At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What Is a Sausage Casserole?

Lee Johnson
Lee Johnson

Sausage casserole is a sausage dish cooked alongside vegetables and passata or chopped tomatoes in an oven-proof dish. The technical definition of a casserole is any meal that is served in the dish used to cook it, but general understanding of the term narrows the definition to also be a slow-cooked meal in some kind of sauce. Most sausage casseroles are cooked in a tomato-based sauce alongside vegetables such as potatoes and carrots. Other ingredients can be added to a sausage casserole depending on the chef and guests’ tastes, such as mushrooms and peppers.

A casserole can be simply defined as any dish served in the dish it was cooked in. Most people also think of casserole as a slow-cooked dish including some kind of sauce. A sausage casserole is therefore usually slow-cooked and is generally cooked in a tomato sauce. All of the ingredients are placed into a casserole dish and cooked in the oven, usually for between half an hour and one hour. Longer cooking at a lower temperature is preferred by many cooks, however, because this gives the flavors more time to infuse.

Raw sausages.
Raw sausages.

The sausages used in a sausage casserole are usually cooked before being added to the casserole dish. This can be anything from being fully baked in the oven to being shallow-fried in oil to cook through. Precooking the sausages helps to ensure that they aren’t served raw in the center, but not fully cooked sausages will generally finish off in the casserole dish. Some chefs prefer to fry the sausages alongside onions and garlic to increase their flavor before adding them to the casserole.

Freshly prepared sausage can improve the taste of the casserole.
Freshly prepared sausage can improve the taste of the casserole.

Most recipes for sausage casserole suggest cooking the sausages in a tomato-based sauce, either made from passata or chopped tomatoes. Passata is basically the juice from tomatoes without any chunks of tomato flesh included, while chopped tomatoes include chunks of tomato. The tomatoes are usually added to the onions, garlic, and other ingredients such as mushrooms and peppers. Depending on how the sausages are cooked, they may also be present in the pan when the tomatoes are added. Herbs and spices such as basil and paprika are often used to increase the flavor of the tomato sauce.

Many different variations exist on the standard recipe for sausage casserole. Some dishes include ingredients such non-traditional ingredients as mushrooms and peppers. Chefs sometimes add some red wine to the tomato sauce to increase the flavor. Recipes can also be found which include beans as another main ingredient, and some also use potatoes.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


@Pippinwhite -- Sausage balls! You're after my own heart. Love those things.

I'm a little surprised the article didn't mention breakfast casseroles that use sausage. Those are really delicious and so easy to make! It's really surprising how simple they are.

Quiche is also a good sausage dish, and I've seen many sausage and rice casseroles in Cajun cookbooks. They always sound really good and make me want to try them.


Casseroles can be made with just about anything. I have a recipe for a chicken and wild rice casserole that would be delicious with sausage, I think. It would give the casserole some real kick.

Another fun use for sausage is sausage balls. You use spicy breakfast bulk sausage, mix it with sharp shredded cheddar cheese and baking mix, then roll it into balls and bake it. It's a party staple in the South and they are so, so very tasty!

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Raw sausages.
      By: Louis Renaud
      Raw sausages.
    • Freshly prepared sausage can improve the taste of the casserole.
      By: aboikis
      Freshly prepared sausage can improve the taste of the casserole.