Hello! And thanks for stopping by! If you’re new to my blog, welcome! You picked a great day to explore! Because I’m just finishing up with a crowd-pleasing, third recipe for an exciting and fun event for the upcoming Super Bowl with Johnsonville® Sausage! This is my final recipe for the event, and these Loaded Italian Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza Fritters with Pizza-Style Marinara Sauce scored a touchdown with everyone!
Seriously, pizza is probably the quintessential, number one, “gameday grub of all gameday grubs”!
But if I have a big ole slice, I’m pretty much done. Overly stuffed to the gills, and consequently slipping into a serious food coma!
All fun and games when you want to veg-out on the couch under a pile of blankets with a good book or movie! But not so much fun at a gathering with friends and family while watching the Super Bowl and either hosting or just attending the big event.
I mean, especially for a party, I more enjoy a fun variety of munchies and appetizers over a slab of something heavy. That way you can nibble leisurely, and not fill up on a single item.
So I decided to take the favorite of all favorites, and turn it into a more manageable and enjoyable appetizer that’s not only surprisingly delicious, but silly-easy to make, too!!
For this last recipe, we went with killer-good Johnsonville® Hot Italian Sausage Links cooked in J-Ville’s Sizzling Sausage Grill that they sent out to all of us participants! And let me tell you, that grill flat out WORKS.
My hubby, as I have aforementioned, secretly dreamt of one, and we’re BOTH absolutely thrilled at how well it performed! It really does “grill” the sausage links on all sides, and the cleanup is surprisingly easy!!
Just look how gorgeous they come out! And in only 10 – 15 minutes with the push of a button!
The two non-stick cooking plates pop right out and easily wash up by hand, or can go straight into the dishwasher! YES. HUGE yes!! (The drip tray is also dishwasher safe on the top rack!)
What’s not to love about not having to scrub your entire stovetop of a popping grease film! Not to mention the walls…counter…side of fridge,…right?!)
Say hello to my new little kitchen friend!!
My first two recipes, Grilled Italian Sausage, Balsamic Roasted Red Grape & Blue Cheese Crostini with Pecans…
…and 3 Cheese Baby Bierocks with Brats, Bacon & Caraway, were a crowd-roaring hit with everyone!
And this last one, my Loaded Italian Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza Fritters with Pizza-Style Marinara Sauce, made it a triple-tie winner, munchie madness fest!
I could see ALL THREE of these recipes being made and served on a buffet, being that they are all so different from one another, that they would provide enough of a variety of flavors to please anyone and everyone attending the party!
So let’s get this party started and rock this!
For this last one, I chose Johnsonville’s® Hot Italian Sausage so that the flavors wouldn’t get lost in the mix!
Once the sausages are cooked, just open the lid, pop them out, and place them onto a cutting board, loosely covered, to rest and let the juices settle down.
While the sausages are resting, guard them from the sausage thieves!, and whip up the easy batter.
Whisk to mix the dry ingredients first….
*Note: I made this “Chicago pizza-style” using part corn meal!
I only use Indian Head brand for this, though.
It has a finer grain so that the fritters don’t turn out like pea gravel.
…then whisk the wet ingredients…..
….then stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until everything is mostly moistened and mixed, but still lumpy and not over-mixed.
Then fold in whatever ingredients you like, along with the grilled, diced, hot Italian sausages!
We went with the crowd-pleasing, “kitchen sink combo”, that included the hot italian sausage links….
….plus pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, and sweet red cubanelle peppers from last summer’s garden!
But you can add whatever ingredients make you do the happy dance in the end zone! You could certainly add black or green olives, anchovies, or even fresh pineapple diced into very small pieces!
Just don’t forget all that yummy cheese!!!
Once you have your pizza toppings all folded in, get out the BIG, deep, frying pan and heat 2 inches of oil. My pan is a good 3 inches deep and 12 inches wide, which leaves plenty of room for expansion when adding anything to it. So make sure you use a large, deep pan. (Or you can do this in smaller batches in a smaller pan.
Just leave at least 1 solid inch of room at the top so that you don’t overflow your pan is all.) You can do this in a dutch oven or pot if you don’t have any frying pans deep enough.
*But the oil must be at least 2 inches deep or the fritters won’t have enough room to cook properly and will rest on the bottom and could possibly burn.
Once the oil is hot, drop large spoonfuls or half-filled ice cream scoops-full of batter into the oil, and fry until nice and golden on all sides. Turn them several times to make sure that all sides get nice and done.
Then remove to a cooling rack placed over a baking sheet and pop into a low oven to keep warm while you finish frying the rest.
Pile them all into a nice big basket or pan, and finely grate some asiago or parmesan cheese over the top for extra fun if you’d like!
These turned out even better than I had hoped!!! OMG, did they EVER!!
My hubby all but inhaled FIVE of them before I could even BLINK!
I have to admit. They were pretty awesome!!!
And don’t forget to serve these with my Pizza-Style Marinara Sauce for dipping and dunking for that full, authentic, pizza flavor experience!
The recipe is at the bottom just below the fritter recipe! *I kept them separate so that you could print out one or both.
So be sure to save, print and Pin this recipe! My hubby rated this one THE BEST of all three recipes!! I couldn’t decide! Honestly, ALL of them were equally delicious to me! And if these were presented at a party, I would feel like a very special guest!
Hope you all love these as much as we did!
Here’s to this year’s Super Bowl!
Have fun & enjoy the game!
*Scroll down for my easy Pizza-Style Marinara Sauce for dipping!
- 3 Johnsonville® Hot Italian Sausage Links, grilled (in Johnsonville's Indoor Sizzling Sausage Grill)
- vegetable oil for frying (freeze the other two for a later use - cooked or uncooked)
- Dry Ingredients:
- 1½ cups AP flour
- ½ cup Indian Head Stone Ground Corn Meal
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbl. garlic powder
- 1½ tsp. each: italian seasoning, oregano, and fennel seed
- 1 tsp. each: onion powder and dried basil
- ½ tsp. each: coarse ground black pepper, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, and sugar
- Wet Ingredients:
- 2 extra-large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup milk, room temp
- 4 oz. (1 stick) real butter, melted (I always use Minerva Dairy)
- Fold In Ingredients:
- 30 pepperoni slices, halved, then sliced into thirds
- 3 Tbl. finely chopped red onion
- ½ cup diced sweet red cubanelle pepper, or bell pepper of any color
- ½ cup jarred sliced mushrooms, drained, coarse chopped
- 2½ cups shredded mozzarella & provolone blend cheese
- ¼ cup finely grated asiago cheese
- ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- (*plus the 3 brats, grilled and diced)
- In Johnsonville's new Indoor Sizzling Sausage Grill, cook italian sausages according to directions making sure to place one on the center. Remove and set aside when done, covering loosely. When cooled, slice each lengthwise into fourths, then slice crossways into ¼ inch pieces. Cover and set aside.
- Add vegetable oil to large deep frying pan or dutch oven to about 2 inches deep, and heat over medium heat until fully heated and nice and hot. (*My frying pan is 12 inches by 3 inches deep, leaving plenty of room at the top.)
- While oil is heating, in a large bowl, whisk together the Dry Ingredients.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk egg, then whisk in rest of Wet Ingredients.
- Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture just until moistened, then add the Fold In ingredients. Only fold until everything is combined, but don't over mix.
- Drop by large, rounded tablespoons (serving spoons not measuring spoons) or by ice cream scoop filled about half full into the hot oil and fry for 6 - 8 minutes, turning several times, until deep golden brown on the outside, and cooked through in the center. *Cooking time depends on size of fritters and how hot your oil is. When browned, remove one and check inside to make sure it's cooked through. I also check if my oil is hot enough by dropping just a little batter in to test. If batter sinks and immediately rises to the top it's hot enough. If fritters are browning too quickly, turn heat down a little. And never over-crowd your pan. Do this in batches of about 7 - 8 fritters each depending on the size of your pan.
- As each batch is done and nicely browned, remove to a cooling rack placed over a baking sheet. (Keep batches hot in a warm 200º oven if need be.)
- Serve with Pizza-Style Marinara Sauce (*recipe below) for dipping. Enjoy!
Don’t forget to make some Pizza-Style Marinara Sauce for dipping!
*This stuff was the bomb, too!!
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic & oregano, with the juice
- 1 tsp. italian seasoning
- ⅛ tsp. each: salt, coarse ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
- tiny pinch of sugar if needed
- 2 Tbl. grated parmesan cheese
- Into blender, add tomatoes and seasonings and pulse until mostly smooth with small bits, or completely smooth if you prefer.
- Add olive oil and garlic into a small saucepan. Over medium heat, sauté one minute.
- Add tomato mixture, use a spatula to get everything out. stir well to combine. Check for tartness. If sour, add a small pinch of sugar.
- Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes or more, until thickened to the consistency that you like.
- Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool. Cover and store in fridge.
- Serve warm or cold. (*Any leftover sauce can be frozen for a later use.)