While we eat our fair share of hot dogs, they’re not the most popular food to eat in an oblong bun. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, grocery stores sold $2.74 billion worth of dinner sausage in 2014 while hot sales lagged at $2.5 billion. With so many flavor choices, it’s no wonder the casing-wrapped meals are gaining fans. They’re also incredibly versatile, working in everything from sandwiches to packets. Give your next cookout a boost with these seven sausage dishes to seriously wow your guests. But be warned, once they get a taste of these recipes, they might never let you get away with basic hot dogs again.
1. Apple and Cheddar Breakfast Sausage Burger
There’s no reason to limit your grilling to the afternoon and evening. Invite your friends over for weekend brunch and surprise them with these flame-kissed breakfast sandwiches from Chow.com. The combination of apple, cheddar, and sausage is a nice departure from the standard bacon, egg, and cheese. While English muffins make great buns, you can substitute any of your favorite types of bread. We like to finish these with a little drizzle of spicy brown mustard.
- 12 ounces fresh pork breakfast sausage, casings removed
- 1 medium tart apple, like Granny Smith
- Vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup, plus more
- 4 English muffins, split
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
Directions: Divide sausage into four even portions, and shape each into a ¼-inch-thick patty. Using your thumb, make a shallow indentation in the center of each patty. Transfer to a plate, and set aside.
Heat grill to medium-high. Slice apple into ½-inch-thick slices. Set aside the four widest slices, and remove seeds. Save extra apple for another use.
Using tongs, oil grate with several layers of paper towels coated with vegetable oil. Transfer apple slices and sausage patties, indentation-side up, to the grill. Cover, and cook until marks appear on bottom of apples and sausage, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip, and brush with syrup. Cover, and cook until patties are cooked and apples are slightly softened, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove to a clean plate, and tent with foil.
Place muffins, cut-side down, on grill and toast until golden on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip, and top with cheese, cover, and cook until cheese melts, 3 minutes longer.
Assemble sandwiches with sausage, apple, and muffins. Serve with additional syrup.