These sensational sausage rolls made with spinach, chickpeas and sweet potato are a fantastic healthy take on a classic. You honestly won’t miss the meat because these tasty pastry rolls are so full of flavour. Plus they’re a great way to sneak a truckload of vegetables plus protein and fibre packed chickpeas into the kids!
I’m a sucker for just about anything wrapped in pastry. And sausage rolls are my biggest weakness. I know how naughty they are but I just can’t stop myself. Lately Mum and I have been working our way through some interesting sausage roll flavours she has discovered at a bakery near where she works. We’ve had pork and apple, Thai red curry, lamb and mint… All have been really good for something a little bit different.
This bakery also does a spinach and chickpea sausage roll, but we haven’t yet had a chance to sample it because it keeps selling out. It must be good. I had to know. So I had no choice but to make it myself.
When I started thinking about how to make these rolls, I couldn’t get past the thought that just spinach and chickpea might be a bit dry and bland. Orange sweet potato seemed like a good addition because it cooks down to be so lovely and soft. Sweet potato has a delicious nutty sweetness that goes beautifully with chickpeas. And I was right – it makes a great base for the spinach and chickpeas in these delicious sausage rolls. Add in a few of my favourite spices, some herbs for good measure and some cubed feta cheese and we were on to a winner!
While I whole-heartedly believe in making your own food as much as possible, puff pastry is one of those things that I just never seem to make. I’ve found a really great brand of frozen, pre-rolled puff pastry. I just can’t go past it for convenience, taste and flake-ability. Plus I think on some level I don’t really want to know just how much butter is in the pastry so its easier to ignore if I don’t make it myself.
Being all vegetable goodness, the mix for these sausage rolls is very soft. I’ll confess that in the last 10 minutes of baking they did collapse a bit and the filling was poking out either side of the pastry in a most unattractive fashion. To remedy this, while they were still hot from the oven I took a dessert spoon in either hand and gently pressed them back into shape. It worked a treat. They held their shape and once they were cool stayed looking as a sausage roll should. Plump and invitingly full of deliciousness.
These vegetarian sausage rolls were wonderful still hot from the oven. But they’re also fantastic cold. We enjoyed them very much as part of our picnic lunch the following day, and my eldest daughter was more than happy to have them a few days in a row in her lunchbox. And best of all, because of all the good things in these sausage rolls you can indulge without the guilt!
Serves: 16-20 rolls
- 20g butter
- ½ red onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger
- 200g orange sweet potato
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp tumeric
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tbsp water
- 100g baby spinach leaves
- 400g can chickpeas
- freshly ground black pepper
- 80g feta cheese
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley
- 2 sheets pre-rolled puff pastry
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- Finely dice the onion. Melt the butter in a large frypan over a medium heat and cook the onion for 4-5 minutes until very soft and translucent.
- Finely grate or crush the garlic and finely grate the ginger. Add these to the onion and cook for a further minute.
- Grate the sweet potato and add to the frypan. Cook for 8-10 minutes until softened.
- Sprinkle over the cumin, tumeric, nutmeg and water and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Roughly chop the spinach leaves and stir these through. Continue to cook the mixture, stirring regularly, until the vegetables are cooked well.
- Drain the can of chickpeas, reserving the liquid. Add the chickpeas plus 2 tbsp of the liquid from the can to a food processor and pulse to a rough puree.
- Stir the chickpeas through the vegetable mixture until well combined and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Set the mixture aside to cool for 15-20 minutes.
- While the mixture is cooling, defrost 2 sheets of frozen flaky puff pastry.
- Once the vegetable mixture has cooled, finely cube the feta cheese and chop the coriander and parsley. Stir these through the vegetable mixture.
- Lightly beat the egg and brush it all over the pastry sheets. Place half the vegetable mixture onto each pastry sheet about ⅓ of the way up the sheet. Using your hands form it into a sausage shape the length of the pastry sheet. Roll the pastry around the filling, as firmly as possible without stretching the pastry, until you have a roll shape with approximately 1 inch overlap of pastry. Trim the excess pastry if necessary.
- Transfer the rolls to the freezer for 30 minutes to set a little which will make them easier to cut.
- Preheat the oven to 180C Fan Bake. Line a baking sheet with parchment or greaseproof paper.
- After 30 minutes, remove the rolls from the freezer. Brush more beaten egg over the top of each roll and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Using a very sharp knife, cut them to your desired length. Place the cut rolls onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden.
If the rolls collapse a bit during baking and the filling spills out, once the pastry is golden and they are out of the oven, use two dessert spoons - one of either side of the sausage roll - to gently push the filling back into the pastry into a roll shape.
I’ve also shared this recipe over at Saucy Saturdays – come and check it out!