Hearty and satisfying, this easy toad in the hole is a classic British comfort food dish that consists of savory sausage meat baked in a fluffy Yorkshire pudding batter then topped optionally with gravy. With a crisp golden crust and juicy sausages nestled inside, this recipe is one cozy meal!
If you love traditional British comfort food you are in for a treat with this easy toad in the hole recipe! Savory sausage meat or whole sausages are baked into a giant Yorkshire pudding for a tasty dish that is a classic and will become a new family favorite.
If you have never had a Yorkshire pudding, it is somewhat similar to a popover and features a light, crisp golden crust that is fluffy and baked to perfection. Add to the mix, sausages mixed with herby oregano and then top it all with onion gravy and you will be in food heaven.
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love Toad in the Hole Recipe
- Traditional: This is a classic English dish that can be served as a main meal or part of a traditional English breakfast.
- Comfort food: Yorkshire pudding, savory sausage and optionally topped with gravy, this dish oozes with ultimate comfort food goodness!
- Simple ingredients: Nothing fancy, just a few pantry staples and fresh ingredients.
- Easy to make: Step by step directions ensure that you can make this simple recipe with great results.
What is Toad in the Hole?
This dish hails from the UK and while the exact origins are a bit unknown, this strange name of a dish is thought to be from the mid 1700s. At that time, it was said to have been a humble way for the poor to feed their families and bulk up meals that had smaller meat portions. By baking leftover scraps of meat into a huge Yorkshire pudding, it was a great economical way to stretch what you had on hand!
While some say that the name comes from the look of the dish resembling toads peeking out of holes, that is a bit of a stretch in my opinion. Regardless, this dish is a classic recipe and today is served across the United Kingdom in homes and pubs as traditional English food.
If you are American, you may be familiar with the name as being a breakfast dish that features toast with a hole in the middle in which an egg is fried. While this version from Britain is much different from that, it is still equally delicious and can even be served at breakfast if you wish!
Ingredients to Make Toad in The Hole
- Milk: 2% fat or whole milk will have the best rich results.
- All-purpose flour: Plain flour provides structure to the Yorkshire pudding.
- Large eggs: Adds binding to the pudding batter.
- Butter: Unsalted butter is best. If you use salted butter, reduce the amount of salt added.
- Sausage meat: I used ground sausage meat and shaped it into balls. Feel free to use sausage links or whatever meat you have on hand. It’s a great chance to use leftovers!
- Seasonings: Salt, black pepper and oregano.
How to Make a Toad in the Hole Recipe
Make pudding batter: In a large bowl whisk together milk, flour, salt, melted butter and eggs until there are no lumps left and it has become a smoother batter. Let the egg mixture rest for 30 minutes.
Prepare sausage mixture: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sausage with salt, pepper and oregano. Shape into 12 balls.
Brown sausages: Add the sausage balls to a greased 9-inch metal pie dish or casserole dish and brown in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Assemble and bake: Remove the pan from the oven and pour the flour mixture over the sausage making sure not to cover the meat completely. Return the dish to the oven and bake approximately 45-50 minutes or until the sausage is cooked through and the batter has puffed up and turned golden brown. Serve with gravy if desired!
Substitutions for Toad in The Hole
- Vegetarian: For a vegetarian version, use your favorite veggie sausage. Baking time may decrease, so keep an eye on your sausages for doneness.
- Type of sausages: Pork sausages are traditional, but any sausage could be used including smoked sausage.
- Seasonings: If you would like to add some additional seasoning to the Yorkshire pudding batter try garlic powder, mustard powder or fresh rosemary.
Expert Tips to Make the Best Toad in The Hole
- Rest time: Do not skip the 30 minutes rest time for the simple batter. Resting your pudding batter allows the flour to rise which gives the pudding a light, crisp texture. If you prefer, you can chill the batter in the fridge.
- Metal baking dish: This is important as metal absorbs heat and gets hot faster leading to a faster rise with crispy Yorkshire pudding results.
- Prevent sinking: Do not open the oven door for at least 25 minutes after placing the dish inside to prevent your Yorkshire pudding from sinking.
- Oil your pan: Add 1-2 Tablespoons of canola oil or vegetable oil to the pan with your sausages. Hot oil helps your batter rise, if you want to use animal fat, that will achieve the best rise.
- Make ahead: To save a little time, you can make the batter up to 12 hours ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. You can also brown your sausages ahead of time.
Traditionally this dish is served with onion gravy. To make a quick onion gravy, melt some butter in a sauté pan then brown some onions. Whisk in flour to the mixture, then beef stock or beef drippings and season with salt and pepper. Lastly add some Worcestershire sauce and English mustard if preferred.
For sides, creamy mashed potatoes, peas, carrots or roasted vegetables are great options to serve with this traditional British dish.
Why did it turn out soggy?
If the middle is soggy this indicates that it is not cooked through properly and it did not rise correctly. This could be caused by the type of pan you used to bake it in or if you added more sausages than was called for in the recipe. Another reason may be if you placed your sausages too close together.
Why didn’t my batter rise?
This could be for a few reasons. I recommend using a metal baking dish rather than ceramic or stone. A metal baking dish will heat up faster which assists the batter in rising quickly. Also, if you have opened the oven door during baking time, this can cause the pudding batter to not rise completely.
How can I prevent the Yorkshire pudding from sticking to the pan?
First, you will want to grease the baking tin well. Second, after it is done baking, wait for 5 minutes before removing it from the pan. The batter is easier to remove in one piece rather than piece by piece.
How do I store leftovers?
While this dish is best served immediately, you can store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a few days. Reheat in the microwave or the oven, although it may become soft in the microwave and dry out in the oven.
More Classic British Recipes
Easy Toad in the Hole Recipe
- 1 cup Milk – 2% fat
- 1 cup All purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Salt – divided
- 2 large Eggs
- 2 tablespoons Butter – unsalted and melted
- 1 pound Sausage meat
- ½ teaspoon Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Oregano
- In a large bowl whisk together milk, flour, ½ teaspoon of salt, melted butter and eggs until thoroughly mixed and there are no lumps left. Set aside and let the batter rest for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F (180C) and grease a 9 inch pie dish or casserole dish.
- In a medium bowl mix together the sausage meat and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, pepper and oregano. Shape into 12 balls.
- Place the sausage balls in the prepared dish and place the dish in the oven for about 10 minutes to brown the sausage slightly.
- Remove the dish from the oven and pour the batter over the sausage making sure not to cover the meat completely. Return the dish to the oven and bake approximately 45-50 minutes or until the sausage is cooked through and the batter has puffed up and browned. Serve hot with gravy if desired. Enjoy!