Artichokes Stuffed with Italian Sausage

Are you in the mood for a special Italian appetizer that’s not your average breaded and deep-fried mozzarella stick? Make these artichokes stuffed with Italian sausage!

Vertical image of three stuffed artichokes with toasted breadcrumbs on a white plate, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

As long as you have some time on your hands (and no issues with getting those hands a little messy), you’ll be able to present an impressive appetizer that’s worth the effort.

We fill fresh artichokes with a mixture of Italian sausage and diced onions, and top them with garlicky breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese.

Vertical image of three stuffed artichokes on a slate next to two metal forks.

After they’re baked in an aromatic wine bath, you get to enjoy layer after layer of tender artichoke leaves, a savory meat filling, and crunchy breadcrumbs.

And we really mean for you to enjoy them.

While a fork and knife are the appropriate silverware choices for enjoying the sausage filling, you’ll need those eager, excited hands to rip away each leaf of the artichoke itself.

Vertical top-down image of three artichokes with a breadcrumb topping on a slate next to fresh produce and metal forks.

It’s messy. But it’s a mess that you’ll love to make.

And if you’re thinking this would taste great with a dip on the side, you read our minds, master culinarian!

Vertical close-up image of a whole artichoke filled with breadcrumbs on a slate next to metal forks.

A dish like this is best served with a creamy condiment to dip the leaves in, like a homemade garlic aioli or creamy red pepper dip. But if you’re a little exhausted after all the prepping and cooking, melted butter would do just fine.

Vertical close-up image of the inside of a sausage-stuffed whole artichoke on a white plate, with crumbs scattered on the plate.

Actually, butter would be perfect. Is it ever not perfect?

Whatever dip you decide to make on the side, you’ll still be taking one closer step to adulting with fresh ingredients! Forgo the frozen mozz sticks, and learn how to make these savory, finger-licking-good stuffed artichokes.

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Horizontal image of two whole artichokes with breadcrumbs filling on a dark slate on a towel next to forks.

Artichokes Stuffed with Italian Sausage


  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 8 servings as an appetizer, 4 servings as the main course 1x

Description

For a hearty appetizer to share, make our fresh artichokes stuffed with Italian sausage and topped with garlic breadcrumbs and cheese.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 large fresh artichokes
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 pound raw Italian sausage
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Fill a large pot about 3/4 full with water, and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. As the water is boiling, prepare the artichokes. With kitchen shears, cut off the pointy end of each individual leaf. With a knife, slice off the stem so that the artichoke can stand up straight, and slice off about an inch of the tip of the entire artichoke. Rub one half of the lemon on all exposed surfaces to prevent browning.
  3. Place the artichokes and lemon halves in the boiling water. Cover with a lid, and boil for 20 minutes until slightly tender. Drain the artichokes, and immediately shock them in a bowlful of ice water. Allow to cool until they are easy to handle.
  4. As the artichokes are cooling, toast the breadcrumbs. Heat a medium-sized pan on low heat. Add the butter and melt completely. Add the garlic cloves and cook until just fragrant without browning. Immediately add the breadcrumbs and toast for a minute or so until golden, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and mix in the rosemary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
  5. Once the artichokes are cool enough, drain from the ice bath and place on a large cutting board or plate. Remove the inner center leaves and the hairy sections of the choke with a small metal spoon. Remove enough layers to create a space large enough to fill with the sausage.
  6. Mix together the sausage and diced onion in a bowl with your fingers. Divide the mixture and stuff the cavity of each prepared artichoke with the sausage, pressing down slightly and filling each to the top. You will use about 3/4 to 1 cup of the sausage mixture for each one.
  7. Divide the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top of each artichoke, and fill some of the spaces in between the external leaf layers with some more breadcrumbs.
  8. Transfer the stuffed artichokes to a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Pour the white wine and 1 cup of water into the pan. Cover the pan with foil.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes until the sausage is cooked through. The internal temperature of the sausage should reach 160°F on a meat thermometer.
  10. Remove from the oven, and dispose of the aluminum foil. Sprinkle the tops of each artichoke with the grated cheese. Return to the oven, and bake for an additional 5 minutes to melt and brown the cheese.
  11. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baking/Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: artichoke, breadcrumb, cheese, Italian, sausage, Parmesan

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep Artichokes and Other Ingredients

Horizontal image of four fresh artichokes with the top scut off on a gray plate on a wooden cutting board.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Fill a large pot with water, and bring it to a boil over high heat.

While the water is coming to a boil, prepare the artichokes by cutting off the pointy ends of all of the leaves with kitchen shears. With a sturdy cutting board and a sharp knife, slice off the stems and tips of the artichokes. Rub one half of the lemon on the exposed surfaces to prevent browning.

Uh-oh. Never prepped a fresh artichoke before? We have an easy-to-follow tutorial just for you!

Mince the garlic, dice the onion (no tears, please!), slice the lemon in half, and chop the rosemary. Measure out all remaining ingredients. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.

Step 2 – Cook Artichokes

Horizontal image of a pot with water and four whole artichokes.

At this point, the water should be boiling. Carefully place the artichokes and the lemon halves in the boiling water.

Boil for about 20 minutes until slightly tender. The artichokes will continue cooking in the oven, so don’t worry if they aren’t very soft.

Drain the artichokes, and immediately shock them in the ice bath. Allow to cool in the bowl until they are cold enough to handle. This is the perfect time to prep some breadcrumbs!

Step 3 – Prep Breadcrumbs

Horizontal image of a pan with toasted breadcrumbs on a wooden cutting board next to two green produce.

As the artichokes are cooling, make the breadcrumb mixture.

Melt the butter over low heat in a small pan. Once it has melted, add the minced garlic and saute just until fragrant, only for a few seconds.

You don’t want the garlic to brown, or else you’ll risk burning the garlic as it continues to cook with the breadcrumbs.

Add the breadcrumbs and toast them, stirring constantly, until they are golden in color. This will only take another minute or so. Watch carefully!

Remove from the heat, and add the rosemary, salt, and pepper. Set aside as you continue to the next steps.

Step 4 – Core the Artichokes

Horizontal image of four hollowed out boiled artichokes on a plate next to a bowl of their interior filling on a wooden cutting board.

Now that the artichokes are cool enough to handle, remove the interior leaves with a small metal spoon. Go deep enough to remove the hairy choke, but avoid scraping out any part of the tender heart.

Remove enough layers of the interior leaves to create a space for the sausage filling.

Step 5 – Make Sausage Filling

Horizontal image of a white bowl with a raw meat and onion mixture on a wooden cutting board next to two round green produce.

Combine the bulk sausage and the diced onion in a bowl with your hands. Mix until the onion is evenly incorporated.

Step 6 – Stuff

Horizontal image of four artichokes with raw meat and onion on a wooden cutting board.

Stuff the centers of the artichokes with enough sausage to fill each one to the top. You may not use all of the sausage (save it to make some breakfast hash!).

Horizontal image of four stuffed artichokes topped with breadcrumbs on a wooden cutting board.

Cover the top of the sausage with the breadcrumbs, and use the remaining breadcrumbs to fill in the space between some of the external leaf layers.

Step 7 – Bake

Horizontal image of artichokes topped with breadcrumbs in a pan covered partially with foil.

Transfer the stuffed artichokes to a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Pour the white wine and 1 cup of water into the pan around the sides – do not pour it over the to of the vegetables, since this will remove your carefully arranged breadcrumb topping! Cover the pan with foil.

Bake for 45 minutes, until the sausage is cooked through. The internal temperature of the sausage should reach 160°F on a meat thermometer.

Step 8 – Top with Cheese

Horizontal image of four artichokes topped with grated cheese in a metal pan.

Remove the pan from the oven, and discard the aluminum foil. Sprinkle the cheese on top, and place back in the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes to crisp and brown the cheese.

Step 9 – Serve

Horizontal image of stuffed artichokes on a slate next to metal forks on a white towel.

Remove from the oven, and let cool for another 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm.

Can I Customize This Meat-Filled Creation?

With all the different sausages, cheeses, and seasonings this world offers, you certainly can create a customized appetizer.

Instead of Italian sausage, talk to your local butcher or the experts at your grocery store’s meat department to see if they make any specialty sausage mixes. Our mouths water at the thought of a tasty chorizo filling, or any other kind of spicy meat sausage mixture!

You could also use our homemade recipe for turkey breakfast sausage, if you don’t want to go down the crazy-spicy path.

Horizontal image of two whole artichokes with breadcrumbs filling on a dark slate on a towel next to forks.

For the breadcrumb topping, you can swap out the rosemary for your favorite fresh herb. Basil, parsley, or thyme would be the most magical, fragrant additions.

And the cheese… freshly grated Italian Parmigiano Reggiano is always my top choice over the pre-grated option. But if you want something that has a more melt-worthy quality, try an equal amount of freshly shredded Fontina or whole milk mozzarella.

What do you think about making this homemade artichoke appetizer? Have you ever cooked with fresh artichokes before? I’d love to know, and I’m excited to provide any additional advice you need! Just message me in the comments below.

Hungry for more? Here are even more artichoke recipes from Foodal to keep you cooking:

Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on January 30, 2015. Last updated: July 8, 2020 at 13:20 pm.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Nikki Cervone

Nikki Cervone is a hungry foodie living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she is not tearing through her city's best cheesesteaks, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

20 thoughts on “Artichokes Stuffed with Italian Sausage”

  1. These look so good! I’ve always been intimidated to make artichokes at home, though I use the canned hearts quite often. This seems simple enough to prepare though so I might have to try it. I bet it would pair really well with some garlic bread and maybe a side pasta.

    Reply
    • There really is nothing to be intimidated by as far as artichokes go zeedame. They are so easy to prepare, even just by themselves. Just trim the pointed edges off of the leaves, cut the stem, boil and enjoy! This recipe is very easy and very delicious. I am sure you will have no problem preparing it. I think garlic bread might be enough as these are fairly hearty. I guess it depends on how hungry you are though.

      Reply
      • I have to admit, I’ve considered them to be intimidating to make as well, even though they are fun to eat. You make it all sound so easy though, Lynne. Thanks for the simple, clear instructions and tips. I may have the confidence now to do this.

        I enjoy Italian sausage, and it sounds perfect for this dish. Yum.

        They look so pretty too. I like making food that looks as good as it tastes.

        Reply
  2. I am absolutely in love with the idea of a stuffed artichoke, it looks great. I am a big fan of any stuffed vegetable type dish, from artichokes to zucchini! :p The flavors in the stuffing have time to develop, and the steam from the vegetable adds to the whole process. Great choice on the sausage meat. It is one of the most flavorful uses for pork there is, in my opinion. You can never go wrong with a sausage stuffing.

    Reply
    • Will,

      My husband claims that pork is one of the basic food groups (along with beer). I don’t think I believe him, but it is tasty!

      Reply
  3. One of the most difficult vegetable to work with followed closely by broccoli…for broccoli its the cleaning part, i must complain here…with all those tiny branches closely or nearly intertwined…frustration can ensue over the kitchen sink…as for the artichoke, i have always wondered if there is a strict rule by which one should go by whilst cooking it…hence i tend to ignore it at the grocer’s per every visit…that has changed, thanks to the article, i feel bold, with a can-do attitude, i can do this 😉

    Reply
  4. I have never thought of eating an artichoke. In fact I haven’t ever seen one in real life. I have watched people cook with them on t.v. I’ve always wondered what they would taste like. I would like to try them one day. The recipe here sounds really good I mean who doesn’t like sausage.

    Reply
  5. karmaskeeper,

    Really? Wow, artichokes are so delicious! I love to scrape the delicious creamy parts off of the leaves and then enjoy the heart which is just a concentration of what you are scraping off of the leaf ends but slightly firmer. Once you start eating them I think you will be hooked. There are also so many different ways to prepare them.

    Reply
  6. I really don’t mind preparing artichokes; inf fact, I love the challenge. Great recipe as always and I can’t wait to try these. I’m no stranger to Italian sausage as I usually cook them for my family every week if I can help it. It great to have another recipe in the mix.

    Reply
  7. I wonder if anyone has attempted this with a less fatty turkey sausage? I don’t mind an Italian sausage but maybe a turkey version? I was also considering a homemade stuffing but it seemed like Lynne was really adamant concerning following the prepping but maybe there’s some leeway where the ingredients are concerned.

    Reply
  8. I absolutely love artichokes! I usually do the simple recipe where you boil them and eat them with mayo. I use the marinated canned hearts and make artichoke chicken, which I highly recommend trying if you never have, it’s so delicious! I have also made stuffed artichokes where you use breadcrumbs, Parmesean, butter and some garlic. You just mix the ingredients together and then stuff the mix inside the leaves. This is a whole new idea that I’ll have to try, the idea of sausage, Parmesean, and Mozzarella stuffed inside sounds absolutely amazing!

    Reply
    • Hikbrad2,

      Your recipes sound delicious!

      The different cheeses inside the artichokes along with the sausage gives this dish a really amazing texture which is so important in food, more than people realize.

      Reply
  9. This has my mouth watering, I am definitely making these some time this week, I’m thinking they will go well with a pasta dish!

    Reply
  10. The first time I had artichoke it was during a summer camp. We were in the kitchen learning how to cook things. That’s when I had my first try served with melted butter. Then I went home and convinced my mom to buy me some artichokes so I could cook it myself. This is something I would love being able to do again.

    Reply
  11. There really is nothing like fresh artichoke! My mom has always made them (steamed with a side sauce) and I’ve never quite dared. But this recipe looks so delicious, and you’ve broken it down so wonderfully, I think I need to give it a try. Thank you for this wonderful dinner inspiration!

    Reply
  12. I’m new to the world of artichokes. The first time I tried one was this March for my birthday, when my boyfriend and I went to Outback Steakhouse where I had the Mahi with artichokes. I kept trying to eat them but, though they were very flavorful, they were too chewy for me. Now I see that I was eating them wrong. You’d think with all the Food Network and Cooking Channel, I watch, I would know how to eat them but, alas, I didn’t. I’ll definitely give them a second try now, although I’m not sure how I feel about the stuffing in this recipe. I may try a different one, or substitute it for something else.

    Reply
  13. I’ve always been a big fan of Italian food and this really reminds me of the first time that I went to an Italian restauran with my family. This recipe looks really delicious. Thank you for sharing this.

    Reply

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