How to make sausage rolls

Everything you need to know about cooking sausage rolls to perfection. Learn how to make these classic British bakes at home...

How to make sausage rolls
(Image credit: Alamy Stock Photo)

Follow our simple step-by-step guide to make sausage rolls. This article includes which type of pastry sausage rolls use, what to do with leftovers and how to reheat too.

Sausage rolls are a traditional British savoury snack. Classic sausage rolls wrap pork sausages in a crisp shortcrust pastry which are then baked in the oven until golden. Sausage rolls vary in size but most maintain the authentic rectangular shape.

Homemade sausage rolls are much tastier and healthier than shop-bought. You know exactly what ingredients are going into them and you can opt for making your pastry from scratch which means you can swap the butter in the pastry for lower fat options like vegan butter or lower-fat spreads.

You can also vary the sausages you use too. Choose extra-lean or low-calorie sausages like chicken or turkey for a healthier sausage roll or swap the meat for Quorn sausages instead for the vegetarian option.

Once you’ve mastered the basics of making sausage rolls from scratch you’ll be able to experiment with flavour too; try venison, which has a deep, rich flavour or chorizo sausages which have a smokey, spicy flavour. Infuse your shortcrust pastry with spices like paprika or herbs like rosemary and thyme.

*Top tips for cooking sausage rolls *How do you keep sausage rolls crispy? *How do you stop sausage rolls from going soggy? *How to make sausage rolls *How to store sausage rolls *Can sausage rolls be frozen cooked or uncooked? *How long will sausage rolls keep once cooked? *Can you reheat homemade sausage rolls? *Sausage roll recipes with a twist

Top tips for cooking sausage rolls

Sausage rolls: Pastry

If you are making everything from scratch then you need to give yourself plenty of time. Getting everything ready in advance means you can work as quickly as possible with the pastry. You do not want to work with the pastry too much or the gluten in the flour will get over worked. This will make the pastry become stretchy.

We’ve used ready-made shortcrust pastry to make our sausage rolls extra easy but you can make your own pastry using our shortcrust or rough puff pastry recipes.

Remember if you are making puff pastry from scratch, it can take a while. Our Deputy Food Editor, Rose, likes to use ready made all-butter puff pastry sheets because they have a great texture and it's easier than making pastry from scratch.

Food Director, Elisa, suggests keeping a bowl of ice water handy when making pastry from scratch – especially in hot weather - to cool your hands down. Elisa says 'hot pastry makes horrible rolls.'

Once you've brushed the pastry with egg and just before baking, you can sprinkle the pastry with sesame seeds or poppy seeds for an attractive finish. If you want to add decoration and flavour, try our recommendation from Food Director, Elisa: 'Sprinkle with Nigella or even cumin seeds for something a bit different.'

Sausage rolls: Sausages

You can use standard sausages and remove the skin when making sausage rolls as we do in our recipe however you can also use the equivalent weight of sausage meat instead.

If using plain sausage meat, add extra flavour with chopped herbs such as sage, parsley or oregano. Wholegrain mustard, grated cheese such as Cheddar or Stilton, chopped nuts or finely chopped apple all work well too.

How do you keep sausage rolls crispy?

The best way to ensure crispy sausage rolls is to glaze the pastry with a generous amount of egg wash. Egg wash is a beaten egg that is brushed onto the surface of the pastry. It will crisp the pastry up nicely giving it a golden look and flaky crunch.

You also need to make sure you preheat the oven to the correct temperature before cooking. This will ensure your sausage rolls cook evenly and efficiently.

How do you stop sausage rolls from going soggy?

If your sausage rolls are soggy it may be down the sausages you’ve chosen. Higher-fat sausages produce more oil and liquid which can make the bottom of your sausage roll pastry soggy and wet.

Choosing a lower-fat sausage will help to avoid this. Also opt for a good quality sausage too. Sausages with less than 70% meat should be avoided.

How to make sausage rolls

Ingredients

  • 6 good quality pork sausages
  • 500g pack chilled shortcrust pastry
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Method

How to make sausage rolls: Step 1

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Skin the sausages (this is easiest if you rinse the sausages in cold water first, then slit the skins, which will then slip off easily). On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a 37cm square. Cut in half down the middle.

How to make sausage rolls: Step 2

Step 2

Place the sausages down the length of each pastry strip. Make sure you don’t put too much sausage meat in at this stage or you will find it difficult to roll them. You want the meat to take up a quarter to a third of the width and not be piled too high – roughly the thickness of one normal sausage.

Brush one edge of each strip with egg, then fold the pastry over the sausages.

How to make sausage rolls: Step 3

Step 3

Press down firmly so that the two sides of pastry stick together – you can do this with a fork or side of a knife to make a decorative pattern.

How to make sausage rolls: Step 4

Step 4

Lightly slash the pastry along the top, brush with beaten egg then cut each strip into 7 sausage rolls. Place on a baking tray and bake for 15-20 mins until the pastry is crisp and golden and the sausage meat is cooked through.

How to store sausage rolls

Can sausage rolls be frozen cooked or uncooked?

You can freeze sausages rolls both cooked and uncooked. Uncooked sausage rolls will last longer in the freezer, for up to three months. They can be thawed in the fridge and then cooked like the method above or they can be cooked from frozen. This will take approximately 30-40 minutes.

Cooked sausages rolls will last up to one month in the freezer and can be reheated straight from the freezer. See below for reheating tips.

How long will sausage rolls keep once cooked?

Sausage rolls are best served and eaten on the same day but if you have leftovers they will last wrapped in clingfilm, tin foil or stored in an airtight container for up to 1 day.

Can you reheat homemade sausage rolls?

Leftover sausage rolls can be reheated once cooked. It’s best to reheat them in an oven instead of the microwave. The oven will make sure they cook evenly and will also give them a crisp finish. The microwave is likely to leave your sausage rolls soggy.

If you’re reheating sausage rolls from the fridge, you can use the same time and temperature as our recipe above. If you’re reheating sausages from the freezer, you will need to increase this cooking time by 10 minutes or so. Poke the centre of the sausage with a skewer or sharp knife. It should be hot to the touch which means the sausage is warmed all the way through.

Sausage roll recipes with a twist

Stuffing sausage roll wreath

Packed with sage and onion stuffing and meaty pork sausages, turn your sausage rolls into an impressive pastry wreath. Ideal for sharing, this wreath serves eight.

Get the recipe: Stuffing sausage roll wreath

Twisty sausage rolls

Perfect for picnics, these bite-sized sausage rolls are fun and filling. The pastry is twisted around the sausage to create a spiral shape. The kids will love them.

Get the recipe: Twisty sausage rolls

Jumbo Tex-Mex sausage roll

Jumbo Tex-Mex sausage roll

Packed with tender sausages, heaps of kidney beans and spiced with green chillies and chipotle paste. This Jumbo Tex-Mex sausage roll is cooked in 40 minutes.

Get the recipe: Jumbo Tex-Mex sausage roll

Sausage rolls go well with…

Jessica Dady
Jessica Dady

Jessica Dady is Senior Content Editor at Goodto.com and has over 10 years of experience as a digital journalist, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the best food hampers to cookbooks, from the best cake stands to baking sets, Jessica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to must-have food products. A passionate baker, she spends much of her time creating celebration cakes for friends and family - particularly for her two lucky children.