Hot Mess Skillet is one of my husbands favorite camping recipes. We started making it together on our honeymoon, when we took a 1500 mile camping trip through Tennessee and North Carolina. Hot Mess Skillet is a little different each time, depending on what road-side produce we come up with along our journey. You don’t have to go camping to make this! It is just as easy and delicious at home. You can cook it outside on the grill or inside on your stove.
There is one must have item that never changes. Anyone want to guess what that is??
What is the must-have item for making Hot Mess Skillet?
A cast iron skillet. You have to have a cast iron skillet.
This is a simple recipe, but so full of flavor. The name came from our first camping trip over 12 years ago. I was throwing it together, and he kept peeking and finally said “What is that?!”
I stood there a minute, stirring and seasoning, and said “A Hot Mess, that’s what it is”. It turned out SO GOOD.
Browned kielbasa sausage with fresh vegetables and perfectly seasoned….perfect for a night under the stars. (Or, a night at home. 🙂 )
On a recent camping trip to Cordell Hull Lake in Middle Tennessee, we found a perfect roadside vegetable stand.
We stocked up on squash, green bell peppers and fresh Tennessee tomatoes at S&D’s Little Red Shed. Everything was self-serve honor system! You walk in, do your produce shopping, and leave money in a coffee can. (Love it!)
Feel free to chop yours into smaller pieces, but we wanted a hearty meal. We cut our vegetables in sizes similar to our sausage pieces. (Yes we carry a wooden cutting board with us on all of our camping trips.)
Once the sausage is brown, scoot them to the side and start cooking your fresh vegetables. Add the onion, squash and bell peppers first so they will get nice and brown. You can cook this over a campfire grate if you would like. Due to the wind, we went with our portable propane grill. This thing is a lifesaver! (Perfect for tailgating, too!)
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Layer the tomatoes over the top. The heat from the sausage and vegetables will release the juice in the tomatoes, making a sauce. (If you need more moisture during the cooking process, add a little beer.)
Add simple seasonings, stir and simmer until the vegetables are tender but still firm. You can use salt and pepper, or spice it up a little with your favorite Cajun seasoning.
Serve and enjoy!
Hot Mess Skillet
- 1 lb smoked kielbasa sausage
- 2 small yellow squash
- 2 medium red tomatoes
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 white onion
- 2 TB vegetable oil
- 1/2 TB minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp Cajun or Creole seasoning blend optional
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 beer if needed for moisture
- Cut the kielbasa sausage in half lengthwise, then chop into 1/2 inch pieces.
- Slice the yellow squash into similar sized pieces as the sausage. Repeat with the tomatoes.
- Seed and chop the bell pepper. Peel and chop the onion.
- In a cast iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and garlic. Cook and stir frequently until the sausage until browned.
- Move the sausage to the side of the pan. Add the squash, peppers, and onions. Cook and stir until browned. Stir the vegetables and sausage together. Layer the tomatoes on top.
- Sprinkle with seasoning, salt, pepper and cayenne. Let it sit for a few minutes until the tomatoes begin to form a sauce. Stir everything together. Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
- Add beer as needed to keep the vegetables from sticking.
- Serve hot.