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Sheet Pan Sausage with Mushrooms and Fennel is the Italian-inspired, Thanksgiving side dish that you didn’t know was missing from your holiday menu. It’s abundant with incredible flavors and textures from roasted Italian sausage, earthy mushrooms and fragrant fennel and herbs. Best of all, you can cook it easily on one sheet pan . . . a simple dish with big flavor!
If you love mushrooms, be sure to also check out these recipes: Rigatoni Boscaiola with Mushrooms and Sausage, Italian Marinated Mushrooms, Lentil Soup with Sausage and Mushrooms and Paglia e Fieno Pasta with Mushrooms, Peas and Crispy Prosciutto!
What Inspired This Recipe
I have been making this roasted Sausage, Mushrooms and Fennel as a side dish for Thanksgiving for years. My mom used to make a more simple version of it on the stovetop, with sliced Italian sausage and mushrooms only. This version, which was inspired by hers, has a tad more flavor complexity with the addition of licorice-flavored fennel and lots of fragrant mixed herbs.
Plus, by roasting the ingredients at a high temperature, they become caramelized and a bit more savory.
The bonus is that the sausage, mushrooms and fennel can all be cooked simultaneously on one sheet pan for ease and convenience–which is exactly what we are looking for at busy holiday time. Prep the ingredients one day in advance, and then all you need to do on the big day is arrange them on a sheet pan and roast.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Sausage and mushrooms are a marriage made in heaven, if you ask me, and this recipe is a great example of that. And, fennel, that has been a staple in Italian cuisine for centuries, complements the mushrooms and sausage beautifully. But, if fennel is not your cup of tea, you can definitely substitute it with yellow or Spanish onions.
This recipe also has the benefit of being both dairy free and gluten free, so is a great option for those around your table with allergies.
Sheet Pan Sausage with Mushrooms and Fennel is the perfect warm and savory side dish for Turkey Day and also makes incredible leftovers! (Think frittata, pasta, cold from a container standing in front of the fridge, or even as a topping for savory oats!) It’s designed to pair perfectly with your Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey dinners, including the main bird, turkey gravy and all the other delicious sides, too! And, you can also make the whole thing one day in advance and just heat it up for Thanksgiving dinner. Hope you enjoy it!
Ingredients–What You Need for Sausage with Mushrooms
To make Sheet Pan Sausage, Mushrooms and Fennel, we will be using the following ingredients:
- Italian Sausage: If possible, buy Italian sausages in bulk without the casing so that you can skip a step. Either hot or sweet Italian sausage can be used, based on your personal preference. And, other sausages work well in this dish, such as breakfast sausage, sage sausage, and even chorizo!
- Mushrooms: Nearly any variety can be used. I am using basic white mushrooms here as they are the most economical, pack a nutritional punch, and they work perfectly. Cremini mushrooms would be my second choice. Try to find baby mushrooms if possible, as you can leave them whole. But, large mushrooms work just as well once they are cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Fennel: Fennel has been a staple in Italian cuisine for centuries! It has a very mild anise or licorice flavor that is mellowed and sweetened a bit during the roasting process. It complements the mushrooms and sausage beautifully. But, if fennel is not your cup of tea, substitute it with yellow or Spanish onion.
- Garlic and Fresh Herbs: These are important flavor builders that contribute to the savoriness in the recipe. Use as much or as little as you like. I used five different herbs in this dish, that all scream autumn to me–sage, marjoram, thyme, rosemary and parsley. Use any combination of these, as desired. Just be sure to leave out any tough stems!
- Oil: Since we are roasting this dish at a high heat (400°F), I suggest using an oil with a high smoke point, such as regular (not extra-virgin) olive oil or avocado oil.
A complete and detailed list of ingredients with amounts and instructions is included in the recipe below.
Step-By-Step Photos & Instructions, Pro-Tips included!
Here are the main steps for how to make Sheet Pan Sausage, Mushrooms and Fennel:
- Gather, prep and measure all ingredients. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a dry paper towel.
- PRO-TIP: For extra fennel flavor, chop the fennel fronds and toss them with the finished roasted dish along with the fresh herbs.
- Combine the sliced mushrooms, sausage, fennel, garlic and half the herbs in a large bowl and toss them with the oil. Then, arrange them in a single-layer on a large parchment-lined, rimmed sheet pan.
- PRO-TIP: Do not salt this dish until after it is done cooking. Salt tends to bring out liquid in vegetables, and this could cause the vegetables to steam rather than brown. Instead, toss the finished, roasted vegetables with salt and black pepper.
- Roast the mixture until all items are tender and slightly caramelized.
- Season the roasted vegetables with salt and black pepper, then toss them with the remaining fresh herbs until all ingredients are well-combined. Serve immediately.
- PRO-TIP: This recipe can be prepped one day in advance of roasting. In addition, it can be fully-roasted up to two days prior to serving and can be reheated just before dinner.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions for this recipe:
Since mushrooms are very porous and absorb liquid very easily, the best way to clean mushrooms is by using a dry paper towel to wipe away any dirt. Try to avoid immersing the mushrooms in water to clean them as they will absorb a lot of liquid and steam, rather than brown, in the oven.
You can use nearly any variety of fresh mushroom in this recipe, but I generally use basic white mushrooms. They are the most economical, full of flavor and pack a nutritional punch! Regardless of the variety that you use, be sure to wipe off all visible dirt from the mushrooms before proceeding with the recipe.
Definitely! Make this dish in a sauté pan or in the oven (as I have presented it here), depending on where you have the most space, which helps when the kitchen is on overdrive. The key is to sauté all the ingredients, separately, until they have a fair amount of caramelization, then combine them all with the fresh herbs, season and enjoy! Throw in some roasted garlic cloves too if you have them!)
Recipe Ideas for Sausage with Mushrooms and Fennel
Here are a few more ideas on this simple recipe:
- Use a Different Sausage: Other sausages work really well in this dish, such as breakfast sausage, sage sausage, and even chorizo! In addition, you can make this dish pork-free by substituting a chicken or turkey sausage.
- Use it in a Frittata: This mixture is a great flavor base for any frittata or omelet. I suggest adding a bit of cheese in to add some richness.
- Turn it into a Pasta! Toss this savory combination with your favorite pasta shape, some additional fragrant extra-virgin olive oil and grated Pecorino Romano cheese. In fact, this is a great idea for the leftovers!
Accompaniments for Sausage with Mushrooms and Fennel
Serve it at your next holiday dinner and consider these complimentary dishes as well:
- Homemade Turkey Gravy
- Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Creamed Spinach with Croutons
- Cranberry Sauce with Orange
- Raw Cranberry Pomegranate Relish
- Easy Pesto-Roasted Potatoes
Kitchen Tools for Sheet Pan Sausage with Mushrooms and Fennel
To make this recipe, you will need the following:
- Cutting board with non-slip mat underneath (I use shelf liner)
- Sharp chef’s knife
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Multiple bowls to hold prep
- Sheet pan
- Parchment Paper
- Serving utensils
More Great Recipes to Try
If you’ve tried this Sheet Pan Sausage, Mushrooms and Fennel recipe or any other recipe on the blog, please let me know how it went in the comments below — I love hearing from you!
Sheet Pan Sausage with Mushrooms and Fennel
- 2 pounds mushrooms, halved or quartered depending on size (See NOTE.)
- 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed, in bite-sized chunks
- 1 large fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced (about ¾ to 1 pound sliced)
- 10 garlic cloves, smashed with the back of a knife
- 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as sage, marjoram, thyme, flat-leaf parsley and/or rosemary
- Pinch salt and black pepper, or to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F and arrange a rack in the center of the oven.(Please see the section above in the blog post for Step-By-Step instructions with photos.)
- Gather all ingredients. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a dry paper towel. Unless the mushrooms are very small, cut them down into small, bite-sized pieces of approximately the same size.2 pounds mushrooms,
- Combine the mushrooms, sausage, fennel, garlic and half the herbs in a large bowl and toss them with the oil. Then, arrange them in a single-layer on a large parchment-lined, rimmed sheet pan (or two sheet pans).1 pound Italian sausage,, 1 large fennel bulb,, 10 garlic cloves,, 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
- Roast uncovered for about 30-35 minutes, or until all items are tender and slightly caramelized. Rotate the sheet pan once about halfway through the cooking process.
- Sprinkle the roasted vegetables with salt and black pepper, then toss them with the remaining fresh herbs until all ingredients are well-combined. Serve immediately.Pinch salt and black pepper,
- White and cremini are the best mushrooms for this dish, but you can also use a variety of different types of mushrooms. If the mushrooms are large, cut them down into small, bite-sized pieces of equal size so that they will all cook at the same length of time.
- Either hot or sweet Italian sausage can be used, based on your personal preference. And, other sausages work well in this dish, such as breakfast sausage, sage sausage, and even chorizo!
- I suggest NOT salting this dish until after it is done cooking. Salt tends to bring out liquid in vegetables, and this could cause the vegetables to steam rather than brown. Instead, toss the finished, roasted vegetables with salt and black pepper at the same time that you are combining the mixture with the remaining fresh herbs.
- This recipe can be prepped one day in advance of roasting. In addition, it can be fully-roasted up to two days prior to serving and can be reheated just before dinner. Cover and reheat at 350˚F until it reaches a 165˚F internal temperature