Grilled Italian Sausage with Peppers, Onions and Arugula

DinnerGrillLow CarbPaleo

Grilled sweet Italian sausages, bell peppers and red onions, with a honey balsamic glaze, served over a bed of baby arugula

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Italian sausage, red bell peppers, and onions, a classic combination, right? Well, they’re even better when served on a bed of fresh, baby arugula greens. No additional dressing needed!

The heat from the sausages, peppers, and onions helps to wilt the arugula a little, and the juice from the sausages is all you need for the greens.

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My friend Heidi H of Carlisle, MA, prepared this sausage dish for us on our annual pilgrimage to the east coast and we loved it. The peppery flavor of the baby arugula is a perfect complement to the sausage, peppers, and onions.

How to cook sausages on the grill

When cooking sausages you need to cook them on medium low heat, otherwise they’ll cook up tough and dry. For the grill, that means indirect heat, or the cool side.

We’ve positioned the sausages in our grill’s upper rack with the peppers below so as they cook, the sausages can baste the peppers in any juice or fat that gets released while cooking.

how to grill italian sausage with bell peppers and onions

Grilled Italian Sausage with Peppers, Onions and Arugula Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6

If you don't have a grill, sear the onions and bell peppers in a little oil on high heat in a large, preferable cast iron, frying pan. Then lower the heat to medium low, add the sausages, and cook, turning the sausages occasionally, until the sausages are cooked through.

Towards the end of cooking, baste with the honey balsamic mixture.


  • 1 large red onion, cut into wedges*
  • 2 large red bell peppers, seeded and cut into thirds
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage links
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 to 3 handfuls of baby arugula

*Cut the onion wedges so that the root end is still intact on each wedge. It will make the onion wedges easier to grill and help keep them from falling apart on the grill.


1 Preheat the grill.

2 Mix together the balsamic vinegar and honey in a small bowl and set aside.

3 Grill the onions: Coat the onions with a little olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Coat the grill grates with a little olive oil. Put the onion wedges on the grill and cover the grill.

Let the onions roast for 5 minutes, or until they are a little charred. Turn the onions and move them to a cooler part of the grill to finish.

4 Grill the sausages and peppers: Coat the sausages and peppers with olive oil. Sprinkle salt on the peppers. If your grill has two levels, place the sausages on the top part of the grill and the peppers directly below them.

Done this way, as the sausages drip juice and fat, it will fall on the peppers, flavoring them while simultaneously preventing flare-ups.

If your grill does not have two levels, put the peppers on the hottest part of the grill and the sausages on the coolest.

how to grill italian sausage with bell peppers and onions

Cover and grill everything for 15 to 20 minutes or so, periodically checking and turning the sausages and peppers as needed.

5 Baste with honey balsamic mixture: Towards the end of cooking, baste the sausages, peppers and onions with the honey and balsamic mixture.

6 Remove from grill, cut sausages, cut peppers and onions: When the sausages are cooked through and the peppers and onions cooked, remove them from the grill to a sheet pan or large bowl.

remove italian sausage, peppers, onions from the grill

If you want, pick off some or all of the charred skin on the peppers. Cut the peppers into long strips, and slice the root end off the onions to separate the pieces.

Cut the sausages into thirds. Mix everything well in the pan or bowl.

7 Serve: To serve, place a bed of baby arugula on the serving plates and top with the sausage, peppers and onion.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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18 Comments / Reviews

No ImageGrilled Italian Sausage with Peppers, Onions and Arugula

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Mae

    >>If you don’t have a grill, sear the onions and bell peppers in a little oil on high heat in a large, preferable cast iron, frying pan.<<

    Why is cast iron recommended or shown being used in video for so many recipes across the Internet? Does it do something special to the food that other cooking surfaces do not?

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Angie

    Super easy and really tasty! I prepared this in the oven and it turned out great. Husband and I really liked this and we will definitely make this again.


  3. Lia

    I loved this! It reminded me a summer version of the sausage and peppers recipe on this site. I love that dish, but it’s too heavy when it’s hot.

    No grill for me, so I made this on the stove. I substituted baby mustard greens from the farmers market instead of arugula. Delicious!

  4. Debra

    This was REALLY good. I didn’t alter a thing. But I might add a little Tamari to the glaze next time….and pepper.


  5. Dick Wentz

    If you say grilled sausage shouldn’t there be grill marks?

    Show Replies (1)
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Grilled Italian Sausage with Peppers, Onions, and ArugulaGrilled Italian Sausage with Peppers, Onions and Arugula