Sausage, Peppers, and Onions

SandwichComfort FoodItalian SausagePork

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

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

I used to order them 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 it back to the guys on the line, and within minutes you have a huge bread roll in your hand holding more sausage, peppers, and onions than you think you can possibly eat.

Sausage, Peppers, and Onions

But eat you do, because they 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.

By the way, here’s a very short video on the easiest way to slice bell peppers:

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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Sausage, Peppers, Onions

111 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Ronald William

    Good I liked it.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Lauren L.

    Absolutely loved! I didn’t use the wine or the red pepper flakes, but I did throw in some chili powder and it was amazing! My fiance made his portion into sandwiches but I ate mine by itself and it was great. We’ll definitely be making this a regular meal!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Steve Shields

    Truly delicious. The red wine reduction adds a lot of flavor(even with cheap cooking wine), and the red pepper flakes give it just the right amount of heat.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • David Walker

    I call this chicken casserole surprise. I also make sausage casserole surprise which is made with chicken! It’s one of my favourites. Have never used oregano in it but will tonight. Yummy

  • Joni

    Can l cook this recipe according to the directions given but serve it the next day for lunch by keeping it warm in a slow cooker can this be done please respond

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