Italian Sausage with Grapes & Greens

The Recipe: Healthy Italian sausages from Trader Joe's onions and grapes (or cherries! or blackberries!) glazed with balsamic vinegar.

Italian Sausage with Grapes & Greens, another Quick Supper @, healthy sausages cooked with onions and grapes (or cherries! or blackberries!) glazed with balsamic vinegar.

A couple of times a summer, we hit the sausage counter at Whole Foods, we love their house-made sausages! Zap! onto the grill they go, tucked into a bun with a zigzag of mustard and some pickled onions.

But nutritionally? I don't wanna know, I really don't.

Trader Joe's, though, has a good selection of sausages. They're smaller in size – cool, cuz we all know portion size matters. They have nutrition labels – extra-cool, cuz if I'm gonna go bad, I'd like to know kinda how bad, y'know? And they taste great – and that's from someone who loves Trader Joe's but bypasses the meat refrigerator Every.Single.Time.

The real test, though? The ingredient list! Here goes. Skinless chicken meat. Red and green peppers. Water. Seasoning. Yeah, I can live with that! (For the record, this is not a sponsored recipe. I just really like these Sweet Italian-Style Sausages from Trader Joe's and want to pass along the tip.)

So now I'm back to fixing sausages more often, especially with this recipe that really calls to me during summer when the grapes are so plump and sweet. I've made it with pitted cherries too, so so good! There's just something mesmerizing about the glazed fruit, the bitter greens, the rich sausages.

ALANNA's TIPS Sweet Italian sausage works great but some palates will prefer the spicy sausage that contrasts just beautifully with the sweet grapes and tart vinegar. It’s hard to get a non-stick pan hot enough for this dish, that's why I recommend a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. If you like, grill the sausages, then drizzle the loose balsamic glaze over top.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time-to-table: 30 minutes
Serves 4
  • 1 pound uncooked Italian sausage or 4 or 8 pre-cooked Trader Joe's Sweet Italian-Style Sausages
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 medium onion, slivered
  • 1 pound seedless red grapes, some whole, some halved
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pound tender (but not baby) spinach, stems removed
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Heat a large, heavy skillet well-seasoned cast iron skillet on high. Once it’s very hot, add the sausages. Watching and turning carefully so not to burn, let the sausages brown a bit on all sides, sorry, no shortcuts on this step!

Once the sausages have color, add 1/4 cup of the chicken stock and the onion, then reduce the heat a bit. Cook for about 8 minutes, adding more stock if the sausage starts to stick. The sausages should be almost fully cooked before continuing. If using pre-cooked sausages, as long as they're heated through, set the sausages aside to continue.

Add the grapes and vinegar. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the grapes are warmed through and vinegar has begun to glaze the sausage and grapes. Push the sausage and grapes to the outer edge, leaving some liquid in center.

Add the spinach in handfuls, letting each one cook down a bit (and seasoning with salt and pepper) before adding the next, the spinach should be cooked but still bright green.

Slice partway into the sausages, serve atop grapes and greens.

With Trader Joe's Sweet Italian-Style Sausages, assumes just 1 each/2 each sausages per serving: Per Serving: 249/359 Calories; 7/13g Fat; 2/4g Sat Fat; 33/35g Carb; 4g Fiber; 589/1039mg Sodium; 55/110mg Cholesterol; 23/24g Sugar; 16/27g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 5/7.5 & WW Points Plus 6/9.
With Italian sausage for Comparison, Per Serving: 532 Calories; 34g Fat; 13g Sat Fat; 32g Carb; 4g Fiber; 967mg Sodium; 86mg Cholesterol; 22g Sugar; 21g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 13 & WW Points Plus 14. Believe it or not, this version of the recipe has been "Alanna-sized" with reductions in fat and portion size and additions of fiber- and nutrient-rich vegetables.

Cooking In Season: This Week 2002 - 2014

Parmesan Chicken Chicken Veggie Quesadillas Italian Sausage with Grapes & Greens Mom's Blueberry Coffeecake (<< for the weekend, maybe?) Baked Bacon Two-Bite Brownies Smoked Salmon Salad with Quick-Pickled Cucumbers & Roasted Peppers Deviled Eggs with Tomato-Herb Relish Greek Pasta Salad (<< great for potlucks) Bloody Caesar (Canada's Bloody Mary)

More Protein + Fruit for Summer

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Baked Baby Back Ribs with Spicy Berry Sauce Baked Chicken with Fresh Peaches Tropical Pork Tenderloin

Summer Grapes: Can't Get Enough!

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Grape Salad with Almonds & Cilantro Fruity Gazpacho Power Food Broccoli Salad
~ more grape recipes ~

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

I've heard of having grapes with sausages before, but I've never had it myself. I would imagine it cuts the salitness, no?
There's something really delicious about the fatty-salty sausages paired with the sweet-wet grapes and the vinegary-dark balsamic. I just wish one could eat it more often!!
Hi, just found your website and love it! My question is concerning the "How to save on groceries" series that you wrote. The first three segments were very good but I couldn't find the fourth and fifth ones. Did you finish it and if so where do I find them. Thanks so much in advance.
Beth ~ Thanks so much, so appreciate the kind words! And I’m so glad you like that series, just last week I was thinking about updating it and yes, actually finishing the series. Thanks for the encouragement, be sure to sign up for a free email subscription, that way you won’t miss it when it gets published!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna