Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner

Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner: A sweet and savory combination of roasted apples, fennel, and spicy Italian sausage and rice. A great weeknight meal! | TheMountainKitchen.com

I am here to tell you that this sausage apple fennel sheet pan dinner is bursting with fall flavor!! Not to mention this easy sheet pan meal comes together in less than an hour, using just a few ingredients, and cooks on a single sheet pan, with rice.

I was a little late to the sheet pan game, but I have jumped on board. I love the time savings and most everything you throw onto the pan is so much more flavorful roasted, making flavor the easiest part about them. Sheet pan dinners are also easy to clean up and that can be a major plus when trying to figure out a weeknight meal during a hectic week. The only trick (or should I say snag?) is trying to figure out combinations of ingredients with the same cook times, without one ingredient being overcooked.

This sausage apple fennel sheet pan dinner was the first time I have ever cooked fennel. I even bought the bulbs without really knowing what to even do with them, but I really loved that this recipe used fennel. David and I tried it recently at one of our favorite local restaurants in town called Osteria 510, and we really enjoyed it. Before that night, we were afraid of it, because of its licorice description. Popular in Mediterranean cuisine, fennel is used mostly for its bulb, but also for its green fronds. Cooked, fennel is crunchy, slightly sweet, and savory, and can refresh any dish. Surprisingly, it doesn’t taste like licorice, but it sure smells like it in its raw form. Neither David nor I would ever touch it if it tasted the way it smells because we do not like licorice. Fennel is a different vegetable when cooked. It retains its crisp texture and carmelizes wonderfully in the oven, with a fresh sweet taste.

(You can learn more about fennel and how to prepare it HERE)

A sweet and savory combination of roasted apples, fennel, and spicy Italian sausage tossed with tangy apple cider vinegar infuse the rice while cooking. This sausage apple fennel sheet pan dinner is perfect when you’re tired and hungry.

Here’s how I made it:

Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner: A sweet and savory combination of roasted apples, fennel, and spicy Italian sausage and rice. A great weeknight meal! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner | Servings: 4 | Time: 50 Minutes

Recipe adapted from Southern Living Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼  cup apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound Hot Italian sausage links
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, sliced, fronds reserved
  • 2 medium-size apples, cut into 1-inch wedges
  • (2) 8.8-ounce pouches microwavable ready-to-serve rice (such as Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet; set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk oil, vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the sausages, fennel, apples, with the vinegar mixture in a large bowl.

Mound the rice in the center of the prepared sheet pan. Top with sausages, fennel, and apples, covering it completely. Drizzle with any remaining vinegar mixture that may be left in the bowl.

Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner: A sweet and savory combination of roasted apples, fennel, and spicy Italian sausage and rice. A great weeknight meal! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until sausages are cooked through and fennel and apples are golden and tender.

Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner: A sweet and savory combination of roasted apples, fennel, and spicy Italian sausage and rice. A great weeknight meal! | TheMountainKitchen.com

To serve, divide the vegetables, rice, and sausages evenly among 4 plates. Finish plating by evenly sprinkling a bit of green chopped fennel fronds on top for more delicious fennel flavor.

Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner: A sweet and savory combination of roasted apples, fennel, and spicy Italian sausage and rice. A great weeknight meal! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Recipe Notes:

Use chicken sausage if you want, just make sure to cut sausages to about 4-inches long to ensure more even cooking.

Make sure you completely cover the rice, or it will get hard and crispy. 

It is important to choose a very firm and crisp apples such as Honeycrisp or Fuji.

Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner: A sweet and savory combination of roasted apples, fennel, and spicy Italian sausage and rice. A great weeknight meal! | TheMountainKitchen.com

I have made this sheet pan meal twice now, with different results. The first time this meal cooked beautifully, but the second time it seemed to take longer to cook the sausages and the apples were mushy because they were not one of the more crispy varieties.

I had a HUGE laugh watching David eat one of the apple slices. He almost went into some type of convulsion because of the texture it had. He keeps telling me to take the apples out and add in potato wedges instead. You know, I love the combination of apples and pork together and he’s obviously a meat and taters kind of guy, but I think that would be good! 😉

Enjoy!

Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner: A sweet and savory combination of roasted apples, fennel, and spicy Italian sausage and rice. A great weeknight meal! | TheMountainKitchen.com
Print
Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hrs
 
Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner: A sweet and savory combination of roasted apples, fennel, and spicy Italian sausage and rice. A great weeknight meal!
Course: Main Course
Servings: 4
Author: Debbie Spivey
Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼   cup apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound Hot Italian sausage links
  • 2 small fennel bulbs sliced, fronds reserved
  • 2 medium-size apples cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 2 8.8 ounce pouches microwavable ready-to-serve rice (such as Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk oil, vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Toss the sausages, fennel, apples, with the vinegar mixture in a large bowl.
  4. Mound the rice in the center of the prepared sheet pan. Top with sausages, fennel, and apples, covering it completely. Drizzle with any remaining vinegar mixture that may be left in the bowl.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until sausages are cooked through and fennel and apples are golden and tender.
  6. To serve, divide the vegetables, rice, and sausages evenly among 4 plates. Finish plating by evenly sprinkling a bit of green chopped fennel fronds on top for more delicious fennel flavor.
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Southern Living Magazine

Use chicken sausage if you want, just make sure to cut sausages to about 4-inches long to ensure more even cooking.

Make sure you completely cover the rice, or it will get hard and crispy. 

It is important to choose a very firm and crisp apples such as Honeycrisp or Fuji.

22 thoughts on “Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner

  1. I think you are right in the middle of the sheet pan phase as any new cookbook I have bought usually includes a recipe (s). I have been making one with pork tenderloin and potatoes for some time – I should branch out and try some different fruit/veggies/meat. Looks good to me 🙂

  2. Sounds like such a comfortingly delicious dish! I just bought a Sheet Pan cookbook from Williams Sonoma and can’t wait to give some recipes a whirl! Thanks for sharing this yummy dish Debbie! 🙂

  3. It’s been getting cold at night, and your sheet pan dinner looks perfect! I love the combination of sausage and apple! I can never find fennel in the supermarkets here so I’ll have to omit… maybe I can add other vegetables and add some dried fennel seeds instead?

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