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One Pan Sausage, Peppers, and Beans Gratin

spoon lifting a scoop the reveal melted cheese
the cheese pull you're looking for

Sausage and peppers is a dish I've made a thousand times and is firmly planted in my repertoire of recipes I could make in my sleep. I typically serve it with roasted potatoes (together on one sheet tray) or soft polenta (like this) but on this occasion I really wanted to dirty 1 singular pan and call it a day. Living in a predominately gluten free household (due to celiac husband), the 'just add crusty bread!' thing doesn't work for us.

But you know what works? Premade polenta tube. I think the Olivia of 10 years ago would scoff at myself for this but Olivia of 10 years ago was single and childless. I truly love this product, it's a pantry staple and it has my back. So I cubed it up, sprinkled it over my sauteed sausage and peppers and baked it gratin style.

I was also inspired on this day to make Antonia Parker's sausage, beans, and mozzarella gratin, so I sort of combined her recipe, with sausage, and this polenta idea to create something new. That's truly how most recipes go after all.

Starting from this beans and cheese idea meant I already had some solid plant protein to go off, and just a few crumbled sausages was enough to feed us and provide leftovers (leftovers are essential around here). Combining smaller bits of meat proteins with beans or tofu is one of my favourite ways to stretch your proteins and work in more plants. It's a perfect little trick for anyone trying to include plant based meals but not sure how and not sure how their families will react.

So dinner was a bit of an experiment but how could these ingredients together end badly? I knew I was in for a treat. Here's how it went.

a photo of the finished dish, covered with crispy polenta and melted cheese


olive oil

3 sausages, casings removed and crumbled

4-5 large peppers, sliced rather thinly (not shaved)

1 large onion, thinly sliced into half moons

a few springs of rosemary and/or thyme, optional (I used thyme)

a few cloves of garlic, sliced, depends how much you like

1 28oz can whole peeled plum tomatoes

1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

about 1/3 of a large tube premade polenta, cubed (you need enough to cover the pan)

grated mozzarella and parmigiano cheeses, enough to cover the top (I will not dictate how much cheese you use!)


Heat olive oil in a large oven safe pan or dutch oven. Add crumbled sausage and brown. Remove when you can see crispy brown bits and it's cooked through.

To the same pan, add the peppers, onions, salt and pepper. Give it all a good stir, scraping the fond from the bottom of the pan. Cover with a lid to create some steam and start off the cooking. Remove the lid after a few minutes and continue cooking on medium heat until soft.

Add the garlic and sautee for about a minute before adding the tomatoes. Smash them with the back of your spoon. Add more salt and pepper and cook the tomatoes down for about 15 minutes. You want to cook that raw tomato flavour out- it's unpleasant.

Next up is the beans and the sausage. Give it a good stir and simmer letting the flavours blend for about 5-10.

Meanwhile, preheat your broiler on high. For me it's about 500F, but every oven is a bit different and you know your broiler best. I baked mine for about 5-10 minutes, until the cheese was melted and the polenta had crisped edges. Keep a close eye on it so it doesn't burn and don't set it too close to the top of your oven.

And there you have a veg forward, still meaty, definitely cheesey, all in one, new yet still traditional dinner. You're welcome.


a photo of the finished dish, covered in crisped polenta and melted cheese
ta da

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