Learning How to Cook

Dinner Plans: Sausage

Sausage is a flavorful ingredient that’s great for feeding a crowd. Get a head start by cooking extra sausage links and doing some prep for two more meals. You’ll enjoy a nice dinner for four and ensure that your week goes smoothly.

Game Plan

Prep Time: 2 hours

  1. Cook 16 thick sausages (beef, pork, or poultry) total. Sauté or grill 12 sausages whole (reserving eight sausages for dinner).
  2. Remove the remaining four sausages from their casings and use them to make a sauce for the rigatoni pasta. Let it bubble away on a back burner while you make bangers and mash.
  3. Cool and pack the four whole sausages in one container and the pasta sauce in another container and stick in the refrigerator.
  4. If you’re able to, tackle extra veg prep. Chop all of the veggies for the soup and store in a container in the fridge.
See How to Make These Bangers and Mash

Prep Day Bangers and Mash

Make this hearty and comforting bangers and mash recipe with eight of the cooked whole sausages. Slide some Brussels sprouts in the oven to roast while you make the mashed potatoes for a complete meal.

Bangers and Mash
The Spruce 

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Since you’ll be peeling and slicing a lot of onions for the gravy, keep them in a sealed container or under a clean, damp dishtowel until you’re ready to use them so they don’t burn your eyes!
  • Let the other sausages and the pasta sauce cool while you eat dinner, then pack in two labeled containers and refrigerate until ready to use.

Rigatoni With Sausage Night

Time: 30 minutes

This creamy, comforting rigatoni with sausage and parmesan cheese comes together in no time thanks to some clever prep. All you have to do on meal day is boil the pasta, reheat the sauce, and toss to combine. As the pasta cooks, quickly sauté some broccoli for a family-friendly meal.

rigatoni with sauce
 The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • If your family likes pasta extra-cheesy, stir in some shredded mozzarella just before serving.
  • Get ahead on prep day: Par cook the pasta to al dente, chill, and store until you are ready to assemble the dish.

Kale and White Bean Soup Night

Time: 20 minutes

Loaded with rib-sticking sausage and tender vegetables, this kale and white bean soup is a delicious one-pot meal you’ll make again and again. Serve with store-bought crusty bread or bake a pan of cornbread while the soup simmers.

sausage, bean, and kale soupsausage, bean, and kale soup
 The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Any type of sausage works well in this soup, from simple bratwurst to spicy Italian.
  • Get ahead on prep day: measure and chop the vegetables for the soup.
  • Serve with plenty of grated Parmesan cheese for an extra-savory flavor.

Essential Info

Here’s some helpful information about sausage:

  • All About Food Safety
  • Types of Sausage
  • Sausage Grilling Techniques

About Dinner Plans

Making quick weeknight dinners is easier when you start with a few building blocks. Dinner Plans is a realistic roadmap to help you achieve that goal, by putting in a few hours of work (planning, shopping, and prepping) at the outset. Preparing a big batch of one ingredient (protein, vegetables, or grains) gives you the flexibility to plan a variety of meals. And who knows? You just might discover your new favorite weeknight recipe in the process!

Show everyone how together you are: Instagram your meal prep photos and tag them #thespruceeats.

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