Johnsonville Sausage Awards $10,000 Grand Prize In ‘Pastaville’ Recipe Contest

SHEBOYGAN FALLS, Wis. — Johnsonville Sausage today announced the top three winners in its Pastaville Italian Sausage recipe contest. Through the contest, folks were invited to submit a recipe featuring Johnsonville Italian Sausage – either in an original recipe or as a substitute for another protein in one of their favorite recipes. The top three winners received a total of $15,000 in cash prizes.

"We were thrilled to see the enthusiasm contest entrants had for creating dishes with Johnsonville Italian Sausage," said Bob Fitzgerald, Johnsonville Sausage Italian brand manager. "We were blown away by the creativity of the approximately 1,500 recipe entries we received. It's clear our consumers are passionate about cooking with Italian Sausage, and we're thrilled to be able to reward that passion through this contest."

Grand Prize winner Victoria Lee, of Rockville, Maryland, took top honors with her creation, "Baby Chef Bella's Sausage Cupcake Surprise." Lee's recipe featured Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage Links as a flavorful way to top individual spaghetti "cupcakes." As the top finisher in the Pastaville contest, Lee will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

"I love being able to get the whole family involved cooking dinner," said Lee. "This recipe is a fun way to let the kids join in and help. And, it's the perfect dish for kids or for serving at parties, since it's prepared in single-serve portions."

Runner-up honors and a $3,000 prize went to Mindie Hilton, of Susanville, California. Hilton's "Sweet & Spicy Italian Stir Fry" blends the savory flavor of Johnsonville Italian Sausage with the sweet flavors of pineapple and marmalade, along with spicy chili garlic sauce.

"This is a dish I've made in the past with chicken, but I decided to substitute Johnsonville Italian Sausage to give it more flavor," Hilton said. "The result was just what I was looking for in the recipe. It had a lot more flavor, and it was a big hit with my family!"

Third place and the $2,000 cash prize went to Lily Julow, of Gainesville, Florida. Julow's "Pappardelle with Sizzled Italian Sausage and Mushrooms" features Johnsonville Sweet Italian Sausage, mushrooms and egg roll pasta in a classic Italian dish for the whole family.

"Italian dishes are a big hit in our house," said Julow. "I particularly like this one, since it's so quick to prepare. The egg roll pasta cooks in just three minutes – like homemade pasta – and it adds a delicious flavor and texture to the dish."

To see all the Pastaville entries, visit For more information on Johnsonville Italian Sausage, visit

Grand Prize Recipe: Baby Chef Bella's Sausage Cupcake Surprise

Recipe by: Victoria Lee, Rockville, MD

Makes: 3 servings

Prep Time: 20 min.

Cook Time: 15 min.

Difficulty: Easy


•4 oz. spaghetti; cooked
•1 egg; beaten
•1/2 cup Ricotta cheese
•1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
•3/4 cups spaghetti sauce
•1 Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage Link; cooked and sliced
•1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese; shredded


•Combine spaghetti, egg, Parmesan and Ricotta cheese. Press into well-greased 6 cup muffin pan.
•Top each with your favorite spaghetti sauce.
•Add a slice or two of sausage.
•Top with Mozzarella cheese.
•Bake for 15 min. in a preheated 350° F oven. Let stand for 5 min. before serving.

Runner-up Recipe: Sweet & Spicy Italian Stir Fry

Recipe by: Mindie Hilton, Susanville, CA

Makes: 6 servings

Prep Time: 7 min.

Cook Time: 32 min.

Difficulty: Easy


•1 pkg. (5 links) Johnsonville Sweet Italian Sausage
•3/4 cup orange marmalade
•1 tsp. chili garlic sauce (or more for more heat)
•1 can (20 oz.) drained pineapple
•1/2 cup chive and onion flavored cream cheese or whipped cream cheese with chives
•6 cups brown rice; cooked (Mindie buys frozen cooked brown rice)
•4 eggs or 1 cup cholesterol free egg product
•16 oz. frozen peas and carrots
•1/2 tsp. ground ginger
•1 orange; sliced or green onion; chopped (optional garnish)


•Slice sausage up into bite size pieces then cook according to pkg. directions.
•While sausage is cooking heat up your frozen rice and veggies in a large saute pan over medium heat. When they are hot add your whisked eggs and stir often until they are scrambled and mixed in with your rice and veggies.
•When sausage is done add your remaining ingredients to form a nice sauce. Add more or less of the chili garlic sauce for heat. Stir until all is well combined.
•Pour sausage and sauce over rice and veggies to serve. Garnishes optional.

Third-Place Recipe: Pappardelle with Sizzled Italian Sausage and Mushrooms

Recipe by: Lily Julow, Gainesville, FL

Makes: 6 servings

Prep Time: 15 min.

Cook Time: 20 min.

Difficulty: Moderate


•1 lb. Johnsonville Sweet or Hot Italian Sausage; casing discarded
•3 Tbsp. olive oil
•1 lb. small or medium white or Cremini mushrooms
•1 clove of garlic; finely chopped
•1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes; to taste
•salt and freshly ground black pepper; to taste
•juice of 1/2 lemon
•1 lb. (16 oz.) pkg. 6 in. square egg roll pasta
•Small handful of grated Parmesan cheese
•1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley; roughly chopped
•2 Tbsp. unsalted butter; room temperature
•Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; to taste


•Put the oil in a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, breaking up clumps, until no more pink shows. Transfer with a slotted spoon. Drain all but 2 Tbsp. fat from skillet and return to heat.
•Brush off any dirt from the mushrooms with a pastry brush or a dish towel. Cut mushrooms into quarters and add to the remaining hot oil in the skillet. Let them fry fast, tossing once only after the edges are browned.
•Add the garlic and pepper flakes with a pinch of salt. Return sausage to skillet and continue to fry fast, tossing regularly. Then turn the heat off and squeeze in the lemon juice. Toss, taste and adjust seasoning to taste.
•Meanwhile cut egg roll pasta squares into 1-1/2 in. wide strips (4 strips each square) and cook in boiling salted water 3-4 min., just until al dente. Drain and add to the sausage and mushrooms with the Parmesan, parsley and butter. Toss gently, coating the pasta with the mushrooms and their flavor. Serve, scraping out all of the last bits of mushroom from the skillet, and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan.

About Johnsonville Sausage, LLC

Wisconsin-based Johnsonville Sausage is the No. 1 national brand of brats, Italian sausage, smoked-cooked links and fresh breakfast sausage links. Johnsonville employs approximately 1,300 members. Each member takes ownership of product quality to ensure the excellence and "Big Flavor" of Johnsonville Sausage. Founded in 1945 by Ralph F. and Alice Stayer, the company remains privately owned today.

Source: Johnsonville Sausage