British Sausage Rolls Are as Fun as Pigs in a Blanket

published Mar 2, 2022
Eat
Sausage Roll Recipe

Sausage rolls are the extra-flaky version of pigs in a blanket.

Serves6 to 8

Makes24 sausage rolls

Prep15 minutes

Cook20 minutes to 24 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
a platter of small sausage rolls on a square turquoise plate with a brownish-red dipping sauce
Credit: Tara Holland

Even though I am now a proud American citizen, deep down I’m still a proud Brit. I miss lots of culinary treats from back home, but British sausage rolls are the food I miss the most. Sausage rolls are like the United Kingdom’s version of pigs in a blanket — but way better. (I know I’m biased, but trust me on this.) I’m yet to meet any meat-eating Brits who don’t love a good old-fashioned sausage roll. Once you’ve tried a bite of a warm, flaky, well-seasoned sausage roll, you’ll understand what I mean. 

The British Greggs Sausage Roll Phenomenon

Anyone who has been to the British high street bakery chain Greggs knows that you usually go in for one reason only: sausage rolls. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve craved one in the last 10 years of living in the United States. Their sausage rolls are a phenomenon, and dare I say, a national treasure! You only have to look at #greggssausageroll on Twitter to see that it’s a “thing.” They’re nothing fancy, but their simplicity is what makes them so delicious.

Although there are many delicious variations with lots of add-ins and twists, my personal belief with sausage roll recipes is that less is more. I only add seasonings — a tablespoon of Worcester sauce, a little ground sage, onion powder, chopped fresh thyme, and ground white pepper — to the sausage meat.

What Type of Pastry Do You Use for Sausage Rolls?

Sausage rolls were traditionally made with a lard-based flaky shortcrust pastry, but nowadays they’re most often made with puff pastry. So unless you are keen to make puff pastry or shortcrust pastry from scratch, buying store-bought ready-rolled puff pastry sheets work perfectly.

What Type of Sausage Is in a Sausage Roll?

Unlike pigs in a blanket, where mini frankfurters are used, British sausage rolls are made with pork sausage meat. Good-quality British sausages can be hard to come by, but you can ask your butcher or meat counter if they have any; if they don’t then breakfast links or Italian bulk sausage, with casings removed, work.

Vegetarian Substitute for Sausage Rolls

My 14-year-old daughter turned vegetarian about three years ago. Sausage rolls were one of the things she missed the most from her previously carnivorous diet (it’s up there with bacon). After discovering a plant-based sausage meat from Lightlife, I sneakily made a vegetarian batch of these rolls and managed to trick the rest of my family into thinking they were filled with meat. They’re so good, the plant-based versions even made their way to our Thanksgiving canapé menu this year. If you are doing a vegetarian version, omit the Worcestershire sauce and swap in 1 tablespoon of milk or water (which helps to combine the mixture), or use a vegetarian alternative. My daughter loves Lord Sandy’s Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce.

Credit: Tara Holland

Best Dipping Sauces and Accompaniments for Sausage Rolls

Warm sausage rolls are so good that they can hold their own without a dip, but these are my favorite dipping sauces.

Sausage Roll Recipe

Sausage rolls are the extra-flaky version of pigs in a blanket.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes to 24 minutes

Makes 24 sausage rolls

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 (about 17-ounce) package

    frozen puff pastry, such as Pepperidge Farm

  • 4 to 5 sprigs

    fresh thyme

  • 1

    large egg

  • 1 tablespoon

    water

  • 1 pound

    uncooked bulk or pork sausage, casings removed

  • 1 tablespoon

    Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground sage

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground white or black pepper

  • All-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Thaw 1 (about 17-ounce) package frozen puff pastry according to package directions or at room temperature for 30 minutes. Take it out of the box for thawing but keep in the paper packaging to prevent it from drying out. Meanwhile, prepare the following: Pick the leaves from 4 to 5 fresh thyme sprigs until you have 1 tablespoon, then finely chop. Beat 1 large egg with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl.

  2. Remove the casings from 1 pound pork sausage if needed. Place the sausage, thyme, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon ground sage, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon ground white or black pepper in a large bowl. Mix with clean hands until well combined. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes to firm up. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  3. Unfold the 2 puff pastry sheets onto a lightly floured cutting board (if there is just one sheet, cut it in half crosswise). Roll each sheet out with a rolling pin into a 10x9-inch rectangle. Cut each sheet in half lengthwise to make 4 (10x4 1/2-inch) rectangles. Arrange the rectangles vertically so a short side is closer to you.

  4. Divide the sausage mixture into 4 portions. Using wet hands and a bench scraper if needed, roll each portion into a log about 10 inches long, 1-inch wide, and 1-inch thick. Place a sausage roll lengthwise in the middle of each pastry rectangle.

  5. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg wash. Working with 1 rectangle at a time, roll the the left and right sides of the pastry over the sausage to meet and overlap in the middle. Carefully press down to seal the seam. Use your hands to form each side to create a compact log shape. Arrange seam-side down.

  6. Cut each roll crosswise into 6 (just over 1 1/2-inch) pieces. Arrange seam-side down on the baking sheet, spacing them about 1-inch apart. (If you prefer larger sausage rolls to serve as a meal, cut into larger pieces.) Generously brush the tops and sides of the pastry of each sausage roll with the remaining egg wash.

  7. Bake for 12 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet and bake until the pastry is cooked and puffed, the tops are evenly golden-brown, and the sausage is cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes more. Transfer the sausage rolls to a wire rack abnd let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm, at room temperature, or even cold with the dipping sauce of your choice.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: Refrigerate assembled and unbaked sausage rolls (without the egg wash on top) for up to 24 hours. Brush with the egg wash before baking, baking for a few minutes more.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Freezing: Both unbaked and cooked sausage rolls can be frozen in a freezer-safe resealable bag or airtight container for up to 3 months. They are better to freeze unbaked (without egg wash) and can be cooked from frozen, although they will take up to 10 minutes longer to cook.

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: British Sausage Rolls