Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner

Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner

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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!

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.

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, with 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. Most everything you throw onto the pan is so much more flavorful when roasted.

Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner ready to eat

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 that have about the same cook time.

This sausage apple fennel sheet pan dinner was the first time I have ever cooked fennel. I even bought the bulbs without knowing what to do with them.

David and I tried fennel recently at one of our favorite local restaurants in town, Osteria 510. We really enjoyed it. Before that night, we were afraid of it, because of its licorice description.

About Fennel

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 caramelizes wonderfully in the oven, with a fresh sweet taste.

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

ingredients to make sheet pan dinner

How To Make Sausage Apple Fennel Sheet Pan Dinner

Preheat the 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. Then toss the sausages, fennel, apples, with the vinegar mixture in a large bowl.

drizzling oil and vinegar mixture over sheet pan

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.

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

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.

sheet pan baking in oven

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 apples and fennel with rice on plate

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
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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!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword apple, fennel, sausage, sheet pan dinner
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 591kcal

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

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

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.

Nutrition

Calories: 591kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 990mg | Potassium: 581mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 205IU | Vitamin C: 18.2mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 1.1mg
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