Shortcrust Pastry Sausage Rolls are quick to make with 3 simple ingredients in under 30 minutes. Crisp buttery pastry and juicy pork sausage meat combine to make a British classic which are great on a buffet, at a picnic, in a lunchbox or just as a tasty snack.
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I’m having a little bit of a pastry revolution. I have been obsessed with Puff Pastry, for years. I use it for everything from making quiches and giant sausage rolls to fruit turnovers and steak bakes. But I’m really starting to come around to the joy of shortcrust pastry.
I think I was put off many years ago after one too many dry supermarket pies. But after making my own short pastry a few times, I’ve rediscovered the good stuff. And I’ve been using it lately to make the kind of sausage rolls that I grew up eating when I was a kid.
Homemade vs Store-Bought Shortcrust Pastry
I go 50/50 between the two. Ready made, and especially ready-rolled shortcrust pastry, is now very good and super convenient. It really shouldn’t be sniffed at it. You can use it to make delicious homemade sausage rolls in minutes.
Homemade shortcrust pastry comes together in minutes. It is even quicker if you employ the power of a food processor. It is much quicker then making both puff and flaky pastry so you should really try it (recipe coming soon!).
How to Serve Shortcrust Sausage Rolls
The ultimate time to eat a fresh sausage roll is about 5 to 10 minutes after it has come out of the oven. No matter how hard you try, this cannot be beaten.
But the versatility of shortcrust sausage rolls is why they are so great and perennially popular. You can eat them cold out of the fridge, room temperature or reheated.
I like them heated in the microwave where the pastry goes a little soggy. But if you prefer them crisp, they can be popped back in the oven or an airfryer.
Make Shortcrust Sausage Rolls into a Feast
I truly believe that you can make any dish into a proper feast! Whether thats a feast for one after work on a Tuesday, a casual feast for four on a Friday evening or a feast for 12 for a special occasion!
As well as simply being ideal for a snack, sausage rolls are also perfect as a main meal. A warmed sausage roll with chips (fries!) and baked beans is one of my lifelong favourite meals. So comforting.
They’re also delicious eaten cold from a lunchbox and of course they are a classic on any buffet or picnic table. Throw in some scotch eggs, a few chicken satay skewers and a little coleslaw and you have yourself a veritable feast. Literally.
And there just doesn’t seem to be any occasion over the Christmas and holiday period that a plate of sausage rolls to dip into isn’t appropriate. You could very easily make my Mini Sausage Rolls with shortcrust pastry instead of puff.
If you are making these around Christmas, don’t forget to make some Mince Pies too!
Don’t forget to head over to my Feast Collection pages to find all of my tips and tricks to help you host a fun and stress-free feast. Plus remember to check out my recipe index to create your own awesome Feast!
More Sausage Roll Recipes
You can now find all of my sausage roll recipes in one place. Plus I’ve included a few extra bonus sausage based recipes too!
Ingredients for Shortcrust Pastry Sausage Rolls
As I’ve mentioned above, you can use either store-bought or homemade pastry.
If you’re going to use store bought, I’d suggest going the whole hog and buying ready rolled. But if you’re going for convenience, why go half baked?
If using homemade, you may not roll a perfect rectangle. It might well be easier to roll 2/3 of the pastry, trim it down to a nice rectangle and use half the sausage meat. Then repeat with the other 1/3 and the trimmed scraps. You just need to be more careful with the shape you roll the second time.
The benefit of shortcrust over puff or American style pie crust is that you can keep re-rolling it. There are no layers to worry about. It is still worth noting that handling it as little as possible and keeping it very cold is still a good idea.
I almost always suggest buying good sausages, removing the skin and then using the innards when cooking with sausage. Unless you have a great butcher that sells their sausages’ meat loose, this is the way to get the best quality.
The other benefit is that you can buy a much bigger range of flavoured and seasoned sausages. Whereas sausagemeat is usually plain.
My preference for most sausage based dishes is Lincolnshire sausage. It’s nicely seasoned with sage and has absolutely nothing to do with the fact I’m from North East Lincs. Honest guv’nor!
But you can choose your favourite or experiment. I do have a soft spot for caramelised onion sausages and of course pork and apple is ever popular.
The egg is simply used as a glue for sticking the pastry together and for glazing it before baking. Unless you are making a huge batch, chances are you won’t use the whole egg. But it is worth it.
You can use milk instead but you just don’t get the shiny golden glow that egg provides.
Sesame Seeds (optional)
I don’t tend to add a topping as such to my puff pastry sausage rolls because I don’t want to hinder the rise of the pastry.
This isn’t really a problem when using shortcrust pastry so I like to go a little wild with a smattering of sesame. The extra crunch is great and they toast a little in the oven.
If you don’t want to use them, simply leave them off. Alternatively you can use poppy seeds, a mix of black and white sesame seeds or a pre-mixed blend like everything bagel seasoning.
There are many ways that you can be flexible with this recipe.
- Make them mini by following the instructions in my Mini Sausage Rolls recipe but switching the pastry type to shortcrust.
- Make them giant by following the instructions in my Puff Pastry Sausage Plait recipe but switching the pastry type to shortcrust.
- Add a layer of something between the sausage and pastry layers. I most often use a sweet chutney like my Fresh Fig Chutney with Orange.
- Or add a layer of cheese. I prefer pre-grated for it’s even spread and dryness which won’t make the pastry soggy.
- Add extra flavours into the sausage meat – try dried cranberries and chopped chestnuts for a Christmas vibe.
Make it Vegetarian or Vegan
It is simple to make vegetarian shortcrust pastry sausage rolls. Just swap the pork sausage meat for vegetarian sausage. I would recommend using a meat substitute type sausage rather than something vegetable or cheese based.
To make vegan shortcrust pastry sausage rolls is also pretty simple. Most commercially available pastry is vegan. So use a vegan sausage and you’re good to go. You will also need to switch the egg for plant based milk.
I’ve written much more about this in my Vegan Sausage Rolls recipe. Just use shortcrust instead of puff pastry.
Make it Allergy Friendly
This recipe is free from nuts.
Gluten Free: To make gluten free shortcrust sausage rolls simply use gluten free shortcrust pastry. It is readily available in the shops and easy to use. And it even comes ready rolled in the chiller section nowadays.
It is also worth checking that your sausage meat is gluten free. It is becoming much easier to source them and most supermarket brands are gf across the board. But you should always double check.
Dairy Free: If you are using store-bought pastry, chances are it is dairy free and vegan already. If you are homemaking shortcrust pastry, you will need to substitute the butter for a dairy-free alternative.
Egg Free: Whilst I do prefer to wash the pastry with beaten egg, if it isn’t an option for dietary reasons, you can use milk or a plant based milk instead.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Shortcrust Sausage Rolls
I did not own a rolling pin for many many years. Instead I used a roll of clingfilm. When I was finished, I just disposed of the last layer off the roll. This was all very well and good but clingfilm tends to have a distinct lack of weight to it.
A couple of years ago, I asked for a marble rolling pin for Christmas. I have not looked back. They’re not expensive but absolutely brilliant. I use the weight of the rolling pin to do the rolling rather than exerting great pressure on the pin.
A good sharp knife will help with getting nicely sliced sausage rolls without super squished ends. A good knife steel will help to keep your knives good and sharp, regardless of how much those knives cost. Sharpening isn’t just the preserve of a fancy Sabatier set.
I make sure to use a good large baking tray to make sure that the sausage rolls have a good amount of space to puff up and expand without hitting the other rolls. Lining the tray with baking parchment will ensure that the rolls don’t leave the bottom layer of pastry stuck to the tin!
A meat thermometer is really handy to keep around to check that the meat is cooked all the way to the middle. The centre of the rolls should reach 75c.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
Sausage rolls are amazing to make in advance. It doesn’t matter if you want to get prepared for a special occasion or just want to stock the freezer with an easy snack.
They can be frozen before they are baked and cooked from frozen. Or cooked then frozen. Then they’re ready to eat as soon as they are thawed.
It is best to freeze them spaced out on a tray. Once they are frozen – it should take around an hour or two, you can move them to a bag or airtight container. If you skip this step, you’ll just end up with a frozen lump of sausage and pastry.
If cooking from frozen you will need to add around 10 minutes to the cooking time. I would also recommend dropping the cooking temperature by around 10c. It is important to make sure that they’re piping hot in the middle.
Leftover Sausage Rolls with Shortcrust Pastry
Shortcrust sausage rolls will last for a good 5 days stored properly in the fridge. If any aren’t likely to get eaten in that time, you can pop them in the freezer.
They can be reheated in the oven or even easier, in an airfryer. I like to microwave them but that’s because I have a strange thing for soggy pastry. Feel free to join me but don’t be disappointed that they won’t be crispy – you were warned.
Shortcrust Pastry Sausage Roll Tips
Keep your pastry cold. This is the golden rule for almost any pastry.
When I’m using ready rolled pastry, I don’t actually flour the board more often than not. Just loosening it from the paper it comes on is usually sufficient.
If you do need to flour, go easy. And make sure to brush any excess off the pastry that you are trying to stick together. It doesn’t matter how much egg you use as glue, flour will stop it sticking and create weird goop.
Wet your hands with cold water when handling the sausage meat. It will stop it from sticking to you and make it easier to mould it into the right shape.
Don’t forget to bake any trimmings for a cook’s treat.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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Shortcrust Pastry Sausage Rolls
- 320 g Shortcrust Pastry
- 450 g Pork Sausage Meat
- 1 Egg
- 1 tbsp Sesame Seeds - optional
- Preheat the oven to 200c fan | 220c | 390f or equivalent.
- Roll 320g Shortcrust Pastry out on a floured surface to about 0.25 inch thickness. Or unroll a sheet of ready rolled pastry.
- Cut the sheet into half lengthways with a sharp knife.
- Skin enough sausages to get 450g Sausage Meat. Or if using ready prepared sausage meat, split it into two and form each half into a long sausage.
- Place the sausage meat around ⅔ of the way along each pastry strip. Make sure it reaches from end to end. You can mold the sausage meat into the right shape. Make sure to press the end of one sausage into the next if you are using skinned sausage.
- Beat 1 Egg in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to cover the large side of exposed pastry.
- Start to roll the pastry around the sausage meat starting with the unwashed smaller top section. Keep the pastry nice and tight to the sausage meat.
- Continue to roll until the meat is totally sealed. Wet your finger a little and gently press along with pastry seam – this will allow the pastry to meld together and reduce the likelihood of the pastry coming apart as it cooks.
- Using a sharp knife make gentle diagonal slashes down the whole of each roll.
- Use the same sharp knife to cut the end off of each roll to neaten it up if needed. Cut each roll into two and place the 4 rolls next to each other on the board. Use the knife to saw rather than press down or you will squash the rolls.
- Wipe the knife and cut all 4 rolls into 3 equal pieces. Wipe the knife again in between each cut. Don't forget not to press to hard.
- Move each roll to a lined baking tray, seam side down. Make sure the rolls each have ample room to expand.
- Generously egg wash the top and sides of each sausage roll. Make sure to not wash the exposed ends or sausage meat.
- [Optional] Sprinkle roughly 1 tbsp Sesame Seeds over the top of the rolls.
- Bake for 15 minutes until light golden brown. They may need slightly longer depending on your oven. Use your eyes and judgement. If your oven does not cook evenly, turn the tray midway through cooking.
- Try to let them cool a bit before serving warm or allow to cool thoroughly and store until needed.