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Beer and Brats Chowder

I tried to make this a few weeks ago, but it didn’t quite work out the way I was hoping it would. This time it turned out just the way I was hoping. If you like, you can add some saltines and a little extra cheddar cheese. This would be great to take in a thermos for an outdoor outing. And don’t worry about the alcohol from the beer, it’ll cook off before you eat it.

12 oz turkey brats or smoked sausage, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 large potatoes, diced
1 large onion, diced
1/4 cup garlic, minced
1 12 oz can light beer
2 cups low sodium beef broth
4 cups milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup cheddar cheese

In a large pot, cook the brats, potatoes, onion, and garlic until the potatoes are almost tender. Add in the beer, broth, and 3 cups of the milk. Whisk the cornstarch into the remaining cup of milk. Mix into the rest of the chowder. Let it come to a boil, then turn the heat to low. Cook for at least an hour (longer if you’d like), stirring every 20-30 minutes to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Stir in the cheese before serving.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 248.3
Total Fat: 9.1 g
Cholesterol: 48.3 mg
Sodium: 747.6 mg
Total Carbs: 22.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 17.0 g

Beer and Brats Chowder-001


Roasted Vegetables and Sausage

I really enjoy roasted vegetables. You don’t have to do much work to make them: chop up some veggies, drizzle with oil and herbs, toss in the oven, and stir around once in a while. About the only thing easier is slow cooking. But roasting them brings out the natural sweetness and is perfect for root vegetables, which are usually cheaper this time of year. This is definitely a recipe that you can experiement with. Try some different herbs or vegetables. You could substitute chicken for the sausage, just keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t dry out. Or you could leave out the meat for a vegetarian dish or for a side dish.

1 large potato, chopped
1 1/2 cups baby carrots
2 large red peppers, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 medium head of cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup minced garlic
14 oz. package of smoked turkey sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons rosemary

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Put all of the chopped vegetables and sausage in a large, shallow pan or cookie sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with the garlic powder, onion powder, and rosemary. Give it a good stir to evenly coat everything. Bake in the oven for about an hour, stirring every 15-20 minutes. It’s done when the potatoes and carrots are easy to stick with a fork.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 5
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 365.9
Total Fat: 19.4 g
Cholesterol: 51.7 mg
Sodium: 798.1 mg
Total Carbs: 35.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 7.4 g
Protein: 16.5 g

Roasted Veggies and Sausage-001

Sausage Squash Rice Bake

I love butternut squash. I’ve been known to cook one up and eat the whole thing in a day. Oddly enough, despite loving it so much, I actually had to look up whether it was considered a veggie or starch. (In case you guys didn’t know, it’s a veggie.) Unfortunately, The Man isn’t a fan. I think part of it is that squash tends to be more on the sweet side, and he doesn’t like food that’s sweet unless it’s a dessert. By adding some sausage and some spices, it brought the sweet factor down enough that The Man actually really liked it.

12 oz reduced fat pork sausage
1 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup minced garlic
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
3 cups milk
3 cups cubed butternut squash
6 cups cooked rice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9″x13″ baking pan with foil.
Cook the sausage in a large skillet, set aside in a separate container. Add the garlic, onions, and butter to the pan. Once the butter is melted, add the milk, flour, cumin, and chili powder to the pan and stir until there’s no clumps of flour. Add the squash and let it boil until the sauce is thick enough to stick to the spoon.
Put the rice in the foil coated pan, pour the squash mixture over it. Stir until everything is well mixed. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 417.1
Total Fat: 11.3 g
Cholesterol: 9.6 mg
Sodium: 66.5 mg
Total Carbs: 46.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.3 g
Protein: 7.6 g

Sausage Squash Rice Bake-001

Gravy for Biscuits

We’ve really been doing a lot of breakfast for dinner lately, but I don’t mind because we don’t usually have a chance to have special breakfasts for breakfast. We love biscuits and gravy in our house, it’s filling and tasty! If you left out the sausage mixture you could use the gravy for just about anything else you would like.

The nutritional values don’t include the biscuits because there is such a variety of them you could use. You don’t even have to use biscuits! You could use toast, bread, or even pour it over potatoes.

12 oz reduced fat ground pork sausage
1 cup chopped onions
3 cloved minced garlic
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups low sodium beef broth

In a large saute pan, cook the onions, garlic and sausage together until the sausage is no longer pink. Remove from the pan and set aside. Melt the butter in the same pan and mix in the flour, whisk in the beef broth and let it come to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes to thicken. Add the sausage mixture back in and let it cook for a few more minutes. Serve over biscuits or toast.

Nutritional Info•Servings Per Recipe: 5
•Amount Per Serving
•Calories: 293.0
•Total Fat: 22.5 g
•Cholesterol: 66.9 mg
•Sodium: 602.6 mg
•Total Carbs: 9.3 g
•Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
•Protein: 13.2 g



Sausage and Cheese Biscuits

Since my husband and his guys had to work over the weekend, I thought I’d make up something to try to make it a little more bearable.  Since they are out in the field getting Army reservists ready for deployment, it had to be something that could almost literally been eaten on the run.  Which meant nothing with silverware or plates.  I thought about making sausage biscuit sandwiches, but sometimes those can get a little messy when stuff starts falling out of them.  So I wondered what would happen if I just baked the sandwich makings into the biscuit.  It seems to have turn out pretty well, judging by how the guys responded to them.  I threw a couple in the freezer to see if these could work as a grab and go hot breakfast for the husband.  The first one was a little soggy, but that’s because I left it in the container with the lid on when I microwaved it.  The second one was just on a plate and it seems to have worked much better.  It was only in there for 30 seconds, but we also have a new, crazy powerful microwave.  You’ll have to adjust the time for your microwave.  The recipes makes a lot, which means you’ll have breakfast figured out for almost a month!

12 oz reduced fat sausage
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped red peppers
1/4 cup minced garlic
6 cups flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups milk

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a large pan, cook the sausage, onions, peppers and garlic until the sausage is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender. In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder, and cream of tartar.  Add the sausage mixture and butter, mix it until a crumbly texture forms.  (You should be able to squeeze it into a ball, but it’ll fall apart when you drop it back into the bowl.)  Add the milk and cheese to the bowl and stir until when combined. Drop large spoonfuls (about 1/4 cup per biscuit) on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart from each other.  Bake for about 12 minutes, or until they start turning golden brown.

Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 36
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 147.6
  • Total Fat: 4.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 15.2 mg
  • Sodium: 323.4 mg
  • Total Carbs: 19.0 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g
  • Protein: 6.6 g


Herbed Sausage Stuffing

Stuffing is one of those essential Thanksgiving sides. Luckily, I grew up with homemade stuffing and not something from a box. Although I understand the appeal of how easy it is to make boxed stuffing, this recipe is pretty easy. Plus you you can do most of the preparation ahead of time. Make the sausage mixture and keep it in the fridge (or freezer) and toast the bread ahead of time and store them in a bag or air tight bowl. Then when you make the stuffing, just mix the two parts and continue with the recipe.
Now just to warn you, this makes a ton of stuffing. Seriously, it’s about 15 cups of stuffing, but there’s not much leftover.

12 cups bread, cut into cubes
12 oz reduced fat sausage
4 cups chopped onions
4 cups chopped apples
3 cups chopped celery
1/2 cups minced garlic
2 tablespoons dried sage
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1/2 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 1/2 cups chicken broth

Toast the bread crumbs in a 300 degree oven in a large roasting pan for 30 – 45 minutes, or until throughly dried.
In a large pan, cook the sausage, garlic, sage, thyme, rosemary and poultry seasoning until the sausage is no longer pink. Add the onions, apples, and celery to the pan and cook until the celery is tender.
Combine the bread and sausage mixture in a large roasting pan. Drizzle with the chicken broth. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes.

Nutritional Info◦Servings Per Recipe: 24
◦Amount Per Serving
◦Calories: 133.1
◦Total Fat: 3.3 g
◦Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
◦Sodium: 171.8 mg
◦Total Carbs: 16.2 g
◦Dietary Fiber: 2.0 g
◦Protein: 2.2 g

Herbed Sausage Stuffing

Sausage Potato Soup

Since winter has taken hold of our part of Texas, it’s time to pull out some recipes that warm you up. And if this one worked while I was growing up in North Dakota (where it’s not uncommon to spend days below freezing), it’ll definitely work wherever you are!
I haven’t tried it yet, but you might be able to skip dicing the potatoes if you use a bag of the frozen diced potatoes, like the ones by the hashbrowns or the ones you steam in the microwave to make mashed potatoes.

1 14 oz package smoked turkey sausage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
5 cups water
1 bag coleslaw mix
3 cups milk (at least 1%)
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Parsley to garnish, if desired

In a large soup pan, combine sausage, potatoes, onions with a little salt and pepper. Add five cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cooked for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in cabbage and cook for ten more minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups of milk, mix the remaining milk with the flour, stir into soup. Cook until thick and bubbly, stirring often. Stir in cheese until melted.

Nutritional Info•Servings Per Recipe: 10
•Amount Per Serving
•Calories: 167.4
•Total Fat: 6.6 g
•Cholesterol: 35.5 mg
•Sodium: 483.4 mg
•Total Carbs: 13.3 g
•Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g
•Protein: 12.0 g

Sausage Potato Soup

Cheesy Salsa Pasta

Apparently tonight’s dinner was an absolute home run. The husband said I could make this any time I want and he went back for seconds, not to mention nummy comments while he was eating. The sauce part of it only took as long as getting the water to boil and pasta cooked. You can adjust the spicy factor by using hotter or mild salsa. You could use just regular ground beef or turkey, but the sausage adds an extra layer of flavor (without any extra work).

6 oz uncooked pasta
1/2 pound turkey sausage
1/4 cup fat free cream cheese
3/4 shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup salsa

Cook the pasta according to the directions.
Cook the sausage in a large pan. Stir in the cream and cheddar cheeses. When it’s mostly melted add the pasta and salsa, stir until everything is well coated.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 356.9
Total Fat: 13.2 g
Cholesterol: 53.8 mg
Sodium: 877.1 mg
Total Carbs: 38.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.5 g
Protein: 22.3 g

Cheesy Salsa Pasta

Zucchini Sausage Pasta

Growing up in the country, or at least my part of North Dakota, meant you’d have an endless supply of two things: rhubarb and zucchini. I don’t think we could have gived it away if we wanted to. Luckily, rhubarb freezes pretty well and we had quite a few recipes for zucchini. This is a bit of a twist on something that we used to make to try using up some of the zucchini. In the old version we used summer sausage and a quite a bit of it. In this one I used turkey sausage, so it has the same sort of flavor, but less fat and calories. For me and the husband, I add more of the zucchini to my bowl so he doesn’t have as much.


6 ounces pasta, cooked
2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise then sliced into 1/4 thick half circles
7 oz turkey link sausage, halved lengthwise then sliced into 1/4 thick half circles
2 tablespoons light butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 1/2 cup milk


Cook the pasta according to the directions and set aside.

In a large pan, lightly saute the sausage and zucchini together for about five minutes, just until the zucchini started to brown. Set aside.

Melt the butter in the same pan used to saute the sausage and zucchini. Add the flour, garlic and onion powders and stir until it forms a paste. Whisk in the milk a bit at a time to make sure there’s no clumps. Let it simmer for a few minutes, then add the sausage mixture and pasta. Toss to coat, let it sit on the heat until the sauce is the thickness you’d like.

Nutritional Info
◦Servings Per Recipe: 4
◦Amount Per Serving
◦Calories: 324.6
◦Total Fat: 9.6 g
◦Cholesterol: 47.1 mg
◦Sodium: 552.3 mg
◦Total Carbs: 44.3 g
◦Dietary Fiber: 2.0 g
◦Protein: 16.8 g

Zucchini Sausage Pasta

Smoky Sausage Pasta

This is something to throw together real quick when you forgot to plan for dinner, like I did tonight.  I actually had the sauce done before the pasta was.  It smells fantastic while it’s on the stove and tastes just as good.  By sauting the sausage for a little bit before adding the rest of the ingredients you develop the flavor a little more.


6 ounces of pasta, cooked
10 ounces turkey smoked sausage
1 can of sodium free diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato sauce
1/2 cup light sour cream
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder


Cook the pasta according to the package.  Slice the turkey smoked sausage into 1/4 inch rounds and lightly saute in a large pan.  Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, sour cream, worchestershire sauce, garlic powder and onion powder to the pan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about ten minutes or until the sauce has thickened.  Stir in the noodle and serve.

Nutritional Info

    • Servings Per Recipe: 4
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 359.2
    • Total Fat: 9.3 g
    • Cholesterol: 67.9 mg
    • Sodium: 1,079.3 mg
    • Total Carbs: 49.1 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 3.5 g
    • Protein: 19.4 g