Sausage, Peppers, and Onions

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Such a satisfying combo! Italian sausages cooked with bell peppers, sweet onions, crushed tomatoes, and garlic. Served on a hoagie roll or over pasta or polenta.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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 roll in your hands, loaded with more sausage and peppers with onions than you think you can possibly eat.

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!

Video! How to Make Sausage, Peppers, and Onions

What Kind of Sausage and Peppers to Use?

This dish is typically made with a several different colors of bell peppers—usually one green, one red, and one either yellow, orange, or purple. That said, use whatever color bell peppers you like! If you don’t like a color, skip it and just use more of another color.

As for sausages, in this recipe we are using a combination of sweet and hot Italian 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 would like it spicier, use all hot sausages and/or bump up the amount of chili pepper flakes.

Sausage and Peppers and onions

How to Store, Keep, and Freeze

Once cooked, the sausage, peppers, and onions will easily keep for 3 to 4 days in the fridge, but you can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Just defrost it in the fridge overnight and reheat in a saucepan over low heat, or pop it in a saucepan with a little bit of water or oil, over low heat, until completely warmed through.

TRY THESE OTHER EASY SAUSAGE RECIPES:

How to make sausage, peppers, and onions (video)

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Sausage, Peppers, and Onions Recipe

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

You can use different colored bell peppers, or just stick with one color. 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 would like it spicier, 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 tablespoons extra virgin 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 crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon 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. 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.

brown the Italian sausages

2 Sauté the onions, peppers, and 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.

Once the onions and peppers soften, sprinkle some salt on them. Once you get some blackening from a good sear on the onions and peppers, add the garlic, and cook for one more minute.

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

4 Simmer all the ingredients: 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

5 Serve: Serve over polenta, penne pasta, or load it up on a hoagie roll. Sausage and peppers and onions will keep for several days in the fridge.

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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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191 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Tammy

    This recipe is SO delicious especially when you consider how easy it is to put together. Really a perfect weeknight one pan dinner. I found pretzel sausage buns at the supermarket (ones WITHOUT salt) and when I filled the pretzel buns with this recipe my husband was in heaven. I doubled the recipe hoping to freeze some for a lazy day but my family did not leave ANY leftovers. I Halved the amount of tomatoes because we are just not the biggest tomato lovers And the recipe still came out perfect. Try it out ASAP !

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Tyler

    I use a whole whole can of San Marzano crushed tomatoes and slow cook it all with sliced sausage. Put that over a large rounded pasta and you have a delicious gravy! I like to brown everything then set to a simmer for an hour – but outside of that – this recipe is perfect, I just modified to make it more a pasta than a hogie.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Gaetano

    Yes you are an Italian , delicious

  4. Ken

    I tripled the recipe so I could freeze most of it and have it for weeks. Another minor mod, I cut the sausages into 1-inch pieces after cooking. Easier to fit into a hoagie roll or on pasta. Now comes the hard part: Making it last for a while. Delicious!

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Joe in SeTX

    This is AWESOME! First time I made it and just yummy as can be. Had to make a few modifications on the fly, to accommodate resources*… Nonetheless fantastic

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
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