Sausage and peppers recipe is a classic Italian favorite. There are many ways to make this beautiful dish but the easiest one is to sear all the ingredients in a pan.
Serve this dish with pasta and your dinner will be finished within an hour with minimal preparation and clean up. It’s a one pan meal, so only one pan left to wash once you’re done.
You can enjoy the dish with pasta as in our recipe or make it an easy add-on for rice, or your sandwich filler… you name it! Now, here are a few things to know before we can kick off fall with today’s recipe.
Is Sausage and Peppers Healthy?
Yes, our sausage and peppers recipe is relatively healthy.
One serving of our sausage and peppers recipe contains 493 calories. This number is not enough for lunch or dinner, so we suggest having the dish with salad or soup to reach our recommended daily intake calories — 750 calories for lunch/dinner.
There are 34 grams of carbohydrates in a serving of sausage and peppers, which account for about 12 percent of the recommended daily intake for carbs.
What Types of Peppers and Sausage to Use
Speaking of sausage, we recommend Italian sausage for sausage and pepper recipe for maximum flavor. The regular savory or sweet sausage can both work well in the dish, choose whichever you prefer. If you want to be creative with meat, beef or turkey sausage are an excellent choice.
As for peppers, there are a variety of options available:
1. Bell Peppers
These big round shape peppers come in rainbow colors — green, red, yellow, orange, and purple. Red and yellow peppers are the ripened green peppers, resulting in their sweeter flavor.
Having a less sharp flavor than most peppers, bell peppers (or sweet peppers) are great to toss in salad or stir-fry in the sauce.
2. Cherry Peppers
Cherry peppers are red, round, or heart-shaped peppers, sweet, and can be a bit spicy. They taste and smell like their appearance — small red peppers.
3. Serrano Peppers
These long, thin, green peppers offer a slight punch of heat which many people love to have in their pasta. You can chop them and add to salad, salsa, or sauce for more depth of flavor.
How to Cook Italian Sausage and Peppers
Step 1: Cook pasta
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente and drain. Set aside.
Step 2: Brown sausages
Add olive oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the sausages and cook until they are browned on all sides. Transfer sausages to a cutting board and let them cool at room temperature.
Step 3: Cut sausage
Slice them into 1-inch rings, and set aside.
Step 4: Make the pasta sauce
Add butter to the same skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Stir in onion and bell pepper. After the vegetables have softened, pour in tomato sauce, chicken broth, ground pepper, oregano, and paprika.
Step 5: Add sausage and pasta to the pan
Add in sausage. Stir and simmer for a few minutes. Then reduce the heat to low-medium heat. Add in cooked pasta and parmesan cheese, toss to bring everything together. Remove from heat.
Step 6: Garnish and serve
Top with parsley and fresh basil. Serve.
How to Cut Bell Peppers
For this sausage and peppers recipe particularly, we cut peppers in strips. To get the right way how to slice a pepper, here’re 3 simple steps to follow:
- Cut off the top and bottom of the pepper.
- Remove the ribs and seeds.
- Cut them into strips.
How Do You Know If Sausages Are Done?
With thicker sausages, it can sometimes be challenging to know when they are fully cooked. Generally, a medium link sausage would take about 15 – 20 minutes to cook in a frying pan.
To cook the sausage evenly on both sides, you have to keep a close eye on it and turn them over frequently. Cooked sausages should have a nice, even, golden-brown crust on the outside, and a paler color on the inside (but not pink).
When you cut into the sausages, you should expect clear juice coming out of them. There should not be any pink juices or blood.
As for today’s sausage and peppers recipe, we will be cooking them twice: first, by frying and then by simmering with the sauce, so undercooked sausages shouldn’t be an issue.
That being said, having a probe thermometer around to check for internal temperature would be the best way to ensure food safety. The perfect temperature for a cooked sausage link should fall around 160 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
What Goes with Sausage and Peppers
Sausage and peppers recipe is a traditional favorite that can pair with many ingredients.
Pasta, of course, is essential in this sausage and peppers recipe. We use fettuccine since its flat shape can hold the sauce well.
However, you can use what you have in the kitchen — rigatoni, spaghetti, or farfalle — any pasta will work in this recipe.
For a sausage and pepper rice, you add the rice to the skillet then simmer everything for about 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. Brown rice is a more heart-healthy choice, however, we prefer the texture of white rice in the dish.
Instead of pasta or rice, try to put this delicious sausage and peppers in sandwiches. When it comes to sandwich add-ins, there is a world out there for you to be creative.
Add some cheese or fresh veggies and turn your sausage sandwich into a way more satisfying meal.
Onions and tomatoes are an excellent combo — the sweetness from fresh onions balances out the tang of tomatoes. The sauce just turns out beautifully and delicious!
With the same main ingredients: sausage and peppers, but with a different cooking method. We stir fry them in a pan and then roast in the oven.
This is where the taste gets intense and smoky. Italian home cooking can be easy and tasty at once!
Can You Freeze Sausage and Peppers?
This sausage and peppers recipe makes 4 servings but you can easily double it if you prefer and save the leftovers for another meal by simply freezing it. The easiest way to do this is to let your cooked dish cool down completely at room temperature, then freeze it in a freezer-safe food container or zip-top freezer bag.
You can also freeze this sausage and peppers dish before cooking. First, divide the sausage, vegetables, and seasonings into different bags. Then you can throw everything in a hot pan whenever you are craving a hot and hearty dinner.
Whether this dish is frozen before or after cooking, it will last in your freezer for up to 2 months.
How Long Does Cooked Sausage Last in the Fridge?
Cooked sausage can last up to 3-4 days in the fridge. To store them correctly, keep them in an airtight container after letting them cool down completely at room temperature.
If you smell any unpleasant odors or the surface gets moldy, this means your cooked sausage already turns spoiled. Our advice is to discard them and start with fresh ones.
What to Serve with Sausage and Peppers
Normally, hot dog buns would be the perfect companions of sausages. However, they are not the healthiest choice and not the friendliest option for many dieters. So here are some healthy alternatives to pair with sausage and peppers:
- Potatoes: we recommend simple mashed potatoes or roasted sweet potatoes. Both offer another level of flavor and texture that would work beautifully with the sausage and peppers.
- Salads: for a hearty recipe like sausage and peppers, we suggest adding a simple salad for some freshness. A healthy broccoli salad to add more vegetables, or a lovely fresh fruit salad for dessert, would be perfect to complete your meal.
- Pasta: the tomato sauce from sausage and peppers goes well with almost any pasta. However, we do recommend whole wheat pasta because it contains more fiber, protein, iron, magnesium, and other minerals, making it healthier than your regular pasta.
Of course, sausage and peppers is a filling dish and you could have it all on its own, but we love to have it with pasta which easily soaks up that tasty sauce to become an earthy, filling dish.
Sausage and Peppers Recipe
- 4 oz fettuccine pasta
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 9 oz Italian sausage
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp garlic chopped
- 2 oz onion chopped
- 8 oz bell pepper red, green, yellow, sliced
- 1 cup homemade tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1.5 oz shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp fresh basil
- 1 tbsp parsley
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- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente and drain. Set aside.
- Add olive oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the sausages and cook until they are browned on all sides. Transfer sausages to a cutting board and let them cool at room temperature.
- Slice sausage into 1-inch rings, and set aside.
- Add butter to the same skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Stir in onion and bell pepper. After the vegetables have softened, pour in tomato sauce, chicken broth, ground pepper, oregano, and paprika.
- Add in sausage. Stir and simmer for a few minutes. Then reduce the heat to low-medium heat. Add in cooked pasta and parmesan cheese, toss to bring everything together. Remove from heat.
- Top with parsley and fresh basil. Serve.
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