sausage with grapes, sweet onions and balsamic vinegar

sweet italian sausage with grapes and balsamic vinegar

These succulent sausages are topped with a sweet, tangy, spicy sauce of caramelized grapes and balsamic vinegar. Serve the juicy links over a bed of polenta, with a side of crusty bread, or in a toasted bun for a mouthwatering twist on a classic brat.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 lb (about 3 cups) seedless red grapes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint


  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. When hot, add sausages to pan and cook for about 5 minutes, turning once, until browned on both sides. If very greasy, carefully tilt pan and blot away extra oil with paper towels.
  2. Arrange grapes and onion around sausages, season with salt and freshly ground pepper, add water and cover pan. Cook sausages about 10 minutes, turning once halfway through, until grapes and onions are soft and the internal temperature of sausages is between 160°F and 165°F. Drain sausages on paper towel-lined plate and cover with aluminum foil.
  3. Raise heat to medium-high and simmer grape-onion mixture until browned and caramelized, 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the mixture is well browned and the grapes are soft but still retain their shape, reduce heat to medium. Stir in wine, red pepper flakes and oregano, scraping the pan to deglaze, and cook until the wine is reduced by half, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in vinegar, and adjust seasoning with salt, freshly ground pepper or a touch more vinegar, if needed.
  4. Arrange sausages on serving platter, spoon grape-onion mixture over top and sprinkle with mint. Serve immediately.


serves 4 to 6 | recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, July & August 2013 edition


Keywords: sausage with grapes