This easy dinner recipe gives you juicy brats with lightly browned onions and peppers that are lovely served in a bun or over rice. The brats (or sausage and hot dogs of your choice) get lightly browned and stay juicy, while the peppers and onions add a lot of flavor, color, and nutrition to the dish. I especially like it served with sauerkraut on the side.
When the weather is hot I throw this into our toaster oven, so it doesn’t heat up our house, and uses little electricity too. It does give out some heat (although not half as much as a regular oven), so we also cook this in our laundry room to prevent our kitchen and living space from getting any warmer. (Just make sure you keep it away from kids as the toaster oven gets very hot).
A Word on Equipment:
We choose to buy an inexpensive toaster oven that doesn’t have nonstick in it. You can read about it here. We are still very happy with it! (Here is a direct Amazon link: Waring Pro Digital Convection Oven).
If you are making a rice bowl, you can also use an Instant Pot or clay rice cooker – this is also a great way to prevent your kitchen from getting too hot on a warm day.
Are Sausage/Hot Dogs Good for You?
Finally, there have been some studies linking eating hot dogs to higher rates of certain childhood cancers, as well as possible cancer causing effects on adults. (This article has a good overview of some of them.) While there could be other explanations for some of the results (that is, people who ate more processed meats also could be more likely to be eating an unbalanced diet), the statistics are still compelling. For that reason, we try to avoid or limit sausage and processed meats that contain nitrates and are heavily processed. The brats pictured above are from a local grocery store that grinds their own meat and stuffs their sausage themselves. It’s no different from eating ground meat, so I feel they are a good choice.
Feeding your family vitamin C containing fruits and vegetables (including lacto-fermented sauerkraut) could also help prevent toxic components of processed or grilled meats from affecting your health. I find it fascinating how previously unknown benefits to well-balanced diets are still being discovered! As always, we choose not to worry too much about every single discovery but buy the best quality we can afford and serve well-balanced meals. I was also amused to learn that marinades with herbs and garlic (like this recipe) help prevent carcinogens from forming when cooking meat at high heat. Sometimes what tastes best also is better for you!
Brats with Peppers and Onions
- 5 brats (or sausage/hot dog of choice)
- 2 bell peppers (red and yellow are nice), seeded, stemmed, and thinly sliced
- 1 onion (sweet or yellow), peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- Unrefined Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced or put through a garlic press
- 2 tablespoons of fat (melted) or oil of your choice, heat safe.
1:Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400F.
2. Place all of the ingredients on a sheet pan, drizzle oil or melted fat over everything, and then toss to coat vegetables and meat evenly.
3: Place in oven or toaster oven and roast until the vegetables are soft and the sausage is completely cooked through (about 20 minutes – but it depends on the thickness of the sausage. A toaster oven will cook them faster). Ground meat products such as sausage should reach the temperature of 160F internally. I also like to see a little bit of browning on the sausage and vegetables.
4:Serve as desired, and enjoy!
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