One of my favorite things to eat while visiting Texas is a smoked sausage sandwich. They’re usually served at barbecue joints with some housemade bbq sauce and so delicious. Rather than the Italian kind you find around these parts, this sausage is smoked and more like a hot dog than sausage. I loved the idea of sliced sausage sandwiches because they’re crowd-pleasers and easy to pull together. The type of sausage you find in Texas isn’t as easy to track down in the midwest and even if you do, it doesn’t seem the same. The closest is Andouille or Smoked Deli Sausage and which don't live up to the real Texas kind. So while I loved the idea of recreating these sandwiches, I didn’t want to replicate them because they wouldn’t live up to my expectations. Instead, I decided to give them a little Italian Chicago twist.
Sausage and peppers is a classic combination. Something about the spice of the sausage and sweetness of the peppers makes it a crowd pleaser number. Add a little mozzarella and you’ve got a winner! These Sliced Sausage Sandwiches are inspired by the ones I have all the time in Texas but with a different flavor profile. They're also most likely a lot healthier. They’re very easy to prepare and quick too making them great for weeknights. The packaged sausage in the deli aisle that’s pre-cooked is such a great ingredient for weeknight cooking. There are so many options and many of them not too bad in the nutrition department. I used a Chicken Sausage with classic Italian seasoning for this recipe in particular. Any variety that seems like a good match for peppers would work for this recipe.
Before you start working on the sandwiches, get some potatoes roasting in the oven. Dice the potatoes about an inch or so thick, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and stick them in the oven for about 25 minutes until they’re fork tender and crisp on the outside. These should cook in about the time it’ll take to completely prepare the sandwiches. To start, heat a little olive oil in a large skillet. Cook the peppers first to soften them but not too much. They should still have a bite. You don’t want mushy peppers. Once they’ve developed a nice color to them and have tenderized a bit, add the sausage and cook just a few minutes to get them browning. Once that’s finished, add the mixture to the bottom bun halves, top with cheese and place in the oven. The cheese will melt and the buns will toast for great textures and flavors.
Sliced Sausage Sandwiches with Roasted Potatoes
2 Potatoes, diced
2 tbsp. Olive Oil + 1 tbsp.
4 links Chicken Sausage, sliced 1-inch thick
½ Red Bell Pepper, sliced
½ Green Bell Pepper, sliced
4 slices Mozzarella Cheese
4 Brioche Rolls, or hearty Hamburger Buns, sliced in half
Salt & Pepper
1 - Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prep a baking sheet with tin foil. Place the potatoes on the foil-lined baking sheet, drizzle with two tablespoons of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss. Bake 20-25 minutes until crisp and browned.
2 - While the potatoes cook, prep your sandwiches. Heat the remaining tablespoon in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and cook until just starting to soften. They should still have a bite to them. Add in the sausage and cook about 5-6 minutes longer until the sausage starts to brown.
3 - Prep a second baking sheet with tin foil and lay the sliced buns on it top sides down, bottom sides up. Fill the bottom halves with the sausage and pepper mixture. Top with the mozzarella slices and place into the oven for about 3 minutes or just until the cheese melts. Remove from the oven, top with your favorite condiments (or nothing at all), and serve with the roasted potatoes alongside!