Recipe: BBQ Cabbage & Sausage Stuffed Sandwiches

Although most folks prefer to layer up a sandwich between two really great pieces of bread and place their ingredients inside, I think a little differently. I'll eat just about anything if it's actually baked inside the loaf of bread itself! Stuffed sandwiches are easy to make, freeze, store and they're as filling as they are tasty!

Now if you've ever lived in a town with the fast food chain Runza, this idea isn't anything new to you. In fact, it's a great place to go scout flavors to borrow for your own creations. Although their method of baking is slightly different than ours, we prefer this palm sized mini loaf that's stuffed with all sorts of bubbly goodness.

We bake ours up with a golden crust topped with salt and butter and if that's not enough to make you drool, well then we just don't know what will.

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030211-runza12.jpgThis is an easy way to clean out the fridge of leftover ingredients. It doesn't have to be cabbage and sausage,; it can just as easily be taco fillings from last night's dinner or any combination of vegetable, meat and cheese you happen to have on hand. It's the perfect way to save food from going to waste without tossing random bags of previously cooked ingredients in your freezer. After making these, you'll have full meals ready to go!

BBQ Cabbage & Sausage Stuffed Sandwiches
makes 8 sandwiches

1 pound sausage, either raw or smoked
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 small white onion, diced (optional)
1 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 pound provolone cheese, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound bread dough or 8 to 16 premade dough rolls, thawed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Crumble the sausage into a large sauté pan and cook over medium-high heat until browned and completely cooked through. Drain the fat. Add the cabbage, garlic, and onion (if using) and cook over medium heat until wilted and soft. Add BBQ sauce and stir frequently until warm. Add the cheese to the pan and stir continuously so it doesn't stick or burn. When the cheese has just melted, remove pan from heat and set aside. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.

Preheat oven to 450°. Taking a small amount of dough (slightly larger than a clementine and smaller than a baseball) press it flat with your hands and pull gently on the sides — like you were making a mini pizza crust. Place dough in the palm of your hand or on a flat surface and spoon 1/4 cup of the mixture onto the dough. Working quickly pinch together the ends, folding them over gently to ensure they stay closed. Flip the ball over and rub gently on the counter in a small circular motion to regain its shape.

Lay each ball on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper that's been lightly floured. When tray is full, brush the tops with butter, sprinkle with salt and bake for 15 to 25 minutes until golden brown.

Allow to cool completely if freezing or refrigerating (otherwise the bread will get soggy) or enjoy while still warm!

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Related: Easy Baking Recipe: No-Knead Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls

(Images: Sarah Rae Trover)

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