Italian Sausage and Peppers cooked on the stove is a quick and easy method for getting an Italian-style meal on the table in under 30 minutes. No par-boiling, baking, or grilling required.
I don’t use a marinara sauce in my Italian sausage recipe. I believe sausage and peppers are best without tomato products.
Instead, I serve marinara or another red Italian gravy on the side.
The type of Italian sausage links is really a matter of personal taste. Some like it super hot and some not so much. My house is in the not-so-much category and I choose a sweet Italian sausage or one that is just labeled as Italian.
I use all 4 different colors of bell peppers because they provide some serious color to the dish! Using all green pepper is fine too!
Sometimes when I am cooking for just us I only use green peppers. One it’s what I normally have on hand, and two because green peppers tend to be about half the price of the brighter colors.
If you like one color better than another, feel free to use those.
The peppers will add some sweetness so choose an onion that isn’t too sweet to start with. I usually use one big white onion.
A yellow Spanish onion would be ok here, but I would probably avoid a Vidalia.
How to Cook
Browning the Italian sausage links first adds more flavor to the peppers and onions when they are cooking.
I let the sausage cook almost completely on two sides before removing them from the pan. The darker sausage adds more flavor than sausages that are barely cooked.
I don’t cook my onions and peppers down completely. We prefer some crunch left in the bell peppers in this recipe.
If you want the onions cooked more than the peppers, go ahead and add those to the skillet a couple of minutes before adding the peppers.
I always wait and add the garlic until I mix the peppers and onions in the pan. Allowing garlic to burn will make any dish bitter. There is probably enough liquid in this dish to keep the garlic from burning, but better safe than sorry.
This is easily doubled and tripled. The only limitation is the size of your pan. I have made upwards of 20 at a time in my large electric skillet during football season. (This post contains affiliate links.)
How to Serve
Serve with hoagie or sub rolls for the ultimate sausage and pepper sandwich like they serve at county fairs. Try lightly toasting the bread under a broiler for a real treat. It can even be topped with a bit of mozzarella or parmesan cheese.
Steaming plates of spaghetti covered in red sauce is always a safe choice. Mix the sausage with the sauce and serve over the spaghetti or place the sausage on top like a meatball.
It can be served as the main feature of a meal with a knife and a fork and a bit of spaghetti Aglio Olio.
Creamy polenta or rice also pair well.
Italian sausage can be served as slices rather than whole links and then stuffed into bread rolls, or placed on the top of pasta dishes or a bed of rice.
Allow the Italian sausages to cool and slice them into diagonal slices, put the slices back into the skillet, and allow them to brown. Stir the slices occasionally or flip them over with a pair of tongs to allow both sides of the slices to brown
Looking for a great wine to serve with Italian sausage? I’m not very adventurous so I stick with a nice Chianti packaged with the straw basket. A fiasco bottle just makes me feel like I am eating Italian!
Once the sausage and peppers have been cooked, they can be held in an electric skillet or crockpot that has been set to “keep warm” setting. Leave the lid off and stir occasionally.
Placing a lid on this dish will cause the peppers and onions to continue to cook down and shrink in size.
I always reheat the sausage first and add the peppers and onions later in the reheating process.
To reheat sausage and peppers on the stove, use a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the sausage until heated through. Once the sausage is hot add the peppers and onions and heat just until heated through.
Reheat sausage in the microwave on a microwave-safe plate for 30 to 60 seconds at full power. Add the onions and peppers and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
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Italian Sausage, Peppers, and Onions
- 2 tablespoons light cooking oil
- 5 Italian Sausage Links
- 2 bell peppers seeds removed and sliced
- 1/2 large white onion cut into thick slices
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Add the oil to a skillet set over medium high heat.
- Place the sausage links into the skillet and cook, turning occasionally until the sausage is browned and about half-way cooked.
- Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside.
- Add the onions and peppers to the hot pan and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or just until the onions begin to wilt a little, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Return the sausage to the skillet, mix with the peppers and onions, then cover with a lid and reduce heat to low.
- Remove the lid and stir every 5 minutes or so until the sausages are cooked completely through. If in doubt, check with an instant read thermometer for 160 Degrees F in the middle of a sausage.
- Remove from the heat and serve.