Sausage Meatballs and Kale Sheet Pan Meal

$13.85 recipe / $3.46 serving
by Monti - Budget Bytes
4.12 from 9 votes
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This hearty Sausage Meatballs and Kale Sheet Pan Meal is chock full of deep, tangy flavors and succulent textures! It’s perfect for those days when you don’t feel like cooking. And if you’re at the point where you can’t bring yourself to make a meatball, just slice sausage in its casing to get this meal in the oven even faster. PS This sheet pan dinner meal preps excellently. Quick cooking, super filling, no fuss, and you can make it for the week! What’s not to love?

Overhead shot of Sausage Meatball and Kale Sheet Pan Meal.

What You’ll Need

This Italian Sausage Meatball and Kale Sheet Pan Meal is quick, easy, and endlessly versatile! Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Italian Sausage– I use ground spicy Italian sausage but you can use sweet Italian or any of your favorite ground sausages, including plant-based ones. You can also remove the sausage from its casing or skip making meatballs altogether and just slice it in its casing. Fat adds flavor and delivers a tender meatball, so skip low-fat sausages or ground meats.
  • Milk– adds moisture to the sausage and helps create depth of flavor. If you are cooking dairy-free, try using almond milk or coconut milk. If you’re really watching your pennies, just use water.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs– add texture and keep the meatballs from drying out (after a soak in milk). You can substitute Panko with regular breadcrumbs or crushed crackers.
  • Egg – helps to bind the meatballs so they keep their shape. Substitute the egg with 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt, 1/4 ricotta cheese, or 1/3 cup of unsweetened apple sauce.
  • Kale– is hearty and can stand up to a high-heat roast. You can substitute it with other hearty greens like Collards or Swiss Chard.
  • Cherry or Grape Tomatoes– deepen in flavor when roasted, but feel free to sub with other fresh elements like bell peppers, mushrooms, and onions. In a pinch, used canned tomatoes. Just make sure to drain them and give them a rough chop.
  • Potatoes– add bulk to this easy meal and soak up all the flavors from the drippings—sub with sweet potatoes or other root vegetables like carrots, radishes, or parsnips.
  • Spices and Seasonings– smoked paprika, chili flakes, garlic powder, brown sugar, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and olive oil dress the veggies and greens in robust flavors.
Overhead shot of Sausage Meatball and Kale Sheet Pan Meal.

What Can I Serve With It?

Make this Italian Sausage Meatball and Kale Sheet Pan Meal even more filling by serving it with Homemade Garlic Bread, Easy Soda Bread, or Hot Honey Cornbread. You can also pair it with a light dessert like Chocolate Mousse, Vanilla Pudding, or No-Churn Strawberry Ice Cream.

How To Store Leftovers

Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to four days. If meal prepping, add fresh kale on top of the roasted ingredients to keep it from wilting. You can freeze in an airtight container for up to a month with a sheet of plastic or parchment on the surface to prevent frostbite. Thaw in your fridge overnight. You can eat leftovers cold or warm them in a microwave until steaming.

Overhead shot of Sausage Meatball and Kale Sheet Pan Meal in a white bowl with a hand holding the bowl and a wooden spoon serving a portion into the bowl.
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Sausage Meatball and Kale Sheet Pan Meal

4.12 from 9 votes
This hearty Italian Sausage Meatballs and Kale Sheet Pan Meal is chock full of deep, tangy flavors and succulent textures! It's perfect for those days when you don't feel like cooking.
Overhead shot of Sausage Meatball and Kale Sheet Pan Meal in a white bowl.
Servings 4 bowls
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb red potatoes, quartered ($1.25)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil, divided ($1.44)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika ($0.10)
  • 3 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided ($0.28)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes ($0.08)
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes ($1.89)
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs ($0.50)
  • 1/4 cup milk ($0.06)
  • 1 lb Italian Ground Sausage ($4.99)
  • 1 large egg, beaten ($0.17)
  • 1 lb kale, chopped ($2.49)
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar ($0.42)
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard ($0.06)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder ($0.08)

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Place quartered red potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil. Mix smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons of salt, black pepper, and chili flakes. Sprinkle over the potatoes and toss. Place the potatoes in a sheet pan.
  • In the same bowl, add the tomatoes and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Scatter them over the potatoes.
  • Soak the breadcrumbs in milk. Break up Italian sausage in a large bowl. Mix in breadcrumbs and egg. Wet your fingers with a bit of leftover oil from the bowl the tomatoes were in. Roll 16 meatballs and place them on the sheet pan between the potatoes and tomatoes.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the meatballs and bake for another 10 minutes.
  • While the meatballs bake, add 1/2 lb of the kale to the same bowl the potatoes and tomatoes were in. Mix red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss the kale in the dressing, massaging it into the leaves.
  • Remove the sheet pan from the oven, and scatter kale all over.
  • Roast for 3 to 4 minutes until the kale has charred in spots. To serve, split raw kale between 4 bowls. Top with charred kale and tomatoes and mix. Finally, top with meatballs and potatoes.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1bowlCalories: 919kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 23gFat: 79gSodium: 3001mgFiber: 4g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Side shot close up of a wood spoon holding a portion of Sausage Meatball and Kale Sheet Pan Meal.

How to Make Sausage Meatballs And Kale Sheet Pan MeAL – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of potatoes being dressed in a white bowl.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place 1 pound of quartered red potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil. Mix 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons of salt, ¼ teaspoon of pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes. Sprinkle over the potatoes and toss. Place the potatoes in a sheet pan.

Overhead shot of tomatoes being dressed in a white bowl.

In the same bowl that you dressed the potatoes, add the sliced pint of tomatoes and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Scatter them over the potatoes.

Overhead shot of ground Italian Sausage, breadcrumbs, and egg in a white bowl.

Soak the breadcrumbs in milk. Break up Italian sausage in a large bowl. Mix in breadcrumbs and egg. Wet your fingers with a bit of leftover oil from the bowl the tomatoes were in. Roll a 1-ounce meatball and place it on the sheet pan between the potatoes and tomatoes. Repeat with the remaining sausage until you have 16 meatballs.

Overhead shot of meatballs, potatoes, and tomatoes in sheet pan.

Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the meatballs and bake for another 10 minutes.

Overhead shot of kale being massaged.

While the meatballs bake, add 1/2 pound of kale to the same bowl the potatoes and tomatoes were in. Mix 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss the kale in the dressing, massaging it into the leaves.

Overhead shot of kale being placed in the sheet pan.

Remove the sheet pan from the oven, and scatter kale all over.

Overhead shot of finished Sausage Meatball and Kale Sheet Pan Meal.

Roast for 3 to 4 minutes until the kale has wilted and charred in spots. To serve, split the 1/2 pound of leftover raw kale between 4 bowls. Top with charred kale and tomatoes and mix. Finally, top with meatballs and potatoes and chow down!

Overhead shot of Sausage Meatball and Kale Sheet Pan Meal in a white bowl with a wood spoon serving a portion into the bowl.

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  1. I live in a studio apartment with a very small oven, so I first roasted the potatoes and tomates. I put them in a container and then roasted the sausage/kale separately. It sort of worked, but my wonky little pan kept trying to spill the juices everywhere and succeeded a few times. Long story short, I wouldn’t recommend this recipe for people with mini kitchens like mine. Five stars for flavor, though I won’t be making it again because of the stressful mess

  2. Good recipe, will definitely make again! Made a few modifications – used only about 1/4 or 1/2 tsp salt on the potatoes. Not a huge fan of sausage so made beef meatballs instead of sausage meatballs (using the same recipe and threw in some oregano, basil, smoked paprika and pepper). Not a fan of raw kale so massaged all of it with the oil (I used 1/2 cup but 1/4 cup would have been enough).

  3. This turned out okay. The sheet pan method made it really easy, and the flavors went well together, but I found it both very oily and very salty. I think it would have tasted better with less salt, and it was really more olive oil than the ingredients could absorb–the pan and plates were swimming with oil when we were finished.

  4. Absolutely delicious recipe! The variety of flavors in here was incredible and quite easy to make on the sheet pan! I made several changes after having read a few reviews, since I could tell it was heavier on the oil and salt than I typically go. I used 1/8c oil on the potatoes, and 1/4c on the kale. I ended up putting the dressing on all the kale and massaging that in to soften the raw stuff a little, since I don’t enjoy raw raw kale and that turned out great. I only used a teaspoon of salt on the potatoes and I found even that to be a bit much. I’d also say that the amount of chili flakes on the potatoes makes them pretty spicy, so if you like it mild, half would probably do. When I make this again, I will probably wait to put the tomatoes on when I put the Kale on the sheet because mine ended up a bit obliterated. I actually gave a serving of this to a friend so she could taste it too because I loved it so much. Will absolutely make it again! Thanks Monti!

  5. SO good! I get most of my recipes from here, and they never disappoint. I usually don’t care for kale, but I plan on putting this in my monthly rotation. Super easy, uses few dishes, comes together quickly, and is quite healthy too. Thank you for this amazing recipe!

  6. Made this last night and will make it again with a few changes. I’ll probably use sliced Italian sausage links instead of the meatballs to make it easier, for one. Next, it was a little too oily for my taste. My thoughts are to reduce the oil used in the potatoes and tomatoes (reduce to 2 Tbs.) and maybe a little reduction (maybe 1/4 or 1/3 cup instead of 1/2 cup) in the oil for the kale.

    The textures and taste were great otherwise and nothing wrong with more greens in my diet. Thank you, Monti.

    1. Thanks Betsy! Let me know how the reductions work out! I would love to put a note in the recipe card. I’m using the wilted kale almost as a base for a dressing, but if it is still malleable and juicy without so much oil, I def want to mention it. xoxo

  7. I love sheet pan meals and this one sounds delicious. Massaging the kale with 1/2 cup olive oil seems like a lot of oil. Is that a typo?

    1. Hi Trish! The kale is transformed into super flavorful roasted kale dressing of sorts, which you mix with the raw kale at the end. You don’t have to use 1/2 cup of oil. You can use 1/4 cup, but the kale will have a different texture. It will still taste great!

  8. I made this yesterday afternoon to have for the week. My husband and I both taste-tested it when it was done cooking and it’s delicious! I am very excited to have it for dinner tonight!

    Budget Bytes does it again! I can’t think of a recipe I’ve tried that hasn’t been super tasty. Thank you!

  9. I feel like Gordon Ramsay would have something to say about serving cooked kale on a bed of raw kale. Idk what, but something.

    1. That ended up being my favorite part of this recipe, actually! The texture contrast was PERFECT. :)

      1. Well I’m curious so I solemnly promise to come back and rate the recipe once I’ve tried it.

  10. How much is “1 1b kale”? If it’s “1 lb”, I’m afraid that would be a bucketload.

    1. Hi Monica, 1 lb of kale is about 8 cups raw kale or 2 cups cooked down.xoxo

    2. I wondered about that too, because I had a 12 oz bag of cut kale and it didn’t have the weight listed. I just used the whole bag and I think it was a wee bit more than what she used, but it worked great.

      1. Hi Monika, I used 8 ounces in the sheet pan and 8 ounces raw. What I love about this recipe, is that it’s versatile. I bet it was still great with 12 ounces! Thanks for making it. xoxo