With only eight ingredients and super simple prep – this sheet pan roasted cauliflower and fennel with sausage is packed full of flavor. Plus, any meal that comes together in a snap like this one with so few dirty dishes is a big winner in my recipe box.
What is a sheet pan meal?
The internet is always a buzz with the latest kitchen craze. From air-fried everything to that feta cheese dish that recently took over my Instagram feed, some of these trends are silly and others a plain brilliant. Some of my favorite fads that I hope are here to stay are one-pot wonders and sheet pan meals. Unless you just simply adore doing dishes, I definitely prefer less prep and fewer pots and pans being used in my kitchen.
A sheet pan recipe simply uses a sheet pan as the cooking vessel for your entire dish. For some sheet pan recipes, you need to cook slower cooking meat or veggies first and then add ingredients that cook more quickly later. With other sheet pan recipes like this one, you can add all of the ingredients to the sheet pan, throw it in the oven, and not too much longer come back to dinner – ready to serve. In this case, prep will take about 10-15 minutes depending on how adept you are with a knife, and cooking time is 20-25 minutes. All-in-all you’ll have dinner done in 40 minutes tops. Now that’s my kind of cooking.
What’s in this dish?
Cauliflower is a cheap and versatile vegetable that adds light but filling starch to your meals. In this case, it helps absorb the flavors of the fennel, sausage, garlic, and fat beautifully.
Fennel bulbs have a distinct but mild licorice taste. Roasted (like in this recipe) they impart a mild sweetness, but they can also be sliced raw as a snack or added to a salad for a uniquely crunchy treat. If you’ve never eaten roasted fennel, I urge you to try it before you turn up your nose. But if you really don’t love it, you can easily sub onion or celery here.
Like celery, make sure to buy bulbs with tightly packed layers and firm stalks. Trim away the stalks (save for another recipe), then cut the bulbs in half. From there, you can trim the end off the bulb and peel away any wilted outer layers as you would when cutting an onion. Now the fennel bulb is ready to be prepared according to the recipe directions.
Italian sausage is one of my favorite kitchen hacks because it’s basically ground meat that comes already seasoned to perfection. We love the sausage from Butcher Box, the monthly meat box subscription that sources only the highest quality pasture-raised meat, poultry, and sustainable fish.
Butcher Box always has some great deals, (like ground beef or bacon for life!). If you don’t already use them, check out Butcher Box here.
Ranch dressing is the umami condiment that can make almost any dish kid and picky-eater friendly, so it’s just a bonus for this meal. These days, good ranch dressing can be purchased from most grocery stores made with healthy ingredients. Read your labels and look for one with a healthy fat like avocado or olive oil and avoid those made with canola which is known to exacerbate inflammation in the body. If you’d like to make you’re own, we have a dairy-free version in this recipe.
Meal planning with our sheet pan roasted cauliflower and fennel with sausage
Since this recipe is so quick and easy, it’s perfect for a busy weeknight meal. You can even defrost frozen sausage fairly quickly in a bowl of water. Serve it up with some steamed spinach or swiss chard which will add only a few quick minutes to your active meal prep.
This dish has a fun factor that makes it perfect for potlucks or your next Superbowl party too! Just make sure to whip up extras, because it’s guaranteed to go fast.
Sheet Pan Roasted Cauliflower and Fennel with Sausage
- 3.7 stars
- 1 head cauliflower
- 2 fennel bulbs
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 lb sausage
- 6 tbsp. olive oil, or fat of choice
- 1 tbsp. coarse sea salt
- 1 tsp. paprika
- ranch dressing, optional
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Wash and separate cauliflower into florets. Cut fennel into 1 inch chunks. Peel and mince garlic. Slice sausage into discs.
- In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower, fennel, and sausage with the garlic, olive oil, sea salt, and paprika.
- Arrange in a single layer on 2 large lipped baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, using a spatula to turn veggies and sausage after about 10 minutes.
- Serve with optional ramekin of ranch for dipping.