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3 June 2020

This sausage and peppers recipe is an Italian-American classic, with sweet bell peppers served with Italian sausage. Serve it on its own or on a bun! Make it mild or spicy.

Who’s in the mood for a super easy yet flavor dinner? I know I am. Always! This is one of the easiest recipes out there, with spicy Italian sausages and lots of peppers that all comes together in a recipe I grew up with.

We’re talking Sausage and Peppers, and it just might become one of your new favorites. Print this one out, my spicy food loving friends! And non-spicy food loving friends, too! This recipe is super easy to adapt to any spice level, so if you prefer your food on the milder side, this recipe is sure to please.

This sausage and peppers recipe is classic Italian-American food served in Italian delis and restaurants all across the United States. It it traditionally made with Italian sausage and sweet peppers, such as colorful bell peppers, though some cooks like to add other ingredients, like onion, garlic, tomatoes or tomato sauce.

Preparation will vary between different home cooks, and you have a variety of ways you can serve it. I grew up on Italian sausage and peppers. Now I like to make a spicy version (shocker, I know), with jalapeno peppers and sweet peppers along with spicy chili flakes and hot Italian sausage. I’ll show you how to make a milder version in the recipe notes below.

Let’s talk about how we make sausage and peppers, shall we?

Sausage and Peppers ready to eat straight from the pan

Sausage and Peppers Ingredients

  • The Sausage. 4 Italian Sausages. I use hot Italian sausages in my recipe, but use sweet Italian sausage for a milder version. This recipe also works with other sausages, such as turkey Italian sausage, brats, Polish sausage or chorizo.
  • The Peppers. Sweet peppers or bell peppers are traditionally used to make sausage and peppers. I like to use a couple of colorful bells, like orange, yellow or red bell pepper, along with jalapeno peppers in place of the green bell pepper. Slice them into strips, or chop them up to your preference.
  • The Extras. You’ll also need…
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine (or use chicken broth or water)
  • 15 ounces fire roasted tomatoes (you can use canned diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, or tomato sauce as well)
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil (or use fresh chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (or use fresh chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon spicy red pepper flakes (for a spicier version, optional)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Bell peppers and jalapeno peppers for making sausage and peppers for dinner

How to Make Sausage and Peppers – the Recipe Method

Brown the Italian Sausages. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the Italian sausages and brown them on each side, about 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove the sausages and set them aside. Return the pan to medium heat.

Browning sausages in a hot pan

Cook the Peppers. Add the sliced onion and pepper and cook them down for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to get all of the peppers. Cook until they begin to soften up. I like to get a bit of a char on them.

Cooking down the peppers

Add the garlic and cook another minute, until the garlic is fragrant.

Deglaze. Add the red wine (or broth or water) to the plan to deglaze it. White wine is good, too. Scrape up any of the flavorful brown bits from the bottom. Cook for 3-4 minutes to reduce the liquid.

Sauce it Up. Add the tomatoes, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Return the sausages to the pan – just nestle them into the peppers and sauce.

Simmering my Sausage and Peppers in a hot pan

Simmer. Reduce heat and bring to a simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the sausages cook through and the mixture becomes a bit saucy.

Serve and enjoy!

Sausage and Peppers ready to eat

Boom! Done! Sausage and peppers is very easy to make. It’s great for a simple weeknight dinner or an anytime meal. You don’t need a lot of ingredients, with a primary focus on the peppers and the sausages.

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • Extra Spicy Sausage and Peppers. If you’re looking for an even spicier version, add in some hotter peppers to your preference. I like to include serrano peppers sometimes for myself. Add in a spicy habanero pepper, or toss a ghost pepper into the mix for a seriously hot version. I know you want to, you crazy chilihead.
  • Mild Sausage and Peppers. Traditional sausage and peppers is not meant to be spicy. If you’re looking for a milder version, use sweet Italian sausages and use either bell peppers or other Italian sweet peppers. You’ll still get great flavor with this recipe.

Sausage and Peppers sizzling in a pan

Serving Suggestions for Sausage and Peppers

You can serve sausage and peppers on their own on a plate, or add a sausage to a bun or Italian roll and pile on the peppers around it. Try serving it with prepared pasta. You can also serve it over rice or cauliflower rice.

That’s it, my friends. I hope you enjoy your sausage and peppers! It’s such a great recipe. Let me know if you make it. I’d love to hear how it turned out for you. Did you make a milder version? Spicy version?

Let’s hear it!

Sausage and Peppers in a hot pan, ready for dinner

Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes

Sausage and Peppers in a hot pan with chili flakes and chopped green herbs

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Sausage and Peppers Recipe
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4.86 from 7 votes

Sausage and Peppers Recipe

This sausage and peppers recipe is an Italian-American classic, with sweet bell peppers served with Italian sausage. Serve it on its own or on a bun! Make it mild or spicy.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: bell peppers, Italian sausage, jalapeno, one pan
Servings: 4
Calories: 585kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 Italian Sausages I used hot, but use sweet for a milder version - try it with turkey Italians for a lighter version
  • 3 Bell Peppers sliced into strips (Use a variety of colors - I use 3-4 jalapeno peppers instead of green bell for a spicier version, along with 2 colorful bells)
  • 1 medium sweet onion sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine or use chicken broth or water
  • 15 ounces fire roasted tomatoes you can use canned diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, or tomato sauce as well
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil or use fresh chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano or use fresh chopped
  • 1 tablespoon spicy red pepper flakes for a spicier version, optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan to medium heat. Add the Italian sausages and brown them on each side, about 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove the sausages and set them aside. Return the pan to medium heat.
  • Add the sliced peppers and onions to the pan and cook them down for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to get all of the peppers. Cook until they begin to soften up. I like to get a bit of a char on them.
  • Add the garlic and cook another minute, until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the red wine (or white wine, broth or water) to the plan to deglaze it. Scrape up any of the flavorful brown bits from the bottom. Cook for 3-4 minutes to reduce the liquid.
  • Add the tomatoes, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Return the sausages to the pan - just nestle them into the peppers and sauce.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the sausages cook through and the mixture becomes a bit saucy.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Serving Suggestions: You can serve sausage and peppers on their own on a plate, or add a sausage to a bun or Italian roll and pile on the peppers around it. Try serving it with prepared pasta. You can also serve it over rice or cauliflower rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 585kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 1023mg | Potassium: 633mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 3830IU | Vitamin C: 122mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 4mg
Sausage and Peppers

12 comments

  1. 4 stars
    Good job, Mike. This is a classic recipe that captures the soul of the Abruzzese.
    I can only say that I hope folks have access to high-quality Italian sausage. I lived out West for a couple of decades and it was damn near impossible to find anyone who knew how to make it correctly. We used to bring 10 or 20 pounds back when we we visited relatives in New York, because nothing out there came close to what we could buy in a grocery store in the neighborhood.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      5 stars
      Thanks, Phil. Agreed, a good quality sausage is key in this recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    I have to be frank Mike, I was a bit skeptical with this one. But I totally trust your taste, so I cooked it … Excellent! of course it’s simple, but ….soooo tasty! I just added some fennel seeds which seemed to me conform with classic Italian sausages. Great recipe, again and always! thanks Mike!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Great, Jeremie! I love it. So glad you enjoyed it. Definitely simple, but big where I come from. Nice addition of the fennel seeds.

  3. 5 stars
    Tried your Sausage and Peppers. Great easy meal.
    Served with a Cajun macaroni salad because
    my sausages were Cajun.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, B! Super happy you enjoyed it! Nice side.

  4. Christofer M Fay

    5 stars
    Brilliant. Had to use Chorizo Sausages from an English store, but lost nothing in the translation…

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Great, Christofer! Glad you enjoyed it! I appreciate your comments.

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve been having some stomach troubles, so I’m gonna be careful. I’ve got 5 sweet Italian sausages. I’ll use red/orange/yellow bells … and deseeded jalapenos. I don’t like wine but I make a rich chicken stock. And instead of your spice blend, I’m going to use 1-2 T. of American-style za’ataar (oregano + thyme substituted for hyssop — I have that kind, too) and 1-2 T. of smoked paprika. (Amounts adjusted because I’m using an extra sausage and I just love that spice combo.)

    When I was a kid, my family went to the Amish Kutztown Festival in Kutztown, PA every summer for many summers. Every day at 1 pm they killed and butchered a pig. One stall over, they sold sausage and pepper sandwiches on hoagie rolls. And that’s how I’m going to serve this up. (We were also devouring funnel cakes, in the mid-’60s, way before they became popular.)

    1. 5 stars
      Mike, you MUST check out this food52.com recipe: Sichuan Mouth-Numbing Cold Noodles. It has the best Sichuan chili oil recipe I’ve ever seen, a triple-garlic Sichuan oil with 5 dried chili peppers, 2 T. red Sichuan peppercorns, 4 T. chili flakes, ~11 cloves of garlic, a 1-inch nub of ginger, 1 star anise, and the garlic is done 3 ways: 1/2-head infused, minced toasted, and fresh-minced. Seriously, dude, it doesn’t get much better than that!

      1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

        Sounds wonderful! I will check it out!

    2. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Hollis. Enjoy! Great memories!






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