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Minimal effort, maximum taste: the best packed lunch recipes

These exciting, delicious dishes are cheaper than chips… and healthier, too!
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“Gone in 60 Seconds” Sausage Rolls

“Gone in 60 Seconds” Sausage Rolls

Classically British & utterly delicious, these sausage rolls are always a winner!

Flaky puff pastry packed to bursting with proper sausage meat – who could ever resist that in their packed lunch?!

I’m always showered with praise by The Hungry Hungry Husband when I whip up a batch of these sausage rolls for his packed lunch, but by using ready-made puff pastry they really could not be easier. I must confess, I’ve not yet tried to make my own puff pastry, but I’ve seen them do it on The Great British Bake Off and, honestly, it looks so faffy that I think I might just stick to the shop-bought stuff… Maybe one day though!

The inspiration for this one comes from a wonderful book simply called BAKE — I’ve just pared down the original recipe to cut out some unnecessary extra ingredients and steps.

To round off a full packed lunch, I like to team these sausage rolls with a simple, crunchy salad — this Waldorf Salad from Mealime works really well — but the beauty of this recipe is that you can always make little snack-sized ones for picnics or parties instead. Just take a look at this picture to see how irresistible the tiny ones are!

I know what you’re thinking though and, you’re right, sausage rolls are not the healthiest lunch option you could go for, buuut we are only human and sometimes we just need a bit of delicious buttery pastry in our lives. When that day comes, it’s far better (and much tastier!) to be able to make your own at home: knowing exactly what’s gone into them. So go on, why not treat yourself next week?!

Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 35 mins | Servings: 6
Disclaimer: these are best eaten within 2–3 days of cooking as they keep better (i.e. they don’t go soggy!) not stored in the fridge, so you might have to make two batches a week for these, but they are definitely worth it!

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Full Instructions

Make the filling:

250g sausage meat; 1 medium-sized onion (finely chopped); 1 egg; 3 tsp milk; 20g bread (crusts removed & diced really small); ½ tsp ground cumin; ½ tsp paprika; salt & pepper

  1. Put the bread into a large bowl, add the milk and stir it around until all absorbed
  2. Add the sausage meat, onion, cumin, paprika and season well with s & p
  3. Crack the egg in and mix until well combined
    *tip* using a potato masher is a really easy way to squish it all up together (see photos in gallery above!)

Make the sausage rolls:

approx. 320g ready-rolled puff pastry sheet (if using a block, just roll out with a rolling pin and a dusting of flour); 2 tsp milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with grease-proof paper
    *tip* take a look at the photos in the gallery if you need any visual guidance on this next section
  2. Cut the puff pastry sheet into 6 rectangles
    *alternatives* try cutting the pastry into smaller rectangles for bite-size sausage rolls — perfect for picnics
  3. Spread the sausage mixture evenly down the centre of each pastry rectangle, leaving a gap around the long edges
  4. Brush these long edges very lightly with milk (a fingertip will do fine if you don’t have a pastry brush)
  5. Fold the pastry over the filling so the milky edges are together and press down, crimping a little, to stick them together (you can use a fork to do this)
  6. Transfer the sausage rolls to the baking tray with the join underneath and brush the exposed pastry with the rest of the milk

Cook the sausage rolls:

  1. Pop the sausage rolls in the oven for 30–35 minutes, but check them halfway — my oven cooks unevenly so I need to turn the tray 180° at this point to get an even colour
  2. Take them out when they’re golden all over and let them cool on a wire rack (store in an airtight container, out of the fridge)

In the morning:

  1. Simply enjoy the sausage roll on its own or with a crunchy salad

*hot option* you could pop them in the microwave for a few minutes, but the pastry goes a bit soggy — best reheated in the oven for 10–15 mins at 160°C if possible, otherwise they’re just as delicious cold

Final thoughts from The Hungry Hungry Husband?

“Bloody love sausage rolls! The trick is to eat them when they’re still too hot to hold…that’s when they’re best!”

The Hungry Hungry Husband - the hunt for the perfect packed lunch

picnic snack sausage rolls
Tiny snack-sized sausage rolls, perfect for picnics (and a little bit messy!)

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