Good food is one of the best ways to get busy families together and authentic Italian meals are always a favorite with my big family. Hearty Italian Harvest Bake is pure comfort food that never fails to please everyone at the table, even the young ones. This Italian sausage recipe even satisfied the gluten-free and dairy-free members of the family.
This recipe has just a few easy-to-find ingredients, is simple to make, and everyone who tries it, loves it. You can make it for a group or as a special meal for two. I recently fixed this and everyone from age 2 to 54 loved it. Even the toddler had two bowls of it! I used a mild Italian sausage but if you like it spicier you can use an Italian sausage with a little more heat.
This is a great dish to serve to celebrate the beginning of fall.
There is something magical about the blending of these flavors during the baking. The Italian sausage gently flavors the chicken and potatoes and the ingredients work together seamlessly. It tastes like I’ve spent years perfecting the seasonings. However, it’s ALL about the Italian sausage! Since the Italian sausage is vital to the taste of this recipe; it is important to choose an excellent product for this dish.
Because I was serving this to a group that included young children, I used the mild Italian sausage. However, you can always spice it up with a hot Italian sausage too.
I usually don’t even need to pick up much at the store for this recipe—just the Italian sausage (found in the fresh meat department) and the chicken. Preparation takes about 10 minutes to assemble. Baking takes another couple of hours but it doesn’t require much tending. Add a green salad or fresh green beans to round out the meal.
What you’ll need to make my Hearty Italian Harvest Bake
- 1 lb. Italian sausage, cut into 2” pieces
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 large potato, cut into chunks
- 1 large sweet potato, cut into chunks
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- ¼ chopped sweet onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- Italian herbs (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Drizzle a little olive oil on the bottom of a baking pan. Add the ingredients in this order:
- Layer of chicken thighs. I don’t unroll them. A couple of cut-up chicken breasts will work fine too.
- Chopped potato and sweet potato
- Chopped onion
- Chopped garlic
- Italian sausage
- Diced tomatoes
- Drizzle with a little more olive oil
- Sprinkle a little salt, pepper, and about a tsp of Italian spice if you have some on hand. (The salt is optional since there is usually salt in the tomatoes and Italian sausage. The Italian herbs add a little extra flavor but it is fine without them too.)
Cover your baking dish. Bake for about 1 ½ hours at 350 degrees. Check for doneness and a nice color. If everything looks done but is still too soupy or not browned, bake uncovered for another 5–10 minutes until it is.
Remove from oven and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
This recipe can be easily doubled or halved. It tastes just as good the next day as leftovers—if you have any. This is a low stress, easy, economical dish that captures the wonderful rustic flavors that families have been enjoying for generations.
Let me know how it turns out!
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I'm a former counselor, career services leader, and college advisor. Now I coach and write at My Think Big Life promoting health and personal growth.