Friday, May 25, 2012

Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage Salad with Pears, Feta & Curry Vinaigrette

Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage Salad with Pears, Feta & Curry Vinaigrette

You guessed it – still stuck on chicken sausage.  We can’t seem to get enough of it in our house.  Possibly because it is available in 1,000 different varieties.  Possibly, too, because it’s fairly healthy.  Oh, and maybe because the awesome Al Fresco All Natural folks sent us a sweet care package.  (Pun intended.  Sorry.)

Al Fresco chicken sausages are all natural.  That means no preservatives.  No ingredients that I can’t pronounce.  No fillers, no colors, no gluten.  See why I’m obsessed?

I also just found out that chicken sausage makes a heck of a salad topping.  Anytime I can sneak in extra protein without adding tons of fat and calories, you better believe that I am all in for that.

Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage Salad with Pears, Feta & Curry Vinaigrette

I’ve been pretty hooked on the spicy jalapeno chicken sausage thus far but I found a new favorite: sweet apple chicken sausage.  It still has a small kick, as sausage should, but it is just the perfect amount of sweet with the apples and a hint of maple.

Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage Salad with Pears, Feta & Curry Vinaigrette

I’m not usually one for combining sweet and savory but I went out on a limb.  I added fresh pears, feta cheese, and bell peppers and whipped up a simple curry vinaigrette.  I admit I was a little nervous as to how the curry would taste against this odd mix of salad fixin’s but I was pleasantly surprised.  The whole thing married perfectly.  The tang of the feta helps to bring out the sweetness of the pears.  And the curry powder is subtle and adds a surprising element of sweet to the salad.

This one quickly earned a spot on our summer meal plan!

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Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage Salad with Pears, Feta & Curry Vinaigrette Recipe

Yield: 2 Entree Salads

Total Time: 15 minutes

A sweet and savory entree salad: lightly browned chicken sausage with apple and maple; sweet pears, tangy feta cheese and a simple curry vinaigrette that pairs perfectly with the sweet and savory salad.

Ingredients:

for the salad:
2 Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage Links (I used Al Fresco All Natural Chicken Sausage)
4 cups mixed greens
1/4 cup diced green and red bell pepper
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 Bartlett pear, peeled and diced

for the dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs. shredded parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Directions:

Prepare the dressing by mixing all ingredients until well-blended. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Preheat a small skillet over medium heat. Slice the sausage links into 1/4-inch coins and place into the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side until it is lightly browned. Flip each piece and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until the second side is lightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.

While the chicken sausage cooks, combine the salad greens, bell pepper, feta cheese and the pear. Divide the mixture among two large salad plates. Divide the chicken sausage pieces among the two salads and as desired, drizzle the vinaigrette over the salads.

Serve while the chicken sausage is slightly warm.

Cassie's Notes:
Use any salad dressing you prefer; the curry powder is surprisingly sweet when paired with the apple cider vinegar and pairs perfectly with the sausage, feta and pears.

Al Fresco All Natural chicken sausage is widely available but if you can't find it, just substitute your favorite chicken, pork or vegetarian sausage.

The bell peppers didn't take away from the salad but didn't really add anything either. Make this salad even simpler by omitting them.

Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage Salad with Pears, Feta & Curry Vinaigrette

Disclaimer: Al Fresco All Natural provided me with free product for this review.  I was not compensated in any other way and, as always, all opinions are 100% my own. 

 

48 Responses to “Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage Salad with Pears, Feta & Curry Vinaigrette”

  1. #
    Caroline @ chocolate & carrots — May 25, 2012 @ 6:19 am

    You see, I have this crazy thing for chicken apple sausage. It’s my FAVORITEEEE! I love it and love everything about this salad. :D Yum!

  2. #
    Nicky @ Pink Recipe Box — May 25, 2012 @ 6:32 am

    Sounds fantastic! Pinned so I can enjoy it for lunch next week.

  3. #
    Jennifer | Mother Thyme — May 25, 2012 @ 6:44 am

    Love this Cassie! I did a twitter party a few weeks ago with Al Fresco for National Garlic Day and I have this sausage in my refrigerator right now. I love it too! I love how you incorporated it into this salad, sounds fantastic!

  4. #
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — May 25, 2012 @ 7:01 am

    That sounds truly delicious! Have a great holiday weekend, Cassie!

  5. #
    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — May 25, 2012 @ 7:53 am

    Shear heaven! Hope you have a fabulous weekend!!

  6. #
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — May 25, 2012 @ 8:03 am

    Love Al Fresco! This salad would definitely make a great lunch or dinner! FAB-U-LOSO! Have a great weekend Cassie! {I’m overdoing it on the !! again aren’t I?}

  7. #
    Kathryn — May 25, 2012 @ 8:21 am

    What a great combination of flavours, it sounds like such a delicious salad.

  8. #
    Katie @ Epicurean Mom — May 25, 2012 @ 8:38 am

    Gorgeous salad cassie! LOVE the dressing! I put apple cider vinegar in lots of my dressings, but never thought of curry! Brilliant! Curry has SO many health benefits! Yummy!!

  9. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — May 25, 2012 @ 8:50 am

    That sausage (and that specific flavor) has a permanent residence in my freezer. I absolutely love the stuff. Especially that even when frozen, it can be defrosted and quickly browned up in about 5 minutes making it practical for any meal. Love what you did with the salad :) Have a great weekend, Cassie!

  10. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — May 25, 2012 @ 8:54 am

    I love the sweet and savory that you added to the dish. I bought chicken sausage for the first time a few weeks ago and i LOVED it!! i’ve had sausage with apples when i was younger and don’t remember hating it, i remember the chunks of them in my meal haha..great salad dressing, something i can try making sometime! :)

  11. #
    amy @ fearless homemaker — May 25, 2012 @ 8:54 am

    sounds awesome! you know i’m a huge chicken sausage fan, too, + this sounds great!

  12. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — May 25, 2012 @ 9:11 am

    This salad looks delish, Cassie! I need to try that sausage! Do they sell it at most grocery stores?

  13. #
    sarah — May 25, 2012 @ 9:20 am

    pretty! apple chicken sausage is definitely my favorite kind. love the idea to toss it into a salad!!

  14. #
    Holly — May 25, 2012 @ 9:30 am

    Cassie- this salad looks so delicious! I’ve never had chicken sausage before. I will have to give it a try asap :)

  15. #
    Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels — May 25, 2012 @ 9:35 am

    What a gorgeous salad. :) I’ve always wanted to try those chicken sausages. I’ll have to try them out and make this salad. It looks sooo incredibly good!

  16. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — May 25, 2012 @ 9:39 am

    Chicken sausage is the best. I love this, Cassie!

  17. #
    Anna — May 25, 2012 @ 10:18 am

    What a combo! I love meal salads.

  18. #
    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — May 25, 2012 @ 10:38 am

    Yesss, I too am obsessed with chicken sausage! I love it in pasta especially…and in rice bowls…yeah, pretty much just generally. This looks like a great use as well! :)

  19. #
    Jessica@AKitchenAddiction — May 25, 2012 @ 10:40 am

    I have yet to try chicken sausage, but I think it’s time that I did! This sounds fantastic!

  20. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — May 25, 2012 @ 11:02 am

    I’m a huge fan of chicken sausage but I’ve never thought to use it as a salad topper – brilliant!! Love the sound of your curry vinaigrette!

  21. #
    Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef — May 25, 2012 @ 11:22 am

    mmm, i’ve never had chicken sausage in salad before. great idea! i love the feta/pear combo.

  22. #
    Bev Weidner — May 25, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

    I got the same package and I’m STILL weeping. Looks so good!

  23. #
    Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain — May 25, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

    Love me some chicken sausage! I can’t believe I have never put it on a salad. Completely brilliant! Have a great holiday weekend!

  24. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — May 25, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard of chicken sausage before. I may need to go find some now.

  25. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — May 25, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

    What a wonderful salad and a great way to incorporate chicken sausage! Yum!

  26. #
    Ramona — May 25, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

    Ooooh… curry vinaigrette!! Looks delicious. :) Have a wonderful holiday weekend! ~ Ramona

  27. #
    Melanie @ Nutritious Eats — May 25, 2012 @ 5:30 pm

    I love chicken sausage on the grill! What a fun twist on a salad!

  28. #
    Deborah — May 25, 2012 @ 9:44 pm

    I think this sounds absolutely delicious!!

  29. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — May 26, 2012 @ 12:06 am

    This sounds so awesome! I love the idea of a curry vinaigrette!

  30. #
    love2dine — May 26, 2012 @ 2:45 am

    This sounds so good!

  31. #
    Ashley@BakerbyNature — May 26, 2012 @ 6:14 pm

    I discovered chicken and apple sausages about a year ago and have been hooked since bite one – this salad looks perfect for the warm Summer days approaching!

  32. #
    Liz — May 26, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

    I’ve never added sausage to a salad…but I’m going to now! How yummy! And perfect for this heat wave!!! Hope you’re having a great weekend, Cassie!

  33. #
    Kristi Rimkus — May 26, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

    I’m a big fan of chicken sausage too – apple being my favorite. Interesting salad combination. I’ll be giving this a try!

  34. #
    Baking Serendipity — May 26, 2012 @ 10:43 pm

    I’ve been loving chicken sausages lately too! My husband refuses to consider salad a meal (even when sausage is involved!) but I would make this on a night he is gone and love it! :)

  35. #
    Nami | Just One Cookbook — May 27, 2012 @ 1:08 am

    This is a wonderful salad! I REALLY love this curry vinaigrette!! What a great idea. I love curry but never ever thought of this before. I”m so excited to try this one SOON!!! Have a great long weekend Cassie!

  36. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — May 27, 2012 @ 4:36 am

    I’m totally obsessed with chicken sausage! I’ve had the trader joe’s kind and they’re amazing. I have yet to try an apple version though but it sounds incredibly delightful. And man oh man, I’m totally in love with this salad. The curry dressing sounds to die for!

  37. #
    Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama — May 27, 2012 @ 8:52 am

    This looks like the best salad EVER! Great flavor combos!

  38. #
    Abby — May 27, 2012 @ 10:03 am

    Seriously how have I not found your blog until now! So glad I did, this looks fantastic.

  39. #
    Steve @ the black peppercorn — May 27, 2012 @ 10:24 pm

    what a great salad. This is such an interesting collection of ingredients that is sure to create a burst of flavour in your mouth. Great job Cassie!

  40. #
    Katerina — May 28, 2012 @ 7:48 am

    This salad is loaded with flavor! The sausage made the difference for sure!

  41. #
    Elizabeth — May 28, 2012 @ 9:40 am

    Feta is so delicious!

  42. #
    Lori — May 28, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

    I love chicken sausage! I haven’t tried this apple variety, but what a great idea to put in on a salad. And as for the rest of the ingredients, love it all!

  43. #
    sally @ sally's baking addiction — May 29, 2012 @ 11:42 am

    I adore chicken sausage! I’ve never tried the apple kind, but it sounds delicious. Pairing it with pears + feta sounds just fabulous – a tasty medley of flavors Cassie! Hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. :)

  44. #
    Rachel — May 29, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

    Wow! That salad look delicious! I love the idea of a curry vinaigrette. Yum!

  45. #
    Erika - The Teenage Taste — May 29, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

    This looks like the perfect Summer salad. Hearty, fresh, and flavorful! It looks delicious, Cassie!

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