Not into a cleaning a lot of dishes tonight? Then Roast Sausage and Fennel with Orange—a one sheet-pan wonder dinner—is here for you. Roasting the sausages at a higher temperature helps them achieve the same golden brown color you’d get from searing them in a hot skillet, so why bother!
Our local Amish Farmer’s Market was showcasing their homemade bratwurst the day we went shopping and expected to pick up the Italian sweet sausage links for this recipe. Somehow we both had the same bright idea to use the brats instead. I also added an extra navel orange because after cutting away the thick outer peel and pith, the amount of flesh was scant and I wanted a prominent citrus note.
Thinly sliced shallots, leeks, or cabbage would all be great here too. And think of fennel fronds as a bonus that comes with the bulb; use them anywhere you would another tender herb like parsley or dill. I may have gotten a bit carried away on the garnish 😉
We served ours with a side of rainbow baby potatoes also rubbed in olive oil, with minced fresh rosemary, salt and pepper. They were put on a smaller sheet-pan lined with parchment paper, which when done, required no cleaning. If both pans fit in the same oven, you can cook them at the same temp. Since we have a double oven, I cooked them at 400° for slightly less time than the sausage combination, turning them once halfway through.
The leftovers were perfect for lunch later that week.
Roast Sausage and Fennel with Orange
2 medium fennel bulbs, fronds reserved, bulbs halved through root end, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 small red onion, halved through root end, thinly sliced lengthwise
3 sprigs rosemary
4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
6 sweet Italian sausages, about 1½ lb. total; (or use bratwurst like we did)
1 medium navel orange
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
Flaky sea salt
- Place a rack in highest position in oven; preheat to 425°. Combine fennel bulbs, red onion, and rosemary sprigs on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 3 Tbsp. oil, season generously with kosher salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Arrange sausages on top, spacing evenly and nestling into vegetables.
- Prick sausages all over with the tip of a paring knife and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. oil. Roast until sausages are browned on top and cooked though and fennel is tender and deeply browned in spots, 25-35 minutes.
- Meanwhile, coarsely chop reserved fennel fronds (you want about ¼ cup); set aside.
- Cut the ends off orange(s) to reveal flesh. Rest orange upright on a cut side and cut down around orange to remove peel and white pith, rotating it as you go; discard peel.
- Working over a small bowl, hold orange in your hand and cut between membranes to release segments into bowl. Squeeze membranes to extract any remaining juice into bowl; discard membranes. Add vinegar to orange segments and juice and toss to combine; season with kosher salt and pepper.
- Remove baking sheet from oven. Using your hand or a spoon to block segments, pour juices from orange over sausage and fennel mixture. Set orange segments aside and let sausages and fennel mixture cool 5 minutes.
- Transfer sausages and fennel mixture to a platter. Crumble rosemary leaves over and scatter reserved orange segments and fennel fronds on top. Season with sea salt and a bit more pepper; drizzle with oil.
Adapted from a recipe by Claire Saffitz from Bon Appétit