When it comes to serving Toad in the Hole, the options are endless. Whether you’re looking to complement the rich flavors of the dish with a side of creamy mashed potatoes and onion gravy or add a touch of freshness with a crisp green salad, there are plenty of delicious accompaniments to elevate this comforting meal.
What is Toad in the Hole?
Toad in the Hole or sausage toad is a traditional English dish made with sausages in Yorkshire pudding. It is usually served with onion gravy and vegetables. You can use any type of sausage you like, or if you are vegetarian, you can use mushrooms instead of meat.
Historically, the dish has also been prepared using other meats, such as rump steak and lamb’s kidney.
Why Is It Called Toad in the Hole?
The reason for the name “Toad in the Hole” is not known. However, it might be because when sausages come out of holes, they look like frogs or toads looking out.
The Toad in the Hole is a northern England specialty that has been around since the 1700s. Like many old recipes, this dish was served in lower-income households using low-cost and simple ingredients.
What to Serve with Toad in the Hole?
Onion gravy is the ultimate pairing with a toad in the Hole. This thick, savory sauce is traditionally served over Toad in the Hole, but it also goes well over other meats such as beef brisket, pork chops, chicken wings, and even fish.
If you want to add a little sweetness to your meal, try serving this cranberry sauce alongside Toad in the Hole for a delicious combination. Cranberries have a natural tartness that pairs perfectly with sweet flavors.
The mashed potatoes are what make the Toad in the Hole so unique. They give the dish its signature texture and flavor. You can use either russets or Yukon Gold potatoes, but I prefer using russets because they hold up better when cooking.
The addition of bacon makes the dish even more decadent. If you don’t eat pork, feel free to substitute turkey bacon.
Fresh parsley adds a fresh, bright flavor to everything from soups to salads to pasta dishes. Try adding chopped parsley to your onion gravy or stuffing mixture before baking.
Sour cream is an excellent alternative to heavy creams such as mayonnaise and butter to keep things light. It works exceptionally well with potato-based dishes.
Chicken wings are perfect for dipping into the onion gravy for those who love spicy food. The tanginess of the gravy complements the heat of the spices used in most wing sauces.
Brisket is another option for those who aren’t fond of pork. Beef brisket is usually cut thicker than pork, ideal for slow cooker recipes.
Pork chops are easy to cook and pair nicely with the rest of the ingredients. They go particularly well with onions and garlic.
Arugula is a green leafy vegetable similar to lettuce. It’s usually used in salads, but it also makes a great side dish. You can make your arugula salad by tossing baby arugula leaves with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Green beans are my favorite vegetables because they taste so good when fresh out of the garden! They have a mild flavor and are very versatile. I enjoy them steamed, boiled, roasted, or even stir-fried.
Roasting tomatoes brings out their natural sweetness. If you want to add extra flavor, try mixing chopped garlic into the sauce before roasting.
Garlic butter is a delicious spread that goes well with most foods. To make it, mix softened butter with minced garlic until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Grilling is another way to prepare chicken. If you prefer grilled chicken over fried chicken, you should try this recipe.
Mushroom gravy is a classic gravy that tastes amazing with toad holes. It’s easy to make and will be sure to impress everyone at your next family gathering.
Cheese is always an excellent addition to any meal. Try adding cheese to the mashed potatoes before serving.
This simple green salad has all the flavors of Toad in the Hole without baking anything. Toss together romaine lettuce, spinach, cucumber, red bell peppers, and sliced mushrooms.
Fried chicken is another popular choice for Toad in the Hole. Make sure to choose a breading made specifically for frying chicken.
Onion rings are an excellent accompaniment to this dish. They work best if you use sweet onions like Vidalia or Walla Walla.
Baked beans are a quick and easy solution if you don’t feel like cooking. Combine canned baked beans and barbecue sauce and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Cornbread is a traditional Southern dish that pairs perfectly with Toad in the Hole.
You can find carrots almost anywhere these days, which means you probably already know how tasty they are. Carrot sticks are available in many stores now as well.
Cucumbers are another healthy alternative to potato chips. They’re often paired with dips and spreads.
Another staple of summertime meals, peas are a great source of protein. They’re also low in calories and fat.
Potatoes are a perfect snack food because they’re high in carbohydrates while relatively low in calories. Plus, they come in various shapes and sizes, making them ideal for snacking on.
Cabbage is a vegetable that’s full of nutrients and fiber. You can eat cabbage raw, sautéed, or even pickled.
How to Make Toad in the Hole?
Easy English Toad in the Hole with Onion Gravy Recipe
- 2 large, fresh eggs
- 1/2 Pint or 300 ml milk or skimmed milk
- 3/4 cup or 100 g plain flour / all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt (Kosher salt)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 6 – 8 thick beef or pork sausage
- Choose a pan or baking dish that allows 2 cm or 3/4 inches of space between the sausages, and the batter will rise 2 cm or 3/4 inches tall.
- Preheat the oven to its maximum setting.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, flour, and a sprinkle of salt using an electric handheld mixer or hand whisk. Beat to make a thick, smooth, fluffy batter that is airy and smooth, lump-free batter. Allow the batter to rest for at least 30 minutes, or longer than several hours – up to overnight, if possible.
- Place a spoonful of oil in a roasting pan 10 minutes before the batter’s resting time is up. Arrange the sausages in the pan, so they’re equally spaced. Heat until the fat is lightly smoking.
- Toss the remaining ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Whisk the milk mixture batter once more before spooning the batter over the sausages into the hot roasting pan. When adding the batter, be careful because the fat may splutter. The batter should cover the entire bottom of the tin and be 2 cm / 3/4 “deep or less.
- Return the tin to the hot oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 20-25 minutes.
- Serve the Toad in its holes with onion gravy and fresh green vegetables.
Onion Gravy Recipe
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 red onions – peeled and sliced thinly
- 2 tsp light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp plain – all-purpose flour
- 480 ml (2 cups) hot beef stock – try to use a good quality stock for the best flavor
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ tsp Kosher salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 10 sprigs of fresh thyme – (optional)
- Combine the oil and butter in a skillet and heat over medium heat until the butter has melted.
- Add the onions and sugar to the skillet over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally until the onions caramelize, about 15-20 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the onions and mix it in. To cook out the flavor of the flour, simmer for 2 minutes.
- Once the sauce is simmering, add in about two cups of beef stock, a little at a time. Stir with a whisk until the gravy thickens—season with salt and a pinch of pepper to taste before serving.
Ultimate Toad in the Hole Recipe Variations
Chicken Toad in the Hole
The alternative version of my toad in the hole uses chicken sausages instead of the classic pork.
Fresh rosemary adds a lovely taste and scent to this supper. This dish only takes about 40 minutes to prepare and is both filling and warming.
Mushroom Toad in the Hole
This is a fantastic vegetarian version of Toad in the Hole that can easily be made vegan by using vegan sausages and omitting the butter from the gravy.
Cheese Toad in the Hole
Thinking about making a toad in the hole for a special occasion? Why not try this luxurious version, made with cheesy sausages and creamy white gravy?
For an extra indulgent treat, you could even top your toad in the hole with some grated cheddar cheese before serving.
Toad in the Hole with Leeks
This twist on the classic uses cheese-stuffed aching the sausages before adding them to the dish helps to keep them moist and juicy. This is a great option if you’re looking for a slightly lighter meal.
Pork Chop Toad in the Hole
Fancy something a little different? This recipe uses pork chops instead of sausages, for a heartier meal. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could try using lamb chops!