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+ servings

Italian Sausage and Peppers

Italian sausage and peppers is a flavorful, Italian-inspired one-dish dinner!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword italian sausage and peppers, italian sausage peppers and onions
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 - 6 people
Calories 414kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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!


Serving: 1/6 of the recipe | Calories: 414kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 788mg | Potassium: 559mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 851IU | Vitamin C: 51mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 2mg