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Easy supper roasts squash with sausage

Anticipating a busy day outside the kitchen, I summon sheet pan suppers at dinnertime.

Minimal time is involved to peel and dice or slice vegetables, toss them onto a sheet pan and add some sausages to the mix. There’s no standing in front of the hot stove once the pan goes into the oven, where all the magic happens.

According to the age-old Sunday roast concept, cooking meat and vegetables together infuses the flavor of each into the other, but this method caramelizes ingredients for optimal texture instead of steaming them together in a covered roasting pan. Deglaze the sheet pan with some vinegar, and you have an instant pan sauce.

I’ve gravitated more and more to this concept over the years, covered in previous blog posts recommending both chicken and pork sheet pan suppers. Vegetables are whatever’s in season: potatoes and sweet potatoes, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, fennel and celery root. An obvious favorite of kids, apples could very likely entice mine to eat winter squash in this context.

If not, I’ll designate half the pan to apples and potatoes, the other half to apples and squash for my enjoyment. The following recipe from Tribune News Service evokes a winter squash recipe I developed four winters ago and published in a January 2018 story.

We also love to accompany sheet pan suppers’ sausage with sauerkraut. Recipe developers suggest serving this with cornbread or corn muffins and plenty of soft butter.

Tribune News Service photo

Apple and Butternut Sheet Pan Dinner With Chicken Sausage

4 cups (16 to 20 ounces) peeled and cubed butternut squash

1 very large Honeycrisp apple, peeled, cored and cubed

1/2 large red or sweet onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch wide wedges

2 tablespoons expeller pressed canola oil, safflower oil or sunflower oil

1/2 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 fully cooked smoked chicken sausage or chicken sausage with apples, 12 ounces total

1/2 cup unfiltered apple cider

2 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon fresh (or 1/2 teaspoon dried) thyme leaves or oregano, or a combination

Chopped fresh chives or parsley or a combination

Heat oven to 375 F.

On a large, rimmed baking sheet, combine the peeled and cubed squash, apple and onion. Toss with the oil, salt and pepper. Roast in preheated oven, stirring every 10 minutes, until squash is almost tender, for about 30 minutes.

Add the chicken sausages, cider, vinegar and thyme to pan. Roast, stirring once or twice, until sausages are warmed and golden, for 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with the chives. Use a spoon to serve to scoop up any juices.

Makes 4 servings.