12 Recipes Using Sausage Links From The Deli

While there is no shortage of jokes about how it's made, sausage — which can feature a variety of ground meats, seasonings, and fillers stuffed in casing — can be found in just about every cuisine around the world. From Britain's Cumberlands to China's lap cheong, Italian salsiccia to the ubiquitous hot dog, these affordable and versatile protein sources are used in a wide array of recipes.

A variety of links are easily found at most local deli counters where sales are common, allowing you to purchase the meat in larger quantities while it's discounted to freeze for future use. Deli sausages are perfect grilled, fried, baked, boiled, or sautéed, and can be consumed as they are or used as an ingredient in any number of dishes. Whether the meat is removed from the casing and incorporated into a sauce, meatball, or casserole, or the sausage is left intact and utilized whole or sliced, the culinary possibilities posed by the deli sausage are boundless.

These are some of our favorite recipes that can turn the humble deli sausage into a truly memorable meal.

Instant Pot Gumbo

Gumbo might not be a dish vegetarians typically eat, but this one is different. Meat-free sausage takes center stage in this modern-day take on a Louisiana classic, and with the help of an Instant Pot, this vegetarian delight can go from idea to execution in under an hour. 

And even if you can't live without meat, don't despair because this dish adapts well to protein substitutions. Swap the plant-based links for the real thing — just make sure you slice them up before cooking.

Recipe: Instant Pot Gumbo

Choucroute Garnie

If you've ever cooked up a duck breast and wondered what to do with the fat, this recipe is for you. This version of choucroute garnie uses the duck fat to cook up Polish-style kielbasa, German-inspired bratwurst, bacon, and baby back ribs in a Dutch oven. This meat-fest is then braised in a stock made with Riesling and sauerkraut. 

And if, by any chance, you don't finish the bottle of Riesling while you're braising the sausages, never fear — the wine goes perfectly alongside the hearty dish it was made with.

Recipe: Choucroute Garnie

Traditional Jambalaya

This one-pot jambalaya may be challenging to prep, but it's beyond easy to cook. It brings together a medley of chicken, shrimp, and Andouille sausage for a delicious take on a beloved Creole classic. 

When making this traditional rice dish, don't be tempted to use another type of sausage. There's a reason Andouille has been a jambalaya ingredient staple for generations: It helps give the dish its famous smoky quality.

Recipe: Traditional Jambalaya

New Orleans Red Beans and Rice

Ham bones may be the backbone of a traditional Louisiana red beans and rice meal, but you'll find that the smoked sausage used in this recipe will do the trick. 

If you feel like it's taking too long for the red beans to come together and you have an Instant Pot, go ahead and use that versatile kitchen gadget to help take the dish across the finish line. Just don't forget to sear the sausage before you let the stew simmer!

Recipe: New Orleans Red Beans and Rice

Churrasco With Grilled Scallion Chimichurri

Churrasco, a style of cooking synonymous with barbecued meats, is extremely popular in South America, according to Espeto Grill. Like the original, this recipe makes use of linguiça, a smoked sausage Devour Tours explains is traditionally made with pork and spiced with paprika, chili, and garlic.

While the meats are typically cooked over an open flame, our version has been adapted to suit the equipment available to a home cook.

Recipe: Churrasco With Grilled Scallion Chimichurri

White Lasagna With Sausage And Ricotta

There's not a tomato in sight for this creamy and comforting white lasagna dish. Rather than ground beef, recipe developer Ali Fagan used Italian pork sausage removed from the casing and sautéed with onions and spinach, as well as a spice medley of thyme, sage, and red pepper flakes. As Fagan notes: "A touch of sweetness from the onions, heat from the pepper flakes, and green from the spinach round out this lasagna for a fun spin on a classic dish."

With its rich flavors and creamy ricotta béchamel sauce, this tasty take on white lasagna is sure to be a hit.

Recipe: White Lasagna With Sausage And Ricotta

Mac & Cheese With Chicken-Apple Sausage

Traditionally, mac and cheese doesn't feature any meat, but we think you'll be pleasantly surprised by this creamy, four-cheese concoction, which is turbo-charged by the presence of chicken-apple sausage and Honeycrisp apples. 

Sweet and savory flavors are married perfectly in this recipe, and while it won't suffer from ingredient substitutions (for example, you could use ground pork sausage instead of chicken-apple sausage if you prefer), it advises you not to skimp on the cheese. 

Recipe: Mac & Cheese With Chicken-Apple Sausage

Zuppa Toscana

This soup with a traditional Italian name has decidedly American ties. Zuppa Toscana is, after all, an Olive Garden favorite. Still, it is inspired by a chunky Italian soup known as minestra di pane, which is also made with a mix of potatoes and leafy greens (via Cookaround). 

The addition of Italian sausage makes this soup a hearty meal for just about any kind of weather. Because it goes from prep to table in 40 minutes, it is the perfect weeknight treat.

Recipe: Zuppa Toscana


Nothing says classic French cuisine quite like cassoulet, a deliciously comforting, slow-cooked stew typically made with duck confit, sausage, and white beans.

Cassoulet requires time and patience, but the end result is certainly worth it. This recipe calls for the use of duck fat and duck sausage, as well as helpings of garlic sausage for a memorable cold-weather meal.

Recipe: Cassoulet

Breakfast Focaccia

Baked sunny-side-up eggs might be the visual star of this breakfast focaccia, but it's not the only ingredient that's hard at work here. The dish is pepped up with the addition of flavorful breakfast sausage, crispy bacon, roasted red peppers, and cheddar cheese.

We think you'd be doing this dish an injustice if you think of it only for breakfast because it can be enjoyed any time of day. Just be sure to avoid the biggest mistakes everyone makes while baking focaccia.

Recipe: Breakfast Focaccia

Instant Pot Vegan Red Beans and Rice

While the original idea for making red beans involved giving leftover ham a second chance to shine, it's entirely possible to make this a vegan dish, particularly with the help of meat substitutes like Beyond Sausage, which Tasting Table recipe developer Miriam Hahn used in this dish.

The Instant Pot makes for easy cooking, and with plenty of spices — like Cajun seasoning, basil, oregano, sage, and thyme — veggies, beans, and rice, this hearty and nutritious recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Recipe: Instant Pot Vegan Red Beans and Rice

Spaghetti Pie

What's better than a bowl of spaghetti? Maybe only a thick, rich spaghetti pie. This recipe (literally) towers over most other pasta dishes — except for the over-the-top timpano, featured in the film "Big Night." 

This savory meal is made with more than a pound (yes, a pound) of cheese and gets an extra flavor boost from sautéed broccoli rabe and spicy Italian sausage. It's unlikely there will be room for dessert after a big slice of this pasta pie.

Recipe: Spaghetti Pie