Are you looking for a fast and easy no-recipe dinner? Casually tossing a few ingredients onto a sheet pan (or in this case, into a pretty roasting dish) and sliding it into the oven for a baking tray dinner is the way to go. This Sausage, Potato and Onion Dinner is one that I’ve made in one form or another for many years. Take the ideas here and run with them!
Sausage, Potato and Onion Dinner: How It Happened
One November day back in 2016, my work day ended around 4 pm and I had a meeting to get to by 6. I was hungry, but there weren’t any leftovers hanging around to heat up. I opened the refrigerator rather glumly, not expecting any great revelations. Then I realized there was a package of quality Italian sausage from the market just waiting to be cooked.
Before I knew it, the oven was pre-heating to 350℉, I’d browned the sausage, par-cooked some tiny potatoes in the microwave for a couple of minutes (oops, one exploded; should have pricked them with a fork first!) and cut two small onions into pieces. Another survey of the refrigerator yielded the last of a package of fresh thyme … not quite so fresh any more, but still acceptable. Oh, and I chopped a red chili pepper into chunks too, for a hit of piquancy and vibrant colour.
Normally when I make sausage I brown it and then finish it off in the oven in the same skillet. Because I was adding vegetables, I didn’t want them to absorb the fat that had oozed from the mildly spicy links, so I went in search of something else. I’d usually make a dinner like this on a baking tray, but when I opened the cupboard the first thing I saw was the lovely white oval roasting dish. Ah, a touch of class for my quick and rustic dinner!
Putting it all together was a breeze: a drizzle of good olive oil on the bottom of the roasting dish to keep things from sticking, a quick arrangement of the sausage, potatoes, onions and chili pepper, and a tender tucking in of the thyme (okay, maybe it wasn’t so tender, but I like the alliteration here). Another drizzle of olive oil over the vegetables, followed by some sticky balsamic vinegar, a grating of pepper and a sprinkling of kosher salt, and into the oven it went for 30 minutes.
The prep for this dinner took about 10 minutes, maybe a little more. I wasn’t pulling a Jamie Oliver and trying to make dinner in 15 minutes; I was just trying to get a good meal together at the end of a long day.
Make It Family- or Leftover-Friendly
Are you cooking for a crowd or looking to have leftovers for later in the week? Just get out your biggest sheet pan or two, increase the amount of ingredients according to your need, and in the same amount of time you’ll have made more than one easy baking tray dinner.
Since You Asked …
I didn’t plan to write about this dish, but it looked so pretty and appetizing when it came out of the oven that I posted a snap of it on Instagram, and someone asked for the recipe. Recipe? I wouldn’t exactly call this a recipe. It’s just how I throw dinner together sometimes.
What can I say … it was a good throw that made for a very good catch. I can’t wait to enjoy the leftovers this evening!
Looking for More Easy Dinners?
My easiest, most family-friendly dinners are the most popular posts on the blog. Here are a few more to choose from: Hamburger, Potato and Tomato Skillet Dinner, Pasta with Garlic, Chili and Lime, and a simple classic from my mom’s kitchen, Beef and Spaghetti Dinner.
First Published 2016 11 16
Republished 2021 09 29