Grilled Italian Sausage with Peppers, Onions and Arugula

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.

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


  • 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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  • 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?

  • 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.


  • 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!

  • 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.


  • Dick Wentz

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

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Dick, not necessarily. If you are grilling the sausages at a temperature high enough for dark grill marks (high direct heat), you are grilling them at too high of a heat. Sausages should be cooked gently. The grilling provides smoke which infuses the already flavorful sausages with more flavor.

  • Dee

    Made this tonight but did mine in the oven. Put some cooked, cold quinoa on the arugula and then the roasted mixture. Yummy! Hubby says it is a winner. So good in this hot summer


  • nancy henderson

    Thanks for the recipe Elise! Great summer recipe! Love the addition of arugula. Can I make a suggestion for what to serve with? Either a creamy cheesy polenta or grilled polenta would go well with these flavours – easy addition and mmm good with grilled veggies :-)

  • Monique

    This sounds so tasty and quick. I’m also a big fan of arugula. LOVE IT. My question is what would one serve with this? rice? potatoes? bread? just curious if anyone has any ideas. Thanks

    • Nate

      I would say it would depend on how healthy you want to make the meal. You could go healthy and pair it with another green vegetable and maybe a quinoa salad. Or, you could pair it with a pasta if you don’t mind the carbs.

      • Monique

        A quinoa salad sounds good. Thanks, Nate!

    • Tabouleh
  • Denise

    Hi Elise,

    Thanks for the shout-out on our Hot Italian Sausage, which is a quick dinner staple around here. I like your recipe as it has the addition of arugula and no bread (trying to cut back), will have to give this a try next time.

  • Jane H.

    Wow! This is how to be bad, yet good at the same time!

    My husband is a huge fan of sausage and pepper subs. I showed him the picture and the recipe, and he said, “I’d eat that.”


    Question…I’ve never actually HAD arugula (to my knowledge). What’s it similar to, if anything?

    Jane (from right NEXT to Carlisle, MA!)

    • Elise Bauer

      Arugula, otherwise known as “rocket”, is slightly peppery. Like radish sprouts or watercress.

    • DavidB

      It’s tasty- they use the word “peppery” to describe it. I buy it fresh all the time- it needs to be washed thoroughly, because it can be sandy. You can also buy it pre-washed in pastic containers. Either way, it’s a good salad green and is much better than plain lettuce.

      I can see how the juices of the sausage & peppers will nicely flavor the arugala- I am going to make this dish in the next few days.