Easy Italian sausage appetizers are perfect for a night at home. Seasoned sausage served in mini pie pastry cups make this bite sized recipe great for the family or a night in.
This post has been sponsored by Prego®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Italian Sausage Appetizers
I’ve got a terrific easy appetizer recipe that’s also great for brunch! These mini appetizer cups start with Italian breakfast sausage and get a flavor boost from new Prego® + Plant Protein sauce.
They’re easy to make because we use simple ingredients like refrigerated pie crust, pre-seasoned meat, and ready-to-go bread crumbs. The sauce adds moisture as well as more Italian flavor to the mixture.
These sausage cups are the perfect finger food or heavy hors d’oeuvres. The combination of meat, cheese, and pie crust is hearty and satisfying when served with drinks.
PARTY TIP: If you want to make these EVEN EASIER just add the meat mixture into mini phyllo shells instead.
Using Prego®+ in recipes gives the added benefit of plant based protein while the traditional taste and texture are still there. A terrific alternative for vegetarians and carnivores alike! It’s easy to find at your local Kroger store in the Italian sauce aisle. Plus you can find everything else you need including flowers and wine for your gathering!
What are some heavy hors d’oeuvres?
Heavy hors d’oeuvres are often served warm, but there are cold and room temperature items you can add as well. Here are some of our tried and true heavy appetizers.
- Jerk chicken skewers
- Cheese and Bacon Canapé
- Bourbon meatballs
- Honey Chicken Salad Cups
- Asian Tuna Wonton Cups
How to make easy sausage appetizer cups
Let’s talk about these heavy appetizers and what makes them so good.
- We made these in mini pie crusts to make them heartier. There’s an equal balance between meat filling and crust, but if you want them a little lighter you can use frozen phyllo cups instead.
- Using Italian seasoned breakfast sausage means you don’t have to add extra seasoning or spices to the mix. Plus it’s a great starting point if you want to serve these for an Italian theme dinner.
- Sausage and pastry shells are equally delicious for brunch too!
- Using dry onion flakes cooked in with the meat saves time and energy. You don’t have to worry about chopping those onions.
- Grated Parmesan is a kitchen staple for most people. Use it in this recipe to add flavor to the mixture, but shred a fresh block of Parmesan on top of these sausage cups to finish them before baking.
- We’ve been cooking with Prego® for years! The new Prego®+ has the same taste as traditional, but now with plant protein. That makes it great for this recipe but also for vegetarian pasta dinners or my easy layered pasta bake.
- Garnish these heavy hors d’oeuvres with fresh basil and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
Can I make these ahead?
You can make the filling a day ahead and refrigerate covered over night. The pie shells are best prepared at the time you’re ready to bake.
Can I freeze them?
After these have been cooked you can cool completely and freeze. Wrap them tightly with aluminum foil and freeze up to 2 months.
When ready to use, thaw them in the refrigerator, unwrap them, and place in a single layer on a baking sheet or back into the mini muffin tins. Cover loosely with foil so they don’t over-brown. Heat at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.
More Sausage Appetizers
- sausage cheese balls
- sausage empanadas
- smoked sausage appetizer in easy bbq sauce
- saucy cocktail kielbasa medallions
You can find all the ingredients for these Italian sausage appetizers at Kroger here. Use their phone app to make shopping even easier!
- 8 ounces Italian seasoned breakfast sausage
- 1 teaspoon dry onion flakes
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1 cup Prego® + sauce plus extra for topping
- 1 package (two rolls) refrigerated pie crust
- 4 ounce freshly shredded Parmesan for topping
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Break up and cook sausage and onion flakes in a skillet over medium-low heat. Stir as needed until cooked through.
- Remove sausage mixture and drain on paper towel.
- In a large bowl combine sausage, bread crumbs, grated Parmesan, and egg. Add Prego+ sauce and mix well.
- Meanwhile, roll out pie crust as directed on package. Use a biscuit cutter or small glass to cut out circles 2 1/2 inches in diameter.
- Gently place pie dough circles into mini muffin tins.
- Fill with a scoop of sausage mixture and top with freshly shredded Parmesan.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.
- Serve warm with Prego+ sauce on the side for topping.
To make this recipe even easier, use frozen phyllo mini shells instead of the pie crust.