The first time I made this it was just chicken and sausage casserole. Justin, like he always does, gave me some feedback on it. He absolutely loved the dish – a comment I always believe coming from his honest mouth – but suggested it would be really good with some pumpkin mixed in to it.
So we made it again. Per his request.
And you get the perfect fall meal. The only real issue with this was my way of cooking it. I call it a casserole but truly, it doesn’t need to be one. Becuase I cooked the vegetables ahead of time (I tried doing this in the crockpot – no go). I cooked the sausage ahead of time, and then the chicken was cubed while still raw. So basically everything was cooked but the chicken when it went in the over – the vegetables still only part-way done.
This was a hassle so in the future I’ll just cook it all separately, toss it together in a big pan and call it a day. This was a really enjoyable meal to eat when the weather was on the cooler side. There is something I find so comforting in fall dishes. I can’t pin point what it is but consuming a warm bowl of food gives me warm fuzzies when it feels cool outside.
Chicken and Sausage Pumpkin Casserole
- 3 lb maple apple chicken sausage cooked
- 2 lb chicken breast*
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 2 butternut squash small or 1 large
- 2 sweet potatoes large
- 1 onion medium-large
- 2 cans pumpkin puree
- 2 tbsp rosemary
- 2 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp sage
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook your chicken however you typically like to cook chicken breast.*
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with foil
Peel and cube the squash and sweet potatoes. Dice the onion. Toss them all in a large bowl with the oil and spices. Roast the vegetables for about 25-35 minutes total, but check on them and stir around every 15 minutes.
While vegetables are roasting you can cook your sausage. I heat some oil over medium-high heat, place each link in the pan and let it brown for a couple minutes. Flip it, let it cook for a couple more minutes, then add water so the sausage is about half covered. Cover the pan, lower the heat, and cook for about 10-15 more minutes.
You can opt to cook your chicken during this time as well.
When everything is cooked, toss in the saucepan used for the chicken and/or sausage with the canned pumpkin and stir around to heat through. Note: This batch size would require 2 pans or a large dutch oven.
*You can make this dish with just sausage as I did the first go-around. We wanted to reduce the fat content so we did a mixture of sausage and chicken the second time. The maple apple flavor of sausage we buy at the Harris Teeter meat counter is perfect for this!
**I would either cook my chicken in the crockpot earlier in the day, or squeeze it in with the vegetables. In this case I'd lower the heat to 375, cover the chicken and bake for about 30-40 minutes depending on the chicken breast thickness. The vegetables might take a little longer at this temperature, but if they are cubed small enough it shouldn't be too long.