Thank you to Bob Evans Products for providing the sausage and mashed potatoes for this recipe!

We are always looking for new, easy meal ideas, so I was very excited about the opportunity to visit Bob Evans headquarters for lunch and to learn new meals to add to our family menu!  I’ve always known and enjoyed the Bob Evans brand sausage, but I haven’t tried very many of the side dishes.  The brand is known for good food and the new recipes that we sampled were no exception to that rule!

Substitute Sausage for Ground Beef

Sausage is a versatile meat.  We like sausage links or patties for breakfast.  Sausage rolls are the go to for lunch and dinner.  A one pound roll of sausage can be substituted in any recipe that calls for ground beef.  Sausage is typically a better value, and I think it has more flavor.

I used a roll of sausage and coupon that we were given to pick up mashed potatoes and make Shepherd’s Pie Skillet.  It was wonderful!  I will share this recipe along with links to three other excellent dishes that we got to enjoy for lunch.

shepherds pie skillet

My friend Heather aka Food Hussy captured a video that she shared on her Facebook page of a tip that one of the Bob Evans food scientist shared.  Slice, pop and drop to open a package of sausage! No mess and no wasted meat stuck in the packaging.

Ohio Pork teamed up with Bob Evans to host a group of bloggers and farmers to enjoy a lunch and learn about sausage.  Everyone has a story and I enjoy meeting new people, so the day was especially enjoyable for me.  One of the interesting stories shared is how connected farmers are to the food in the grocery store.  While you can’t tie a pack of pork back to the exact farmer, it’s great to see that there are many family farms behind the food that we eat.  A typical day for most farmers means taking care of their animals and doing work on their farm, so it was nice that seven farmers took time to join us for lunch.  We all learned so much visiting with each other.

One of the themes was that people make businesses and brands.  In the food business there are many people that work hard behind the scenes, but they are still very much connected to the end product.  There are also many Ohio farmers and when you buy pork at the grocery store you support Ohio farm families!

Another theme was heritage.  Bob Evans, the man who started the company, has a rich heritage of being a farmer, restaurant owner, sausage maker and food distributor.  Many of the farmers also have a rich heritage of several generations living and working on the farms and cooking GREAT food.

We all shared the love of sausage.  So it was no surprise that we couldn’t wait to enjoy a lunch with sausage featured in every dish.  Here are some pictures and links to recipes!

My favorite dish was the appetizer, Asian Maple Sausage Meatballs.  The pictures just don’t do them justice.  They are DELICIOUS!

asian maple sausage meatballs

We also enjoyed Potato and Kale Soup with Zesty Sausage.

Potato and Kale Soup with Zesty Sausage

The featured entree was Penne with Sausage and Spicy Cream Tomato Sauce.

Penne with Sausage and Spicy Cream Tomato Sauce

Given the background and great tips on cooking with sausage and other Bob Evans products we all went home with a cooler generously filled with great Bob Evans ingredients!  I chose to make Shepherd’s Pie Skillet.  This is comfort food in the easiest form!

plate of shepherd pie

The official Bob Evans recipe calls for mixing 1/4 pound of pasteurized prepared cheese product, cut into 1/2-inch cubes into the mashed potatoes.  We choose to omit the process cheese for 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese sprinkled on top.

easy shepards pie

Bob Evans Shepherd's Pie Skillet

Sausage is a versatile meat.  A one pound roll of sausage can be substituted in any recipe that calls for ground beef.  Sausage is typically a better value, and I think it has more flavor.  So we loved the EASY Shepherd's Pie Skillet meal with sausage.

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg Bob Evans Original Mashed Potatoes
  • 1 lb Bob Evans Original Roll Sausage
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (peas & carrots)
  • 1 cup beef gravy
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 T. chopped green onion optional

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  

    Brown Bob Evans Original Roll Sausage in heavy medium ovenproof skillet; drain.

  2. Prepare mashed potatoes according to package directions in the microwave

  3. Stir in frozen vegetables and gravy.

  4. Spread potatoes over skillet mixture and bake 15 - 20 minutes or until heated through and lightly browned.

  5. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and garnish with green onions if desired.

Here is a list of other bloggers and the recipes that they shared:

Best Sausage Meatball Recipe by Jennie at Motherhood Support

Asian Maple Meatballs by Jill at Foodtastic Mom

Potato, Sausage and Kale Soup by Tanya at Lemons For Lulu

Sweet & Spicy Asian Maple Meatballs by Tara at Unsophisticook

Potato, Sausage & Kale Soup by Erin at The Spiffy Cookie

Gluten Free Asian Maple Meatballs by Kirsten at Farm Fresh Feasts

Amazing Potato & Kale Soup with Zesty Sausage by Nedra at Adventure Mom

Potato, Kale and Sausage Soup by Heather at The Food Hussy

 

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