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Italian sausage and peppers is a flavorful, Italian-inspired one-dish dinner! With onions, garlic, and tomatoes in the pan as well, these juicy sausages are so versatile. Stuff them in toasted hoagie rolls for sandwiches, serve them over pasta or rice, or soak up the extra sauce with a loaf of crusty bread. Add a simple green salad on the side for an easy meal that the whole family will love!

Overhead image of a pan of Italian sausage peppers and onion garnished with parmesan and basil

Italian Sausage Peppers and Onion

An authentic Italian dish, the combination of Italian sausage and peppers is tough to beat! Not only is the meal easy to prepare, but there are so many different ways to enjoy it. Whether you make Italian sausage and peppers pasta, an Italian sausage and peppers sandwich, or just enjoy them on their own with bread and salad, the simple blend of crisp-tender veggies, sweet onions, zesty sausages, in a tomato, garlic, and herb sauce is always a hit!

Browning italian sausages in a skillet

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for Italian sausage and peppers on the stovetop. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Olive oil: to sauté the sausage and vegetables.
  • Italian sausage links: a package of uncooked links works well, but you can also start with fully-cooked sausage (see my notes below for those instructions).
  • Red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and sweet onion: fresh vegetables that add great flavor and texture in the dish.
  • Garlic: for even more flavor.
  • Crushed tomatoes: the base of the tomato sauce.
  • Brown sugar: in order to achieve great tomato flavor, it’s important to balance acidity and sweetness. Too much acid or too much sugar yields a sauce that tastes one-dimensional. The right amount of sugar perfectly balances the acidity of the tomatoes and the vinegar.
  • Parsley, basil, and oregano: herbs that give the dish authentic Italian flavor.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes: an optional ingredient to add spicy heat to the skillet.
  • Balsamic vinegar: a dash of acidity gives the dish a more complex flavor.
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper: to enhance the rest of the flavors in the dish.
Sauteing bell peppers and onions in a cast iron pan

How to Cook Italian Sausage and Peppers

This easy dinner comes together on the stove in just one pan!

  1. Brown the sausages in a large skillet with olive oil. Remove to a cutting board.
  2. Sauté the peppers, onions, and garlic.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, brown sugar, herbs, and red pepper flakes.
  4. Slice the sausage into thick rounds and return to the pan.
  5. Cover the skillet and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the sausage is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the balsamic vinegar. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and extra sugar, if necessary.
  7. Garnish with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese.
Pouring crushed tomatoes into a skillet

What to Serve with Italian Sausage Peppers and Onions

The sausage, pepper, and onion mixture is often served as sandwiches inside toasted hoagie rolls. You can also spoon the sauce over penne pasta, pair it with rice, risotto, or cauliflower rice, or just offer a delicious loaf of crusty no-knead bread, garlic bread, breadsticks, baguette, or homemade focaccia to soak up any extra juices.

These easy sides also go well with Italian sausage and peppers:

Close overhead image of a skillet full of Italian sausage and peppers

Storage

Leftover sausage and peppers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can also freeze the cooked dish for up to 3 months; however, the vegetables will be softer and mushier when thawed.

Reheat the mixture in a skillet over low heat, just until warmed through — about 7-10 minutes.

Hands holding a skillet of the best Italian sausage and peppers recipe on a wooden table with a side of bread

Recipe Variations

  • Use sweet Italian sausage, mild, or hot Italian sausages — whichever variety you prefer. Italian turkey sausage or chicken sausage will also work!
  • If starting with pre-cooked link sausages, slice them into rounds and brown in a skillet. Remove the browned sausage to a plate. Prepare the rest of the recipe as instructed, stirring the sausage into the sauce and peppers at the very end (since it doesn’t need that extra cooking time).
  • You can leave the sausage links whole, rather than slicing into smaller chunks. The whole sausage links may require a slightly longer cooking time.
  • Add a splash of red wine or chicken broth to deglaze the skillet (scraping up any browned bits) before adding the tomatoes and other ingredients.
  • Sliced fresh mushrooms would also be a great addition to the sauce and vegetables.
  • Don’t want to make a tomato sauce from scratch? Use a jar of store-bought marinara sauce instead of the tomatoes and seasoning!
Overhead image of a pan of italian sausage and peppers with bread on the side

Tips for the Best Italian Sausage and Peppers Recipe

  • Add the tomatoes and other ingredients to the skillet while the peppers and onions are still slightly firm. They will continue cooking in the pan with the sausage, and you don’t want to end up with mushy, over-cooked veggies at the end. Crisp-tender peppers and onions is the goal!
  • Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan after stirring in the tomatoes. These add great flavor to the sauce!
  • The sausage is done when it’s no longer pink in the center. If you’re using an instant read meat thermometer, you’ll know it’s ready when the sausage reaches an internal temperature of 160°F.
  • Garnish each serving with shaved or grated Parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs like basil or parsley.
Hands serving Italian sausage and peppers recipe on a dinner table

More Italian Sausage Recipes to Try

Overhead image of a pan of Italian sausage peppers and onion garnished with parmesan and basil

Italian Sausage and Peppers

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings 4 – 6 people
Calories 414 kcal
Italian sausage and peppers is a flavorful, Italian-inspired one-dish dinner!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 (1 ¼ lb.) package uncooked Italian sausage links (about 5 links)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh basil or parsley; grated Parmesan cheese
  • Optional, for serving: toasted hoagie rolls, a loaf of crusty bread, cooked rice, or cooked pasta

Instructions

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the sausages and brown on all sides, about 5-6 minutes total. They do not need to be cooked through at this point. Remove the sausages to a cutting board and let rest.
  • While the sausage rests, add remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the same skillet. Add peppers and onions and cook until just starting to soften, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, brown sugar, parsley flakes, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Slice the sausage into thick rounds (about 2 inches each), and then return the sausage to the skillet.
  • Cover the skillet and simmer until the sausage is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and additional brown sugar, if necessary. Garnish with fresh herbs and grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve over pasta or rice, or tuck inside toasted hoagie rolls.

Notes

  • Add the tomatoes and other ingredients to the skillet while the peppers and onions are still slightly firm. They will continue cooking in the pan with the sausage, and you don’t want to end up with mushy, over-cooked veggies at the end. Crisp-tender peppers and onions is the goal!
  • Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan after stirring in the tomatoes. These add great flavor to the sauce!
  • The sausage is done when it’s no longer pink in the center. If you’re using an instant read meat thermometer, you’ll know it’s ready when the sausage reaches an internal temperature of 160°F.
  • Garnish each serving with shaved or grated Parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs like basil or parsley.
  • Use sweet Italian sausage, mild, or hot Italian sausages — whichever variety you prefer. Italian turkey sausage or chicken sausage will also work!
  • If starting with pre-cooked link sausages, slice them into rounds and brown in a skillet. Remove the browned sausage to a plate. Prepare the rest of the recipe as instructed, stirring the sausage into the sauce and peppers at the very end (since it doesn’t need that extra cooking time).
  • You can leave the sausage links whole, rather than slicing into smaller chunks. The whole sausage links may require a slightly longer cooking time.
  • Add a splash of red wine or chicken broth to deglaze the skillet (scraping up any browned bits) before adding the tomatoes and other ingredients.
  • Sliced fresh mushrooms would also be a great addition to the sauce and vegetables.
  • Don’t want to make a tomato sauce from scratch? Use a jar of store-bought marinara sauce instead of the tomatoes and seasoning!

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the recipeCalories: 414kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 15gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 788mgPotassium: 559mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 851IUVitamin C: 51mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: italian sausage and peppers, italian sausage peppers and onions
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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