Sweet and Spicy Smoked Sausage Skillet - A quick and easy weeknight meal that perfectly balances sweet and heat.
I love using kielbasa/smoked sausage for quick weeknight meals. It's fairly inexpensive and it keeps well in the freezer so when it goes on sale, I like to stock up. Plus, it's something all members of my family actually eat.
The inspiration for this recipe came from the Feb/Mar 2015 edition of Taste of Home magazine; a recipe titled Maple Sausage Skillet. It looked easy and quick and used kielbasa, which is something I always have in my freezer.
Just A Few Change Ups
While the general idea of the recipe sounded good to me, I of course, wanted to make my own changes. For instance, the original recipe called for mushrooms and green peppers and I omitted those. After all, I had just cooked my Chicken Scampi, so I figured my family was all bell peppered out. Plus, I had chicken marsala on the menu, so I knew they wouldn't want mushrooms twice this week.
I'll admit, I was a little reluctant adding maple syrup to my smoked sausage. I mean, I like a little sweet in my meals, but I prefer to have it balanced with some heat. So, I opted for adding in some crushed red pepper to balance things out. I used about ¼ teaspoon but whenever a recipe calls for crushed red pepper, I recommend starting with less, tasting and adjusting according to your preference. You can always add more heat, but it sure is hellish to get it out once it's in there.
I've prepare this easy smoked sausage skillet meal with pork sausage, beef sausage and also chicken sausage and they have all worked out perfectly. You choose!
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Sweet and Spicy Sausage Skillet
- 4 slices bacon chopped
- 1 lb smoked chicken sausage pork or any variety of kielbasa, sliced
- 2 shallots sliced thinly
- 1 rib celery chopped
- 2 C arugula
- 2 T maple syrup
- ⅛-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper adjust to your heat preference
- Cooked white rice
- Place chopped bacon in a large skillet. Turn heat under pan to medium/high. Cook, stirring often, until bacon is crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Remove excess bacon drippings from pan, reserving about 1 T of the drippings in the pan.
- Place the skillet, with 1 T bacon drippings back over medium/high heat. Add the sliced sausage to the pan and cook until browned on both sides (about 5 minutes total).
- Add shallot and celery to the pan and continue to cook, stirring often, about another 2 minutes. Stir in Arugula and cook just until wilted. Add crushed red pepper and maple syrup. Stir well. Let cook 1 more minute.
- Remove from heat and stir in half the cooked bacon.
- Serve over cooked white rice and sprinkle the rest of the bacon over the dish for garnish.