What holiday season is complete without a good sausage roll? These mini fennel sausage rolls are juicy little savory bites wrapped in puff pastry goodness, and they’ll fly off your holiday platters and into hungry tummies. Promise!
I love these mini fennel sausage rolls, which are, quite frankly, not unlike me around holiday time. I get all plump from overindulging, and I’m frequently wrapping myself inside warm cozy blankets. Substitute a blanket for puff pastry, and it’s like we’re doppelgängers.
I first made a version of sausage rolls based on this easy, delicious recipe from Jamie Oliver. Unlike his recipe, my recipe for mini sausage rolls has even fewer ingredients and steps. I also found that you don’t need to remove the sausages from their casings if you use sausage links like breakfast sausage. It’s easier, and the sausage won’t break apart on you while it’s baking in the oven.
The best part of all is that these mini fennel sausage rolls stay warm in the oven until your guests come, but they’re still tasty at room temperature. That way, no one gets the sads from arriving a little late to your party, only to discover that all that’s left is the dregs of a dip and a couple of lukewarm cheeses. Cold sausage rolls are, after all, still incredibly tasty sausage rolls.
Also, you might be wondering what the difference is between these mini fennel sausage rolls and the pigs in a blanket or kolaches that you might usually serve. The answer is that there’s not a whole lot of difference (meat wrapped in cozy pastry or croissant rolls), but they seem fancier. Plus, you can tell everyone that you’re doing it British style this Christmas. Win-win!
But looking beyond Christmas, these mini fennel sausage rolls can also be a great make-ahead dinner plan. I recently paired my mini fennel sausage rolls with some Indian chicken skewers and a caramelized pecan, pear and avocado salad for an easy dinner. The kids loved the finger foods and called it our “dinner picnic.”
So, what about you? Will you be making these for your Christmas gathering, or can we come over for a dinner picnic sometime?
- 1 package (approximately 12 ounces) breakfast sausage links (the smaller and narrow ones, like Jimmy Dean)
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed but still cold
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon water
- sesame seeds, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/160 degrees Celsius. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
- Heat a dry skillet over medium heat and gently toast the fennel seeds until aromatic but not browned. Transfer the fennel seeds to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and coarsely grind, then set aside (note; if you don't have either a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, you can sandwich the fennel seeds between two sheets of parchment paper and smash the fennel seeds with the flat edge of a chef's knife).
- Dust your counter or other surface lightly with all purpose flour. Carefully unroll the frozen puff pastry onto the counter and cut in half lengthwise. Set one rectangle aside. On the other rectangle, arrange the breakfast sausage in one single long row, then sprinkle the fennel seeds on top. Fold the rectangle of puff pastry over the breakfast sausage links and press the edges of puff pastry together at the loose ends, crimping with a fork to make sure they're properly sealed.
- With a sharp knife, carefully cut the long puff pastry roll into smaller, 1.5 inch - 2 inch rolls. Arrange on the baking sheet.
- Mix together the egg and water. With a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of each sausage roll and sprinkle with sesame seeds (if using). Repeat with the remaining rectangle of puff pastry and more breakfast sausage and fennel seeds.
- Bake for 20 minutes until the puff pastry is golden brown and puffed. Serve immediately or keep warm, wrapped in foil, in the oven heated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius).