Johnsonville Sausage: A sausage with a legacy + recipes

It all started in 1945, when Ralph F. and Alice Stayer opened a butcher shop and named it after their hometown, Johnsonville, Wisconsin. The delicious in-house sausage that they made came from an old family recipe that can be traced back to 19th century Austria. This sausage became known as the sausage with “BIG TASTE” and the rest is history. In the 1950s, Johnsonville expanded into nearby communities. In the 1970s, trucks began delivering Johnsonville Sausage to stores throughout Wisconsin. In the mid-1980s, with a direct sales force, sales increased 20-fold from the 1970s and Johnsonville was available in 47 states. Today, Johnsonville is the most popular brand of sausage in the United States and also available in 40 additional countries. The Johnsonville family has grown to approximately 1,500 employees and is still privately owned.

Johnsonville’s Original Bratwurst is the original “thrill for the grill” that started an American fun food revolution. It’s made with premium cuts of pork with a perfect blend of spices. A recipe to try with the Original Brats is PhillyBrats. It has all the flavor of a cheesesteak along with the succulent Johnsonville Original Brats. Depending on your preference of cheesesteak, you can substitute provolone cheese for the Cheez Wiz® (Pat’s vs. Geno’s). While sautéing, you might also want to add ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and ¼ tsp pepper to bring forward more sweetness from the peppers. This recipe is simple and perfect for any cooking level. The sandwiches have a great sweet and savory flavor. The sausage gives it a hearty taste without being overly salty. Product Rating: 4.5/5; Recipe Rating: 3.75/5

Johnsonville’s Hot Italian Sausage is all natural with no artificial ingredients and minimally processed. It adds the perfect flavor to any recipe. A recipe to try is Toasty Sausage Egg Sandwich. If you’re not into spicy, you can use the Mild Italian Sausage instead. Here are a few substitutions you can do make a twist on this recipe: You can always use store bought pesto, but you can quickly make your own (recipe below). Instead of adding the fried egg, why not incorporate it into the bread as a “toad in the hole”. Instead of Texas toast, use King’s Hawaiian® Sandwich Bread for a little bit of sweetness. The Hot Italian Sausage is a coarse grind but stays juicy with a nice ratio of fat to meat. It is spicy but not uncomfortably hot. All of the elements of the sandwich work well together and are great for any meal – breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It has umami – savory, sweet, spicy, creamy, and herbaceous flavor. Product Rating: 4.5/5; Recipe Rating: 4.5/5

Basil Arugula Pesto by OC Food Diva


  • 1 cup washed and packed fresh arugula
  • ¼ cup washed and packed fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 garlic cloves


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender, food processor, or NutriBullet® and blend until smooth.
  2. Add salt to taste, if needed.
  3. Let it rest at room temperature until ready to serve. Refrigerate leftovers.

Johnsonville’s Beddar with Cheddar Smoked Sausage is made with premium cuts of pork and chunks of cheddar cheese. The author came up with a recipe, Beddar with Cheddar Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes (see recipe below). It’s a hearty dish that can be eaten as meal on its own or as a side. It is creamy and very cheesy. The sausage adds a nice smoky flavor and lends itself well to the cheese and potatoes. Product Rating: 4.5/5; Recipe Rating: 4.5/5

Beddar with Cheddar Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes by OC Food Diva


  • 1 pkg. (5.2 oz.) Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs Cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 lbs. red potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 pkg. (28 oz. each) Johnsonville Beddar with Cheddar Smoked Sausage
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar/jack cheese blend
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Optional: 1 large brown onion, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease 13” x 9” baking dish with cooking spray or butter.
  3. Thinly slice potatoes using a mandolin and set aside.
  4. Slice sausage into ¼” thick coins and set aside.
  5. Cream Boursin cheese and sour cream together. Add chicken broth and mix until well blended.
  6. Layer potatoes, sausage, ½ cup shredded cheese, ⅓ cup peas, and ⅓ of cheese/sour cream mixture. Repeat for two more layers. (Optional thinly sliced onion can be added to these layers.)
  7. For the top, layer last of potatoes and ½ cup shredded cheese.
  8. Bake for 1½ hours or until heated through and potatoes are tender.

With the variety of Johnsonville products available, your meal ideas are endless!

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Article was sponsored by Johnsonville. Opinions and ratings are of the author.