The name sausage bread is pretty self-explanatory, as it’s essentially ground sausage rolled inside bread dough before being baked. This recipe calls for fresh pizza dough, which can be easily found in the refrigerated or frozen section of your local grocery (or, even better, if you live close to a pizzeria, pop on over and ask for a pound!).
I used a mix of ground hot and sweet Italian sausage and added some ground mushrooms. But it’s an extremely versatile loaf. You could spoon 1/2 cup marinara or pizza sauce into the roll, omit the mushrooms altogether and add pepperoni or chopped peppers, or replace the mozzarella with provolone. The most important thing: Don’t roll your dough out too thinly or the fillings will burst out of the bread.
Marinara is the obvious choice of dipping sauce, but hot honey mustard, creamy Italian dressing or vinaigrette, or black pepper Parmesan dip would be just as delicious.
- 1 pound pizza dough
- 1 small shallot
- 4 ounces baby bella or cremini mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (depending on spice preference)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound uncooked sweet or spicy Italian sausage, casings removed if needed
- All-purpose flour, for stretching out the dough
- 2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend (4 ounces)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Marinara sauce, for serving
If pizza dough is refrigerated, let it sit on the counter until it comes to room temperature, about 2 hours.
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Finely chop the shallot (1/4 cup), mushrooms, garlic cloves. Beat the egg in a small bowl.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the shallots, mushrooms, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are translucent and the mushrooms are lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, kosher salt, and black pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl.
Return the skillet to medium-high heat and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the pan until shimmering. Add the Italian sausage and cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces and stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate, then add to the mushroom mixture and stir to combine.
Dust a large sheet of parchment paper with all-purpose flour, then place the pizza dough on top. Stretch and roll the dough out to a 12-by-9-inch rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Don’t roll the dough out too thin or the filling will spill out once rolled. It’s OK if the dough doesn’t form a perfect rectangle—having an even thickness is more important.
Spread the meat mixture on top, leaving a 1/2-inch border, then sprinkle with the shredded Italian cheese blend. Starting from a shorter end, roll the dough up tightly. Tuck the ends underneath and position seam-side down.
Transfer the parchment paper with the rolled-up dough onto a baking sheet. Cut 4 (2-inch) slits into the top of the dough. Brush the dough with the egg, then sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
Bake until the bread is golden-brown and cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.
Leftover sausage bread can be tightly wrapped and refrigerated for up to four days. Reheat in a 350 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
To freeze, wrap slices of the sausage bread with plastic wrap and store in a freezer zip-top bag for up to three months.