Easy Italian Sausage Peppers and Onions Recipe

This Italian sausage, peppers and onion recipe is easy, simple, and absolutely delicious.  This Italian recipe is from my mother and is always a hit for parties, family get togethers, and holiday meals. 

how to make italian peppers sausage and onion recipe

I’m sharing this sausage, peppers and onions recipe with you so you too can use it as a must-have in your go-to stash of recipe favorites.

The flexibility of this recipe makes it a great accompaniment to larger meals such as a pasta bakelasagna, or even with eggplant cutlets (one of my favorite recipes)! 

It can also be a main meal with its own side dishes. 

We still use this recipe in our family today, and it will certainly satisfy any meat lover. It’s one of those dishes that smells so delicious as the sausage, onions and peppers all cook together.

Ingredients for Italian Sausage, Peppers and Onions Recipe

italian sausage peppers onions ingredients

Everything for this recipe can be bought at your local grocery store. It only takes 45 minutes from start to finish with most of the time spent in the oven cooking.  

Here are the main ingredients that you will need.

  • Olive oil
  • Italian sausage
  • Green bell peppers
  • Onions

About Italian sausage

Italian sausage is not the same as regular sausage. It includes Italian seasoning in the meat that gives it its distinct flavor and aroma. Here are the three types of sausage I most commonly see in the grocery store. 

  • hot Italian sausages (aka spicy Italian sausages)
  • sweet Italian sausages
  • mild Italian sausages

Unless you know your family or friends are fine with hot and spicy foods, I’d recommend either sweet Italian sausage or mild Italian sausage for this particular Italian sausage recipe. Either kind of sausage is fine to choose so don’t fret if you’re wondering which one is best; they both are winners. 

​About the peppers

The recipe I grew up with uses mostly regular green bell peppers, onion and sausage together. You can add in yellow, red or even orange bell peppers, but keep in mind these other peppers are sweeter than green peppers. 

The green peppers compliment the sausage best in my opinion, but adding some extra other peppers can help with variety and certainly add a nice splash of color in the presentation! 

In the end, it’s totally up to you. Some people don’t like green peppers at all, in which case don’t use them. This recipe is so flexible as you’ll see in the many comments below as people share their own variations. 

About the onions

Nothing earth-shattering here with the kind of onions you can use. I prefer the yellow onions as I think they blend perfectly for this sausage, peppers and onions recipe.

If you try vidalia onions, they will be sweet which some people love. You can also try some red onion for a more Mediterranean flavor. 

How to Cook Italian Sausage, Peppers, and Onions

My family recipe has a step that some people like to skip, and that’s frying all the ingredients on a stove in a frying pan prior to cooking them in the oven. 

If you prefer to skip the frying, make sure to read the next section since the cooking requirements will change.

Step 1. Chop the onions and peppers into 1″ wide chunks.

Step 2. Cut the Italian sausage links into thirds or smaller.

Step 3. In a deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. 

peppers and onions cooking in pan

Step 4. Add the peppers and onions and cook  5 to 10 minutes or until the peppers and onions are soft and limp. Then remove them to a plate or oven baking dish if your skillet is not oven proof.

sausage cooking in pan

Step 5. Add the Italian sausage and 2 Tablespoons of water to prevent burning. Cook over medium heat for about 12 minutes until the sausage turns brown on all sides. Make sure to turn them frequently to evenly cook. 

PRO TIP: Just because the sausage looks cooked, don’t think it is unless it is at 165F. We want to finish cooking the sausage in the oven. 

Step 6. Once the sausage is cooked on the outside with a nice brown color, turn off the stove and add the peppers and onions back in.  

Step 7. Transfer to the oven, cover and bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until the sausage registers 165F internal temperature. 

PRO TIP: If you don’t have an oven proof skillet, transfer the mixture to a baking dish and make sure to transfer all the browned bits.  

sausage peppers and onions in serving bowl

How to Cook in the Oven with No Frying 

I’m not going to fault anyone who prefers not to fry the ingredients. If you want to just bake the sausage recipe in the oven, follow these steps. 

Step 1. Prepare the ingredients as above and place in an oven proof dish.

Step 2. Drizzle with olive oil (don’t need a lot)  to lightly coat the ingredients. 

Step 3. Cover and bake everything at 350F for about 45 minutes or until the internal temp of the sausage reaches 165F.  

I do think you lose a little bit of flavor without frying, but honestly, it will still taste and smell amazing.

Sausage and Green Pepper Substitutions

Green peppers, sausage, onion, and olive oil are all you need for this recipe. But you can make some substitutions if you’d like. Here are some recipe ideas. 

  • Use both green and red peppers.  Many people like the sweetness red peppers have.   
  • Top your cooked sausages with some meatless marinara pasta sauce.
  • Don’t cut up your sausage, instead cook the whole links intact and then serve them in hot dog buns for a sausage and peppers sandwich.
  • Try other meats instead of pork sausage. If you are concerned with using pork sausage, I can relate.  Although I love the taste of regular sausage, that doesn’t change the fact that it is really hard on the digestive system and loaded with saturated fat. Choose some turkey sausage or my favorite, chicken sausage instead. However, make sure to still go with organic brands to avoid the unnecessary use of chemicals, nitrates and the like.

​Preparation, Storage and Reheating Tips

italian sausage peppers onions on plate

Here are some additional tips you can use to get the most out of this one pan dinner.

How to prepare in advance?

If you want to prepare your sausage and peppers recipe in advance, no problem! Simply prep all the ingredients and store in airtight containers for a day ahead of time. 

How to store sausage and peppers?

If you manage to have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you want to store them longer, then label and date the containers and place in the freezer.

Try to use the recipe before 3 months, but generally the dish should be good up to 6 months before losing freshness. 

How to reheat?

To reheat your sausage and peppers, let it thaw overnight in the fridge if frozen. Then place in an oven proof baking dish and bake for 20 minutes at 350F.

To reheat your dish over the stove, place the leftovers in a large skillet over medium heat, covered for 10 minutes. Add a Tablespoon of water to create steam and to keep the dish from drying out. 

Additional Recipe Tips

  • Don’t use garlic. Avoid using fresh garlic to try and make some roasted garlic. One time I decided to add some garlic in with the other ingredients. Big mistake. The garlic will burn, especially in the oven.
  • Cooking sausage is deceiving. When you cook the Italian sausage in the skillet, it will no doubt, start to blacken on the outside as it pan fries. Do not think that this means the sausage is cooked through. Use a cooking thermometer to measure the temperature and you’ll be surprised how under cooked it actually is. 
  • Don’t rush the recipe. When cooking sausage, I find that slow and steady wins the race. If you try to cook the meat too quickly, the sausage will burn creating a mess in your pan.
  • Serve with vegetables. Since this is a heavy meat dish, I recommend serving it with vegetables on the side if using it as a main dish. 

What to serve with Italian Sausage, Peppers and Onions

When growing up, we’d most often have this recipe as a complimentary side dish at holidays. Here are some ideas for what this recipe goes with. 

easy Italian meatless lasagna recipe th

This recipe goes great as a side to a simple meatless lasagna.

eggplant-parmesan-th

Another recipe that this can be served with is eggplant parmesan

Italian Potato salad th

Enjoy this recipe with an Italian potato salad. This is perfect for picnics!

Similar Recipes You May Enjoy

Here are some additional Italian recipes you may also really like to try. 

how to make fried zucchini

Fried Zucchini is perfect for warm summer months and can even be reheated!

what is tripe

If you love meats, check out this article to learn what is Tripe and how to eat it.

antipasto platter

If anyone loves this pepper, sausage and onion recipe, they’ll also love a meat-filled antipasto tray. Learn how to make an antipasto platter everyone will love!

Italian stuffed cubanelles

If you love peppers, try this recipe for Italian stuffed cubanelles.

This recipe holds its own with its easy preparation, simple ingredients, and quick cooking. I grew up with my mother making this Italian sausage, peppers and onions recipe and there were never any leftovers!  Let me know if you try it and if you make your own modifications. I’d love to hear from you!

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peppers, sausage and onion

Italian Sausage, Peppers and Onions Recipe

Here's one of our Italian family recipes for sausage, peppers and onions. It's so easy to make and is great for parties, side dishes, and holidays. Goes great with pasta and has lots of flavor!
4.22 from 42 votes
Print Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 86kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 green peppers chopped or mix of colored peppers
  • 1 onion chopped in large chunks
  • 1 package Italian sausage cut in thirds or quarters

Instructions

  • Wash peppers and onions thoroughly and cut into 1" pieces.
  • Cut sausage into thirds or quarters.
  • Fry the peppers and onions in olive oil for about 10 minutes over medium heat until they are soft and tender.
    1-2 green peppers chopped, 1 onion chopped in large chunks, 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Remove from the skillet and place the onions and peppers off to the side.
  • Add about 2 Tablespoons of water to the skillet and add the sausage and fry until brown on all sides, about 12 minutes over medium heat. Turn frequently.
    1 package Italian sausage
  • Turn off the stove and transfer the onions and peppers in with the sausage. If the skillet is not oven proof, then transfer everything to an oven proof baking dish.
  • Bake covered, at 350F for 30 minutes or until meat reaches an internal temp of 165F.

Notes

Nutritional information is an estimate based on API calculations.
Tips:
  • This is a great recipe for cookouts and picnics. It is magnifico!
  • Side dishes for this are Italian breads, macaroni salad, pasta salad, tomatoes and olive oil, bruschetta, salad, spinach, grilled vegetables with balsamic vinegar (yum!), roasted potatoes, potato salad. 

Nutrition

Calories: 86kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 0.2mg | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 145mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 221IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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Easy Italian Sausage Peppers and Onions RecipeEasy Italian Sausage Peppers and Onions RecipeEasy Italian Sausage Peppers and Onions RecipeEasy Italian Sausage Peppers and Onions RecipeEasy Italian Sausage Peppers and Onions RecipeEasy Italian Sausage Peppers and Onions RecipeEasy Italian Sausage Peppers and Onions RecipeEasy Italian Sausage Peppers and Onions Recipe

49 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Added sundried tomatoes and served on top of pasta and leftovers on cheesy garlic bread. Amazing!!

  2. I’m going to make these as an appetizer with 1/2 strips of peppers and onions and serve for my church’s Super Bowl party sunday

  3. 5 stars
    I added mushrooms and 1/4 of Rao’s spaghetti sauce before putting it in the oven. Served with avocado salad and cauliflower rice. Delicious. Thank you.

  4. 5 stars
    I made it today i substituted tomato paste for tomato sauce and reduce the broth amount excellent .

  5. It depends on how much you are making, but enough olive oil to brown the pieces. Maybe start with 3 Tablespoons and add more if needed. Yes you can add salt and pepper but I dont think it really needs it.

  6. I know this may sound strange, but my Italian Mom always added a little ketchup instead of sauce. It made it a little sweeter. It tasted amazingly good.

  7. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I made it for a Sunday dinner, no sauce or pasta but with rice, collards and cabbage. Cornbread probably would have been a nice addition too.

  8. 5 stars
    I add some garlic and Italian herbs – 1 or 2 tsp of a dried blend if I don’t have fresh on hand – and serve it over polenta, topped with a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan. One of my family’s favorite meals!

    Will definitely try it with chicken or turkey sausage, and some of the other suggestions, which all sound wonderful.

  9. Looks good and should be great with any sausage. Thanks. I am going to try with a good brand turkey sausage.

  10. 5 stars
    I made it today and it was so amazingly delicious! I added chopped garlic with the onions, and I added a little bit of wine with the bell peppers. I used Italian sweet sausage. Thank you so much both my husband and I loved it!!!

  11. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I cooked the sausage whole first with no oil. Then I cooked green red and yellow pepper strips and onion in a small amount of olive oil and added garlic. The peppers were still a bit firm when I took them out of the pan. I put the sausage and peppers and onions in a 9 x 13 pan with no additional olive oil but sprinkled fresh grated Parmesan cheese on top. Baked for 15 minutes at 375. Peppers were perfect. Soft but not mushy! Served with summer sides. Whole family loved it!

  12. I have this recipe for over 30 years. I do pre cook my peppers onion and I use sweet Italian sausage.
    The difference is I use spaghetti sauce, Ramino Cheese, basil and oregano…but I cook mine in a 5 quart crock pot on low for 5 hours.
    I serve mine on rolls. Love this recipe.

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