This easy Italian Sausage Bread is stuffed with provolone cheese and sweet Italian sausage, but the real star of the show is a quick and easy bruschetta topping! Throw this crostini type appetizer on the griddle for a quick Italian recipe that’s loaded with flavor!
Every now and then I see a viral recipe on social media that intrigues me, and this Italian sausage stuffed bread is definitely having a moment right now, so I had to try it out. Whether you call it an Italian Sausage Stuffed Bread appetizer or a Sausage Crostini is up to you, but I just call it dang delicious.
If you’re looking for creative Italian appetizers to make on the griddle, then try this easy griddle recipe:
Ingredients for Italian Sausage Bread
This stuffed bread appetizer only has a few main components, which is what makes it so easy to prepare. Here’s a look at the main ingredients:
I used a French loaf bread for my Italian sausage bread, and I specifically looked for a loaf that was not too crusty on the outside. However, if I were to make this griddle recipe again, I would definitely go with a crustier twin French bread.
If you’re going to serve this appetizer as more of a crostini and you want it to be a little easier for your guests to eat, then I would recommend the crusty bread that’s harder on the outside. I think that the cooking method lends itself to a crustier bread because the fat and grease from the sausage steams the bread as it cooks, so the harder loaf would still soften a bit resulting in the perfect texture.
The Meat and Cheese
The sausage and cheese filling can be customized to your liking… You can choose sweet or hot Italian sausage and any Italian style cheese, or try a mixture. Provolone, mozzarella, fontina, gouda, or asiago are all good choices.
The Italian Toppings
The bruschetta style toppings add a nice touch of brightness and acidity and help to balance out the fat from the sausage. You can get creative with your sausage stuffed Italian bread toppings, but I made a quick bruschetta using:
- diced tomatoes
- mini sweet cherry peppers – The jarred Mezzetta brand… My wife and I really loved these and we’ll definitely be buying them again to add to Italian sandwiches or homemade pizza!
- diced onions
- fresh basil
- minced garlic
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
I also finished off this appetizer bread with a little more fresh basil and a generous drizzle of our favorite balsamic glaze. You could also add some freshly shaved parmesan cheese or crumbled goat cheese to take this griddle appetizer over the edge.
How to Make Italian Sausage Bread on the Griddle
Step 1: Make the bruschetta topping.
Start by making the bruschetta so that the flavors have a chance to marry together. Just dice your tomatoes, sweet cherry peppers, and onions, and then chiffonade basil leaves. Add those ingredients to a large bowl with some minced garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything together and you’re done… So quick and easy, and a great topping for any type of crusty Italian bread or even an Italian sandwich!
Here’s what it should look like:
Step 2: Prep the bread.
Next you need to stuff the bread with sausage and cheese so that it’s ready to go on the griddle.
Start by cutting off the top third of the entire loaf. This gives you a flatter top so that the sausage has more contact with the griddle surface and it can cook more evenly. Then hollow out the bread a bit to create a “boat”, similar to what you would do for sausage stuffed zucchini boats.
After your bread looks like the picture above, add a layer of your Italian cheese all along the inside. Then, press the ground Italian sausage into the bread so that it is pretty much even with the sides of the “boat”. Make sure that the sausage is pressed into an even layer so that it cooks evenly.
Also, make sure that the sausage layer is not too thick so that the sides of the bread don’t burn on the griddle before the sausage is cooked through. It should look something like this:
Step 3: Cook the Italian sausage bread face down on the griddle.
When your appetizer bread is prepped, it’s time to cook it on the griddle.
Carefully flip the bread upside down on the preheated griddle so that the sausage is in contact with the cooking surface. Press it down a bit to ensure that the full length of sausage is touching the griddle… then don’t touch it or move it around until it’s ready to flip!
Just like cooking smash burgers or any type of meat or vegetable that you want to develop a crust, you want to allow the sausage to develop a nice brown char… Remember, that’s just extra flavor.
So how do you know when the sausage is done since you can’t see it?
That’s where a trusty instant read probe thermometer comes in handy! You can see my favorite thermometer and my other must-have cooking tools here. Just make sure that you’re getting the end of the probe thermometer into the center of the thickest part of the sausage and not all the way to the surface of the griddle. When the internal temp reaches at least 160 degrees, your Italian sausage bread is ready to flip.
Here’s where your griddle spatulas will come in handy!
Just slide your spatula underneath the length of the bread to release the sausage from the griddle surface. Try to get under the sausage crust so that all of that flavorful goodness isn’t left behind on your flat top grill. Then, just flip the whole stuffed bread loaf over to the other side.
You’ll want to let it cook face up for about 2 minutes so that the bottom of the bread can get slightly toasted. Then, this easy griddle appetizer is done!
Step 4: Top the Italian stuffed sausage bread with the bruschetta topping and serve!
Just spoon a generous amount of the bruschetta topping over the sausage bread. Sprinkle on some more fresh basil for an extra punch of flavor, and then drizzle with some balsamic glaze. And your beautiful appetizer bread is ready to serve!
You’ll want to cut it into slices about 1″ to 1.5″ thick, and depending on what type of bread that you use, this may be more of a fork and knife appetizer.
Truth be told, the wife and I just stood over the kitchen counter with two forks and demolished the entire thing, bread and all… even though we’re “trying” to watch our carbs.
The sweet Italian sausage, perfectly toasted bread, and fresh bruschetta topping was just too hard to resist!
Want some other Italian recipes for the griddle? Check out these posts:
- Flat Top Grilled Meatballs – Easy Italian Griddle Recipe
- Easy Pizza Quesadillas with a Parmesan Herb Crust
- The BEST Chicken Caprese Sandwich – Easy Store-Bought Ingredients!
And if you want to print this easy griddle appetizer recipe you can use the card below:
Italian Sausage Bread on the Griddle
- 1 loaf French bread
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage sweet, mild, or hot
- 6 slices provolone cheese
- balsamic glaze for topping
For the Bruschetta Topping
- 2 medium tomatoes diced
- ¼ sweet onion diced
- 6 sweet cherry peppers (jarred variety) de-seeded and diced
- 6 basil leaves chiffonade cut (plus more for garnish)
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 3 tbsps olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the bruschetta topping by combining all bruschetta ingredients in a large bowl. Mix to combine and set aside.
- Preheat griddle on low.
- Cut the top third off the entire length of the French bread and discard. Hollow out the remaining bread like a "boat". You want to leave enough of an edge to hold the sausage and toppings.
- Place halved provolone slices along the bottom inside of the hollowed out bread.
- Press ground Italian sausage into the bread boat on top of the cheese slices. Make sure that the sausage is pressed into an even, thin layer along the full length of the bread.
- Carefully place the sausage stuffed bread loaf upside down on the heated griddle so that the sausage is in contact with the griddle surface. Gently press down on the top of the bread to ensure even contact with the griddle. Then cook the sausage stuffed bread without touching it for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until a probe thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the sausage reads at least 160 degrees F.
- When sausage is cooked through, flip the stuffed bread to the second side. Cook the Italian sausage bread upright for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the bottom of the bread is nicely toasted. Then, transfer the stuffed bread to a cutting board.
- Spoon a generous portion of the bruschetta topping on top of the Italian sausage stuffed bread. Top with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and garnish with more chiffonade cut basil. Cut into slices about 1" to 1.5" thick and serve.
- Be sure that the sausage is completely cooked through before serving. Internal temp of the sausage should be at least 160 degrees F.
- You may substitute your favorite Italian melting cheeses like fontina, asiago, or mozzarella.
- Experiment with your own toppings for the Italian sausage stuffed bread. Try freshly shaved parmesan cheese or crumbled goat cheese.
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