This recipe for cotechino sausage with lentils is traditionally served in Italy on New Year's Eve to usher in prosperity for the new year.
It's an Italian cured sausage that is an easy recipe to make, with no special skills, which makes it perfect for feeding a crowd.
Just cook the sausage and vegetables in advance and then reheat. it will still taste delicious. The bacon sausage is smokey and extremely moreish!
So comforting and delicious - you really need to try this one.
This is a classic Italian cured sausage made originally from pork rind, or cotica, which gives it its name. It is then often mixed with other pork cuts, such as shoulder, which means that it needs to be cooked slowly to keep it tender and release the gorgeous flavours.
I ordered my sausage online from Swaledale butchers. It's made from pork shoulder and cheek, spices and curing salts, which give it a delicious bacon taste.
Although cotechino with lentils is eaten all year round, it's typically eaten on New Year's Eve to usher in a prosperous year. The lentils represent coins.
Traditionally, this bacon sausage is simmered rather than baked or fried, which means it doesn't have any colour when it's cooked.
I prefer to fry the sausage slices in a little oil to brown them, which gives them a slightly crispy surface too.
If you love the flavour of bacon and pork sausages, you will love this dish and it's also great for cooking in advance.
❤️ Why you will love this dish
- Child friendly flavours.
- Perfect for making in advance.
- Easy New Years Eve dinner.
- Everything is better with bacon!
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- Cotechino sausage - a 400g or approximately 1 pound sausage will serve 2 generous portions. Depending on the exact composition, the sausage may need longer cooking.
- Green Lentils - dried green lentils, which don't need to be soaked.
- Garlic - fresh clove of garlic.
- Parsley - fresh chopped parsley to serve.
- Oil - vegetable or sunflower oil for frying.
- Salt - cooking or kosher salt.
- Pepper - freshly ground black pepper
The printable recipe card with full ingredient quantities and instructions can be found at the bottom of the article.
- large saucepan
- jug or bowl
- wooden spoon
- sharp knife
- frying pan or skillet
Put the sausage in a large pan of boiling water, making sure the sausage is covered.
Bring the water to the boil and then simmer the sausage for 90 minutes.
⏲️ Cooking time
Drain the cooking liquid into a jug and discard the fat.
Leave the sausage to cool.
💭 Top tip
- Leave the stock in the jug for a few minutes and the fat will naturally rise to the surface. Use a metal spoon to remove the fat and put the fat into a small bowl in the fridge. When it's hard, discard the fat in the bin so that it doesn't clog the sink.
While the sausage is cooking, peel the onion and carrots.
Chop the onions and dice the carrot into 1 cm pieces.
Crush or finely chop the garlic.
Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large saucepan and cook the carrots and onions for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the garlic, and cook stirring for 1 minute.
Pour in the reserved cooking liquid from the sausage, seasoning and lentils and bring the mixture to the boil.
💭 Top tip
- Depending on the sausage you may not need to add any salt. Try the stock first.
Simmer for about 25 minutes until the lentils are tender.
While the lentils are cooking carefully remove the skin from the sausage and slice into about 1 cm or half inch pieces.
Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the sausage slices.
Fry for 2 minutes each side until coloured and crispy.
When the lentils are cooked drain them and arrange in a serving dish.
Serve with the sliced bacon sausage slices on top, sprinkled with chopped parsley.
🥗 Serve with
If you don't like lentils, there are so many other side dishes that would go well with cotechino sausage.
- Potatoes Rissolé
- Potatoes Boulangère
- Sarladaise Potatoes
- Cavolo Nero Kale
- Potatoes Parisienne
- Crispy Parmesan Smashed Potatoes
- Roast Savoy Cabbage
- Green Beans Almondine
- Potatoes Aligot
- Celeriac Purée
- Lentils - If you prefer to use ready cooked tinned/canned lentils then substitute with a drained 400g / 16oz tin, which will be approximately 265g in weight. The lentils soak up the water when cooked and almost double their weight.
- Sausage - use fried Toulouse sausage, which is full of garlic and herbs, Italian sausage or fry slices of chorizo instead. A good plain pork sausage, chicken or beef sausage would also work well.
- Vegetarian - simply use vegetarian sausages instead.
- Refrigerator - cool, cover and store leftovers for up to 5 days.
- Reheat - cover the dish with foil and heat in the oven at 180 C / 350 F / 160 FAN / Gas 4. Alternatively reheat in the microwave or in a shallow frying pan with a little oil.
🍱 Prepare in Advance
- Cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days if you want to cook the sausage in advance and fry just before serving.
More sausage recipes
Cotechino Sausage with Lentils
- Large saucepan
- Jug or bowl
- wooden spoon
- sharp knife
- Frying pan or skillet
- 400 g cotechino sausage 1 sausage
- 120 g green lentils
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 l water
- 2 tablespoon parsley fresh, chopped
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Put the sausage in a large pan of boiling water, bring the water to the boil and then simmer for 90 minutes.
- Drain the cooking liquid into a jug and discard the fat. Leave the sausage to cool.
- While the sausage is cooking, chop the onions and dice the carrot into 1 cm pieces and crush or finely chop the garlic.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over a medium heat in a large saucepan and cook the carrots and onions for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic and cook stirring for 1 minute.
- Pour in the stock, seasoning and lentils and bring the mixture to the boil.
- Simmer for about 25 minutes until the lentils are tender.
- Remove the skin from the sausage and slice into about 1 cm or half inch pieces.
- Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the sausage slices.
- Fry for 2 minutes each side until coloured and crispy.
- Drain the lentils and place in a serving dish then arrange the sausages on top.
- Garnish with chopped parsley to serve.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article.
🍲 Food Safety
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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