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Bangers and Mash with Caramelized Onions

Nothing is quite as belly-warming as hearty British pub food, and our classic bangers and mash recipe is no exception.


Bangers and mash with gravy and caramelized red onions on a plate

Traditional Bangers and Mash—Upgraded.

Somehow, years ago, it became a tradition for us to make bangers and mash every year around St. Patrick’s Day. As with any recipe that’s been recreated year after year, little tweaks along the way have improved it to the point of near-perfection. Or at least, we think so! We’re thrilled to share the result of all that tweaking with you today! This savory, filling, delicious bangers and mash recipe gets a gustatory boost from the addition of sweet roasted garlic in the mashed potatoes (ooooh yes) and savory oven-caramelized red onions. It’s a warming, textural, gravy-drizzled supper that’s sure to soak up an Imperial pint (or two)—or even just fill hungry tummies.

ingredients laid out for bangers and mash red onions, beef stock, sausage, butter, flour mustard
quartered red onions laid out on a baking sheet
roasted oven caramelized onions on a baking sheet
sausages browned in a pan

Why Is It Called Bangers and Mash?

You probably know the British term ‘bangers and mash’ means a meal of sausages and mashed potatoes (usually topped with an onion gravy), but what exactly is a “banger”? What kind of sausage is that? Why is it called a banger? And why is this all so confusing? We’re here to help! The word “banger” actually doesn’t refer to any one type of sausage. Rather, a “banger” is just British slang term for sausage that probably came in to use around the time of the first world war, when rationing was in effect. To stretch the meat as far as possible, sausages in Great Britain at the time were made with lots of fillers—like water and other cheap fillers—and they had a tendency to burst (bang!) when cooked in a hot pan. Thus, “bangers”! As for ‘mash’, well, we bet you can figure that one out yourself.

butter and flour in a pan for gravy
homemade gravy in a pan with a whisk

Gather Your Ingredients

Now that you know a little more about the origins of bangers and mash, let’s talk ingredients! For the “mash” portion of this recipe—the mashed potatoes—we’re very partial to serving these super creamy roasted garlic mashed potatoes. To make the rest of it—the onions, gravy and bangers—you’ll need:

  • Bangers! We like to use mild pork sausages, but most any sausage you love will work here.
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Beef stock
  • Red onions
  • Brown sugar
  • Red chili flakes
  • Balsamic vinegar
gravy, sausage and caramelized onions in a braiser

How to Make Bangers and Mash

The “bangers” portion of any bangers and mash recipe is actually the fastest piece of the puzzle. Start by making the mashed potatoes—here’s our preferred mash recipe—and then move on to the onions, gravy and bangers.

  1. Make the oven-caramelized red onion wedges. These are different from caramelized onions cooked on the stove top. Tossed with sugar, chili flakes and balsamic vinegar, these roasted red onions are sweet and savory and, once they’re in the oven, they require nothing of you.
  2. Focus on the bangers! Fry the sausages in oil until they’re cooked all the way through.
  3. Make a quick gravy. We use the sausage drippings to whisk up a quick, beef stock-based gravy for our bangers and mash. Some bangers and mash recipes call for an onion gravy, but instead we incorporate the onion-y element in the form of those rich, oven-caramelized onions.
  4. Assemble! Top a big scoop of those creamy mashed potatoes with a couple of perfectly juicy bangers, a pour of gravy and caramelized onions to finish. Serve with a pint of your favorite ale!
sausage and garlic mashed potatoes with a caramelized onion gravy

Tools You’ll Need:

Bangers and mash is simple and comforting, but—we’ll just be straight up about this— it does use quite a few dishes. Here’s what you’ll need:

Sausage for Dinner!

Inexpensive, flavorful and fast, sausage is such an easy dinnertime centerpiece. Here are three more sausage recipes that are favorites in our homes:

sausage and garlic mashed potatoes with a caramelized onion gravy


We hope you love this bangers and mash recipe. It’s a big hit in our homes and if it is a hit for you, too, let us know! Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Bangers and Mash with Caramelized Onions

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  40 min
  • Cook Time:  1 hr 20 min
  • Calories: 686


Sausage & Gravy

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 mild pork sausages
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/4 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, to taste
  • 1 recipe Garlic Roasted Mashed Potatoes

Oven Caramelized Onions

  • 2 large red onions, peeled and cut into eight intact wedges
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place the onion wedges in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix the sugar, chili flakes, olive oil, balsamic and salt. Mix up the sauce and pour over the onions, stirring gently to coat and carefully keeping the wedges intact.Bake until tender, 35 to 50 minutes, stirring the onions once or twice. Let cool slightly on the baking sheet.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a large braiser or frying pan. Add the sausage links to the pan. Cook sausages turning often until no longer pink inside. This step can take up to 25 minutes depending on the size of your sausage. If needed you can deglaze the pan with 1-2 tablespoons of water, but don’t add too much water, because you want to save the caramelized, brown bits that collect on the bottom of the pan for the gravy. When the sausages are fully cooked, remove them from the pan and set aside.
  4. Add the butter to the pan. As the butter is melting, scrape the brown bits loose from the bottom of the pan. When the butter has stopped foaming, add the flour and sauté for 1 minute before slowly adding the beef stock ¼ cup at a time. Season with salt.
  5. Serve your bangers over a heap of mashed potatoes, covered in gravy and garnished with caramelized onions.

*Onion Recipe adapted from Leites Culinaria

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories686
  • Protein39 g
  • Carbohydrates80 g
  • Total Fat45 g
  • Dietary Fiber7 g
  • Cholesterol37 mg
  • sodium655 mg
  • Total Sugars18 g

Bangers and Mash with Caramelized Onions

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Michael Burkett

    How can you "stir" the onion wedges when they are simply laid out on a baking sheet? Makes no sense.

    Toss/flip/move them around : )

  • Jocelyn Kujala

    This was seriously delicious! Followed the recipe exactly. It is definitely a recipe I'll make again!

    Yay! So glad to hear that! We make it every year at St. Patty's day but should probably add it to the menu more often!