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The Best Cozy Casseroles for Fall

 

There’s so much to love about this time of year – bulky sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, hay rides, and harvest celebrations. But we know we won’t shock you when we say our favorite part of fall is the food.

We especially love casseroles, with their comforting flavors that can warm you up from the inside out. Our rolls are perfectly suited for these types of dishes as they contain tons of flavorful goodness without the need to remove the meat from casings – helping you to get a delicious dinner on the table easily.

Our rolls come in several different varieties, including:

  • Pork Mild Italian Sausage
  • Pork Hot Italian Sausage
  • Classic Pork Sausage
  • Classic Chicken Sausage
  • Chicken Italian Sausage
  • Chicken Hot Italian Sausage
  • Ground Chicken

No matter which option you choose, our rolls will help make your one-dish meal a hit. So without further ado, here are our favorite cozy casseroles for fall.

Healthy Stuffed Pepper Casserole from Rachel Cooks: All the flavors of classic stuffed peppers with considerably less effort. Swap our lean, moist ground chicken for the ground turkey to boost the protein and lower the fat even more.

Shebron’s Stuffed Shells from Isernio’s: Creamy ricotta. Savory sausage. Tangy tomato sauce. All wrapped up in a pasta shell and baked to perfection. What’s not to love?

White Bean, Sausage, and Pumpkin Pasta Bake from Garnish and Glaze: This is the ultimate comfort dish that captures all of the flavors of the season. It’s a complete meal in itself!

Sweet Potato & Chicken Apple Sausage Quinoa Bake from Little Bits Of: Who says you can’t enjoy comfort food if you’re eating clean? This would be perfect made with one of our fully cooked chicken sausages!

Pumpkin Sage and Sausage Baked Gnocchi from Country Cleaver: A fun seasonal twist on traditional gnocchi, this can be made with regular sausage and an additional tablespoon of sage.

Wild Rice and Sausage Casserole from Fountain Avenue Kitchen: The nutty flavor of the wild rice pairs perfectly with sausage, mushrooms, and just a hint of parmesan cheese.

Spicy Smoked Sausage Alfredo Bake from Let’s Dish: Fully-cooked sausage makes this cheesy, creamy, family-friendly casserole come together in a breeze.

Meatball Casserole from Bacon Is Rad: Watching your carbs? No problem with this delicious-looking meatball casserole. You’ll want to choose a couple of types of meats; using both sausage and ground chicken will help give you fantastic flavor and a lightened-up dish.

Italian Sausage and Butternut Squash Farro Bake from The Lemon Bowl: If you’ve never had farro, you’re missing out. It’s nutty, chewy, and hearty enough to stand up to fall flavors. Our chicken sausage would be perfect in this dish!

Chile Relleno Sausage Casserole from A Zesty Bite of Life: Technically this is a breakfast casserole, but we’re pretty sure you could get away with it for dinner, too. Our sausage rolls make this recipe easy!

Meat Lover’s Pizza Casserole by Stuck on Sweet: Pizza night – done a little differently! This can be easily customized to your favorite toppings – add some veggies if you love a supreme!

Casseroles are the ultimate comfort food and perfect for gathering around the table on crisp fall evenings. And at Isernio’s, we love being a small part of bringing you and your loved ones together.

What’s your favorite fall casserole?

Fall casseroles featuring sausage

Isernio’s: Faster Than Takeout

The afternoon is waning, and you’ve got nothing planned for dinner. It’s tempting to hop in the car and run to the restaurant down the street or swing through the drive-through on your way home from work.

But aside from the usual deterrents to takeout (low quality! high cost! all that waste!), you might be surprised to realize that it’s really not much of a time-saver. Between the time you spend driving to your favorite restaurant and the time you spend waiting for your order to be filled, you can usually whip up a healthy and respectable meal at home.

Isernio’s loves being your go-to choice for all those complex Italian meals steeped in tradition. But we can also be your biggest time-saver, too. Don’t believe us? Here’s how.

 


Pre-Cooked Sausages: These are fully cooked, packed with flavor, and ready at a moment’s notice for a meal that’s sure to please. There are a number of ways you can serve these.

TRY IT:

  • Alone on your favorite roll or bun
  • Slice them and toss with pasta and some store-bought pesto
  • Skewer them with zucchini, peppers, and mushrooms and toss on the grill for ten minutes

The possibilities are endless for a healthy, satisfying meal ready in 15 minutes or less.

 


Sausage Rolls: It takes less than ten minutes to brown a pound of sausage, and if you use our bulk rolls you don’t even have to worry about removing it from the casing, saving you even more time. Sausage is so flavorful in itself that you need very little in the way of seasoning for the rest of your dish.

TRY IT:

  • This Orecchiette Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli cooks the pasta and the broccoli in one pot, minimizing both cook time and clean-up.
  • Brown your sausage then add tomato sauce, salt, garlic, and Italian seasonings. Allow to simmer while you cook up a pot of noodles and you’ve got a quick and satisfying spaghetti dinner. It’s even easier if you keep some of our Half Hour Tomato Sauce in your freezer for just such an occasion.

 


Fresh Sausage: Whether you like traditional or chicken sausage, mild or spicy, Italian or Chicken & Feta, we’ve got plenty of options to keep your quick weeknight meal from being anything but boring.

TRY IT:

  • Our Grilled Sausage Sandwiches come together lightning-fast and since your bun is loaded with both meat and veggies, it’s a complete meal in itself and needs no additional sides.
  • Roast sausage, potatoes, and peppers on one sheet pan for easy cooking and clean-up. Cut sausages into bite-sized pieces and roast in a 400-degree oven with diced potatoes and cut peppers. This recipe may take a little longer than takeout in the oven, but the hands-on prep time is minimal. Hint: Give the potatoes a 20-minute head start, and cook on parchment to make clean-up a breeze.

 


Ground Chicken: Once again, browning the meat takes almost no time and you’re ready to assemble a quick, easy, and healthy dinner. Our ground chicken is guaranteed to make your dish a hit; you’ll find it doesn’t dry out like some other ground poultry products and the whole-muscle chicken thighs ensure that it’s packed with flavor.

TRY IT:

  • Our Spicy Chicken and Cabbage Lettuce Cups are perfect if you’re craving Chinese food.
  • Baja Chicken Tacos will be on the table before you know it.
  • Nachos for dinner are even easier. Use store-bought taco seasoning to flavor the chicken, heat up some beans, and assemble a meal everyone in your family will be happy about.

 


We love to savor time at the table, but we know that in today’s busy world it’s not always possible. Serving Isernio’s for dinner can be even faster than take-out – and a whole lot healthier, too.

What’s your go-to quick & easy meal?

You can cook these dinners in less time than ordering takeout! #fastfood #easydinner #takeout

Isernio’s 2018 End-of-Summer Giveaway + Labor Day Barbecue Ideas

Can you believe that we’re halfway through August? Even though summer doesn’t officially end until September 22nd, most people consider Labor Day weekend to be the final “hurrah” of the season.

It’s a celebration that deserves to be done right, so Isernio’s is hosting a giveaway to help make your end-of-summer barbecue the best one yet. The contest runs until noon on August 22nd, and we’re giving away:

  • FIRST PRIZE: a barbecue grill and 10 pounds of Isernio’s products
  • SECOND PRIZE: outdoor dinnerware and 5 pounds of Isernio’s products
  • THIRD PRIZE: barbecue tool set and 5 pounds of Isernio’s products

Ready to enter? It’s super easy – just fill out this form (active until 8/22/18). You can even increase your chances of winning if you refer friends to enter the contest, too.

And as you’re looking ahead to your Labor Day barbecue and waiting to see if you’re one of the lucky winners, here are some recipes for you to consider serving to your guests:

Grilled Sausage Skewers with Salsa Verde: Simple, healthy, and gorgeous, these colorful skewers and flavorful dipping sauce will keep your guests coming back again and again. And if you want to mix it up with some more skewer inspiration, check out these fun ideas.

Grilled Sausage, Potatoes, and Peppers: Who knew a foil packet meal could be so elegant? This recipe calls for using pre-cooked chicken sausages, and we think any of the ones in our line of fully cooked chicken sausages would be ideal.

Grilled Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms: You’re grilling your main dish – grill your side, too! These sausage-stuffed mushrooms can be assembled in advance and then finished on the grill when your guests arrive.

Italian Mozzarella Burgers with Peppers & Onions: Want to serve classic burgers but want to “wow” your guests with a fun twist? Then these Italian-inspired chicken burgers are the way to go.

Italian Potato Salad: Need something to serve alongside your sausages? This Italian-style potato salad from Produce on Parade isn’t dressed with mayo, and is instead flavored with an herbed olive oil and lemon dressing.

Chili Lime Chicken Burgers with Avocado Salsa: Laughing Spatula has these flavor-packed burgers that are great either with a bun or without. Plus, they’ve got tips on how to make sure your chicken burgers are never dry and always juicy.

Caprese Pasta Salad: Yellow Bliss Road has the perfect simple summer side. Use your garden-fresh basil and tomatoes in this light and bright pasta salad that will let your main dish shine.

Grilled Sausage Flatbread with Caramelized Onions & Figs: Ready to do something really untraditional? This Isernio’s original recipe will help you serve your guests an artistic, upscale meal that comes straight off the grill.

And if you’re just grilling up simple sausages for your guests, don’t forget to check out our sausage cooking tips to make sure they turn out perfect every time.

What will you be serving at your end-of-summer bash?

Labor Day Barbecue Recipes and a Giveaway #laborday #grillingrecipes

Upgrade Your Grilling Game with These Fun Skewer Combinations

While hamburgers and hot dogs are traditional backyard grilling fare, sometimes you want something a bit different. More unique. More impressive.

Enter the skewer.

Also known as a kebab or kabob, the premise is simple yet elegant: thread a collection of foods onto a metal or bamboo rod and roast it over the coals.

But while it sounds simple, there are some guidelines that we think will help your backyard barbecue creations turn out fantastic.

  • Cut all pieces into similar sizes to help them all cook evenly. If some foods are significantly smaller than others, they may be overcooked or even burned by the time the larger pieces are done.
  • If you use wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes prior to threading and cooking. This will help keep them from catching on fire when placed on the heat.
  • Don’t over-crowd the skewer. Food can be touching, but don’t pack it in too tightly. You want the heat to reach all parts of the food.
  • Par-boil potatoes. If skewering potatoes, par-boil them to reduce the time needed on the grill. Otherwise, they’ll take a long time to cook and other veggies will be done far before your potatoes.
  • Cook raw meat on a separate skewer. While skewers of meat and veggies look gorgeous, they’re harder to cook well since the meat and veggies often require different cooking times. You also risk cross-contamination by having raw meat touching your vegetables. The safest (and easiest) way to cook your skewers is to leave them separate. Better yet, opt for our line of fully cooked chicken sausages and you don’t even have to worry about it.

And now, here are some fun combinations to try with your favorite Isernio’s sausage:

  • Hawaiian Skewers. Sausage, pineapple, and red onion basted with a teriyaki glaze.
  • Mediterranean Skewers. Zucchini, peppers, red onion, and sausage served over grilled flatbread, sprinkled with feta, and topped with tzatziki sauce.
  • Italian Skewers. Sausage, red and green peppers, and onions basted with Italian dressing.
  • Pizza Skewers. Sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, and cherry tomatoes basted with garlic and olive oil and served with marinara sauce.
  • Cowboy skewers. Sausage, potatoes, mushrooms, peppers, and small sections of corn on the cob, served with ranch dressing.
  • Fajita skewers. Sausage, red & green peppers, red onion, and small sections of corn on the cob basted with butter and lime, and served with tortillas and salsa.

When cooking skewers, you’re only limited by your imagination. Experiment with different veggies, fruits, and sauces. And don’t forget your favorite Isernio’s sausage!

Tips for the Ultimate Bruschetta Bar

You’re familiar with bruschetta – the classic Italian appetizer that consists of toasted bread with some sort of topping. At its most simple, bruschetta is rubbed with garlic cloves and drizzled with high-quality olive oil.

But there are so many ways to take it to the next level, and having a bruschetta bar at your next group gathering would be an amazing way for your guests to customize it to their liking.

Plus, it will look GORGEOUS.

Here are the components you need for a perfect bruschetta bar, and including Isernio’s will make it extra delicious!

THE BREAD

Traditionally, bruschetta is made with rustic, crusty white or sourdough bread. Its cousin crostini is made with smaller, more petite loaves. So choose a larger loaf of tasty bread that your guests can pile high with the toppings of their choice.

Slice and toast it in advance and, if you choose, rub the tops with garlic. Refrain from drizzling olive oil ahead of time as that can cause them to get soggy if they’re not eaten immediately.

THE TOPPINGS

Here’s where you can get creative. You can either set out a whole bunch of ingredients, or have just a few options for your guests to choose from. Include both spreads and toppings, and make sure that the toppings you offer go well together flavor-wise.

Remember, sometimes less is more. Some ideas include:

  • Garlic paste
  • Pesto
  • Soft cheeses like goat cheese, feta, brie, or burrata
  • Caramelized onions
  • Tapenade
  • Hummus or white bean spread
  • Jam or preserves
  • Halved grape tomatoes, chopped or sliced tomatoes
  • Roasted peppers
  • Marinated artichoke hearts
  • Chopped basil
  • Cooked crumbled sausage
  • Prosciutto
  • Pepperoni or salami
  • Sliced, cooked sausage
  • Chopped or thinly sliced fruit including figs, pears, or apples
  • Olive oil or balsamic vinegar for drizzling

The possibilities are endless!

THE PRESENTATION

Choosing your menu is important, but the presentation is what pulls it all together. You can go any number of ways on this:

  • Display the ingredients in stark white bowls on your table or counter
  • Use colorful, mismatched bowls and plates for an eclectic look
  • Create an appetizer board; throw everything on a large cutting board (be sure to keep the spreads in their own bowls or containers)
  • If you don’t have a large cutting board, use a large piece of tile or cover a piece of plywood with aluminum foil to make your own board

If your board looks too plain, throw in some color with food! Slice some red, orange, and green peppers, layer in a bunch of grapes, add some apple slices, or tuck in stems of fresh, green herbs.

A fantastic bruschetta bar is an easy way to impress your guests, and though it looks complex putting one together is a whole lot easier than you think. Plus, you won’t have to be stuck in the kitchen while everyone mingles since it will all be done in advance.

What’s your favorite bruschetta topping?

Tips for a bruschetta bar #bruschetta #appetizer #italianfood

Introducing New Fully Cooked Chicken Sausage from Isernio’s!

At Isernio’s, we pride ourselves on bringing you the best. The best flavor, the best quality, the best products.

And now we’re so excited to announce that we’ve combined all of that quality you expect with the convenience that you crave.

We’ve launched a new line of fully cooked chicken sausages, letting you whip up a healthy and tasty meal faster than ever before. They come in three different varieties:

  • Sweet Italian Chicken with Parmesan Cheese
  • Caprese Chicken with Mozzarella, Basil, & Sun Dried Tomato
  • Apple Chicken

All of the sausages are made with chicken raised with no antibiotics ever, are 100% vegetarian fed, and certified humanely raised and handled.

And because we’re committed to bringing you the best, our new fully cooked sausages:

  • Are Gluten-free
  • Contain no MSG
  • Have no nitrates or nitrites
  • Are free of preservatives
  • Have no artificial colors or flavors

They’re also low in carbs and high in protein, making them fit with a number of different dietary lifestyles.

And since they’re fully cooked, they are incredibly versatile. Reheat them and toss them with your pasta, slice & saute them to sprinkle on a hearty salad, or toss them on a grill, wrap them in a bun, and top them to your liking.

Right now you can find the Italian Chicken Sausage and Caprese varieties at Albertsons and Safeway stores in Washington and Oregon. All three varieties are available C&K Markets in Oregon and California.

And if you’re not in the current distribution area – don’t worry! We’re working to bring this product to more stores soon! In the meantime, see what products are available in your area here.

How will you use our new fully cooked chicken sausages?

Fully Cooked Chicken Sausage

Five Alternatives to the Traditional Easter Ham

Maybe you’re not cooking for such a large crowd this year. Or maybe you’re just looking to mix things up from the traditional Easter ham. Regardless, here are five delicious and impressive dishes worthy of your holiday table.

All featuring our favorite ingredient – sausage!

Crown Roast of Lamb with Spicy Sausage and Apple Stuffing by Lin’s Food: Lamb is a fantastic Easter dinner, and it couldn’t be more majestic than in this crown. Stuffed with savory sausage and sweet apples, this will be a delight for both your eyes and your taste buds.

Italian Easter Pie by Genius Kitchen: You might think that ham is the traditional Easter food, but the Italian tradition is a savory Easter Pie filled with eggs, meats, and cheese. It is also known as “Pizza Rustica.” This year treat your family to a REAL traditional meal and present one of these at the center of your table.

Grilled Sausage with Asparagus by My Recipes: This would be a great option for a less formal Easter dinner, or a small crowd. The vibrant colors scream “spring,” and the fresh flavors practically pop off the plate. Plus, using Isernio’s sausages you can mix up the sausage varieties to offer your guests a number of different flavor options.

Rock Cornish Hens Stuffed with Sausage by Isernio’s: How cute would these be sitting on a plate? Petite and perfect, this would also be a fabulous option for a small, intimate gathering that doesn’t necessarily warrant a whole ham.

Beef Braciole Stuffed with Sausage by Sur la Table: A formal holiday is worth a real labor of love, and few things are more special than a long-simmered beef braciole. It might not be traditional, but what’s stopping you from starting your own new tradition?

We’d love for Isernio’s to be part of your holiday menu. And from our kitchen to yours – Happy Easter!

What do you typically serve for Easter?

Alternatives to the Traditional Easter Ham - main dish ideas for your Easter holiday menu.

Plan the Perfect Romantic Dinner with Isernio’s

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and what’s more romantic than an intimate Italian dinner with your main squeeze?

An intimate Italian dinner that you made yourself.

So whether you failed to make reservations ahead of time, are having trouble finding a babysitter, need to pinch a few pennies, or just want the bonus points that come with making the extra effort to cook, here are four Isernio family favorites to serve for an extra-special Valentine’s Day dinner.

 

Fettuccine alla Crema di Zucca e Salsiccia – The only way to make this romantic pasta dinner more impressive is to say it in Italian. This fettuccine is tossed in a creamy sauce with butternut squash and sausage, and is the perfect portion for two. Make it romantic by: Splurging for fresh (rather than dried) pasta, garnishing with fresh sage, and pairing with a crisp white wine.

Spaghetti and Meatballs – It’s that one scene from Lady and the Tramp that we’re all familiar with. A giant plate of spaghetti, and he gives her the last meatball. Be still our beating hearts. Recreate the quintessential romantic dinner with this Isernio family classic, made spectacular with sausage instead of traditional meat and a panade to keep the meatballs moist and tender.  Make it romantic by: Garnishing with fresh parmesan and parsley, pairing with a robust red, and adorning your table with a traditional red-and-white checked tablecloth.

Sausage with Mussels – Seafood is always a romantic option, and it also cooks up in a snap if you’re short on time. Think of how dramatic your table will look with a giant plate of mussels for two. Make it romantic by: Adding pasta to toss with the mussels and broth, garnishing with parsley, and pairing with a Pinot Grigio.

Paella – Alright, you caught us. Paella isn’t Italian, but sometimes it’s nice to do the unexpected – especially on a special occasion. Paella is usually served “family style,” so you and your love can share a colorful dish at the table as you linger and talk over their favorite bottle of white wine. Make it romantic by: Quietly playing some traditional Spanish music in the background, decorating the table with a colorful bouquet, and writing your sweetie a love note they find when they sit down to eat.

 

With a little planning, preparation, and Isernio’s we’re confident you can pull off a restaurant quality dish right in your own kitchen. What do you think you’ll make for your sweetie?

Recipes and tips to plan the perfect romantic dinner. Great for Valentine's Day! #romanticdinner #valentinesday #menu

How Isernio’s Chicken Sausage is Different

It’s the new year, and if you’re like many, you may have resolved that this is the year you’ll start taking better care of yourself. But resolutions – particularly those related to fitness or healthy eating – have a reputation for quickly going by the wayside.

Why?

Because it’s hard to stay committed when you’re feeling deprived.

That’s why Isernio’s chicken sausages are your perfect companions on your New Year’s health journey. You get all of the flavor with none of of the guilt.

We only use whole skinless chicken thighs, ground coarsely and mixed with premium seasonings and ingredients to bring you a juicy and flavorful sausage. They’re also very low in fat and calories, with over 80% less fat than what the USDA considers “standard” for pork sausage.

Even better, we never add fillers or other “mystery meats” to our sausage so you know exactly what you’re getting. And since our chicken sausages are all gluten free with no added sugars and zero carbs (except the chicken apple breakfast sausage), it’s a healthy, high-protein option that will fit with any eating plan.

We offer several different flavors so your menu never gets boring, and with a choice of either our links or versatile rolls, you can use our chicken sausage in a number of different dishes. Choose our traditional Italian Chicken Sausage to lighten up your favorite comfort foods, grab our Hot Italian Chicken Sausage if you’re feeling a little spicy, or try our Chicken Spinach & Feta for a savory Mediterranean flair.

We’re proud to bring the best to your table, and we’re honored to have been a part of many of our customers’ journeys to health. We hope we can be a part of yours this year, too!

Our Favorite Recipes for Holiday Entertaining

The holidays are a magical time – enjoying traditions with family and friends, visiting with rarely-seen relatives, enjoying all the treats that the season has to offer. This time of year we find that our homes, our hearts, and our bellies are full.

But with near-constant entertaining it can be hard to find time to search for the perfect recipes to serve your guests. Thankfully, Isernio’s sausages are super versatile and can be used in a number of different recipes. And, as our holiday gift to you, we’ve rounded up some of the best for your holiday table.

APPETIZERS

Hosting a casual get-together? Set out a bunch of appetizers instead of making a full-scale holiday meal. After your guests arrive it will be practically hands-off for you, and – trust us – everyone loves a good app.

Margherita Isernio’s Sausage Meatballs: Make these ahead of time and serve them in a crock-pot to keep them warm throughout your party. Or set them on a platter with their own little toothpicks for a bite-sized treat nobody can resist.

Sausage & Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms: Up the elegance with these delicious stuffed mushrooms that are packed with sausage, cheese, and savory goodness.

Spicy Sausage Wonton Cups: Crunchy wontons, creamy cheese, and just the right amount of spice make this an app that will disappear faster than you can say Merry Christmas.

Garlic Toasts with Sausage, Pepper, and Goat Cheese: A classic Italian combination of sausage and peppers atop a crunchy crostini come together for a perfect pre-dinner bite.

BRUNCH

When hosting brunch for a crowd, pick recipes that you can serve, and then sit down with your guests and enjoy. Avoid dishes (like crepes, omelettes, or waffles) that will require your ongoing attention to keep your serving plates full.

Pasta Frittata with Sausage and Mushrooms: This dish will have the “wow” factor that a traditional breakfast casserole lacks. Sausage, eggs, mushrooms, and cheese – with pasta for a unique flair. What’s not to love here?

Breakfast Lasagne: Store-bought hash browns make this dish a breeze, and a ton of veggies make this dish practically guilt-free. Plus it’s a beautiful, colorful addition to your brunch table spread!

Maple Sausage French Toast Bake: You don’t want to be stuck at the stove flipping French toast, but you can still serve it to your guests in the form of a casserole. Even better – you can make it the day before so all you have to do before your company arrives is pop it in the oven.

SAVORY SIDES

If you’re serving a traditional sit-down dinner we know that turkey or ham will probably be the star of the show. But these amazing sides are just waiting to steal the spotlight.

Stuffing with Sausage and Rum-Soaked Figs: Love traditional stuffing but just want to give it something…extra? Rum-soaked figs are just the non-traditional twist you need!

Green Bean Casserole with Sausage: Don’t serve the same old side. This recipe adds sausage to upgrade everyone’s favorite holiday veggie dish.

Wild Rice and Basmati Casserole with Sausage and Sage: Rice as a side dish gets a serious upgrade with this flavor-packed casserole.

It really is the most wonderful time of the year, and we love being a part of your holiday gatherings. How will you incorporate Isernio’s into your seasonal recipes?