This Italian Sausage Casserole is delicious and loaded with flavors from meat, herbs, and vegetables! A healthy and yummy option for those in a gluten-free and low-carb diet, too! Perfect winter comfort food.
Last November we went to England because of a family emergency. While we were there we met up with some of our friends. We only get to see them when we come to the UK for a visit so when we are over we make sure we meet at least once.
One of the Sundays we were in London we attended worship service at St. Helen’s, part of the Church of England denomination. Our friend attends this church regularly and we all decided to have dinner together after the evening service.
After our souls were fed, we wondered where to get some physical nourishment. Thankfully, we didn’t have to go too far to find a restaurant as St. Helen’s, on Sunday nights, offers a dining service in one of its buildings for a very reasonable price. And the food was really good!
You’re probably thinking, where am I going with this narrative? Well, the food was so delicious – I decided I have to replicate it at home!
So you are looking at the sausage casserole inspired by the dish we had at St. Helen’s. Perhaps it was those tasty British sausages that made the casserole so yummy!
I loved that it was a pretty healthy casserole, too – no cream, no cheese but loaded with spinach and perfectly seasoned tomato sauce!
Too bad we don’t have access to delicious British sausages where we are but, thankfully, we do get really good Italian sausages so while both dishes may vary a little in taste because of this – I believe I copied the essence of that yummy dish which to this day I haven’t forgotten!
And, it’s so easy to make as well! While this calls for cooking the casserole in the oven, you can simply simmer the sauce on the stovetop, too.
Just make sure to check that the sauce doesn’t dry up so cook it on the lowest setting and make sure it’s covered as well.
The first time I made this, I didn’t have spinach but only some basil but the next time I added some spinach for more bulk, flavor and extra nutrients, too.
The photos reflect the first time I made this. This hearty dish is great with rice, pasta or with roasted or mashed potatoes!
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FOR FULL RECIPE & INSTRUCTIONS and to PRINT, SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW.
WHAT INGREDIENTS TO USE FOR Italian Sausage Casserole?
- Good quality Italian Sausages, left whole or sliced into bite-sized pieces if preferred
- Olive Oil
- Onion, chopped
- Garlic, sliced
- Mushrooms, sliced
- Dry red wine (use gluten-free or wheat-free version if on that diet)
- Spinach, fresh or frozen (if frozen, defrost and drain well)
- Unsalted crushed Tomatoes (can use canned Tomatoes)
- Fresh Sprigs of Rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried or to taste)
- Bay leaves
- Fresh Basil (optional but encouraged!)
- Salt, pepper and a little sugar (latter is optional and maybe left-out if doing low-carb), to taste
HOW DO I MAKE Italian Sausage Casserole?
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Heat the olive oil in an oven-safe casserole (like a cast iron or Dutch oven) and brown the sausages (whole or sliced). Transfer the sausages to a plate.
- In the same pan, saute the onions and garlic for a couple of minutes. Pour in the red wine and deglaze the pan, scraping the brown bits on the bottom of the casserole dish. Add the fresh or frozen spinach and cook until wilted. Turn off the heat.
- Add the mushrooms, crushed tomatoes, rosemary and bay leaves. Season with a little salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the sausages back to the casserole dish. Give a quick stir. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.
- If using fresh Basil, stir them into the casserole and cook for another 3-5 minutes in the oven. To enhance the flavor some more stir in a teaspoon or 2 of sugar. The last step is optional, especially if doing a low-carb diet. Enjoy over some pasta or rice!
Italian Sausage Casserole
- 3 pounds about 10-12 pieces good quality Italian Sausages, left whole or sliced into bite-sized pieces if preferred
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- 10 oz mushrooms sliced
- 1/2 cup dry red wine, use gluten-free or wheat-free wine if on that diet
- 8 oz cooking spinach fresh or frozen (if frozen, defrost and drain well)
- 2 cups unsalted crushed tomatoes, fresh or canned
- 3 fresh sprigs of rosemary, (or 1-2 teaspoons dried or to taste)
- 2 dried bay leaves
- handful of fresh basil, (optional but encouraged!
- salt and pepper (to taste), and a little (about 1 tsp) brown sugar, for seasoning (sugar is optional and maybe left-out if doing low-carb)
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Heat the olive oil in an oven-safe casserole (like a cast iron or Dutch oven) and brown the sausages (whole or sliced). Transfer the sausages to a plate.
In the same pan, saute the onions and garlic for a couple of minutes. Pour in the red wine and deglaze the pan, scraping the brown bits on the bottom of the casserole dish. Add the fresh or frozen spinach and cook until wilted. Turn off the heat.
Add the mushrooms, crushed tomatoes, rosemary and bay leaves. Season with a little salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the sausages back to the casserole dish. Give a quick stir. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.
If using fresh basil, simply stir them into the casserole. To enhance the flavor some more stir in a teaspoon or 2 of sugar. The last step is optional, especially if doing a low-carb diet. Enjoy over pasta or rice!
I love recreating awesome restaurant food at home! Even if it's from a local place, I can make it a little healthier and have it more often. Then it's an extra treat if I get to eat out and have it at the restaurant again! Win win!
Same here. Thanks, Sarah!
I agree that fresh basil really shouldn't be optional! Great job replicating the restaurant recipe!
It surely adds more flavor! Thanks!
Wow – that looks absolutely delicious!!! I don't think I could go low-carb if I were to make this. I would want some good bread to soak up all of that broth and onions with. Yummmy. LOL. I'm going to give this dish a try. I think sausage is such a wonderful main, yet it's very underused. Thanks for inspiring me to pick up some sausage and make a dish like this. I'm saving this recipe for later!
Bread soaking up all that sauce — I have to try that next time. Glad you were inspired and hope you enjoy the dish! Thanks!
The British do love their bangers! And they are good at making them. We often buy Italian-style sausages and I have to say that pork and fennel are my favorite Italian style sausages. And they make such a hearty meal when cooked as a casserole.
British sausages are the best and then my next choice would be Boerewors from South Africa but truth be told I often rely on good quality Italian sausages when I can't get those two! I will look out for the fennel one. Thanks!
I absolutely love making casseroles and one pan dinners! I often get inspired by recipes I've had eating out, although I don't eat out too often. Looks great 🙂
does this cook in the dutch oven COVERED??
You can try it in the dutch oven, if you like. You can cover but I would uncover towards the end; please refer to the instructions above. Thank you!
Growing up in Wisconsin, Italian Sausage and brats we're served on a regular basis. In fact, I just picked up some Italian Sausage yesterday to make something for the Packer game tomorrow. I just love how simple this recipe, yet full of so much flavor. Can't wait to try it!
Fresh herbs and vegetables also big part for getting success in recipes… home made is always best!
I fully agree!!
I love love love the combination of the italian sausage and tomato sauce, especially with the addition of spinach. I used to hate spinach growing up, but it's recipes like this that made me eventually come around on it. I'm definitely putting this recipe into my rotation!
I certainly hope you enjoy this Sarah! Thanks!
I love trying to recreate recipes I fall in love with at restaurants and then make them into my own! This sausage casserole looks hearty and satisfying. Yum!
Yum, I love loaded sauce casserole! In fact I haven't had one in a while and you just inspired me to make some soon. You are right, these recipes are simple, delicious and packed with flavors without the heaviness of cream or cheese. Looks Amazing!
That is so true! Thanks!
I make a lot of sausage main dishes, and this recipe is right up my alley! The fact that its low carb too, is a huge bonus! This is definitely going in my dinner rotation this week! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂
Hope you all like this Heather! Thanks!
We eat Italian sausage pretty often – it's the most readily available here in New York – but I don't think I've baked it in a casserole. You do have me wondering, though, if I should hunt down some English sausage and see what that's like in this! (There's a store across town that I'm told has several varieties – and this might get me over there!)
I bet the spinach just melds into the sauce… mmm…
Yes, even spinach haters will love this! Thanks!
Ooooh, this looks so good! We don't eat a lot of sausage in an attempt to limit saturated fats, but I bet this would be just as delicious with chicken sausage. My toddler loves mushrooms, so I know he'd be a big fan of this, too!
I love Italian sausage and could see making this as a Whole 30 compliant version. Do you use the mild sweet Italian sausage or have you ever tried using the spicy sausages?
I used the mild Italian sausage but feel free to use the spicy one if you like. I have kids so I wanted to make sure they don't complain…. 🙂
This looks amazing!! I used to love eating Italian sausage but now that i no longer eat pork it's hard. Lol This would just need some bread to finish of this meal. Yum
All the bread or rice to mop up all the sauce!
Funnily enough, l was just thinking about a sausage casserole today, it's indeed a favourite in England. Not only tasty, but also hearty and easy to whip up. I love your choice of spices, they go so well with the sausages.
That is comfort food – PERFECTED! The fact that it's one pan, means it's all lazy-girl approved. Bet my whole family would enjoy this!
Hope you all do! Thanks!
This is a great idea for the Super Bowl!
So true! Hope you try it! Thanks!
I am English and I cannot tell you how happy I am to see this recipe here! Perhaps I'm biased but I also think our sausages are really something special so I'm so glad to hear that you agree 🙂
Your recipe looks wonderful, and of course, I'll be able to use local sausages here to make my own casserole when I try it for myself but I thought I'd also lend you some advice too:
Firstly, British sausages are always mild and never spicy (we typically enjoy spices in curries or cured meats/sausage from continental Europe).
Secondly, for a traditional British sausage flavour, all you need is pork, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and sage. This is what we call a "Cumberland" sausage and is a staple on every supermarket shelf and butchers slab.
If you can find something like this in your part of the world, you'll be 99% there for the taste of this hearty casserole you tried at St Helen's.
P.S. I love to make mini sausages for my casseroles by twisting a sausage together in the middle and cutting it in two. They look so cute and makes it easier to divide the portions!
Thank you so much for such wonderful information. I will look for that Cumberland sausage as we do have a British store here in CT. Hope to go there soon. Glad you liked this!
Since coming to British Columbia to live 30 years ago and at first being frustrated by only being able to get German or Italian sausage at last over the past 10 Years English sausages have made an appearance – you can even get local winners like Cumberland at the many British stores that have popped up all over the place. I have made this recipe many many times (also with mild Italian sausage) and it never fails. Even served it at a dinner party and the guests all went home with the recipe – thank you Manilaspoon this is a winner!!!!!!
I am so happy to know you’ve all enjoyed this recipe! It’s one of our favorites, too! Thanks for letting us know!!
Can’t wait to try this, but I have a question. As for the spinach can you use the fresh bagged spinach? The kind you use in a salad? Thanks!
Yes, you can use it like the basil. However, since the basil adds depth of flavor try to use it as well when you have it. It makes a difference.
Just made. Didnt have mushrooms, used black olives. Great substitute. My husband won’t let me use mushrooms, he doesn’t like.
Glad it still worked for you! That’s awesome!
I am trying this recipe today looks delicious but i have to change it a little , dont like mushrooms , not crazy about spinach so i am adding bell peppers to it and sliced not chopped onions . hope it will still be good.
I don’t think it would be a problem. Enjoy!
I love this recipe. So easy and satisfying! My friend requested I make this again for her but I don’t have an oven because Covid shut things down it can’t be repaired. I am going to try to make this entirely on stove top.
So glad to know this and thanks for stopping by to tell us. Yes, this can certainly be done on the stovetop. Enjoy.
What can I use instead of the wine?
Hi Lara, wine gives this so much flavor so unless you cannot have it – don’t substitute. You can use chicken or beef broth but it won’t be the same taste. Worth a try though if wine cannot be used and let us know if that works. Thanks for stopping by.
We loved this. Simple but tasty. I sliced up some baby potatoes and put them in but other than that I didn’t change anything. My husband said I can make this anytime.
So glad you both enjoyed this and thanks for letting us know.
This Italian Sausage Casserole sounds so delicious and healthy! Will be making it for dinner very soon.
This Italian Sausage Casserole is so incredible! Full of flavor and so easy! I had it with cauliflower rice to keep it low carb and it was amazing.
What a delicious meal! I don’t blame you for wanting to recreate it. I love Italian sausage and every other ingredient you’ve used. Can’t wait to try it.
This Italian Sausage Casserole looks incredible and it also looks simple to put together! Thanks for sharing!!
This Italian Sausage Casserole looks so tempting. Perfect blend of flavors, healthy veggies and spices. My comfort meal is ready for sure.
Such a hearty and bold recipe that was not only easy but impressive to boot! Easily, a new favorite dish in my home!
I made this recipe and it is great .. was so pleased cause i lot of new recipes i made come out really bad . this is delicious and it’s part of my recipes now
i mwill make it on reg basis love sausages
Yay! So glad to know that Letizia! Thank you for stopping by and letting us know.
I enjoyed the dish and it was easy to make but felt it lacked something
I love different takes on ingredients and dishes I cook regularly. This did not disappoint. I didn’t have mushrooms but they would be amazing in this. Definitely use basil it have such a great flavor. It’s just me and my fiancée so instead of using 12 sausages I used 6 (cut in half) and added 8 oz of small diced pancetta that I browned with the sausage: Didn’t have red wine so I used Pinot Grigio- I’ve learned that red vs white doesn’t matter much when you are using tomatoes/sauce. We like some spice so I used hot Italian sausage and added red pepper flake. Served over a small bed of orzo with crostini. Sausage was juicy and tender and dish was amazingly flavorful and satisfying. Will be making again!!
So glad you enjoyed the dish and that you managed to adjust it to your needs! Thank you so much for the feedback and for letting us know.