An Adult Toad in the Hole

Toad in the hole is a well-known British food dating back to the 18th century. Although there is much debate about the origin and naming, it’s thought to have originated as a way to stretch prime cuts of meat. The meat is surrounded by a batter which absorbs all of the meats juices and fat, making for a rich and delicious one-pot meal.

Although toads never entered the baking dish, it seems the baking sausages popping up from the batter look as though toads popping out of a hole. But then again, I read a discussion thread where one Brit said his family passed down the recipe as ‘turd’ in a hole for many generations. The use of ‘toad’ was actually a play on words and intended as an inside joke. Hmm, how delightful.

You will not confuse this flavorful dish with anything feces-related, I guarantee.

In my version, I’ve boosted the flavor by adding fresh chives and loads of parmesan which gives it more of an adult vibe (stronger flavors). The cheese and chives meld nicely with the fresh Italian sausages I used for my toads. It’s surprising just how much extra flavor the pungent cheese adds to the dish.

Toad in the Hole

I’ve been a lazy cook in the past few weeks, hence the lack of blog posts. We’re eating mostly one-pot meals which are rarely sexy nor particularly exciting to share. I enjoyed the toad in a hole so much though that I felt compelled to photograph it.

Toad in a Hole Recipe
4 fresh Italian sausages (uncooked)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter (plus extra for greasing the dish)
3 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan

  1. Before making this recipe, set out the eggs and milk for at least 30 minutes to reach room temperature. If made using cold ingredients, the batter make crack the baking dish.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450F (220C)
  3. In a 9 by 13 inch baking dish, add the sausages and olive oil. Toss to coat the sausages. Place the dish in the oven for 10 minutes.
  4. While the sausages are baking, blend together the eggs, flour, milk and salt. A blender works best and will make a perfectly smooth batter. I used a stick blender.
  5. Remove the baking dish after 10 minutes and add the butter, returning the dish to the oven.
  6. Once the butter is melted, remove the dish and pour the batter over the sausages. Sprinkle with the grated parmesan and chives, then return to the oven.
  7. Bake for an additional 15 minutes at 450F, then reduce heat and bake for 15 minutes at 350F.
  8. Remove from oven and eat while hot. Serve with vegetables.

Baking Notes:
The sausages I bought were quite big and I wanted smaller ones (which the store didn’t have). If you pinch the middle of the sausage between your thumb and forefinger, then twist each half in opposite directions, you’ll end up with two small sausages. Allow them to bake before cutting the small sausages apart.

Toad in a hole is easy to make and economical. Although most recipes call for a basic version, using different types of sausages and seasonings will yield all sorts of wonderful results.

Toad in the Hole

You may notice the toad in a hole sounds similar to my Dutch Baby Pancakes from a few months ago. The batter is the same as used for the pancakes although I make more of it for the toads. Both of these dishes are based on Yorkshire pudding, a thin British batter which when poured into hot meat drippings puffs up to form a rich pastry.

In re-reading this post, I’m sure some of you will be shaking your heads. It’s not often that food bloggers reference feces while showcasing a delicious recipe. Ah, well. This recipe isn’t crap. I promise.

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  1. I can’t wait to try this. I’m on a little sausages kick right now and can’t get enough of them. I saw a copy of “Frog and Toad are Friends” at the bookstore the other day and thought, I should try making toad in the hole! Scuse me, turd in the hole. :)

  2. Allen, long time no “see”: ) Your toad-in-a-hole looks great! I actually like your version better than the original. Parmesan cheese and fresh chives must have boosted the flavor. Great recipe!

  3. that looks incredible, we recently ate at an english eatery called Tea and Sympathy in the west village. We had the welsh rarebit and the shepherd’s pie, both were extremely delicious and bursting with lots of great flavor. I definitely have to make the toad in a hole now

  4. This looks great. I make toad in the hole loads (I’m in Britain!) and have never thought to use these flavours before, sounds delish. Other good ways to flavour the batter are with chopped, sun-dried tomatoes and some basil, or with caramelised onions. You can either use plain sausages, or find ones with flavours to match. Will be trying yours soon!

  5. I love one pot meals. I hope you will share them with us. I always want new recipes for the coming winter months. That dish looks delicious.

  6. That is one good looking toad :) One pot meals are the best, although, I agree with you, mine never look good enough to be photographed. Good thing they taste good.

    Love this dish already, and I bet the batter is amazing to eat after absorbing all of the juices. Yum!

  7. I am a huge fan of Toad in the Hole. I’m not sure that I would add butter to the pan though, the batter seems to puff up better if I’m using a fat with a higher smoke point (like canola or lard).
    I’m going to try sneaking some cheese in – my husband is English and has some pretty firm ideas about what a Toad in the Hole is and isn’t (although he eats my mom’s vegetarian version quite politely).

  8. My mother had a recipe just like this one- she called it Yorkshire Pudding and Sausage. We still make it in our family… I posted it a while back- makes a great lunch and a super dinner!

  9. I’ve wanted to try these for a while, but after I bought the bangers, I lost interest :( Thanks for rekindling it :) (er, ignoring the excrement references…)

  10. Love the toad dinner story. I first heard of Toads in a Hole at the Renissance Pleasure Faire in Novato, Ca in the 1980’s, but they were a sandwich. I make a simple verision of them as a weekend lunch from time to time. Using bratwurst and prepared canned biscuit or crescent dough my version is similar to pigs in a blanket. When feeling creative I’ll add cheese, chives, chopped apple, garlic, onions, bacon, sundried tomatoes, spinach or other lingering fridge items. I just recently found your website and enjoy it much. Thanks for the fun. T.

  11. I am making this recipe tonight. I am confused over the two tablespoons of butter plus extra for greasing the pan. Initially I thought I would be adding the butter to the mixture of milk, eggs and flour but not so according to your instructions. Is it correct to just add the butter to the baked sausages in olive oil and some extra butter…… still puzzled, could you clarify. Thanks,

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