what to serve with sausage peppers and onions

Ideas for What to Serve with Italian Sausage and Peppers

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Helpful Tips for Knowing What Goes Well with Italian Sausage, Peppers and Onions

One of the challenges with cooking a full meal, is knowing what side dishes to make that go with it. One of my most popular recipes is a family recipe for Italian sausage, peppers and onions. I originally wrote the article referring to the recipe as a side dish, but I realize that in actuality, it can be a main dish as well.

With this in mind, I decided to provide my readers and followers some helpful ideas for what side dishes go with my Italian sausage, peppers and onions recipe.

Providing Only Italian Side Dish Ideas that are Simple

When I first started thinking about this, I looked at some other food writers online to get my creative juices flowing, and it was more discouraging than I thought. Many of the “X Number of Side Dish Ideas” were written by people that in my personal opinion, were just grabbing whatever.

And certainly non-Italians can cook amazing Italian recipes and write about them too, but I just didn’t get that impression after reading their topics.

For those that I could tell put more thought into their ideas, well they provided sides that are just too involved for me. The topics I write about are simple Italian recipes, not complicated all day projects.

So with that in mind, I’m going to provide you some ideas that are simple to make. I hope you find a few choices that will help you.

Understanding What Side Dishes Will Go Well with Italian Sausage in General

Here are some tips for how to narrow down your own choices and why I’m choosing the list of ideas I’m including below. If you follow these principals it will help you come up with your own ideas for this recipe and other recipes that rely heavily on Italian sausage as a main ingredient.

Sausage is Greasy, Avoid Other Greasy Foods

Sausage is heavy and it’s greasy due to all the fat. So avoid side dishes that also greasy and high in fat. Try to choose items that are healthy and lighter fare.

Even it out with Vegetables

zucchini side dish for sausage and peppers

Sausage is not a light meat, like chicken, it’s heavy and greasy, so think about types of vegetables that will help balance out the “food pyramid” in your meal.

Match Side Dishes to the Season

One of the beauties with this particular dish is that you can use it anytime of the year. Try to use side dishes that are in season.

For example, if it’s sprint or summertime, consider grilling vegetables such as zucchini and eggplant. Use salads that include seasonal fruits such as peaches or berries.

If it’s winter or fall, try roasting winter crops such as buttternut squash or acord squash. And include nuts and dried fruits for your salads instead of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Do the Reverse if Sausage, Pepper and Onions were a Side Dish

Okay, so this is another way to get your ideas flow. Imagine if your sausage was a side dish. When would you serve sausage as a side dish? Well, for starters, it’s often a side for pasta. Now consider that it’s summer, and make yourself a pasta salad. If it’s during the colder months, make yourself a side of pasta in a small serving bowl – but use something that is scoopable with a spoon – such as penne, bow ties, etc. Not spaghetti or fettuccini.

Here are my Ideas for Side Dishes for a Sausage, Pepper and Onions Recipe

This list is by no means exhaustive. I’m not going to provide a recipe for each either, but if I happen to have one I’ll link to it for your reference. I hope this helps gets your brainstorming ideas flowing, and remember, keep it simple and keep it delicious!

  1. Artisan loaves of bread or dinner rolls. People may use these to make their own sausage sandwiches!
  2. Pizza. Pizza is a good option for a side dish because it can be easily divided.
  3. Pasta salad. I have a few pasta salad recipes but the one I’d recommend is pasta salad with sundried tomatoes.
  4. Warm Pasta. A nice bowl of pasta in the form of penne, farfalle, rigatoni, or baked pasta is always a winner. The tomato-based pasta sauce goes great next to the sausage and peppers. A perfect match.
  5. Fruit salad. This is a great balance to the heavy sausage.
  6. Spiralized zucchini pasta (zoodles). I’m including this for your guests who need gluten free dishes. Top with pasta sauce and you’re in business. Or you can also add in a handful of chopped tomatoes, garlic and a drizzle of olive oil plus a dash of Romano cheese, you’ll be in business with that too. 😉
  7. Roasted potatoes with Rosemary. I tend to mention this particular recipe with a number of my recipes, but it goes with so many things.
  8. Garlic mashed potatoes. Many people will suggest mashed potatoes, but they miss the mark by not suggesting garlic mashed potatoes. It’s so easy to make and isn’t overpowering, it’s better than any I’ve ever tasted in a restaurant. I can already taste the sausage with a scoop of the mashed potatoes on my fork just thinking about it!
  9. Artichokes (from a jar). These are always nice to serve in a small bowl. You can get them marinated or plain.
  10. Antipasto salad. This is another go-to for me and if you check out my recipe for it you’ll understand why. You can make it ahead of time and keep in the fridge up to a day in advance. It’s also super easy and quick to make it’s unreal. I make this recipe all year long. Add in some cannellini beans and well, that’s another post.
  11. Bruschetta. Preferably served in the summer, this recipe is great. It is light and easy to make. Goes great with the sausage and onions.
  12. Italian Mac and Cheese. Talk about comfort food, here’s a great side dish you can use anytime.
  13. Green leafy salad with olive oil and vinegar. This can as simple or complex as you’d like. I prefer mine simple and I’d not stray too far on the dressings either which could take away from the main meal. Even a greek dressing would be fine. But guests like a variety of dressings so if it’s a large crowd make sure to serve the salad without dressing and let the guests pick which dressing they want.
  14. Red Quinoa. This type of quinoa can be cooked plain according to package directions. When done cooking toss in some finely chopped garlic and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil when cooled. This healthy side dish has a slightly earthy flavor that will compliment the sausage and peppers. It also tastes great served cold or warm.
  15. Caprese Skewers. I’m finishing with this one. These are great in the summer when you’ve got fresh cherry tomatoes and basil available and in season. Simple alternate the cherry tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella balls and serve on skewer sticks (not wood ones), and they make for great party small talk. Make sure people know they can just slide them off and then drizzle some olive oil on them with some balsamic vinegar (if you have balsamic fig vinegar try that too!).

Hopefully you’ll get some great ideas rolling from my list above and helpful tips. I did my best to keep these as Italian-themed as possible and I hope you appreciate it!

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Ideas for What to Serve with Italian Sausage and Peppers

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