Freezer to Crockpot : Italian Sausage Grinders

I love making batches of this wonderful meal, it makes my husband and sons happy and the house smells ummm...wonderful! I do warn you though, you better plan on serving some of this for dinner, the day you do your freezer cooking session, your family would not forgive you to smell this wonderfulness and not be able to eat it!  This would be great for a cookout, family reunion, or a Football party!

What I love about this is the flexibility, Choose hot or mild Italian sausage links, plus you can slice the sausages into bite sized pieces, leave them whole and make them hot dog style, or slice them in half length wise so two of them can sit side by side and lay flat on  sub rolls, or good chewy Italian rolls. I do use hot dog buns, but you'll need a fork, the bread won't hold up under the sauce.

Here's how I make mine:

this will make about 12 cups of grinders using 3 lbs. of italian sausage so about 9 servings.

1-2 onions cut into large chunks
1 -2 green pepper cut into strips
1 28 oz. can tomatoe puree (or favorite marinara sauce)
3/4 cup chili sauce (found next to the cocktail sauce in the ketchup aisle)
3 lbs. hot or mild Italian sausage links
On serving day :
Optional: Cheese: Provolone or pepper jack  slices or mozzarella shreds

 In a large skillet, saute the onion and peppers in a small amount of oil over medium heat till tender. Add in the tomatoes or marinara sauce, and the chili sauce. Stir well and simmer until the mixture thickens.  Set aside to cool.

Grill, saute in a pan, or oven bake the sausage links.  Set aside the sausages to cool.

To freeze: 
Put cooled sausage in a 1 gallon freezer bag or container. Pour cooled sauce over the sausage. Seal and label. Freeze the bag laying flat to save space.

To Serve:
Thaw bag in the refrigerator overnight.  Spray your crockpot with non stick cooking spray or use a crockpot liner bag.  Dump the sausages and sauce into the crockpot and cook on low till heated through 2-3 hours or on warm till heated through 5-6 hours.

Serve sausages on buns with the onion and pepper sauce.  If desired, top with mozzarella cheese shreds or tuck a slice of provolone or pepper jack cheese onto the bun before the sausage and sauce.

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