This sausage pie recipe is not only great for breakfast or brunch but is hearty enough for dinner. A dish all will enjoy and even heats up great for leftovers. A showstopper for your next brunch or relaxing weekend breakfast featuring a savory dish with a bit of sweet from fresh apples.
While it’s not officially apple season, winter apples are always available and work great in this apple and sausage pie. It seems like I love anything with Italian sausage, and this recipe is no exception. I just wasn’t sure if the girls would like it. One isn’t a cheese fan and the other claims to hate ricotta.
The non-cheese lover, still loved this, she just didn’t eat as much of the topping. The ricotta hater, decided she didn’t mind ricotta when it was melted and mixed with other cheeses. Another success!
Why you’ll love this sausage pie recipe
- You don’t expect apples to compliment the Italian sausage so well, but you won’t be able to clean your plate fast enough!
- This is a hearty meal perfect for breakfast, brunch or brinner.
- A ready to bake pie crust makes the turn around time on this dish minimal – more time with family and enjoying your meal.
What you’ll need
- Pie crust – you can use a fresh or frozen pie crust
- Apples – Fuji makes a great choice in this dish because it’s firm and not overly sweet.
- Onion – I used a sweet onion for this dish
- Italian sausage – be sure to remove the casing, you can use sweet or hot, whichever you prefer.
- Cheese blend – I used a delicious mix of shredded fontina, asiago and provolone. You can substitute, but you should include at least one melty cheese like fontina or provolone.
- Ricotta cheese – this soft, white curd cheese mixes in perfectly with the egg and cheeses
- Eggs, garlic, butter, sugar
If you don’t have a pie crust in your freezer, you’ll need to plan ahead and make one or pick up a prepared one from the grocery. The homemade ones are so much better, but I realize everyone may not want to take the time to make one. When I use a homemade crust recipe, this butter crust that you can find in my apple hand pie recipe is a perfect go-to option.
What is Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta cheese is a light, slightly sweet cheese that is made from what is leftover when making other cheeses. It’s technically a whey cheese, which means it is made from the liquid that’s leftover when making regular cheese. It has the consistency of cottage cheese but with a sweeter taste.
It can be made from Cow, sheep or buffalo, but what we see most in the States comes from cow’s milk. If you have an Italian market handy, the ricotta you find their is amazing. Otherwise, I use a full fat brand from the grocery.
How do you make this sausage pie recipe
Start by pre-baking a pie crust. Pre-baking keeps the crust from getting soggy.
Sauté the apples and onions with a little sugar and once softened add garlic. Remove from the skillet and add the Italian sausage to the same skillet and brown it.
Combine eggs, cheese and ricotta.
Variation: You can add a half teaspoon each of paprika and parsley to your cheese mixture or sprinkle it on top.
Layer the sausage on the bottom of the pre-baked pie crust. Next add the apple layer and top with the cheese mixture and bake.
Pro tip: If you don’t like ricotta cheese, you can substitute cottage cheese as another option.
The apples and sausage are just perfect together, I used sweet Italian sausage, but if you want to be more adventurous, try a spicy variety. The apples will help cool things down to offset the heat.
I was afraid with the eggs that this would be quiche like, which wasn’t what I wanted. You will find that it is nothing like quiche; the eggs just help hold the cheese together. While not quiche like, we decided it would still be great for brunch. I find that I make this anytime I have left over ricotta like when I make spaghetti alla vodka.
FAQs and tips
No, this is not an egg based dish. It has eggs in it but doesn’t taste like eggs.
Yes, puff pastry is another option. I like the sturdiness of the pie crust in this dish however, it can be enjoyed either way.
If you want to add in a few more veggies, limit it to about ¼ cup diced veggies such as sweet peppers, diced tomatoes or mushrooms. Diced potatoes or hash browns would also be a great addition.
Yes, you can freeze this dish before or after baking it! Wrap it up well with an airtight wrap or in a freezer container and freeze it up to 3 months. Let it thaw before baking it.
More breakfast ideas
Sausage Pie Recipe
- pie crust
- 2 Fuji apples peeled and thinly sliced
- ½ cup sweet onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 lb italian sausage casing removed
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 ¼ cups fontina asiago, provolone, shredded (a mixture of three cheeses)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs slightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 425º. Place unbaked pie crust in a 9 inch pie plate and line with parchment paper. Place pie weights or beans on the parchment paper. Bake for 8 minutes, remove parchment and pie weights, prick the bottom with a fork. Return to the oven and cook until lightly brown for about 4 minutes. Turn oven down to 350º.
- Melt butter in large skillet. Add apples, onions and sugar and cook until soft at medium heat, about 5-10 minutes. Once softened, add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Transfer to a bowl. In the same skillet cook the sausage until browned and cooked through. Remove and drain on a paper towel.
- In a separate bowl, combine the mixture of cheeses, ricotta and eggs and mix until combined.
- Layer sausage in the bottom of the partially baked pie crust, then add apples and spread cheese mixture over the top.
- Bake at 350º for 35-40 minutes, until it no longer jiggles. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- If you don’t have ricotta cheese available, you can substitute cottage cheese
- You can substitute other cheeses, but include either provolone or fontina for the texture.
- You can use breakfast sausage in place of Italian sausage.