Sausage, Peppers, and Onions

SandwichComfort FoodItalian SausagePork

Sausage, Peppers and Onions! Italian sausages cooked with bell peppers, sweet onions, crushed tomatoes, and garlic. Served in a hoagie roll or over pasta or polenta.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Sausage, Peppers and Onions

Mmmmm. Mmmmm. Mmmmm. Sausage and peppers with onions. This is one of those classic Italian American street-food, lunch cart dishes.

I used to order sausage, peppers and onions at a hole-in-the-wall lunch counter in Burbank.

You know the type of place — where the big loud guy behind the counter works fast and furious, takes your order (you better know what you want!) and barks back “Sausage, Peppers and Onions!” to the guys on the line, and within minutes you have a huge bread roll in your hand holding more sausage and peppers with onions than you think you can possibly eat.

Sausage and Peppers with Onions on Roll

But eat you do, because that sausage and peppers with onions are so so good. And then you have a food coma for the rest of the afternoon, and you eat steamed broccoli for dinner because after that lunch, you just don’t need much for dinner. Yum.

How to make sausage, peppers, and onions

Sausage, Peppers, and Onions Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

You can use different colored bell peppers, or just stick with green. This recipe uses a combination of sweet and hot sausages, but if you want a milder dish, use only the sweet sausages and reduce the amount of chili pepper flakes in the recipe. (Likewise if you want it hotter, use hot sausages and/or bump up the amount of chili pepper flakes.)

Ingredients

  • 4 Italian sausage links (sweet, hot, or a couple of each)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced into 2 to 3 inch long strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into 2 to 3 inch long strips
  • 1 bell pepper of another color (yellow or orange or purple), sliced into strips 2-3 inches long
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced into slivers
  • 1 large sweet or yellow onion, sliced into 1/4-inch half-moons
  • 1 small (15 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp of dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup Marsala or red wine (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Method

1 Brown the sausages: Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan that has a lid. When the oil is hot, add the sausages and brown them slowly.

If they sizzle and crackle too much, turn the heat down. You want a gentle browning, not a sear.

brown the Italian sausages

Cook for several minutes, turning them occasionally so they brown on all sides. When the sausages are browned, remove from the pan and set aside.

2 Sauté the onions, peppers, garlic: Increase the heat to high and add the onions and peppers. Toss so they get coated with the oil in the pan and sear them as well as you can, stirring every so often.

You want some blackening. Once the onions and peppers soften, sprinkle some salt on them. Once you get some searing on the onions and peppers, add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

3 Deglaze pan with wine: Add the Marsala or red wine if you are using, and with a wooden spoon scrape the bottom of the pan to release all the browned and blackened bits. Let the wine cook down by half.

4 Add tomatoes, seasoning, sausages, then simmer: Add the tomatoes, oregano and red pepper flakes (if using) and stir well to combine. Add the sausages back in. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to low.

Cover and simmer until the peppers are soft and the sausages are cooked through, about 20 minutes.

how to make sausage, peppers, and onions

Sausage, peppers and onions will keep in the fridge for several days.

Serve over polenta, or with penne pasta, or load up in a hoagie roll. Any leftover sauce makes a great sauce for pasta.

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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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115 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Keneetra

    Made with red wine and turkey sausage everything else was done exactly as recipe called for it was delicious

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Elizabeth Higgins

    This Sausage Peppers and Onions recipe looks so yummy, Elise! We tried it without the red wine and still tasted great; we tried it with cheap wine and still tasted delicious; and we tried it with more expensive red wine and it tasted amazing! The red pepper flakes added the right amount of spiciness; but we would like to be spicier, should we just increase the amount of red pepper flakes? Thank you!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Bill

    No red wine and no red pepper flakes. It was great. I actually boiled the sausage the night before and browned them as recommended the day I prepared the meal. I also crushed the tomatoes myself and used diced garlic. I am actually looking forward to left overs since there was one sausage and some vegetables left after dinner. I printed and saved the recipe for my private stash. Thanks for a great meal. By the way I told my girlfriend it was my recipe so don’t say anything about finding it on line if you see her.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Angie

    Yum! Made it with bratwurst. My husband couldn’t stop eating it.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Ronald William

    Good I liked it.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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