Fall has caught up with us with a fury this October. We’ve finally had our first real frost. And with it, a flurry of activity. Some herbs were potted and brought in and as many green tomatoes as we deemed prudent picked and placed in bags in the garage where they’ll slowly ripen. And with all that going on, I thought an easy meal, like this Easy Sausage Sheet Tray Bake, was in order.
So I may yet still have more tomato posts, and possibly green tomato posts. (Update: check out my Fried Green Tomatoes.) But not today! Fall is the time when I think of sausages and potatoes and Sheet Tray Bakes. We love them at my house and it was time to introduce one to my favorite octogenarians (the name I tease my folks with) to a sheet tray bake.
About Easy Sausage Sheet Tray Bake:
The folks pretty much went crazy over this fun dish, even Pat (my Step-Mom). She lived as a child through the Great Depression with her Mom and Czechoslovakian Grandparents. As a result, Pat really isn’t all that keen about some of the traditional (and often inexpensive meals) they ate (you can’t even mention cabbage to her) or foods like sausages that remind her of that time period. My Da, on the other hand, eats pretty much anything.
I think it was the extra kick of the spices that I used that turned the tables for Pat. The flavor and richness of the sausage comes through as the sausage browns and renders and that helps to flavor the veggies, but this is no pedestrian old school sausage & potato meal. And of course, the gorgeous colors of the veggies always helps make meals more appealing. But, it’s the browning on the veggies, especially the potatoes, that takes this sheet tray bake over the top and sets it apart from the rest. My secrets are below.
I went with my Cajun Spice Blend for this dish, this time, but you can use any Spice Blend you like and if you want a little inspiration, take a peek at my post on Spice, Herb and Flavor Packet Substitutes. My Homemade Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning is great on this, too, as is my Homemade (or a store-bought) Seasoning Salt, especially if you (or maybe the kids) aren’t into much heat.
Making Easy Sausage Sheet Tray Bake:
When I first started making sheet tray bakes like these, I’d toss everything on a foil-lined pan, sprinkle with spices and/or herbs, drizzle with olive oil and into the oven it would go. They were good and easy and I still do that sometimes when anything more seems, well, overwhelming. You know those evenings, I’m sure! We all do!
Over the years, though, I found a couple of teensy extra, pretty much no effort steps make these sheet tray dinners even better. I preheat the pan (use a large one or two smaller, so you don’t crowd) in the oven as the oven preheats. I don’t line it with foil, which gives a lot better browning and lets you get a thin metal spatula under the potatoes when it’s time to turn. You don’t want to lose any of those crispy, browned edges to the pan. Most importantly, I give the potatoes and sausage a head start in the oven on that hot, hot, pan for maximum browning.
After the sausage and potatoes have been in the oven for about 15 minutes, and all the veggies are added, I lovingly drizzle (okay, stop – I quickly dump) a little chicken broth over the whole works. And I do it a second time during the cooking, about halfway through, right after I turn them. And what a huge difference it makes in terms of browning and flavor!
Saving Money on Easy Sausage Sheet Tray Bake:
Meals like this using seasonal ingredients are just so inexpensive to put on the table. Watch those sales and you’ll pull dinner off for half the price and think about stocking up on the fall sausages. They keep forever in the fridge and freeze beautifully. Even better, they take up little room in the freezer.Print
Easy Sausage Sheet Tray Bake
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Main Dish Pork
- Cuisine: American
- 1/2 to 1 package of smoked sausage, cut diagonally into about 1/2 inch slices
- 6 – 8 new potatoes, quartered
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 bell peppers, any color, cut into cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 large red onion, sliced through the pole into wedges about 1 1/2″ thick
- 8 to 12 ounces Brussels sprouts, halved
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- seasoning of choice, about 2 teaspoons to a tablespoon (see note)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth, divided
Place rimmed sheet pan in oven and Preheat the oven to 425°F.
While the sheet tray is heating, prepare your potatoes by cutting in quarters if small or about 1″ chunks if larger. Place in a bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, about a teaspoon of spice blend (or more) and salt & pepper as desired. Toss to coat.
Once the oven signals 425 degrees, remove the tray, toss the potatoes on the hot tray and quickly without too much fuss, so you don’t lose the heat on the sheet tray, knock the majority of them over so cut side is down. Quickly arrange the sausage around the potatoes. Replace tray in oven. Roast for about 15 minutes while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Using the same bowl, combine the bell peppers, onion, Brussels sprouts and garlic. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil, a teaspoon spice blend and salt & pepper as desired. Set aside until the potatoes have reached the 15 minute mark.
When the potatoes have been cooking for about 15 minutes, remove the sheet tray from the oven, turn the potatoes and sausage and add the contents of the bowl. Again, try to make sure the majority of the ingredients are cut side down. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of chicken broth and return the tray to the oven for 30 to 40 more minutes.
About halfway through the cooking time, around 15 minutes or so, or when the bottoms of the vegetables are beginning to brown (watch closely) remove the tray and stir and drizzle with another 1/4 cup of chicken broth. Replace in the oven. Remove when vegetables are tender and golden brown.
Note: Ovens can vary in temperature and this will affect timing. Watch closely and If at any time the vegetables or sausage seem in danger of getting too dark, stir and add a little more broth; the key is to allow the broth to fully evaporate and vegetables to brown by the time the dish is done.
Keywords: Bargain Meal of the Week, Bell Peppers, Brussels Sprouts, Pork, Potatoes, Sausage, sheet tray, smoked sausage.
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