Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Vegetable and Chicken Sausage Casserole

This easy weeknight casserole combines chicken sausage and whatever veggies you have on hand to make a healthy make-ahead dinner.
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 At the beginning of each week, I pretty much have each meal for that week planned, but for whatever reason, I am super disorganized this week and have nothing planned!

So, this morning I was scrambling, pulling all sorts of stuff out of the fridge and freezer like a mad woman, trying to figure out exactly what I was going to throw together for dinner tonight.
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I had some spicy chicken sausages and a bag of chopped spinach in the freezer, some fresh cauliflower and mushrooms in the fridge, and a can of crushed tomatoes in the pantry, and with that I decided I could have a pretty good dinner on my hands.

I started out by roasting the cauliflower and mushrooms together in the oven.
In the meantime, I sautéed the sausages with onion and garlic.
Once those were cooked, I added in some thawed chopped spinach and canned crushed tomatoes and allowed it to cook down so that the flavors marry.
I combined it all together and added some shredded cheese, poured it in a casserole dish (it is a casserole, after all), and topped it with some homemade bread crumbs before sending off to the oven to bake to perfection.
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Vegetable and Chicken Sausage Casserole
serves 4

1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets
10 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb. spicy chicken sausages
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
8 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded fontina cheese 
½ cup bread crumbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425º F. 
Spray a 9x13 inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
Scatter cauliflower and mushrooms on a large metal sheet pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, tossing once. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 350º F.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Remove sausages from casings, and add to the pan, breaking them apart with a wooden spoon while you sauté. As sausages cook, add onion and garlic and continue to sauté until sausages are cooked through and onion is translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Add thyme, spinach, and crushed tomatoes, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow mixture to simmer until most of the liquid is cooked out, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in cauliflower mixture and cheeses.  Scrape into prepared casserole dish and top with bread crumbs.
Place in oven and cook for 30 minutes or until bubbling and crumbs are golden brown.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes
* Let this recipe serve as a basic guideline and use whatever veggies you have on hand!
* I used fontina cheese, because that's what I had, but you could use whatever melty cheese you have or can omit it completely.
* This is a good one to make ahead...you can prep it the night before and pop it in the oven when you get home from work.

1 comment:

  1. This looks like such a great recipe. i think ill need to give it ago and invite some peoplel round..