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 is 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. Many refer to this recipe as sausage, peppers and onions. Classic combo!
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 to make sausage and peppers, shall we?
Sausage and Peppers Ingredients
- The Sausage. 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...
- Olive oil
- Sweet onion (or use yellow onion)
- Red wine or chicken broth (or water)
- Fire roasted tomatoes (you can use canned diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, or tomato sauce as well)
- Dried basil (or use fresh chopped)
- Dried oregano (or use fresh chopped)
- Spicy red pepper flakes (for a spicier version, optional)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
How to Make Sausage and Peppers - the Recipe Method
Brown the Italian Sausages. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the Italian sausages and brown the sausages on each side, about 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove the sausages and set them aside. Return the pan to medium heat.
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.
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 marinara sauce.
Simmer. Reduce heat and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes to 20 minutes or until you've cooked the sausages through and the mixture becomes a bit saucy.
Serve and enjoy!
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. Time to chow down on some sausage, peppers and onions. Delish!
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.
- The Sauce. The sauce ingredients break down to create a wonderfully flavorful tomato sauce, which perfectly compliments the other ingredients. You can save time by using your favorite store bought marinara sauce. Just simmer the sausages, peppers and onions in the sauce until cooked through.
- How Long Do Sausage and Peppers Last? This dish will last a week if kept covered in the refrigerator. They will keep in the freezer for 6 months.
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 or hoagie roll and pile on the peppers and onions around it. Try serving it with pasta. You can also serve it over rice or cauliflower rice. Try it with spicy Fra Diavolo sauce. This is comfort food at its finest.
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!
Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes
- Pepper and Egg Sandwich
- Chicago-Style Hot Dog
- Italian Giardiniera
- Choripan Argentina (Grilled Chorizo Sausage)
- Bacon Wrapped Beer Brats
- Grilled Beer Brats
- Italian Sausage Stuffed Peppers
- Shrimp Fra Diavolo
- Muffaletta Sandwich
- Italian Chicken Drumsticks with Peppers and Paprika
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
- 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
- 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!
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 11/13/20 to include new information and video. It was originally published on 6/3/20.