What are Pigs in a Blanket?

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
Pigs in a blanket are sausages wrapped in crescent rolls.
Pigs in a blanket are sausages wrapped in crescent rolls.

There are a number of regional dishes which seem to qualify as pigs in a blanket, from a breakfast sausage encased in a pancake blanket to a mixture of ground pork and beef braised in a cabbage leaf wrapper. The "pigs" in pigs in a blanket vary from inexpensive Vienna sausages to top-end Polish or German dinner sausages. The blankets can be everything from packaged croissant rolls to homemade pancakes or crepes.

German sausages can be used to make pigs in a blanket.
German sausages can be used to make pigs in a blanket.

One common version of pigs in a blanket calls for miniature cocktail wieners or Vienna sausages and a pre-packaged biscuit or croissant dough. The raw dough is wrapped around the wieners and baked until the bread is brown and the sausages or wieners are fully cooked. These pigs in a blanket are generally served as a side dish or appetizer, although they can also be served as an informal lunch entree.

Cocktail sausages are commonly used to make pigs in a blanket.
Cocktail sausages are commonly used to make pigs in a blanket.

Another popular variation on the pigs in a blanket theme involves link-style breakfast sausages and traditional pancakes or crepes. The sausage is fully cooked and set aside while the pancakes or crepes are prepared. Once the pancake or crepe is done, the sausage is placed in the center and the entire dish is rolled before serving.

Some regions with a largely Slavic or eastern European population have a dish which may be called pigs in a blanket, but it does not use pastry or pancakes at all. Instead, a large steamed cabbage leaf serves as the blanket, and a mixture of ground pork, ground beef and spices serves as the pig. The meat mixture is stuffed inside the cabbage leaf and the entire package is rolled or wrapped tightly. The dish is finished by braising until the meat is fully cooked and the cabbage wrapper develops a slightly browned surface.

Vienna, Austria is the home of the sausages named after the city.
Vienna, Austria is the home of the sausages named after the city.

The popularity of homemade pigs in a blanket has inspired many fast food franchises to develop their own pancake and breakfast sausage combinations, such as the McGriddle® breakfast sandwich developed by McDonald's. The mix of sweet and savory flavors seems to work well as a one-dish breakfast or a quick but complete meal on-the-go.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

A regular DelightedCooking contributor, Michael enjoys doing research in order to satisfy his wide-ranging curiosity about a variety of arcane topics. Before becoming a professional writer, Michael worked as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

A regular DelightedCooking contributor, Michael enjoys doing research in order to satisfy his wide-ranging curiosity about a variety of arcane topics. Before becoming a professional writer, Michael worked as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

Discussion Comments

anon27712

Toad in the Hole? I like that! Very interesting.

anon26932

I'm enjoying these postings daily!!!

Thank you!

anon26917

In England, Pigs in Blankets are chipolatas (smaller, thinner versions of the US breakfast sausage) wrapped with smoked, streaky bacon. This is a dry cured pork belly, smoked and sliced thinly. They are roasted around the Christmas Turkey and are probably more popular with the diners than the Turkey is!

Alternatively, you may cook your sausages in a pan of batter in the oven. This, you will be interested to learn, is called Toad In The Hole!

Two Nations divided by a single language!

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    • Pigs in a blanket are sausages wrapped in crescent rolls.
      By: momo5287
      Pigs in a blanket are sausages wrapped in crescent rolls.
    • German sausages can be used to make pigs in a blanket.
      By: SunnyS
      German sausages can be used to make pigs in a blanket.
    • Cocktail sausages are commonly used to make pigs in a blanket.
      By: JJAVA
      Cocktail sausages are commonly used to make pigs in a blanket.
    • Vienna, Austria is the home of the sausages named after the city.
      By: Bokicbo
      Vienna, Austria is the home of the sausages named after the city.