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Super Bowl “Sausage-ized” Recipes

MVP chiliWho doesn’t love sausage? If you’re looking for creative ways to spike up your game day menu, Johnsonville, makers of all things sausage, is coming up with 50 ways to sausage for the company’s 50th anniversary. Use these innovative and delicious recipes to “Sausage-ize” your Big Game Day spread.

We’ve got sausage-themed recipes from sausage and bourbon to sausage dessert. These recipes will have your Big Game guests shouting “Touchdown” whether or not the favorite team is winning.

All recipes courtesy Johnsonville.

MVP Chili (pictured above)

This hearty, crowd-pleasing chili, which features hot Italian sausage, can be made a day ahead.

2 packages (19 ounces) Hot Italian Sausage Links, removed from casing* (use mild links for a less spicy chili)

*Cut sausage link end to end, about three-quarters of the way through. Flip sausage link over, grasp casing and pull off.

1 large onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons chili powder (use mild chili powder for less spicy chili)

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1 can (15.5 ounce) black beans

1 can (15.5-ounce) red kidney beans

1-1/2 cups corn (frozen or fresh off the cob)

1 can (28-ounce) crushed tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 bottle (12 ounce) dark beer (OK to substitute w/light beer or 1 cup beef stock)

salt and pepper

Decase the sausage and sauté in a large pot; use a wooden spoon to crumble the sausage as it cooks.

Once the sausage is nicely browned, stir in the onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin and continue cooking until the onion softens about 5 minutes.

Add the beer and allow it to simmer for an additional 5 minutes scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste and allow it to simmer, uncovered for an additional 10 to 15 minutes on med-low, stirring occasionally.

Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

Finally stir in the beans and the corn.

Let this come to a simmer and it’s ready to serve!


ManhattanSmokey Sausage Manhattan

Smoked sausage-infused bourbon is the base of this modern take on the Manhattan.

2 ounces Sausage-Infused Bourbon*

1 package Fully Cooked Smoked Split Rope Sausage

6 ounces bourbon

1 ounce Sweet Vermouth

1 dash Angostura Bitters

3 cherries
In ice filled mixing glass, add all ingredients and stir for at least 30 seconds. Strain into martini glass and garnish with 3 cherries on a pick.

*Sausage-Infused Bourbon

1. Cut Johnsonville Fully Cooked Smoked Split Rope Sausage into 1/2 inch slices.

2. In a glass jar with a tight lid (a canning jar is ideal) add the sliced brat with the 6 ounces of bourbon and let sit for 24-48 hours.

3. Strain through a coffee filter into a clean container.

4. Discard the sliced brats.



Baklava reinvents a traditional Greek dessert with a savory twist by adding Johnsonville bratwurst and mustard. It creates a unique foil to the classic honey glaze.

16 ounce package of Phyllo Dough (available in the frozen food department of better grocery stores)

2 cups chopped walnuts

1 package Johnsonville Original Bratwursts

1 1/2 stick butter, melted

2 cups honey

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons mustard

1. Remove the Phyllo Dough from the freezer and defrost on the counter for about one hour or overnight in the refrigerator.

2. Preheat oven to 350.

3. Remove bratwursts from their casings and cook in a skillet, breaking up the meat to be about the same texture as the chopped nuts.

4. Sauté until brats are no longer pink and add the nuts.

5. Butter a 9×13 pan (or smaller, just adjust the ingredient amounts) and place in two sheets of phyllo, butter, and then place in two more sheets, butter and add two more.

6. Add one third the meat and nut mixture in one layer and repeat the Phyllo/butter/filling two more times.

7. Add 3 more layers of phyllo with butter on top.

8. With a very sharp knife, cut through the Bratlava in serving size pieces and put the pan in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

9. While the bratlava is cooking, heat the honey, 3 tablespoons of butter, water and mustard until melted and thick.

10. When the bratlava is finished pour the syrup all over the top of the pastry. Let cool to room temperature before eating.


sausage ballsReverse Spinach Dip Sausage Balls

Reverse Spinach Dip Sausage Balls deconstructs the traditional Spinach Dip by putting spinach into sausage meatballs alongside a creamy side-dip.

1 cup cornmeal

1 tablespoon brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1½ teaspoons baking powder

½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 package Italian or Mild Italian Ground Sausage

1/2 pound frozen spinach, thawed and chopped

1 small yellow onion, grated

¼ cup cream cheese

cayenne pepper


Dipping Sauce

½ cup sour cream

1 packet spinach dip spice mix

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Mix the cornmeal, brown sugar, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, mix the grated cheese, sausage, spinach, onion and cream cheese thoroughly with your hands. Add the dry ingredients mixing until well incorporated.

4. Pinch off enough of the mixture to make a ball about an inch in diameter and place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat.

5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. While baking, prepare the dip according to package directions.

6. When balls are done, sprinkle lightly with cayenne pepper and serve with the dip.


sausage egg rollsSausage Egg Rolls with Spicy Mustard Maple Dip

Bite-sized sausage egg rolls fried in wonton wrappers are a flavorful, fun and easy take on traditional Chinese egg rolls—and the Mustard Maple Dip mirrors the typical spicy Asian mustard– but adds a little sweetness with ingredients from the pantry.

2 cups Canola Oil (for frying)

1/2 package  Mild Italian Ground Sausage

1 cup shredded Savoy or Napa cabbage

1 cup carrots, shredded

1 shallot, thinly sliced

2-3 tablespoons Mirin or Chinese cooking wine

12 ounce package of Won Ton wrappers


Dipping Sauce

4 tablespoons hot spicy mustard

3 tablespoons Maple syrup

1. Heat a 4-5 quart saucepan with the oil on medium-high until the oil reaches 350 degrees.

2. Heat a sauté pan over moderate heat and add the sausage, breaking it up as it heats up. After 2 minutes, add the cabbage, carrot and shallot and cook until the vegetables are wilted and there is no more pink in the sausage.

3. Deglaze the pan with the mirin, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan.

4. Remove the filling from the heat and let cool. While the filling is cooling, make the dipping sauce by adding the mustard and maple syrup to a small bowl and combine.

5. To make the egg rolls, put a scant tablespoon filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper. Wet the edges of the wrapper by dipping a finger in water and tracing the perimeter of the wrap. Roll the egg roll, keeping contents tight and sealing the outside edges as you go.

6. Store seam side down on a tray lined with paper towels.

7. To fry, drop 5-6 egg rolls in the oil and cook, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown. Repeat in batches until finished.



Buffalo sausage bitesBuffalo Chicken Sausage Bites

No messy fingers or chicken bones with these Buffalo Chicken Bites made with Chicken Apple Smoked Sausage instead of traditional (and messy) wings.

1 cup Canola oil

1 package  Apple Chicken Sausage

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons corn starch

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons hot sauce

1 cup sour cream

¼ cup blue cheese, crumbled

1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1. In a 4 quart saucepan, heat the oil on moderate heat. While the oil is heating, cut the sausages in 1/2 inch coins, and place in a bowl.

2. Add the chili powder and corn starch and combine thoroughly.

3. When the oil is hot (350 degrees), add half the Chicken Apple Sausage slices and fry until brown and the casings are shrinking just a bit.

4. Remove and drain on a pan lined with paper towels and cook the remaining sausage.

5. Make the dip by combining the blue cheese and sour cream, adding lemon juice until it reaches your desired consistency.

6. Serve with the buffalo chicken sausage bites.


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Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor

RFT co-founder Bobbie Hasselbring has been a travel junkie her entire life. An award-winning writer and editor for more than 25 years and author of the regional food-travel bestsellers, The Chocolate Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest and The Chocolate Lover’s Guide Cookbook, Bobbie is editor-in-chief at