Sausage Macaroni and Cheese


3/4-1# Dean’s sausage, cook and crumble, reserve
1 bag (16 oz) jumbo macaroni noodles, cook and drain and return to pot
4T butter, cut up
12 oz evaporated milk
1 cup shredded cheddar
2 cups shredded pepper jack
2 eggs
1 t dry mustard
1 t water or beer
1 t salt
1/2 t Tellicherry pepper, or red pepper
Cook and crumble Dean’s sausage in large pot or Dutch oven. Reserve sausage to fold in lastly and continue using same pot. After cooking and draining JUMBO elbow noodles add butter and stir until it melts. To that add following ingredients in order and heat over medium-low while stirring mostly constantly. It may take about 8-10 minutes to get to a simmer and then it should start to thicken. Keep this mixture moving so you don’t get a scorched flavor. This sauce will break, or curdle, if it gets too hot so be patient and don’t turn up the heat. When you get to this stage it is done when you are satisfied with the thickness of the sauce (about 4-7 minutes more) and then you can fold in the Dean’s sausage. Cheers, grab a Truck Stop Honey and enjoy!
*It is important to use a JUMBO elbow noodle for this recipe but modify if needed

Mini Sausage Calzones


1 pizza dough ball, rolled out
12 oz mozzarella cheese, slices or shredded
12 oz Dean’s sausage, cooked and crumbled
thin sliced green peppers and onion
1 egg + 1 T water, well beaten
melted butter
Italian seasoning
grated Parmesan
marinara sauce for dipping
 Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
Roll out pizza dough on corn meal or flour dusted surface to prevent sticking. Cut out as many (approximately) 4″ circles as you can. Use leftover dough scraps by rolling into a ball and flattening with your palm. You don’t want your dough to be too thick because it won’t cook evenly and you don’t want it too thin because the dough will rip.
Layer on mozzarella, sausage, peppers and onions on half of the dough, not touching sides. Paint the edges of the calzone lightly to help it seal as you fold over and press the edges of the dough.  Gently pierce the dough with a fork to prevent air bubbles. Brush the tops with egg wash to help the dough brown. Place calzones on baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 8-14 minutes or until almost done. About 2 minutes before the calzones are finished cooking brush on melted butter and sprinkle with parmesan and Italian seasonings.
Serve mini calzones with marinara sauce for dipping.

Hot off the Grill Dinner Packets

These sausage and vegetable grill-ready packets make an easy dinner, perfect for a summer cookout when you are tired of the same old thing!

1 pound Deans sausage
red, yellow, green peppers, cut into 1″ chunks
onions, cut into 1″ chunks
fresh garlic bulb, broken into bulbs and peeled
fresh herbs, basil, oregano

Prepare 4-5 pieces of heavy duty foil and add veggies and a drizzle of oil, salt and pepper and herbs.
Roll sausage into a longer log and pull off chunks about the same size as cut veggies and add to foil packets. Seal the packets by folding but don’t make them too tight so there will be a little room for steam build-up. Cook on the grill or in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the sausage is done. These are fast, easy to prepare and a cinch to clean up. Serve over rice for a quick meal option.

Zesty Pasta Salad with Sausage

1 pound pasta shells, rotini, fusilli, your choice
1 pound Deans sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes, or halved cherry tomatoes
1 can sliced black olives, drained
1 jar green olives, drained and roughly chopped
1 1/2 c. cucumber, peeled, half lengthwise, slice
1 small jar pepperoncini slices
small bunch of green onion, sliced thin
1 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
3 T. Back Forty beer vinegar
1/3 c. + 3 T. parmesan, grated
2 T. Italian seasoning or
fresh parsley, basil, oregano, small rough chop

Cook your choice of pasta al dente, drain and cool. Add sausage, tomatoes, olives, peppers, and green onions. Combine the rest of the ingredients except the 3T of parmesan and whisk. Combine dressing with salad and fold to combine. Top with remaining parmesan and serve hot, cold, or room temp.

Dean’s Sausage Burger


1 pound ground chuck
1 pound Dean’s sausage, hot or mild
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons heavy cream
3 teaspoons oil
3 tablespoons butter

Mix sausage and beef in large bowl.  Add the salt and pepper and carefully spoon the heavy cream into it. Blend well with the hands and form into 4 -6 patties.

Heat the oil and butter in a heavy skillet. When quite hot, add the meat and cook till well done. Turn once or twice during the cooking process. Add salt and pepper to taste. These may also be grilled.

Sausage Quinoa Salad


from our neighbors at Back Forty Beer Company


1 pound Dean’s sausage, hot or mild
1 1/2 c quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 c Pilsner beer
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 c almonds, slivered or sliced
2 garlic cloves, min
1/2 green onion, sliced thin
handful of dried apricots, chopped small(optional)
Gorgonzola or feta, optional

Cook quinoa in beer, salt and half the water called for per package directions. Using beer in place of half of the water will bring in a lot of flavor. Season with pepper. While quinoa is cooking, brown the sausage in a skillet and crumble as it cooks. Add minced garlic in during the last few minutes of cooking the sausage and drain if needed. Add sausage to quinoa and mix together well. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Fold in green onions and dried apricots. Top with gorgonzola or feta. Delicious served hot or room temperature.  To feature this dish try serving over kale.

Sausage Stuffed Jumbo Shells


1 pound Dean’s mild sausage
1 jar marinara sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp Italian seasoning
8 oz. Ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 beaten egg
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley, 1 tsp if using dry
1 box jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained per package directions (tested with Barilla)
Grated Parmesan cheese


In a small saucepan, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Set half of the sausage aside for filling. Add the marinara sauce, tomato paste, water, brown sugar and Italian seasoning to sausage in pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine the Ricotta, 1/2 of mozzarella cheese, egg, parsley and reserved sausage. Stuff into shells. Spread 3/4 cup meat sauce in an ungreased shallow baking dish. Place stuffed shells in dish; drizzle with remaining meat sauce.

Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese if desired. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes.

Sausage Zucchini Boats


4 medium zucchini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound Dean’s sausage, hot or mild
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped( or diced from a can)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out middle and chop. Place the zucchini boats on foil lined pan.

Cook sausage and break up until starting to brown, 5 minutes or so. Add the garlic, onion, zucchini , tomatoes and season to taste. Cook until softened, about 4 minutes.

In a medium bowl, add the Parmesan, mozzarella, breadcrumbs and parsley; mix well.

Spoon in and mound the sausage mixture into the zucchini boats. Top with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake until golden on top, about 20 minutes.

Sausage and Wild Rice Soup


from our neighbors at Back Forty Beer Company


1 pound Dean’s sausage, cooked and crumbled
2 (6 oz.) packs of seasoned wild rice mix (such as Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice)
10 cups chicken broth
3 T. butter
1 cup each sliced mushroom, chopped onion, chopped celery
2 oz butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 heavy cream, 1/2 & 1/2, condensed milk or whole milk
1/4 cup Back Forty Cart Barn beer

Cook rice packets in 4 cups chicken broth and use only 1 seasoning packet.
Heat skillet and add 3 T. butter and then all of the vegetables. Saute over medium heat until tender. In a larger pot, like a Dutch oven, melt 2 ounces butter and whisk in flour. Cook about 1 minute while whisking constantly.Whisk in 6 cups of chicken broth and cook about 10 minutes until it has thickened. Whisk in dairy and beer and then add in mushrooms, onions, celery and Dean’s sausage and rice. Cook for about 10 minutes until everything is heated through.

Sausage Stuffed Cabbage Rolls


From our neighbors at Back Forty Beer Company


Cabbage Rolls:
2-3 large heads of cabbage.
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, small dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 c Mandarin Chief Imperial Black IPA
2-3 Tablespoons fresh parsley or scant T dry
2 lbs Dean’s sausage – hot, mild or Child Mild
2 cups cooked white or brown rice
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper


Prepare tomato sauce according to recipe below.

Core cabbage and separate leaves. Blanch whole leaves in boiling salty water, reserving smaller leaves for another use. Dry leaves and cut out tough vein.

For filling:heat pan on medium high and coat with olive oil. Add onions and garlic and saute 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and beer, and 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce. Add parsley and remove from heat. In large mixing bowl mix sausage, cooked rice, egg, and onion mixture. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Layer bottom of casserole dish with smaller cabbage leaves not used for making rolls and allow to overhang over sides of dish, drizzle a little sauce over.
Fill cooked leaves with about 1/2 cup of sausage mixture and roll from where you cut the vein out.
Line cabbage rolls in dish side by side. Pour remaining sauce over rolls and then fold overhanging leaves over top. Drizzle with a little olive oil and bake about 1 hour or until meat is fully cooked. Delicious with Mandarin Chief Imperial Black IPA or your favorite Back Forty Beer Co. beer!


Mandarin Chief Tomato sauce:
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 qt. crushed tomatoes
2 T white wine vinegar
1/4 c Mandarin Chief Imperial Black IPA, Back Forty Beer Company
juice plus 1 teaspoon zest of orange
1 Tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper


Coat pan with olive oil. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook 5 minutes. Add vinegar, beer, orange juice and zest, and sugar – cook an additional 10 minutes or until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.