* This is a sponsored post for Cirio *
You won’t find much more of a classic comfort food dish than a sausage casserole. Famed for being a dish that you can just throw everything in to, this Turkey Sausage and Mixed Bean Casserole does not disappoint. It’s a great way to use up leftovers and it’s like a big hug in a bowl.
We used turkey sausages to keep this dish lower in fat and leaner and added beans for some extra protein and to bulk the dish out in a budget friendly way. If you’re looking to save some money on your food shopping, then add this meal to your weekly meal plan. Throw in some frozen veg, serve with a side of creamy mashed potatoes and the whole family is happy!
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Sausage casserole will always hold a special place in my heart, as it just reminds me of school dinners. I actually loved my school dinners when I was a kid. Whether that was because I was lucky and they were really good, whether it was just the kind of food I liked, or I would pretty much eat anything as a kid and all food is good food. This following by a steaming bowl on jam rolly polly and custard (that will only make sense if you grew up in the UK) and I was a happy kid. A happy kid that needed a nap after lunch time.
Even now as an adult, I still get all those comforting feelings when I eat this dish. I actually cooked it a lot when I was at university. It was cheap to make, it was good for feeding a crowd when you had friends over and it made use to tinned beans and tinned tomatoes, and everyone knows that they are both student staples.
Back in my student days, I would just buy the cheapest ingredients going and when it came to dishes that used tinned tomatoes, something always seemed missing. Since discovering Cirio and realising that is how tinned tomatoes should taste like, I realise that what was missing was that richness.
I mean, just look at the colour of the sauce in this casserole. That deep, rich, red colour is all down to Cirio Peeled Plum Tomatoes that add such an intense flavour. You will wonder why you haven’t been using them in your casseroles all along. Their “legendary peeled plum tomatoes are the result of a long tradition and passion for tomatoes. Grown on sun-drenched Italian vines, only the plumpest, ripest, juiciest tomatoes with just the right colour intensity, texture and depth of flavour are selected. They then pick and can on the same day to give a fresh, distinctive and authentic taste of Italy.” Now, you don’t get that with a can of supermarket own-brand tomatoes and you can taste that difference too.
When one of the main flavours in a dish is the tomatoes, go with the best quality that you can. Head to your supermarket and stock up on their products (their tomato puree is a staple in our kitchen too, and also used in this dish), as they are the base of so many dishes, and always handy to have in the kitchen to make a meal in a flash.
I have spoken about how we haven’t had much luck with growing things in our garden this year (those pesky ninja slugs had a feast), but randomly the one things that flourished was our thyme. We planted just about every herb you can think of, but that was the only one that survived. Probably because it’s quite a woody and hardy herb. Not only did it survive the stealth slugs, but it grew a bit crazily and now we have so much of it, we don’t know what to do with it all. Luckily, casseroles and thyme are a perfect little match.
Let’s talk about these potatoes for a minute shall we – you can’t have sausage casserole without a side of creamy mashed potatoes. However, we have a bit of a confession to make…..we are potato obsessed. Like, we would happily eat them every day. 3 times a day even, and that needs to stop. Whilst I do think that potatoes get a bad rep, they have many nutritional benefits, in the quantities that we could eat them, it’s no beuno.
So, we do half mashed potato and half mashed cauliflower. You know that Dave is not a fan of cauliflower and I would probably choose most other vegetables over it. However, when it is mashed in with the potatoes, you really can’t tell the difference and it bulks it out. It feels like you are eating a whole portion of creamy mashed potatoes, but some vegetables have managed to sneak their way in too. We mix in a little milk, some Greek yoghurt and some wholegrain mustard and you have yourself a mashed potato party, but with half the carbs. If you have the Hungry Healthy Happy Book (available on Amazon and in all good book stores), then you will have seen this recipe already!
Turkey Sausage and Mixed Bean Casserole recipe:
Turkey Sausage and Mixed Bean Casserole
- 8 Lean turkey sausages
- 400 g Plum tomatoes
- 800 g Mixed beans (I used 400g can of cannellini and 400g can of pinto)
- 2 Leeks, sliced
- 200 g Mushrooms, sliced
- 4 tbsp Tomato puree
- 1 tbsp Fresh thyme, chopped
- 4 Cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp Paprika
- 1 tbsp Mustard powder
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- Grill the sausages for 10-12 minutes, turning regularly.
- While the sausages are coking, heat a little oil in a pan. Add the leeks, mushrooms and garlic. Gently cook for 4 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, drained beans, tomato puree, paprika, mustard powder, thyme and salt and pepper. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked sausages.
- Finally, transfer to a casserole dish and put in the oven at 200°C for 15 minutes.
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**This Turkey Sausage and Mixed Bean Casserole recipe was commissioned by Cirio however, all opinions are my own**