"Tadpole in the Hole" - Breakfast Sausage and Kale Dutch Baby


This miniature version of toad in a the hole features small adorable breakfast sausages. I also added kale to the 'breakfast pool' our little tadpoles will be swimming in which will make this more nutritious (and delicious).

Prep Time:
15 mins
Bake Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
2 dutch babies

Tadpole in the Hole – Yes, Just Another Pastafazool-Inspired Baked Pancake

I've wanted to do another Dutch Baby video for a while now, since they always do very well traffic wise, and people seem to love them, but I wanted it to be a savory version of some kind, and I couldn't decided exactly what that should be. I eventually figured it out, thanks to, believe it or not, a pot of pastafazool.

We had some leftover breakfast sausage, which I decided to toss into a simmering pot of vegetables, beans, and macaroni, and I loved how the sweet, warm spices of the sausage worked with the subtle bitterness of the kale. At first, I was going to try to work all that into a frittata, but then I remembered my savory Dutch baby quest, and the rest is history.

As far as the recipe name goes, the first test batch came out looking like a fun-sized version of Toad in the Hole, and so it basically wrote itself. This can be done with any type of braising greens, as well as different kinds of sausage, but I thought the "brown-and-serve" style breakfast links were fast, easy, and paired perfectly. No matter how you tweak yours, I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


  • 1 small bunch stemmed kale

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 6 cooked breakfast sausage links

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 ½ teaspoons maple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

  • ½ cup whole milk


  1. Place a pot of lightly salted water over high heat and bring to a brisk boil. Add kale and boil until leaves just start to get tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Place kale into a bowl of cold water, then drain. Gently squeeze out as much excess water as possible and roughly chop kale; set kale aside. You will need about 1/2 cup of chopped kale.

  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook sausage links until browned, 2 minutes per side. Remove from skillet.

  3. Use butter and fat from cooking to grease two 9-ounce baking dishes.

  4. Whisk together flour, eggs, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a bowl. Whisk until flour disappears. Pour in milk and whisk to combine. Stir in about 1/2 cup chopped kale and mix in with a fork.

  5. Ladle mixture into prepared baking dishes - the depth of the batter needs to be about 1/2 inch deep. Place sausage links on top of the mixture.

  6. Place dishes in the center of a cold oven. Turn heat to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C) and leave in for about 25 minutes. Remove and serve.

    Tadpole in a Hole
    Chef John

Cook's Notes:

You can use any chopped braising green instead of kale, like chard, spinach, etc.

The two baking dishes I used were 9-ounces each, but this can be made in any shaped baking dish or pan, as long as the batter is about 1/2 inch deep once poured in.

Add a poached egg to the top if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

603 Calories
33g Fat
50g Carbs
30g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 2
Calories 603
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 33g 42%
Saturated Fat 13g 66%
Cholesterol 257mg 86%
Sodium 1914mg 83%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Protein 30g
Potassium 1263mg 27%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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