In the wise words of Ron Swanson:
“There has never been a sadness that can’t be cured by breakfast food”
Wiser words have never been spoken. Aside from maybe pizza, there’s nothing I’d rather eat than breakfast food 24/7.
This recipe is a unique spin on breakfast food that takes two already awesome foods and creates one really fun dish! The best part of this one is that it is SO easy and virtually impossible to screw up. If you have kids, this is a fantastic one to whip up as a family.
If you have an air fryer, these are going to be insanely easy. Without an air fryer, you’ll be able to heat these up in a regular stovetop pan (as you would normal French Toast), but I prefer making things are easy as humanly possible- the air fryer certainly helps with that!
This recipe makes 6 pigs in a blanket, and I enjoyed all 6 to myself because they are only 90 calories each! Compared to a typical plate of French Toast that can easily top 1,000 calories, these are a no-brainer.
Choosing the right ingredients
This recipe is mainly just chicken breakfast sausage + bread, so choosing quality ingredients is important here.
I love chicken sausage for two reasons. One, it’s low calorie/fat and high in protein. Two, it’s always fully cooked, making prepping even easier.
These chicken sausage are really good and I highly recommend them! The nutrition facts reflect 2 links, so each sausage link is only 45 calories and 5g of protein. Not bad at all!
Now, you’ve got plenty of room for experimentation here. Turkey sausage or regular pork sausage will also work just the same. The key is to be sure you’re choosing a small breakfast sausage. Unlike regular sausage links that fit in a bun, breakfast sausage links are much smaller. We want them to be small so we can easily wrap them up in a single slice of bread.
Speaking of bread: any bread should work fine. For this particular recipe, I wanted to keep the calories low, so I stuck with a pretty light wheat bread. It was just a local store brand, but each slice contains only 60 calories, helping me to keep the calories nice and low overall.
If you can afford some extra calories, thicker bread will always work better here. The thicker the bread, the more of the liquid is going to be absorbed, and the more flavor there will be.
French Toast is typically made with challah or brioche…
This brioche bread is always stocked up at my local grocery store and is really delicious. If you want a truly authentic French Toast flavor, check them out. It’s 110 calories per slice, so obviously the calories will be a bit higher than this recipe states, but the taste will be even better! I didn’t do the exact calculations, but if you used a bread like this, you’d probably be looking at about 140 calories per sausage (more on calculating the calories in a second).
All of that being said, the regular wheat bread I used worked out just great. I only share the brioche route with you to show you how to elevate these even further! Since you’re reading my recipe, I’ll assume you want to keep calories relatively low and protein high. But if you don’t mind the extra calories, definitely consider a brioche loaf.
Figuring out the calories
If we were just using a single slice of bread, it would be very easy to figure out the calories- just read the label. But in this recipe we’re cutting off the crusts, so how do you calculate the crustless slice of bread?
It’s actually quite simple! Weigh your slice of bread with crust, then weigh it without, and figure out what percentage is left. Let me show you:
In this case, one slice of bread is 28g and has 60 calories. I weighed my slice to check, and 27g is close enough for me! Then, I cut the crusts off, and the slice now weighed 14g.
14/28 = 50%.
50% of 60 calories is 30, so each slice is now 30 calories without the crust. Of course this may not be absolutely perfect, since the calories aren’t necessarily distributed perfectly evenly throughout the bread, but this will be a very close estimate.
By the way, I just bought this food scale and it’s great if you need to get yourself one. It was very cheap on Amazon, and I love that is displays the decimals! You can click here to check it out.
When it comes to calculating the calories of the french toast liquid, that was also just an estimation. After I dipped the bread in the mixture, I was left with roughly half the mixture, so I only counted half the calories (it’s just calories from eggs and a tiny bit of milk).
“But Matt, if you only use half the mixture, why are you making more than you need?” I’m glad you asked!
Since we want to fully coat these sausages, we want to have some extra mixture to make dipping easy. Otherwise, you’re going to be scraping the bowl and making it harder for yourself.
I didn’t make my French Toast overly sweet on purpose. If you want to add some sugar or extra maple syrup to your mixture, feel free! For me, I prefer to not overdue it, since I top mine with some powdered sugar and additional syrup. In my opinion, less sweet is better because you can then dip directly into syrup, but I’m not going to be mad about some extra sugar.
You do you, though. This recipe is easily customizable, so adjust it however you feel is necessary!
- 6 Slices Bread of Choice (the bread I chose had 60 calories per slice)
- 6 Breakfast Chicken Sausage Links (I used Trader Joe's Maple Chicken Breakfast Sausage)
- 2 Eggs
- 2 tbsp Milk of Choice
- 1 tbsp Sugar-Free Maple Syrup (can add more for additional sweetness)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- Powdered Sugar Substitute (optional for topping)
- Heat up the chicken sausage- most come fully cooked, so they only require searing. If using an air fryer (my preferred method) heat at 350 degrees F for 4 - 5 minutes. If using a stovetop pan, sear each side for about 1 minute over medium-high heat. Set aside.
- Cut the crusts off the bread to create 6 rectangles. Using your hand or a roller, flatten each slice of bread to make wrapping easier (I just used my hand for ease).
- In a wide bowl, whisk together the rest of your ingredients to create the french toast dip.
- Roll each chicken sausage in the bread, leaving the end down.
- Place each in the french toast mixture (end down) and let sit for about 1 minute to absorb the liquid. Roll each piece onto the other side and let sit for another minute.
- Spray your air fryer with nonstick spray and add each to the basket (end side down), leaving some space between them. Air fry at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes. If you are using a stovetop pan instead of an air fryer, cook over medium heat about one minute each side until fully cooked.
- Top with some powdered sugar and maple syrup and enjoy!
Exact nutrition will vary depending on bread used
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1 Pig in a Blanket
Amount Per Serving Calories 90Total Fat 3gCarbohydrates 8.5gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 7g
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