This sausage casserole in slow cooker recipe is perfect for long autumnal evenings when you fancy having something warm and delicious - it is comfort food at its best. This one-pan dish is very easy and budget-friendly. Enjoy it mid-week for lunch or dinner!
Why You Need To Try This Sausage Casserole In Slow Cooker
You will appreciate this recipe for a few good reasons:
- It is very simple - it only takes one pan, the slow cooker (crock-pot), to make it! This saves you some washing up later on!
- It contains essential ingredients & is versatile, you can work around what you have in your freezer and pantry.
- It can be easily scaled up or down depending on how much you need.
- This casserole is freezer-friendly.
- Lastly, a slow cooker helps keep your energy bills low compared to a hob or an oven.
Key Ingredients For Slow Cooker Sausage Casserole
Here is a list of the main elements in this recipe:
- Sausages - you can use any sausages that you currently have. Classic pork sausages, chipolatas, or reduced-fat sausages will work well in this recipe. You can also use smoked (Polish style) sausages for extra smoky flavour.
- Vegetables - onion, pepper, carrots, tomatoes and gardens peas are all good sources of fiber, vitamins and minerals. They make a wonderful gravy when slow-cooked together. Feel free to add fresh or frozen vegetables.
- Pearl barley - this humble pantry ingredient is packed with nutrients (protein), vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6 and B9) and minerals (iron and selenium). Being low in fat, it is beneficial for a healthy lifestyle, supporting your immune system and providing energy.
- Stock - when slow-cooking, it's important to have plenty of liquid in the pan. For more flavour, add chicken, pork or vegetable stock cube and water.
- Tomato puree will add taste and help thicken the sauce.
- Seasonings - thyme, sage, parsley, salt and black pepper are all great additions to this casserole. Use fresh, frozen or dried herbs according to what's available.
Do not worry if you are missing some of the ingredients - here are some ideas on how to replace them in the recipe & how to make further tweaks according to your dietary needs:
- Sausages - any British or European-style sausages will work well in this one-pan meal. From Cumberland, Lincolnshire, to apple, leek or caramelised onion ones. Use their vegetarian or vegan alternatives if you prefer.
- Vegetables - sweet potato, parsnips, courgette (zucchini), broccoli, green beans or mushrooms will all taste great in the tomato sauce.
- Swap pearl barley for rice, orzo, or diced potatoes. Adjust the cooking times accordingly and check they are thoroughly cooked before serving.
- Season the sauce with rosemary, basil, or oregano, for a boost of beautiful Mediterranean flavours.
How To Make This Casserole
Cooking in a slow cooker (crock pot) couldn't be easier. It is ideal for busy days. You can start cooking in the morning and leave it to cook for hours before finishing the dish in the evening. Who wouldn't like that?
This casserole can be cooked in a few simple steps:
- Prepare and chop the vegetables, add them to the bottom of the pan.
- Cover with tinned tomatoes, stock and tomato puree, add herbs and seasonings.
- Add halved sausages, and stir well. Cook on low for 5 hours or on high for 3 hours.
- Add pearl barley and cook for 50 to 60 minutes or until soft.
- Add garden peas, and cook for 10 more minutes. Serve with crusty bread.
For a more appetising color, fry the sausages in a pan for 1-2 minutes on high heat. They will become brown once seared - take them off the pan, remove any excess fat if you prefer, before adding the chopped vegetables.
For best results, keep the slow cooker's lid shut most of the time. This will help keep the temperature and the cooking process going.
Keep an eye on the levels of liquid in the pan, and add more if you cannot see any sauce, or if it seems dry. This will help prevent it from drying out and burning.
Are you looking for more slow cooker recipes? Try this easy leek and potato soup, hearty beef brisket stew, delicious pulled pork burgers, or sausage and apple casserole. Sausage lovers will also appreciate this easy spicy sausage pasta.
Yes, you don't nned to pre-cook the sausages before adding them to a slow cooker. They will be fully cooked, but their color will stay pale (if unsmoked).
Frozen meat (including sausages) can go into a slow cooker. Always remember to reflect this in the total cooking time by adding at least 1 extra hour.
Slow cooker on a high setting reaches the boiling point faster than if it was set on a low setting. Nevertheless, slow cooker will cook your food well in both cases. If you have enough time, leave it to cook on low temperature for longer. If not, set it on high temperature and reduce the cooking time by half.
More Slow Cooker Recipes
- Slow cooker leek and potato soup
- Sausage and apple casserole
- Hearty brisket stew
- Slow cooker chili con carne
- Pulled pork burger
📖 The Recipe
Sausage Casserole - Slow Cooker Recipe
- 12 sausages
- 1 onion
- 3 carrots
- 2 red, orange or yellow peppers
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 400 ml stock, or 1 stock cube and 400ml water
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 3 sprig thyme
- 3 sprig sage, leaves only
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 240 g pearl barley, rinsed
- 1 cup frozen garden peas
- Brown the sausages at the bottom of the slow cooker's pan on a hob - by frying them for 1-2 minutes on each side. Take off the heat, remove any excess fat, and set the sausages on a side. (Go straight to step 2 if not browning sausages).
- Wash, and dice all of the vegetables, peel and roughly chop the onion and put everything into the pan of the slow cooker.
- Cover with chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, and stock. Season with herbs, salt and pepper and stir gently.
- Halve the sausages and add them to the sauce (browned or raw), mix slightly, to ensure eveyrthing is covered or touching the sauce. Cover with a lid and cook for 6 hours on low or 3 hours on high setting.
- After 6 hours (3 hours respectively), add pearl barley, stir, cover and cook for 50-60 minutes.
- Add (frozen) garden peas, cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes.
- Check the barley is soft and serve with a slice of crusty buttered bread.
- Keep the lid on throughout the cooking process.
- Make sure there is enough liquid in the slow cooker. Add water if needed to prevent the sauce and sausages from drying out and burning.