Friday, February 06, 2015

Recipe for Sausage and Lentils with Fried Sage (Gluten-Free)

This classic dish of Sausage and Lentils with Fried Sage is a meal I'd always find comforting!

Recipe for Sausage and Lentils with Fried Sage (Gluten-Free) found on

(For Friday Flashbacks I feature favorite recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites, and recipe for Sausage and Lentils with Fried Sage qualifies for Phase One Fridays as well.  My love for lentils is pretty obvious, and this is definitely something I'd enjoy eating any time of year.  And this year I have sage growing in my windowsill over the winter, score!)

This recipe for Sausage and Lentils with Fried Sage was inspired by one in The Silver Spoon, a classic Italian cookbook that I think every serious cook should own.  The addition of fried sage was my idea after seeing it on restaurant menus, and the fried sage was a wonderful addition to this dish, if I do say so myself.  Sage is something I have growing abundantly for most of the year, and when you fry it the sage flavor intensifies just a bit as the leaves are transformed into crispy morsels of sage-flavored goodness.  But if you like Italian Sausage and Lentils but don't have fresh sage, this dish would still be very good without the sage. 

Recipe for Sausage and Lentils with Fried Sage (Gluten-Free) found on
The lentils are simmered with a few vegetables and some chicken soup base for extra flavor.

Recipe for Sausage and Lentils with Fried Sage (Gluten-Free) found on
Meanwhile, brown the sausages well, until they're nicely browned on all sides.

Recipe for Sausage and Lentils with Fried Sage (Gluten-Free) found on
Then let sausages cool enough to handle, slice them, and brown again so the cut sides are also nicely browned.  Don't rush the browning, because that creates flavor.

Recipe for Sausage and Lentils with Fried Sage (Gluten-Free) found on
Any type of fresh sage will work.  Garlic is heated in the oil to flavor it, and then the sage is fried for just a minute or two.

Recipe for Sausage and Lentils with Fried Sage (Gluten-Free) found on
And here's how the fried sage looked after it had cooled a bit and been chopped.

Recipe for Sausage and Lentils with Fried Sage (Gluten-Free) found on
Here is where the photo-taking got sidetracked when we got busy and forgot to take a photo of the cooked lentils and sausages mixed together in the pan with half the fried sage.  You'll have to use your imagination for that.  Serve the dish with some fried sage sprinkled on top.

Original photo Recipe for Sausage and Lentils with Fried Sage (Gluten-Free) found on
This recipe was updated with better photos in October 2011, and just to remind you why we're working so hard to update some of my earliest photos, here's the original photo from this recipe taken back in early 2006!

Recipe for Sausage and Lentils with Fried Sage (Gluten-Free) found on
Sausage and Lentils with Fried Sage
(Makes 6 or more servings; recipe adapted from The Silver Spoon.)

1 package hot turkey Italian Sausage (5 links, 19.5 oz.)
(I use Jenni-O Hot Turkey Italian Sausage which is gluten-free)
2 cups dried lentils
1 piece celery, cut in 3 inch pieces
1 whole carrot, cut in 3 inch pieces
1 small onion, cut in half
generous T chicken flavor base (optional, I use Better Than Bouillon Organic Low Sodium Chicken Base)
1 T + 2 T olive oil (or more, depending on your pan)
20-30 fresh sage leaves
3-4 large garlic cloves

Put lentils, celery, carrot, onion, and chicken flavor base (if using) in large pot, cover with water and start to simmer. Let lentils cook until they are quite tender. Cooking time will depend on how fresh the lentils are, but probably about 45 minutes.

While lentils are cooking, brown sausage well in 1 T olive oil in large frying pan. Let sausages cool enough to handle, and cut in diagonal slices about 1 inch thick. Put back in pan and brown cut sides of sausage very well. Don't rush the browning step, it may take as long as 20 minutes.

When lentils are tender, drain well and remove carrot, celery and onion and discard. Put 2 T olive oil in frying pan that sausages were browned in, add garlic and saute until barely starting to color (don't let it get very brown or it will be bitter). Remove garlic and discard. Add sage leaves to hot oil and cook just until crisp, not more than a minute or two. Remove sage and chop with knife.

Add cooked lentils and sausages with half the sage back to pan, and saute 3-5 minutes in seasoned olive oil. Remove to serving platter, sprinkle over rest of fried sage and serve hot.

South Beach Suggestions:
It's important to use lower-fat turkey Italian sausage if you're making this for the South Beach Diet.  Legumes like lentils are allowed for any phase of the diet, but portion size is limited to 1/3 to 1/2 cup for phase one.  Of course with a dish that has other ingredients you can have a slightly larger serving, but I'd eat a small portion of this with something like Ottolenghi's Perfect Lettuce Salad on the side for phase one.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Ideas with Lentils:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)

Pork and Lentil Soup from la Fuji Mama

Spiced Indian Lentils from Kalyn's Kitchen

Lentils with Spinach and Preserved Lemon from The Perfect Pantry

Mujadarra (Middle Eastern Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions) from Kalyn's Kitchen

Spanish Lentils and Mushrooms from Herbivoracious
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. Oh my goodness I simply MUST make this! Sage has got to be one of my most favorite things on the planet, and combined with sausage? YES YES and YES!

  2. I'm going to make it too. It looks wonderful and those are all foods and herbs that I love. Great dish---as always!

  3. you read my mind on the sausage and lentils thing - i've been craving this dish for two weeks & just got the stuff to make it. the fried sage is a great idea and just takes it over the top. thanks!

  4. Thanks for posting this bc I was having trouble with cut up sausage in my recipes. I had cooked them up and cut them right before adding it to the rest of dish and then I did not get that yummy brown or I cooked it some more and the whole dish got too oily as the re-cooking in the complete dish leached too much oil out. Thanks for this!!

  5. Great recipe! My sage is springing up also, and I love using it in recipes! Also, this is user friendly for a household that does South Beach and Atkins. Hubby can eat as is, I remove the carrots and lentils for my portion.

  6. Looks delicious. I love ANYTHING with sausage! My sage plants are just starting to grow. I hope I'll get enough leaves for frying. I've never tried fried sage. Sounds wonderful.

  7. My God that looks delicious!!!

  8. Fried sage is quite the taste treat and it sounds great in this recipe. Didn't get to make your lentil recipe last night because the bag of lentils I had had torn and they were all over my pantry drawer : (. I've got a grocery list tonight, though. Will keep you posted.

  9. Fantastico! I've had a hankering for lentils and have all the ingredients on hand. I'm starting to harvest and preserve/dry/freeze my herbs. This will be perfect!

  10. Oh, this is my kind of dish. And I love seeing those old photos; your new photos really make the recipe come to life.

  11. Oh Kelly, I hate it when things like that happen. I did love the fried sage in this one.

    CJ, hope you enjoy it!

    Lydia, thanks. I am having fun comparing the old and new photos!

  12. This looks SO amazing. I love sausage and lentil soup, so this variation is right up my alley! Fried sage is very tasty as well.

  13. Nichole, so glad you like it!

  14. I love sage. My husband makes pasta with sage butter sauce (I guess that's not very South Beach) He makes it perfect. When I try to fry sage, I burn it. whaaa. The combo of sage lentils and sausage sounds definitely worth making. Thank you.

  15. I like all kind of food which has sausage as a ingredient. I usually store it in the refrigerator all time.

  16. Chigiy, that doesn't sound very South Beach friendly, but if your husband cooked it I would definitely eat some! Fried Sage is so good!

    Alice, I am especially fond of turkey Italian sausage.

  17. NUTZ! I should know better than to read stuff like this on an empty stomach. I love Italian Sausage and always keep several packages in fridge and freezer.....which is where I'm headed now! Thanks!

  18. I did this yesterday for dinner, because I had leftovers for my children in case they 'would say no to it' - so they at least tried it, because of sausage & lentils...
    I used red lentils, because that's what I had on hand.
    My husband gave it a thumbs up, my kids put it on the don't do it ever again list. I liked it, though my lentils ended up very mushy, but still I will do it again.
    Thanks for all these interesting dishes, you try for us. I also made the salad, you suggested and it was a big hit.
    By the way, my husband had at least two servings!

  19. Swimchick, glad you and the husband enjoyed it. BTW, red lentils are means more for soup or dal, where the lentils are supposed to dissolve in the dish so they aren't really a substitute for the lentils used in this recipe. I probably need to be more specific about that!

  20. It's on the stove now! Smells wonderful.

  21. We adore sausage and lentils! But we'd never thought of adding fried sage to them. How brilliant.

    And we just happen to have sage galore in the garden right now too. I can't wait to try your recipe, Kalyn!

  22. Elizabeth I'm betting you will love it with the fried sage. It is so flavorful!

  23. I made this tonight and substituted Kale for the sage since I didn't have it on hand but had all the other ingredients. It was alright, but the Kale was a bit too bitter in this. Next time I am definitely doing sage.

  24. I'm working hard at updating my old photos too!!!

    1. Pam it's an endless job, but worth it!


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