If you are on the hunt for hearty and satisfying dinner recipes, sausage can be a versatile and tasty ingredient that may just do the trick. However, some traditional sausage recipes may not always fit into a health-conscious lifestyle. But don’t worry, there are plenty of sausage dinner recipes that check both the flavor and nutrition boxes. In this article, we will explore some easy and healthy sausage dinner recipes that will leave you feeling full and satisfied without the guilt.
What Makes Sausage Dinners Healthy
Sausage dinners do not have to be greasy, unhealthy, or lacking essential nutrients. In fact, sausages can provide a significant amount of lean protein, iron, and other essential nutrients when cooked and paired with healthy ingredients. Below are some reasons why sausage dinners can be both delicious and nutritious.
Sausages are a Good Source of Protein
Sausages are an excellent source of protein, which is essential for growth, maintenance, and repair of body tissues. Protein is also needed to produce enzymes, hormones, and other chemicals necessary for our body’s functions. A 3-ounce serving of cooked sausage can provide up to 15 grams of protein, depending on the type and brand.
Protein from sausages is a complete protein, meaning it contains all essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein, needed by the body. Some types of sausages, such as chicken or turkey sausages, can provide leaner protein than their pork or beef counterparts.
Sausages are a Good Source of Iron
Sausages can also be a good source of iron, an essential mineral that helps transport oxygen throughout the body. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, a condition characterized by fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath.
A 3-ounce serving of cooked sausage can provide up to 2.5 milligrams of iron, depending on the type and brand. This amount can contribute to the daily recommended intake of 8-18 milligrams per day for adult women and 8 milligrams per day for adult men.
Pairing Sausages with Healthy Ingredients
To make sausage dinners healthier, it is essential to pair them with healthy ingredients that can provide additional nutrients, fiber, and other beneficial compounds.
For instance, instead of serving sausages with fries or white bread, you can pair them with whole grains, such as quinoa, brown rice, or whole wheat pasta. These grains can provide fiber, minerals, and vitamins that can help regulate blood sugar, cholesterol, and other health markers.
You can also pair sausages with vegetables, such as bell peppers, onions, zucchini, or broccoli. These vegetables can provide additional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help protect against chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Furthermore, you can choose leaner types of sausages, such as chicken or turkey sausages, and avoid those with high amounts of saturated fat, sodium, and preservatives.
In conclusion, sausage dinners can be both delicious and nutritious if paired with healthy ingredients and cooked in a healthy way. By choosing lean sausages and pairing them with whole grains and vegetables, you can create a balanced meal that provides essential nutrients, fiber, and other beneficial compounds.
6 Delicious and Healthy Sausage Dinner Recipes
If you are looking for quick and easy dinner ideas that are not only delicious but also healthy, then sausage dinner recipes are an excellent choice. With the three varieties of sausage – turkey, chicken and plant-based, you can experiment with a range of flavors and create dishes that are packed with protein, vegetables and whole grains. Here are 6 sausage dinner recipes that are both healthy and delicious.
1. Turkey Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Pasta
This recipe is a perfect balance of protein, carbs and veggies. Cook your favorite pasta and set aside. In a skillet, cook turkey sausage, and add in the broccoli rabe. Toss in the cooked pasta and serve hot garnished with parmesan cheese.
2. Chicken Sausage and Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
If you are looking for low-carb, yet filling sausage dinner recipe, these stuffed bell peppers are an excellent option. Cook quinoa and chicken sausage and mix them together with diced vegetables such as onion, garlic and spinach. Stuff the cooked mixture inside the bell peppers, pop them in the oven for 20 minutes and you have a healthy and filling dinner.
- Preheat oven to 375F. Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and remove the seeds. Set aside.
- Cook quinoa according to package directions.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chicken sausage and cook until browned.
- Add onion and garlic, and cook until soft. Add spinach and cook until wilted.
- Remove from heat and stir in cooked quinoa, salt, black pepper and Italian seasoning.
- Stuff the bell peppers with the quinoa mixture and place them in a baking dish. Add 1/4 cup of water to the dish.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the peppers are tender.
3. Plant-Based Sausage and Couscous Skillet
This recipe is perfect for those who are looking for a vegan or vegetarian option. Start by cooking couscous and set aside. In a skillet, cook plant-based sausage and add in diced tomatoes, chickpeas and spinach. Toss the couscous in and add salt, black pepper and cumin powder. Serve hot and enjoy a flavorsome and nutritious dinner.
4. Chicken Sausage and Tomato Casserole
This sausage dinner recipe is perfect for chilly evenings when all you need is a hearty and comforting casserole. Cook chicken sausage in a skillet, and add in diced tomatoes, zucchini and mushrooms. Layer the cooked mixture in a baking dish, top with breadcrumbs and cheese, and bake until the cheese is melted, and the casserole is bubbly and delicious.
5. Turkey Sausage and Sweet Potato Hash
This is a delicious and filling breakfast-for-dinner recipe that’s perfect for busy weeknights. In a skillet, cook turkey sausage and add in diced sweet potatoes, onion, and garlic. Toss everything together with salt, pepper, and paprika. Serve hot with a fried egg on top for added protein.
6. Plant-Based Sausage and Roasted Vegetable Bowl
This recipe is a great way to get in your daily dose of veggies and plant-based protein. Start by roasting your favorite vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, cauliflower, and onion. Cook plant-based sausage in a skillet, and serve it with the roasted vegetables over a bed of brown rice. Drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice for added flavor and enjoy a hearty and wholesome dinner.
Tips for Making Sausage Dinners Even Healthier
Sausage dinners are a staple in many households because they’re easy to make, filling, and delicious. However, a lot of the traditional sausage dinner recipes are high in calories, fat, and sodium. If you’re trying to eat healthier, there are some simple swaps and tricks you can use to make your sausage dinners even healthier. Here are some tips:
Choose Lean Sausage
The type of sausage you use can make a big difference in the nutritional value of your meal. Look for sausages that are labeled as “lean” or “reduced fat.” They’ll typically have less than 10 grams of fat per serving, as opposed to regular sausages, which can have up to 20 grams of fat or more. Some good options to look for include chicken or turkey sausage, which tend to be lower in fat than pork sausage. Just be sure to check the label to make sure that the sausage you’re buying isn’t loaded with sodium or preservatives.
Use Vegetables as a Base
A lot of sausage dinner recipes rely heavily on high-fat sides like mashed potatoes or pasta, which can add a lot of calories to your meal. Instead, try making vegetables the base of your meal. Roasted or sautéed vegetables can be just as satisfying as starchier sides, and they’ll help you get more fiber, vitamins, and nutrients in your diet. Some good options for pairing with sausage include bell peppers, onions, zucchini, and broccoli.
Watch Your Portions
Even if you’re making healthier swaps and using lean sausages, portion control is still important. Sausages can be high in calories, and it’s easy to overeat them if you’re not careful. A serving size of sausage is usually around 3-4 ounces, which is about the size of a deck of cards. Make sure to measure out your portions before cooking, so you don’t end up overindulging. Pair your sausage with plenty of vegetables or a small side salad to help fill you up.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sausage Dinner Recipes
Sausage is a delicious and versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dinner recipes. However, there are some common questions that people have when it comes to cooking with sausage. Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about sausage dinner recipes.
Can you eat sausage every day?
While sausage is a tasty addition to many meals, it’s not something that should be eaten every day. Many types of sausage are high in fat and calories, which can be unhealthy if consumed in large amounts. However, there are some healthier options available, such as chicken or turkey sausage, that can be included in a balanced diet in moderation.
What are some vegetarian sausage options?
If you’re looking for a vegetarian alternative to traditional meat-based sausage, there are several options available. Some popular vegetarian sausage options include:
- Tofurkey Italian Sausage
- Field Roast Sausage
- Beyond Sausage
- Gardein Breakfast Sausage Patties
These options are made from a variety of plant-based proteins, such as soy or pea protein, and are a great way to add flavor and texture to vegetarian meals.
How can I make sausage dinner recipes healthier?
While sausage can be high in fat and calories, there are some ways to make sausage dinner recipes healthier. Here are some tips:
- Choose leaner types of sausage, such as chicken or turkey sausage.
- Use smaller amounts of sausage in your recipes and bulk them up with other healthy ingredients, such as vegetables.
- Choose cooking methods that don’t add extra fat, such as grilling or baking instead of frying.
- Look for recipes that use whole grains, such as brown rice or quinoa, as a base.
What are some easy sausage dinner recipes?
If you’re looking for some quick and easy dinner recipes that include sausage, here are a few options:
|One-Pot Sausage and Rice||A simple and flavorful one-pot meal that’s ready in less than 30 minutes.||https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a25237931/one-pot-sausage-and-rice-recipe/|
|Sausage and Pepper Skillet||A colorful and tasty skillet meal that’s perfect for busy weeknights.||https://www.skinnytaste.com/sausage-and-peppers/|
|Sausage and Bean Soup||A hearty and healthy soup that’s packed with flavor and nutrients.||https://www.food.com/recipe/italian-sausage-and-bean-soup-97426|
These recipes are all simple and delicious ways to incorporate sausage into your dinner routine.
Cheers to a Delicious and Healthy Sausage Dinner!
Thanks for joining me on this savory journey of exploring sausage dinner recipes that are not only delicious but also healthy. Eating healthy shouldn’t mean sacrificing taste, and with these recipes, you can have the best of both worlds. So, go ahead and try them out! Your taste buds and your body will thank you for it. Remember to come back and check out our next article on healthy food. Until then, happy cooking!