Italian Sausage and Peppers

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Italian sausage and peppers—it doesn’t get any more iconic than this sweet and spicy dish bursting with summer vegetables and juicy Italian sausage. Perfect for big family get togethers or potlucks; slice up some crusty bread and everyone can dish up their own, just the way they like it.

Italian sausage and peppers in a cast iron skillet.


Summer peppers and tomatoes are right around the corner, and this is the perfect way to make them shine. Load them into a Hoagie roll for the best sandwich ever, or serve them over pasta;  your Sunday suppers just got a little more delicious!

How do you make Italian Sausage and Peppers?

This recipe comes together fast, before you’ve finished the first glass of Chianti. After browning the sausages, they’re sliced into pieces.

After that, peppers, onions, and garlic are added to the same skillet and cooked until soft. Then the sausages are returned to the pan with tomatoes, herbs, and tomato paste. Everything simmers together until fragrant and tender.

What kind of sausage do you you use for Italian Sausage and Peppers?

It’s very important that you find good Italian sausage for this recipe. Try a good Italian deli, if you’re lucky enough to have one in your area. I like to use mild sausage with lots of fennel seed inside. If you prefer, you can use sweet and hot chicken sausage, too.

What do you serve Italian Sausage and Peppers with?

Besides serving this classic meal on Hoagie rolls, you can spoon this over pasta, rice, polenta, Italian garlic bread…or just eat it by itself!

Can you make Italian Sausage and Peppers for a crowd?

Absolutely, and I recommend it. The more the merrier! My recipe card has a feature that allows you to change the number you’re serving, and ingredients are adjusted accordingly.

Can you make Italian Sausage and Peppers with balsamic vinegar?

Many many cooks add a healthy glug or two of balsamic vinegar to this dish to bring out the natural sweetness of the peppers. If you adore balsamic vinegar, by all means, add it.

Three hoagiess with Italian sausage and peppers.

Can you make Italian sausage and peppers in the Instant Pot?

It doesn’t get any more instant than this!

  1. Hit SAUTE; when it reads hot, add olive oil and then add sausages. Cook for about 5 minutes, then remove them from the Instant Pot and set aside.
  2. Add ¼ cup water to deglaze the pot, then add onions, peppers, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs, and salt and pepper. Return sausages to pot.
  3. Pour ½ cup water into the pot, close lid and seal the vent.
  4. Cook at pressure for 5 minutes.
  5. Quick release the vent, open lid, and stir well.

Can you make Italian Sausage and Peppers in a crock pot or slow cooker?

This is a perfect dish for the slow cooker. Think of how good your house will smell when you get home.

  1. Combine diced tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, red pepper flakes and olive oil in the bowl of a slow cooker.
  2. Stir in onion, sliced bell peppers and Italian sausage. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook on low 6 hours, then add the basil and give everything a good stir.

Can you make Italian Sausage and Peppers in the oven?

If you have oven room to spare, then of course you can make this dish in the oven:

  1. Place the sweet sausages, sliced peppers, onions, tomato paste, and chopped garlic in a shallow baking dish.
  2. Next, sprinkle with dried basil, pepper flakes, and oregano and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Wrap the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Then remove the aluminum foil, add the diced tomatoes, then bake uncovered for another 30-40 minutes.

How long does Italian sausage take to cook?

This recipe calls for pre-browning the sausages for about 5 minutes, but they fully cook later on in with the peppers and tomatoes. If you’re using frozen sausages, thaw them out before you start to cook them. Once they reach 160 degrees, they’re done.

Can you freeze Italian Sausage and Peppers?

Properly stored, this recipe will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. If you’d like to freeze the dish, store it in airtight containers or zip-top freezer bags. It should be fine for 1-2 months. Italian sausage and peppers can be made in big batches and frozen in smaller containers to break out later when you don’t feel like cooking.

What goes well with Italian Sausage and Peppers?

I’d dig out that big wooden bowl in the back of the kitchen cabinet and make a giant Caesar salad with my Homemade Caesar Dressing, for starters. Maybe some creamy polenta or buttered pasta too, in case you run out of bread…

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Italian sausage and peppers in a black cast iron skillet.

Italian Sausage and Peppers

Italian sausage and peppers—it doesn’t get any more iconic than this sweet and spicy dish bursting with summer vegetables and juicy Italian sausage. Perfect for big family get togethers or potlucks; slice up some crusty bread and everyone can dish up their own, just the way they like it.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Calories 251
5 from 6 votes



  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add oil and heat until shimmering. Add sausages and cook until browned on all sides (sausages will not be fully cooked), about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, slice into 1-to-2 inch pieces. 
  • Reduce heat to medium. To the skillet, add onions and peppers. Cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Return sliced sausage to pan. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes (if using). Bring to a simmer and cook until sausage is cooked through and sauce has thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve on rolls if desired.


Calories: 251kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 7gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 326mgPotassium: 199mgFiber: 3gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1027IUVitamin C: 61mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 11mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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