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Spicy Sausage Meatballs

Spicy Sausage Meatballs with Roasted Cauliflower and Polenta

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Recipe Details


A glorious pool of buttery Parmesan polenta is the base for this comforting dish that’s packed with flavor. The spicy meatballs simmer in a rosemary-infused tomato sauce, while cauliflower roasts until golden and plump. Crispy sage leaves and a sprinkle of Parmesan finish off a dinner that feels like a warm hug on a chilly day.


  • Spicy

Quick facts

Serving size
Prep & cook time
Cooking Skill
By Chef Liz

By Chef Liz

Nutritional info

  • Calories 1050
  • Protein 42g
  • Total Carb 71g
  • Total Fat 70g

Given the cook-at-home nature of Plated and natural variation in ingredients, nutritional information is approximated. See details.

Ingredients & Equipment

What we send

  • cauliflower florets
    8 ounces
    cauliflower florets
  • rosemary
    1/8 ounce
  • shallot
  • sage
    1/8 ounce
  • garlic
    2 cloves
  • ground spicy Italian sausage
    12 ounces
    ground spicy Italian sausage
  • crushed tomatoes
    1 can
    crushed tomatoes
  • milk
    12 ounces
  • polenta
    1/2 cup
  • unsalted butter
    2 packets
    unsalted butter
  • grated Parmesan cheese
    1 ounce
    grated Parmesan cheese

What You’ll Need

  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • aluminum foil
  • baking sheets
  • 10" medium pan
  • 8" medium pot with lid

Cooking Steps

  1. Prepare ingredients

    Prepare ingredients

    Preheat oven to 450°F. Rinse all produce. Cut cauliflower into 1 inch–wide florets, if needed. Pick sage leaves, discarding stems. Strip half of rosemary leaves, discarding stems, then mince; leave remaining rosemary sprigs whole. Peel shallot, halve, and thinly slice. Mince garlic.

  2. Roast cauliflower

    Roast cauliflower

    Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil. On 1 prepared sheet, toss cauliflower with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired; arrange in a single layer. Roast until lightly charred and tender, 18-20 minutes.

  3. Form and bake meatballs

    Form and bake meatballs

    While cauliflower roasts, in a large bowl, combine garlic, minced rosemary, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired, then add sausage. Using your hands, mix well, then form into 10 equal balls, about 1-inch thick. On other prepared sheet, arrange meatballs in a single layer, spacing apart as much as possible. Transfer to oven and bake (with cauliflower) until cooked through and slightly browned, 12-15 minutes.

  4. Fry sage and simmer sauce

    Fry sage and simmer sauce

    While meatballs roast, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add sage and cook until crisp, 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, place sage on a paper towel–lined plate. Return pan to medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add shallot and cook, stirring, until golden, 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, remaining rosemary, salt, and pepper as desired; simmer until reduced by a third, 5-7 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

  5. Cook polenta

    Cook polenta

    While sauce simmers, in a medium pot, bring 1 cup milk and 1 cup water to a near-boil over high heat (it should just be lightly bubbling). Whisk in polenta and ½ teaspoon salt until smooth. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, whisking constantly to prevent clumping, until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove pot from heat; add butter and half of Parmesan, and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Cover pot to keep warm.

  6. Plate spicy sausage meatballs

    Plate spicy sausage meatballs

    Once baked, add spicy sausage meatballs to pan with rosemary-tomato sauce, still off heat; stir to coat. Divide polenta between serving plates. Top with spicy sausage meatballs and rosemary-tomato sauce, discarding rosemary sprigs. Scatter over roasted cauliflower and crispy sage. Garnish with remaining Parmesan. Cheers!

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