Pigs in blankets

Pigs in blankets or kilted soldiers is a dish served in the United Kingdom and Ireland consisting of small sausages (usually chipolatas) wrapped in bacon. They are a popular and traditional accompaniment to roast turkey in a Christmas dinner and are served as a side dish.

Pigs in blankets
Pigs in blankets, prepped but not yet cooked
Alternative namesSoldiers in kilts
TypeSausage wrapped in bacon
CourseSide dish
Place of originUK and Ireland
Main ingredientsChipolata, cocktail sausage, hot dog or other sausage
Food energy
(per serving)
325 per 100g kcal
Pigs in blankets surrounding a roasted turkey
Pigs in blankets
Berner Würstel

Description and history

Pigs in blankets is a dish served in the United Kingdom and Ireland consisting of small sausages (usually chipolatas) wrapped in bacon.[1][2][3][4]

The first recipes appeared in 1957,[5][2] and the dish was popularized in the 1990s by Delia Smith, who included a recipe in a cook book.[2] The first commercially produced versions appeared around the same time.[2]

In general it is a seasonal item, seldom offered commercially outside the Christmas season, and it has spawned food-industry offshoot products such as pigs-in-blankets flavoured mayonnaise, peanuts, chips, vaping liquid, and chocolates as well as versions of Christmas-associated consumer items such as pajamas made with a pigs-in-blankets print.[6][7] Tesco in 2019 reported that a majority of shoppers they surveyed planned to serve the dish at Christmas dinner and that more planned to serve pigs in blankets than any other side dish, including Yorkshire pudding, another traditional Christmas dish.[8]

Ingredients, preparation, and serving

Traditionally the sausage used is a cocktail-sized pork-based chipolata and the wrapping a streaky bacon, but variations include those using chorizo or chicken sausage, using sausages with added ingredients such as apples or chestnuts, using full-sized chipolatas, or using flavored or smoked bacon.[2] Commercially available varieties may have around 325 calories and 22 g of fat per 100 g serving.[9]

The wrapped sausages may be pan-fried, baked, or a combination.[2][10]

They are a popular and traditional accompaniment to roast turkey in a Christmas dinner and are served as a side dish.[2][11][12] They may also be served on Boxing Day.[13]


According to Good Housekeeping and Yahoo News, they are considered a staple of the Christmas season.[14][15] One online butcher promotes a National Pigs in Blankets Day each December since 2013.[16][17][18]

Similar dishes

In Denmark, there is a bacon-wrapped sausage served in a bun known as the Pølse i svøb, which means "sausage in blanket", usually sold at hot dog stands known as pølsevogne (sausage-wagons).[19][20][21][22][23]

In Austria and Germany, a sausage filled with cheese and wrapped in bacon is known as Berner Würstel or Bernese sausages.[24]

In Luxembourg, Blanne Jang is a scalded sausage filled with cheese and wrapped in bacon.[25][26]

Similarly named dishes

The American dish pigs in a blanket is sometimes confused with this dish, but their only similarity is the name and the fact the foundation ingredient is a wrapped sausage;[27] the US dish wraps sausage in bread or pastry.

In some parts of the US heavily influenced by Polish immigration, "pigs in a blanket" may refer to stuffed cabbage rolls, such as the Polish gołąbki.[28][29]

See also


  1. Lee, Jeremy (26 November 2017). "The great Christmas taste test 2017". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  2. "Everything you want to know about pigs in blankets". Erudus. 2 December 2021. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  3. Thompson, Rachel (24 December 2018). "I ate 100 different 'pigs in blankets' at a sausage party and it was painfully delicious". Mashable. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  4. Whitfield, David (19 December 2017). "What are prisoners in Notts going to be eating for their Christmas Day dinner?". NottinghamshireLive. Retrieved 22 October 2022.
  5. Long, Charlotte (20 December 2015). "The history of everything on your Christmas dinner plate". Metro. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  6. "This country's obsession with pigs in blankets needs to stop". UK. 17 December 2020. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  7. Torres, Sara (15 October 2022). "We tried Tesco's Christmas Pudding Crisps so you don't have to". LeicestershireLive. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  8. Sim, Keren (2 December 2019). "Pigs in Blankets beat Yorkshire puddings for nation's favourite Christmas trimming". Good Housekeeping. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  9. "Counting calories this Christmas? Beware the pigs in blankets". the Guardian. 21 December 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  10. "How to Cook Pigs in Blankets". Recipes And Tips To Cook At Home. Retrieved 23 October 2022.
  11. Neild, Barry (14 December 2013). "Turkey, pigs in blankets, even sprouts… but no Christmas pudding, thanks". The Observer. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  12. "Classic pigs in blankets". BBC Good Food. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  13. "British Pigs in a Blanket Recipe". The Spruce Eats. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  14. "Easy pigs in blankets recipe". Good Housekeeping. 25 August 2022. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  15. "Turkey and mulled wine: Traditional Christmas items Britons may abandon due to cost of living". news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  16. "Head to Iceland for this year's tastiest pigs in blankets". Good Housekeeping. 12 October 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  17. Gibbons, Brett (24 November 2021). "Pigs In Blankets pop-up restaurant devotes complete menu to festive favourite". WalesOnline. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  18. "Celebrate the Launch of the UK's First Ever National Pigs In Blankets Day". ResponseSource Press Release Wire. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  19. Berdichevsky, Norman (10 October 2011). An Introduction to Danish Culture. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-8652-6.
  20. Hawk Krall. "Hot Dog of the Week: Danish Hot Dog". seriouseats.com. Archived from the original on 19 November 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  21. Søndergaard, Marianne (10 July 2014). "Danske hotdogs hitter i New York [Danish hot dogs is a hit in New York]". foodculture.dk (in Danish). Archived from the original on 17 April 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  22. "You've Gotta Eat This: Pølse I Svob, Denmark". AWOL. 17 October 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2022.
  23. "Fast food with a pedigree". The Independent. 26 January 2003. Retrieved 23 October 2022.
  24. "This is how Bernese sausages are made". WIFF. Archived from the original on 2 January 2014.
  25. "Iessen op der Fouer" (in German). 18 August 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  26. Péporté, Pit (2011). Constructing the Middle Ages: Historiography, Collective Memory and Nation-Building in Luxembourg. Leiden: BRILL. p. 249. ISBN 9789004210677.
  27. Lewis, Anna (30 January 2020). "This American Magazine Got Pigs In Blankets Confused With Sausage Rolls". Delish. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  28. Silverman, Deborah Anders (2000). Polish-American Folklore. University of Illinois Press. p. 28. ISBN 0-252-02569-5.
  29. Long, Lucy M., ed. (2016). Ethnic American Cooking. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 234. ISBN 978-1-4422-6734-3.
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