrumptious.calendargirl

Serves 4

  • 12 ounces (about 3 or 4 links) good quality pork sausage, removed from casings and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 small heads of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and cut into thin slices, about 1/4-inch thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • Finely grated zest and one 1 teaspoon of juice from 1 small lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, or a lesser amount of red pepper flakes or cayenne (omit if you're using spicy sausage)
  1. Heat oven to 425° F.
  2. Combine broccoli florets and sliced fennel in a shallow casserole or baking dish. You want them to fit snugly in a single, even layer. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, whole-grain mustard, lemon juice and zest, and Aleppo pepper. Add to broccoli and fennel and toss well to coat evenly. Nestle the pieces of sausage among the broccoli and fennel.
  4. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until the broccoli and fennel are tender and the sausage is no longer pink. For extra security, you can toss about halfway through the cooking time to ensure even cooking.
  5. Optional but highly recommended: Heat broiler, and place the pan under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp the sausage and slightly char the broccoli and fennel in spots.
  6. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or lemon juice if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Jump to Comments (52)

Comments (52) Questions (0)

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Stringio

24 days ago Rxexe M Davidson

I use the Premio chicken sausage (even better with the chicken kale combo). It's a wetter sausage and it naturally forms into little chicken sausage meatballs. Not all brands work as well. Premio regular pork sausage works too.

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24 days ago Alla K

if you take the sausage out of the casing, how do you get it to stay in 3/4 inch pieces?

Stringio

about 1 month ago Rxexe M Davidson

I've made this recipe approximately 20 times. My family doesn't like mustard, so I skip it and we use chicken sausage. I also microwave the broccoli with a little water in a covered bowl first. I find you can get five "sausage meatballs" out of each link. To serve extra people, I serve it over cellantini or fusilli pasta with some parmesan on the side and it serves a crowd. Great recipe!

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about 1 month ago EmilyC

Thanks, Rxexe. So happy you're getting so much mileage out of this recipe!

Stringio

about 1 month ago Sarah Feldman

Oh my. I made this last night. SO EASY! Served with some Israeli couscous. Was hoping for lunch leftovers, but my boyfriend went back for seconds and thirds - so I'll just have to make more next time!

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about 1 month ago EmilyC

Glad you enjoyed it, Sarah! Thanks for your comment!

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4 months ago Salvegging

Love it! I used thinly sliced leek instead of fennel, debragga sweet sausage and actually baked it in a shallow stainless skillet, delicious oven to table meal with minimal mess-ideal for a weeknight, or any night really. Topped with a bit of shaved asagio but now I want to do EmilyC's rec. with a little torn fresh muzz. Served with a little baguette and a cherry tomato salad.

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4 months ago EmilyC

Somehow missed this comment until now -- so glad you tried and liked this!

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4 months ago Colleen

If I were to add a little cheese, what type would you suggest? I've never used fennel before, but I'm thinking of making this ahead of time and then making homemade hotpockets with this as the filling. I am trying to put together an on-the-go meal idea.

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4 months ago EmilyC

Hi Colleen -- This would be delicious with mozzarella or ricotta. The fennel is nice here but I also like the dish without it. Sometimes I use a small amount of crushed fennel seed if I don't have fennel on hand, or sliced red onion works well too. Like the homemade hotpocket idea!

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4 months ago michelle_a

Funny, I made this a few days ago and had some really nice feta left over from a dinner party. So I added some thinly sliced pieces to the dish - very good.

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9 months ago Deb Keenan

Has anyone tried this on the grill? I love roasting veggies (foil base, either open or sealed to steam). Spring/summer is coming and I love finding new ideas for cooking outside as much as possible.

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9 months ago EmilyC

Hi Deb -- I haven't tried this on the grill but think you could adapt it pretty easily. Along the same lines of this, here was a favorite of mine last summer, including my favorite method for grilling broccoli rabe: http://food52.com/recipes...

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9 months ago Gotowanie Girl

This was a great recipe! Easy to put together and the flavors worked well together. I like my veggies over-cooked so I stuck them in 20 mins early but I think that was unecessary and will cook everything together moving forward. My husband requested I add onions next time.

Thanks for the great recipe!

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9 months ago EmilyC

Thanks so much, and onion would be delicious here!

Stringio

9 months ago 4aces

wow...I just got home from work & whipped this up. super easy and so DELISH!! I normally go way overboard w sauces, but I made this one according to your recipe & it was perfect! I added half a yellow onion & a red pepper I had that wasn't gonna make it much longer in my fridge & it was really great. might try w zucchini tmrw. thx so much!!

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9 months ago EmilyC

Great to hear, 4aces! It's a great recipe for using up odds and ends. Thanks for trying it!

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10 months ago barton

The store was out of fennel so I used a red onion and added some anise seeds to the dressing. Worked great! And so quick and easy.

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10 months ago EmilyC

So glad you liked it -- and great idea to use red onion and anise seed! Thanks for your note.

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10 months ago lemax

Absolutely loved this recipe. I sauté the mini sausage balls for a few minutes on each side to get the fat out and add additional olive oil and mustard grains to the sauce. Delish....! Thank you.

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10 months ago EmilyC

Great suggestions! I like to go heavy on the olive oil and mustard, too! : )

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10 months ago Jessica D

Quite tasty. I made a double batch and cooked the broccoli and fennel separately in case my kids disliked the latter. I served it with crusty bread but I think polenta would be better.

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10 months ago EmilyC

I think you're right -- polenta is a good pair. Thanks for trying this!

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10 months ago Darrell

What do you suggest serving this dish with? I was reading other comments and seems this dish was served by itself, which seems a little odd.

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10 months ago EmilyC

I included some ideas in my headnote -- crusty bread, polenta, or a green salad. When I made it most recently, I served it with ravioli with marinara sauce. But I've also served it by itself on crazy busy weeknights -- it's pretty hearty on its own. Hope you like it!

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10 months ago Nuala

We've had it with mashed potatoes, and it was great.

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10 months ago Darrell

I love the Ravioli idea! Sounds amazing! Thanks much!

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10 months ago Darrell

The mash potatoes sounds really good too!

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10 months ago michelle_a

how do you think broccoli rabe would fare instead? this looks really nice & trying to make use of what arrived from fresh direct today :)

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10 months ago EmilyC

I think broccoli rabe would work work, and I've been meaning to try it this way too! Broccoli rabe might cook a bit faster than broccoli, so you may need to start checking a bit sooner and/or remove the rabe before the sausage and fennel. Please report back if you try it this way!

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10 months ago EmilyC

that should be work *well* -- i need some coffee! : )

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10 months ago michelle_a

Okay, I didn't end up using the broccoli rabe for something else. But I made this last night & it was AWESOME. Seriously one of the simplest, and tastiest, recipes I've made in a long time. Prep is super quick and yet returns ten-fold in taste. Paired with whipped potatoes. My girlfriend and I may have eaten the whole pan!

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10 months ago michelle_a

oops, remove "didn't" - I ended up using the rabe*

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10 months ago EmilyC

So happy you liked it and great to know it works with broccoli rabe! I made it over the weekend and added chopped radish (another tasty variation). Thanks for trying it and circling back!

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10 months ago Swiss Meringue

I made this for dinner last night and it was delicious! I realized I was out of lemons at the last minute, so I subbed 1 Tbsp of red wine vinegar instead. Still turned out great, but I'm looking forward to trying it again with the lemon instead.

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10 months ago EmilyC

I'm sure it was tasty with red wine vinegar. Thanks for trying this!

Junechamp

10 months ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh Emily! Why didn't I see this last month? I could have been making it all that time. This sounds like a great recipe to double in order to have leftovers for lunches.

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10 months ago EmilyC

Thank you, June! It does make good leftovers. I made a big batch earlier this week and served it on night 2 with ravioli. It's definitely something you can improvise with.

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10 months ago kat3029

My husband and I LOVE this. That said, we did change a few things after we made it the first time. We like dishes a little saucier, so we doubled the sauce. I was out of olive oil and so used coconut oil instead. And I used harissa instead of red pepper. Still delicious! Thanks for sharing.

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10 months ago EmilyC

Love reading about variations like this! So glad you're enjoying the dish!

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11 months ago Annie

Emily! This was so fast and easy to put together. My 7 year old niece was over for dinner and she said, "This is one of the best dinners I have ever had! PLEASE make this again!!!" Thanks!!!

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11 months ago EmilyC

Annie, your comment just made my day! Thank you!

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11 months ago Nuala

Made this for dinner this week and it was perfect-- so easy, delicious, and satisfying. Thanks for a great recipe!

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11 months ago EmilyC

Great to hear! Thanks so much for trying this and reporting back!

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11 months ago Jillier

This was great! A quick and easy meal for a delicious weeknight meal! Added some califlower since I had some laying around. Thanks!

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11 months ago EmilyC

So happy you enjoyed it!