A Sausage Sheet Pan Dinner with Apples and Fennel is simple enough to add to your weeknight dinner rotation. Cooked all in one pan over rice for a fantastic meal with just one pan to wash, you’ll love the combination of flavors.
Sweet Italian sausage recipes are some of my favorites, like Italian sausage pasta, or the flavor it adds to lasagna. It’s the star of this sausage sheet pan dinner, where you will create an entire dinner on the sheet pan.
Italian sausage combined with sweet apples and savory fennel provide a unique combination that seeps into the rice on the sheet pan as it cooks.
Sheet pan dinners are great when it comes time to clean up, but the challenge is to make sure everything can cook for the same amount of time without one ingredient being overcooked. Having great flavors that mix well together is the easy part.
With the combination of sausage, apples and fennel, you have a dish that meets all my requirements. First, it’s delicious, second the apples are not mushy by the time the sausage has cooked, and last but not least, you only have one pan to clean.
I would suggest using a firm apple like Fuji but any firm apple will keep it’s texture for this dish. Choose ones that you like.
I love the idea of adding fennel along with the apples. The sweet and savory are a great combination with the Italian sausage. By using pre-made rice, all the flavors from the apples, fennel and sausage soak into the rice while it’s cooking.
You can leave out the fennel if you don’t like the slightly licorice flavor it adds and the dish will still be great with just apples and sausage. However, when fennel is cooked, the licorice flavor is hardly detectable.
This is a great dish for a busy week night. It all comes together in the time it takes you to slice the apples and fennel.
Why you’ll love it
- Sheet pan dinners combine the main dish and the side dish so clean up’s a breeze.
- Apples and fennel are a combination you might not have tried, your going to love it!
- Having a dish that can be thrown together last minute for a quick turn around is awesome for busy families.
What you’ll need
- Sweet Italian sausage – these provide so much flavor, if you want to make it spicy, you can add hot Italian sausage or any type of raw sausage in casing.
- Fennel – this is an odd looking vegetable with a top that looks like dill, the bulb is what you will eat.
- Fuji apples – any firm slightly sweet apple will work, if you use a softer apple the slices will be mushy.
- Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice – any package of prepared rice will work or you can make a batch of rice ahead of time. It just needs to be cooked when you add it to the sheet pan. You will need 4 cups of cooked rice.
- Olive oil and apple cider vinegar – this is used to coat the apples, sausage and fennel.
How to make a sausage sheet pan dinner
Place a mound of cooked rice in the center of a sheet pan.
Slice the fennel and apples.
Combine oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and pour it over the sausages, fennel and apples. Cover the rice with this mixture on the sheet pan.
Bake for about 40 minutes until the sausages are cooked through. The internal temperature should be 160º.
If sheet pan dinners are your thing, try out Ranch Chicken with Carrots and Potatoes or pork chops with peaches.
FAQs and tips
The difference between mild and sweet is the addition of sweet basil in the sweet Italian sausage.
Fennel, that licorice-scented herb, is a common ingredient in Italian sausage. American breakfast sausage typically features sage. Both sausages incorporate more than these spices, but those are the most common.
Fennel is a vegetable that’s a member of the carrot family, but it looks more like a cross between an onion, celery and dill! It has a slightly licorice flavor.
MORE dinner recipe ideas
Sausage Sheet Pan Dinner
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 lb sweet italian sausage links
- 2 bulbs fennel sliced
- 2 fuji apples Sliced into 1 inch slices
- 2 8.8 oz Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice microwaveable, or 4 cups cooked rice
- Preheat oven to 375º.
- Whisk together oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, combine sausages, fennel and apples and pour mixture over the top. stir to cover.
- Place rice in a mound in the middle of a rimmed baking sheet and cover with sausage and apple mixture.
- Bake until sausages are cooked through, and apples slightly browned, about 40 minutes. A meat thermometer will read 160º.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- You can use 4 cups of cooked rice.
- If you don’t like licorice, leave out the fennel.
- You can use any type of raw sausage in casing.
- Try to use firm apples or they will get mushy.
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