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Guest Blog: Spaghetti Squash Boats with Sausage, Kale, and Mushrooms

Spaghetti Squash BoatsBy Corie Cameron

Guest blogger Corie Cameron cooks beautiful food at home. She’s letting us in her kitchen for great posts using Isernio’s products. Check out more from her on her site, Good Life Everyday.

Spaghetti Squash might be my favorite squash. You don’t have the tedious task of peeling it, it bakes in it’s own serving dish, it’s healthy, and it actually makes a pretty darn good replacement for pasta!

I’ve recently been working with Isernio’s to make home-cooked recipes using the locally made, delicious sausages, which are perfect for me because they have no sugar added! That’s a win-win-win in my book!

I’m getting through the Whole30 diet this month and I’ve been dreaming up the best ways to use each specific sausage variety. The first one I wanted to use was the Chicken Basil and Sundried Tomato Sausage. I was thinking big, bright, Italian flavors in a super easy, healthy recipe that I could whip up on a weeknight for the whole family.

For this stuffed spaghetti squash recipe, I decided to pinch off pieces of the sausage to create a sort of meatball, which ensures that they stay juicy and flavorful — and they’re super cute! Follow along with me and feel free to share your own variations and creations!

xo Corie



  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more to coat squash
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 oz sundried tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pound Isernio’s Chicken Basil & Sun Dried Tomato Sausage, casings removed (or your favorite Isernio’s chicken sausage variety, like Italian Chicken or Chicken Spinach & Feta)
  • 5 oz kale, roughly chopped (1 bunch)
  • Red pepper flakes


Preheat your oven to 375°. Line a sheet pan with foil and set it aside. Cut your squash lengthwise and scoop out all the seeds. (I cut the ends of my squash off just so I could stand it up straight on my cutting board. I find it easiest to cut “down” the squash as it’s standing. I’ve had a few incidences of getting a knife stuck in the middle of a big squash when I’m home alone — very frustrating! This “push down” method seems much easier to me.)

Place the squash flesh-side up on the pan and drizzle with a little olive oil. Place it in the middle rack of the oven and set the timer for 50 minutes.

Spaghetti Squash halved

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Toss the garlic and onion in and cook until softened and aromatic.

Turn the heat to medium. Add mushrooms and sundried tomatoes. Continue to cook until the mushrooms have let out their juice and the pan is dry again.

Pinch off nickel-sized pieces of sausage, tossing into pan as you go. (If you need, stir the mixture so the sausage doesn’t end up in a big pile and stick together.)

Continue to stir until the sausage is fully cooked, about seven minutes.

Add kale to the pan. You may have to add it in two batches, depending on the size of your pan. As it cooks down, you will be able to put more in the pan.

Give everything a good stir and taste for seasoning. You shouldn’t need much salt with the capers, sausage, and tomatoes, but I did add a tiny bit.Spaghetti Squash Boats 4

Check your squash for doneness. Once done, remove from oven. Using a fork, scrape the bottom of each squash until “spaghetti strands” loosen. Do this with both squash, making sure not to scrape through the outer shell. You want to leave enough flesh to ensure it holds up as a serving vessel.

Remove strands of squash from vessel and add them to the pan.

Mix thoroughly and check for seasoning again. You may need more salt and pepper at this point.Spaghetti Squash Boats 2

Fill each squash vessel with the medley of squash, sausage, and kale. Add red pepper flakes as desired!

My kids ate theirs in a bowl with no squash shell, and a sprinkle of parmesan. I served mine with a shake or five of the red pepper flakes. I recommend keeping those nearby for immediate spice factor while eating. Delicious!Spaghetti Squash Boats 3

See the full step-by-step picture-by-picture directions on Corie’s site, Good Life Everyday!

Thanks, Corie!

Mexican Stuffed Potato Skins

Mexican Stuffed Potato SkinsBy Corie Cameron

Guest blogger Corie Cameron cooks beautiful food at home. She’s letting us in her kitchen for great posts using Isernio’s products.

Hi! I’m Corie and I think potato skins are amazing!

The skin of the potato has all the vitamins and nutrients and I love the chewy, firm texture of them. I DON’T love the unhealthy versions you see in so many restaurants, so I set out to make a healthy, delicious, guilt-free version as part of my Whole 30 plan to kick off 2017.

First, I sauteed up Isernio’s Ground Chicken with my favorite taco seasonings, added in some onion and garlic, and then used the potato skin as a base. My husband, Sean, actually refuses to call these anything other than “Po-tacos.” To top them off with creamy goodness, I made a Paleo ranch dressing and tossed some of that on as well.

These would be such a fun Super Bowl dish!


  • 4 Russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound Isernio’s Ground Chicken
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 head romaine

Pico De Gallo:

  • 1 tomato
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion

Paleo Ranch:

  • 1 cup homemade mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley


Preheat the oven to 425. Pierce the potatoes all over and set them on a baking sheet. Bake them for 50 minutes-1 hour until you can easily pierce them with a knife.

Saute the onions and garlic until softened and aromatic.

Add the ground chicken to the pan and crumble it up as it cooks. Sprinkle over the paprika, coriander, chili powder, cumin and salt.

Finely chop the lettuce and set this aside.

Stir all the ingredients for the pico de gallo and taste for seasoning.

When the potatoes are fully cooked, take them out and slice them in half lengthwise. Once they are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh, making sure to leave 1/4 inch along the sides so they hold their shape.

Fill each potato skin with some lettuce, some chicken mixture, and the pico de gallo, in whatever order you wish.

Blend all of the ranch ingredients together and taste for seasoning. Drizzle it over the potato skins and serve with a side of this ranch and some hot sauce. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve at once! Bon Appetit!
For a full step-by-step, picture-by-picture look at this recipe, check out the original blog post by author Corie Cameron on her site, Good Life Everyday.

Mexican Stuffed Potato Skins 2

Appetizers for the Birds: Seahawks vs Falcons

Chicken Tacos-2

After a successful win in the first round of the playoffs, our local, beloved Seahawks are heading to Atlanta on Saturday for an afternoon showdown. And what better way to celebrate the rough and rowdy game that’s sure to go down than with some bird-tastic inspired recipes. If you’re all about keeping it simple, with a little healthy choice thrown in, then starting with a package of Isernio’s Ground Chicken is the easy first step to tackle these awesome, crowd-pleasing recipes.


Ground Chicken Tacos with Creamy Salsa

From Food Network

A DIY taco bar is always a team favorite, and all you have to do for this recipe is cook veggies, toss in the ground chicken, season, and keep it warm in your crockpot for serve-yourself action. Get crazy with your own selection of toppings, and top it all off with a spicy, creamy salsa.

Get the recipe


Chicken Cordon Bleu Bites


With only five ingredients, these super easy bites are the portable version of the far fancier classic entree. Ground chicken, diced ham and swiss, an egg, and breadcrumbs are all you need to class up the joint on gameday. Pro tip: Toss a little parmesan with your breadcrumbs to add a double hit of cheese.

Get the recipe


Chicken Kebab in Lettuce Cups

From Martha Stewart

Super healthy, super flavorful, and super easy, these kebabs can be served with or without the lettuce cups, though adding a little greenery also makes an easy holder for a little herb or onion salad on top. Don’t want to drop em in the cups? No problem, just serve the kebabs on a platter with a dipping sauce of your choice.

Get the recipe


Cheesy Chicken Meatballs

From AllRecipes

Cheese is the answer to so many flavor-making questions, and these are the perfect blend of ground chicken, roasted garlic cream cheese, and parmesan. They taste so luxurious but won’t put you and the team on the bench like some other, heavier meatball versions. Serve with your own marinara or other dipping sauce for a guaranteed touchdown.

Get the recipe


Buffalo Chicken Bites

From Martha Stewart

These meatballs come from New York City’s The Meatball Shop, but despite their restaurant pedigree, they couldn’t be easier. Whip up some Frank’s RedHot Sauce with butter, blend it with ground chicken, celery, eggs, salt, and breadcrumbs, and serve it all like classic Buffalo wings, with ranch or blue cheese dressing. That’s a recipe favorite first down.

Get the recipe

Look for Isernio’s all-natural ground chicken in stores near you and share your own favorite recipes with us!

Bratwurst with Bacon & Onion Chutney

Bratwurst with Bacon Onion Chutney

This 4th of July, take your Brats to the next level with this delicious topping of caramelized onions and crispy bacon!

Beecher's_text only logo_March2014

The chutney actually tastes great as a topping for any of our sausages, but we highly recommend it on our new Bratwurst with Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar.  If you haven’t tried it yet, be sure to look for this new sausage in the butcher block at Fred Meyer stores.  This savory bratwurst is laced with generous shreds of Beecher’s Handmade Flagship Cheddar for pretty much the ultimate cheese/sausage experience, if we do say so ourselves.

We used Hempler’s Center Cut Bacon in this recipe – not only is Hempler’s our sister company, but their bacon is hands-down the best of the best.  Crafted in the Northwest from a time-honored family recipe, using all-natural pork raised with no antibiotics on a vegetarian diet, you won’t find a leaner or more flavorful bacon anywhere.

Thinly sliced onions are combined with crispy bacon pieces and cooked down to a sweet and savory chutney that pairs perfectly with grilled sausage on a bun….there’s no resisting all that flavor!



Give this recipe a try and let us know what you think:

Bratwurst with Bacon Onion Chutney
(Adapted from Michael Symon’s Beer Brats with Bacon Onion Chutney)

8 Isernio’s Bratwurst with Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar (or 8 of your favorite Isernio’s Sausage link variety)
1 Tb. Olive Oil
1/2 pound Hempler’s Bacon
2 Yellow Onions, sliced thinly
3 cloves Garlic, minced
2 sprigs Thyme (leaves only)
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tb. Brown Sugar
1 Tb. Mustard Seeds
Salt & Pepper
1/4 cup Beer or Water
8 of your favorite buns
Your favorite mustard for serving, if desired


For the Chutney:
Slice the bacon into 1/2″ pieces, and fry in a skillet over medium heat, until crisp.  Remove bacon, leaving the fat in the skillet.  Add sliced onions and cook until transparent, about 10 minutes.

Add the bacon back into the skillet, folding into the onions.  Turn heat down to low and cook, stirring frequently, for an additional 15 minutes.  Add garlic and thyme leaves and cook 2 more minutes.  Then add the vinegar, brown sugar, mustard seed and salt & pepper to taste.  Cook 3-4 minutes, and add the beer or water, and then cook an additional 4 minutes.

For the Sausages:
Bring a skillet of water large enough to immerse your sausages, to a boil.  Lower uncooked sausages into boiling water, place the lid on and immediately turn heat off.  Let sausages sit in the hot water for approximately 7 minutes.

Remove the sausages from the water, and place on an oiled grill pre-heated to medium heat.  Grill sausages, turning every 2-3 minutes, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Sausages should reach an internal temperature of 155°F for pork and 165°F for chicken.

Lightly toast buns if desired.  When sausages and chutney are ready, serve a sausage on a bun topped with a generous amount of chutney and your favorite mustard if desired.

Top these Brats with the Bacon Onion Chutney and your favorite mustard and enjoy!

Top these Brats with the Bacon Onion Chutney and your favorite mustard and enjoy!

Grilled Sausage Skewers for Dad

Grilled Sausage Skewers for Dad
Whether Dad wants to sit back and let someone else do the cooking, or if he prefers to man the grill himself, these Grilled Sausage Skewers make the perfect (and EASY) Father’s Day meal.

The secret to great grilled sausage is to par-cook the sausages in hot water, and then finish them off on the grill.DSC06187
So, start with your favorite Isernio’s sausage link varieties – you can use any combination of pork or chicken links – whatever suits your taste.  Bring a pot of water to boil.  Once it’s boiling, drop the sausages in the water and turn off the heat.  Cover the pot and let it sit for 7 minutes.  DSC06191

Take the sausages out and drain on paper towels (at this point, if you wanted to prep this meal ahead of time, you could put them in an ice bath to cool them down quickly, and then refrigerate).  Cut each sausage diagonally into 4 pieces.  The sausages will be almost, but not quite, fully cooked at this point.  You’ll be finishing them off on the grill.


Then, cut your favorite vegetables into bite size pieces.  You can use a variety of brightly colored bell peppers, onion, zucchini, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes…whatever sounds good!  In a bowl, drizzle the vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat.


Soak your wooden skewers in water for about 20 minutes before grilling, to prevent them from burning.  Skewer the sausage slices and veggies on to the skewers.


Heat your grill to medium heat.  Place the skewers on the grill and brush with olive oil.  Grill the skewers about 5 minutes per side, until the sausage is completely cooked (reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit) and the veggies are nice and tender.


Serve with a side of crusty bread, and of course Dad’s favorite beverage!




Full Recipe:

4 Isernio’s Sausage Links – your favorite variety
2 Bell Peppers – Red, Yellow, Green or Orange
1 Red Onion
1 Zucchini
(or any other of your favorite vegetables – e.g. mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, etc.)
3 Tb. Olive Oil, plus extra for brushing on skewers during grilling
Salt & Pepper

Wooden skewers – pre-soaked in water for 20 minutes.

First pre-cook the sausages.  Bring a pot of water to boil.  Immerse the sausages in water, cover the pot and turn off the heat.  Let the sausages sit for 7 minutes, covered in the hot water.

Remove sausages from water and slice each link diagonally into 4 pieces.  (Sausages will not be completely cooked through at this point.)

Cut peppers, onion and zucchini into bite size chunks and place into a bowl.  Drizzle vegetables with 3 Tb. olive oil and season with salt & pepper.  Toss to coat.

Thread sausage and vegetables onto wooden skewers.

Heat grill to medium heat.  Brush skewers with olive oil and grill over medium heat for about 5 minutes per side, until sausage reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit and vegetables are tender.

Makes: 4 skewers

Isernio’s Fan Lost 150 Pounds and Eats Sausage Every Day!

We were so very thrilled to hear from one of our fans recently, Mike Proctor from Lake Stevens, WA, who wanted to share his weight loss success story with us.  Mike lost 150 pounds almost 2 years ago, has kept it off since then, and Isernio’s Sausage has been a part of his every day menu along the way.  As far as we’re concerned, Mike is proof that sausage can taste great and be good for you!  Here is his story in his own words:

Mike Proctor“Three years ago I weighed 370 plus pounds and was not feeling good about life. I decided one day enough was enough – time to lose weight.  I tried many different what they called ‘healthy’ chicken or turkey products, and to be honest they tasted awful.  Then I found your product.  It tastes great and I don’t miss pork sausage or ground beef anymore.  Your product is part of my daily life now – every day I have it for lunch with my brown rice mixed together.  And of course I love it in spaghetti or ground chicken tacos.

It took me a little over a year to lose 150 pounds and I’ve kept it off for almost 2 years now.  I’ve been overweight most of my life, with the on-and-off getting in shape.  This time though was the first time it stuck.  I want to thank your local company with a great local product.  I should add, yes diet is part of the story, along with plenty of exercise.  I walk 6 miles a day 5 to 6 days a week.  It only takes 45 minutes a day to change your life.  Have a great day and thank you. ”

Thank you, Mike, for sharing, and a HUGE congratulations to you!  We’re so proud to be a part of your success story.

Sausage and Seafood Pasta

Sausage and Seafood Pasta copyOur very own Taylor has been busy in the test kitchen and put together this easy yet delicious pasta dish with spicy sausage and seafood.  The simple flavors all combine for a hearty and fragrant main dish.  Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Any seafood can be used in this pasta according to your preference (substitute in shrimp, scallops, etc. instead of the clams or calamari if you like).  Precooked/frozen seafood can be used to speed things up as well.

Sausage & Seafood Pasta


2 Tb. olive oil
1- 1 pound roll Isernio’s Hot Italian Sausage (pork or chicken), or 4 links removed from casings
2 shallots, minced
1 head of fennel, medium sized, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 pound cooked clams
1/2 pound cooked calamari or squid
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound angel hair pasta


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Crumble sausage into skillet and cook, stirring, until it begins to brown.
  3. Add in shallots, fennel and garlic and cook until sausage is no longer pink.
  4. Pour wine over sausage mixture, bring to a boil, then simmer until wine has reduced 50%
  5. Add in chicken stock and stir to combine.
  6. Put clams and calamari into pan and cover for about 5 minutes.
  7. Add in heavy cream and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Pour mixture over noodles and enjoy.

Slow Cooker Italian Sausage Soup – A No-Fuss Valentine’s Day Dinner for your Sweetie

Italian slow cooker soupNothing says love like a big pot of hot, homemade, delicious soup.  Our friend Cindy from Vancouver, WA created this absolutely divine Italian-style creamy soup for us, using Isernio’s All-Natural Italian Chicken Sausage and NW favorite Hempler’s handcrafted bacon.  It would be a perfect home-cooked meal for your sweetie this Valentine’s Day!

The best part is this soup cooks all day in the slow cooker, leaving you more quality time to spend with your loved one.  Serve it up with some warm crusty bread and a salad (on a candlelit table for two, of course) for an easy romantic meal!




  • 1 pound Isernio Italian Chicken sausage roll
  • 4-6 russet potatoes cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 2 cans white beans
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Chopped Parsley for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cayenne pepper to taste



  1. Brown sausage in a sauté pan add onion and cook with sausage until onions are softened.
  2. Place sausage/onion mixture, chicken broth, garlic, potatoes, and white beans in slow cooker. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables and meat.
  3. Cook on high 3-4 hours (low 5-6 hours) until potatoes are soft.


30 minutes before serving:

  1. Mix flour into cream removing lumps.
  2. Add cream and thyme to the crock pot, stir.
  3. Cook on high 30 minutes or until broth thickens slightly.
  4. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.
  5. Top with bacon and parsley immediately before serving.

Easy Sausage Vegetable Bake – Fall Comfort Food


Rusted Van Photography

There’s a definite chill in the air these days, the leaves are starting to turn yellow, and at least here in the Great Northwest the rainy days have returned – that means it’s time again for our favorite fall comfort foods.  There’s nothing better than a warm, hearty dinner this time of year, and with such a bounty of vegetables available from the fall harvest, the time is perfect for a recipe like this one for a Sausage & Vegetable Bake.  This recipe was developed by our friends Kim H. and Cicely W. (of Rusted Van Photography) – not only is it full of fresh colorful vegetables and delicious sausage, it has the added bonus of being super easy!  We’ll turn it over to Kim and Cicely from here to share their recipe:


Easy Sausage Vegetable Bake

Adapted by Kayotic Kitchen:

We love this easy recipe! A delicious combination of vegetables and sausage links that bakes up to perfection in the oven. It is so easy to adapt to your family’s tastes and we can almost guarantee you will find yourself adding it to your regular dinner rotation during the fall!



Rusted Van Photography



  • 4-6 Isernio’s Hot Italian Sausage Links (Pork or Chicken)
  • 5 red potatoes
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • ½ pound carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • salt (to taste)
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian herbs
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Rusted Van Photography



Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Wash and chop all of your vegetables into similar sized chunks (1 1/2 inch-ish chunks), evenly spreading into a large roasting pan. Cut onion in wedges in order to keep them in “chunks”.

Grate the garlic and add to a small bowl with the oil, italian herbs and chicken broth. Pour over all of the vegetables, gently tossing to ensure all vegetables are covered. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cover with foil and bake for approximately 45 minutes.

While your vegetables are baking, prepare your sausage, according to package directions and cutting each sausage into 2-3 pieces. No need to cook entirely through, just until browned on all sides as the sausages will finish off in the oven.

When your vegetables are fork tender, add sausages. Pour balsamic vinegar over entire mixture. Bake uncovered for an additional 25-30 minutes, flipping sausages and gently tossing vegetables halfway through this final bake time.


Note: Do yourself a favor and take the time to get regular carrots vs. pre-washed baby carrots – the difference in the flavor is WELL worth the extra effort


This recipe has endless combinations! If you don’t like something, leave it out or replace it with another root vegetable! Diced butternut squash, acorn squash, fennel, turnips, beets, brussel sprouts, and rutabaga all work wonderfully in this recipe! Even an apple would be a yummy and unexpected addition to this vegetable bake! The key is to keep them all similar in size to ensure even cooking.


(Thanks again to Cicely at Rusted Van Photography for the photos!)

Shebron’s Stuffed Shells Recipe

Stuffed Shells

(Photo Credit: From Joanne

Our friend Shebron has done it again! We LOVE her recipe for stuffed jumbo shells. This is a relatively simple recipe to make and it saves / freezes well for a later meal. If you are planning on serving this dish to guests, we recommend pairing it with an Italian Chianti which pairs well with tomato-based red sauces, and also compliments the creamy shell filling.


2 16oz. packages of Isernio’s Chicken Basil & Sun Dried Tomato Sausage (Also tastes great with our pork or chicken sausage rolls!)

1 12 oz. Box of Jumbo Shells

32 oz. of Ricotta Cheese

1-1.5 lb. Mushrooms, Chopped

½ – 1 package of fresh basil, chopped (your preference on how much)

1 Large Egg, beaten

3-5 cloves of garlic, minced

1 TBSP of Olive Oil

2-3 cups of shredded Mozzarella  Cheese 

1 cup of shredded parmesan cheese

Salt & Pepper to taste

2 cups Tomato Sauce. Have time to make it from scratch? Try our Half Hour Tomato Sauce!

Let’s Cook:

Remove the casings (or use bulk sausage) and in a large 13 quart pot, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil and cook sausage over medium heat, breaking meat up with a wooden spoon, until the pinkness is gone, but not cooked through completely. Remove meat from skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Bring 5 qts. of water to a boil. Add 2 Tbsp. salt to boiling water, add the pasta and cook about 8-10 minutes, or according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta.

Chop the mushrooms and sautee with olive oil & garlic in the same fry pan as you cooked the sausage in.  Set aside with the meat.

Chop fresh basil.

In a mixing bowl combine egg & ricotta cheese.  Add the meat, mushroom & garlic, fresh basil, salt & Pepper and mix together.

Fill each shell with the ricotta mixture.  Add tomato sauce to the baking dish, thinly coating the bottom. Place shells in baking dish.  Top with the remaining sauce. 

Add mozzarella and parmesan cheese to the top of your shells and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.