This grilled cheese is loaded with an easy and delicious Sausage Ragu!
Yes, typically you’d serve a ragu with pasta. But around here, as I’m sure you’re aware, we like to sandwich just about everything and this is no exception. Honestly? I once you make a ragu sandwich you won’t eat it any other way. Follow me…
Just to get everyone up to speed, a ragu simple means a meat based sauce. Most commonly you’d use beef, veal or pork, but today we’re using sausage.
What kind of Sausage to use?
If you can get Italian ground sausage that works best, but any kind of ground sausage will do. If you’re struggling to find it, you can squeeze the meat from sausages instead! Do not sub ground pork.
Simmering to reduce
Usually you’d want your ragu to have a saucy consistency, because it’s going with pasta. But here you want it to have a very thick consistency. If the ragu is too watery it’ll result in a soggy sandwich! Just keep simmering until the sauce has fully soaked up.
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yep, to get ahead of the game you can absolutely make the ragu ahead of time. Just allow to cool and tightly store in the fridge or freezer. Just make sure you bring it to room temp before making the sandwich, or it won’t heat through properly.
Process shots: fry onion and garlic (photo 1), fry sausage (photo 2), fry tomato paste (photo 3), stir in red wine (photo 4), add tomatoes, rosemary and basil (photo 5), simmer and stir until thickened (photo 6).
Italian Sausage Grilled Cheese
Alright, try not to eat the entire bowl of meat sauce with a spoon, because this sandwich is too delicious not to make!
What Bread to use?
Because the filling is going to be very soft, you want a sturdy loaf. Something like Sourdough.
What Cheese to use?
I use mozzarella and parmesan in this sandwich. The mozzarella has a mellow and creamy flavour that allows the ragu to shine, whilst also giving you a tasty cheese pull. The parmesan is usually a classic topping, but here it’s going straight in the sandwich.
Process shots: add bread to pan butter-side-down (photo 1), add mozzarella (photo 2), add ragu (photo 3), add parmesan (photo 4), add bread butter-side-up and turn on heat (photo 5), fry both sides until golden (photo 6).
Serving a Sausage Grilled Cheese
I actually usually serve these for dinner because they’re quite hearty. You can sprinkle over some fresh parsley at the end for garnish, but that’s completely optional. If you fancy something on the side check out my Garlic Parmesan Fries!
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this Italian Sausage Grilled Cheese shall we?!
How to make a Sausage Grilled Cheese (Full Recipe & Video)
Italian Sausage Grilled Cheese
- Large Pan & Wooden Spoon
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Fine Cheese Grater
- 1lb / 500g Sausage Meat (see notes)
- 1x 14oz/400g can of Skinned Plum Tomatoes, roughly diced in the can
- 1/4 cup / 60ml Red Wine (see notes)
- 1 tbsp Tomato Paste (Tomato Puree in UK)
- 1 small White Onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
- 1 sprig EACH: Fresh Rosemary, Fresh Basil (can sub 1/4-1/2 tsp of each dried)
- Olive Oil, for frying
- Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
- 4 large, 5 medium or 6 small thick slices of Bread (something sturdy like a Sourdough)
- 7oz / 200g sliced Fresh Mozzarella, patted dry to remove moisture (can sub pre-grated with same weight)
- 1/2 cup / 40g freshly grated Parmesan
- Butter, as needed
- Fresh Parsley, to serve (optional)
- Sausage: In a large pan over medium heat, add a drizzle of oil then add finely diced onion. Fry for a few mins until it begins to soften, then add in garlic and fry for another couple of mins. Add in sausage meat and break up with your wooden spoon. Continue frying until fully browned
- Ragu: Stir in tomato paste and fry for 1-2mins, then pour in wine and use your wooden spoon to deglaze the pan. Allow the meat to soak in the wine for a few mins, then pour in tomatoes (swill out can with a splash of water) and add basil, rosemary and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Give a stir then turn down heat slightly to a gentle simmer and allow the sauce to reduce for 30-40mins, or until very thick. This is important, you don't want a watery ragu in your sandwich! Once thickened leave to one side to cool slightly and remove rosemary/basil stalks.
- Prep Sandwich: Butter one side of each of your slices of bread. Flip half of them over and top with mozzarella. Spoon over some ragu, then sprinkle over parmesan. Top with bread butter-side-up.
- Cook Sandwich: Add sandwiches to a pan over medium heat and fry both sides until golden with the cheese just starting to leak out. You may need to do this in batches.
If you loved this Sausage Grilled Cheese recipe be sure to Pin it for later! Already made it or got a burning question? Give me a shout in the comments below!