Scouring the stacks and stacks of mags and books that decorate my shelves and floors for Christmas/holiday recipes, I came across a vintage gem that was added to the “to-make” list, immediately.
From a Better Homes & Gardens from 1992 had an add for Hidden Valley Sausage Stars, I followed up this discovery with a Pinterest search and saw that this recipe has been a staple in many homes for years.
Oddly enough, I rarely if ever saw deviations from the original. I could have taken this as a sign to not mess with perfection… but when have I ever done that?
So here’s the original, in all its throwback glory. I’m sure preparing it according to this is wonderful, but I’ve made some tweaking, and that’s the recipe I’m sharing today.
Cheesy, sausagey, sassy, and bite-sized – this rocks!
So here’s the rundown. I wanted this to be as easy to put together as possible, so I turned on my inner “Sandra”, and cut as many corners as I could.
First, pre-cooked sausage. If you want a save a little you can always cook it yourself. Jimmy Dean had maple and sage flavors that I thought would be yummy in this. Just make sure to drain it and blot well before adding to the mixture.
Turkey sausage or veggies crumbles would also be great – cater to your crowd!
Next, this is so shameful, but I used Kraft Ranch dressing mix, rather than the original Hidden Valley. Reading the back of each packet, I thought the ingredients in Kraft were a little more friendly, and in the preparation I liked using less mayo, less milk, and the addition of sour cream. But if Hidden Valley is easier to find, use it.
Wontons should be in your veggie aisle, oddly enough. So grab your pepper when you’re there, then head to the olives.
I also recommend preparing them in mini-muffin tins, I think they allow the wontons to set up a better shape, and capture more sausage mixture. And how cute are these vintage tins?!
If you want heat, which I wanted more of, do spicy sausage, or go crazy with the hot sauce. It’s your call.
Also, this makes a ton!!! For the purposes of this post I made a dozen, and am keeping the rest of the filling and wontons to make on Game Day.
I have no doubt that after a go at these little sausage gems, you’ll make them again and again.
Cheesy Sausage Stars
1 package (9.6 ounces), fully cooked pork sausage crumbles (I used Jimmy Dean)
1 cup Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
3/4 cup prepared ranch salad dressing mix
1 can (2.25 ounces) sliced black olives
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
dash of hot sauce
1 package fresh or frozen won-ton wrappers
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sausage, cheeses, salad dressing mix, black olives, red pepper and hot sauce.
Lightly grease a mini muffin tin and press 1 wrapper into each cup. Brush with oil. Bake 5 minutes until golden.
Remove from oven. Fill each with sausage mixture. Bake about 7 minutes, until bubbly.