How to prepare Pigs In Blankets

Pigs in blankets. Mini sausages wrapped in smoked bacon in baking dish.
Copyright: fotek

Pigs in blankets are one of those classic side dishes for a festive dinner especially at Christmas with a roast turkey. It isn’t traditionally served at Thanksgiving but I know some of my friends over there have them with brussel sprouts and roast potatoes at all times.

The best sausage is a chipolata, especially a Cumberland sausage chipolata usually just large enough to merit being a cocktail sausage but no bigger. You can get great pigs in blankets though with cocktail sausages but are they going to be big enough? A tricky one. What about flavoured sausages too? I’ve seen pork with apricot, pork and black pudding and so on which lends extra variety to this special side.

The wrapping should be streaky bacon which makes the ‘blanket’ but it can be maple-syruped, smoked (chestnut, beechwood – you name it they’ve all been tried and worked well), dried etc. to lend a unique flavour. The ‘smoking’ element varies with the supplier. I’d try a mix and match if you can. It’s also an accompaniment that works with bread sauce as well.  

Serving for 6 with two sausages each. Cooking time: 18 to 20 minutes. Increase the number accordingly to get the right amount for each person. The recipe below is an amalgamation of Tesco, Co-Op and Sainsburys. There are so many variations.

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  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6, 
  2. Cover a baking tray with foil.
  3. Wrap a rasher of streaky bacon around each sausage and put on the tray – go for the middle.
  4. Place the mustard, honey and chopped rosemary/thyme in a small saucepan and gently heat until it bubbles slightly.
  5. Brush the mixture over the sausages and cook in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes until lightly browned if they are made fresh. It might take 25 minutes if they were chilled when removed from a fridge and even 30 minutes if they were frozen. Check the food is piping hot because as you know all cooking appliances do vary. Serve, garnished with a little more chopped thyme and rosemary.
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