Magic Flavor Enhancer: Uncooked Sausage

April 2, 2023

Do you want to shorten cooking time for things like Bolognese sauce and chili without sacrificing the taste?

I do.

So I use magic flavor enhancers such as uncooked sausages.  If it’s in the casing, just squeeze out the meat. You can also use them as a condiment in vegetable gratin, soups, braised dishes, etc…    Everything taste better, a lot faster, because it’s pre-seasoned.  Make sure to keep a versatile one on hand, even frozen.  My favorite is Trader Joe’s Chicken Romano Sausage. Specialty sausages such as mango chipotle are not as useful.

Kitchen Wizard KWIK Chili

  1. Chop onions, carrots, and celery by hand, or in Food Processor (about  1/3 to 1/4 in cubes).
  2. Sautee vegetables in extra virgin olive oil, add uncooked sausages out of casing and brown.
  3. Add a can of diced tomatoes and beans with liquid. (I like chickpeas or canellini.) Add broth or water as needed.
  4. Season with chili powder, cumin, oregano.  Bring to a boil, simmer about 20 - 30 min. (could be shorter or longer depending on the time you have, and taste you prefer.)
  5. (optional) Add corn toward the end.
  6. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and tabasco.


  • Set a timer so that you can leave the stove to make another dish, or help your child with homework, etc.
  • For vegetarian options, omit sausages.  Add other vegetables such as chopped broccoli.
  • When there’s extra sausages, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, store in a Ziplock bag and freeze for later use.
  • If it’s already out of casing, you may want to make smaller portion packages so that you can thaw only the amount you need next time.

Kitchen Wizard Tricks:

  1. When making mirepoix, save some chopped vegetables, in separate bags or containers for later use.
  2. When sauteeing mirepoix, make extra, and keep in fridge for later use.
  3. After you brown sausages at Step 2, save the meat mixture and keep in fridge for later use.

So what can we do with these three “Batch and Fridge”-ed stuff?

It’ll be covered in my upcoming posts…

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brenda April 22, 2022 at 4:02 pm

I tried this tip this weekend. Sauteed chicken sausage with a little garlic and onion. Added frozen chicken broth I had made last time we had rotiserre chicken from Costco. Added some lentils. Left it to simmer and then went to the spa for a facial. Came home to fabulous soup for dinner :) Thanks!

2 mari April 22, 2022 at 8:07 pm

Thank you for your comment, Brenda.

Glad to hear that you liked the trick and your soup turned out fabulous! The best part was you used that time to go to the spa to treat yourself! Good for you!

Next time, cook extra sausage mix and take some out before you add the broth. It’ll help you save time later when you make a vegetable side dish, gratin, quiche, etc. (Same idea with Mirepoix and meat mixture.)

So I guess Erik can eat lentils, and other legumes?

3 kumiko Mayer July 1, 2022 at 11:01 am


4 kumiko Mayer July 1, 2022 at 11:02 am


5 Mari @ Secrets of a Kitchen Wizard July 2, 2022 at 10:08 am

基本的に生の(スモークしてない)ソーセージなら何でも使えますが、イタリアンソーセージ、チョリゾ等ベーシックなものの方が応用が利きます。(マンゴ入りとかだとその味が入っちゃうでしょ?)うちは旦那が牛豚食べないので、TraderJoesのChicken Sicilian Sausageが多いかな。肉(ソーセージ)のセクションにおいてありますが、お店の人に聞けば教えてくれます。

6 Mari @ Secrets of a Kitchen Wizard July 2, 2022 at 10:13 am

Question from Kumiko: What sausage do you use for this recipe? and where can I buy them?

Answer: You can use any uncooked/unsmoked sausage, however I recommend using basic sausages such as italian, chorizo etc. because they are more versatile. (Specialty sausages like “Mango Cipotole”, etc. tend to affect the flavor of what you are making, rather than enhancing.) The kind we use often that are most common throughout the country is Trader Joe’s Chicken Sicilian Sausages.

7 Mari @ Secrets of a Kitchen Wizard July 2, 2022 at 10:24 am



8 Mari @ Secrets of a Kitchen Wizard July 2, 2022 at 10:33 am

Question from Kumiko: “How can I make soup with Mirepoix?”

Basically, in a pan, heat a little bit of oil (in my case, EVOO) or butter, mirepoix, and veggies of your choice that are cut in bite-size pieces. Sautee the veggies a bit to coat with the oil evenly. Add liquid (water, broth , milk) to cover and cook until tender, and season. That’s it. On the first day, you can have it as it is, then you can add different veggies, meat, pasta, beans etc. to create different soup. You can also add tomato sauce, cream, curry etc. to create soups with different flavors. If you puree with a hand-blender, you can create another soup… The possibilities are endless.

My favorite is to sautee bite-sized veggies with mirepoix until crisp tender, and eat it first. Then I’d use it as pasta sauce next. Later I add the liquid and make it into a soup. Then by adding just one extra step, I can create many different varieties and we’d never get bored. If I don’t tell my husband, he can never tell. i can basically kill ten (or more?) birds with one stone!

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