30-minute sausage and peppers pasta loaded with fresh bell peppers, onion, and savory Italian sausage. This is a quick and easy dinner idea inspired by traditional sausage and peppers and is full of fresh flavor.
Sausage and Peppers Pasta
Traditional sausage and peppers are just that – whole sausage links and peppers cooked in a pan with olive oil and garlic. My twist on the original includes some pasta and a simple sauce turning the classic into a delicious pasta dinner full of fresh flavors.
How to Make It
This sausage and peppers pasta dish is a quick-ish recipe, ready in about 30 minutes, and very non-fussy. There’s some chopping involved, but that work is paid back with lots of fresh flavors from bell peppers, onion, and garlic.
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Italian Sausage and Peppers Pasta
This is my take on traditional sausage and peppers that includes pasta and a few simple ingredients to make a sauce. It’s a 30-minute dinner full of fresh flavors.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Saute
- Cuisine: Italian-American
- 8 ounces ziti pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 ounces sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 4 large cloves of garlic, chopped
- 3 medium-sized bell peppers (any color), sliced into 2-inch-long pieces
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (see note)
- 18 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Boil the pasta according to package directions.
- In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Break the sausage up as it cooks until it’s browned. Add the garlic, peppers, and onions. Stir and cook the veggies with the sausage until they start to soften, about five minutes or so.
- Add the balsamic to the pan and scrape up the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes and salt. Stir and bring the sauce to a simmer. Cook the sausage and peppers in the sauce for about five minutes or so.
- Add the cooked pasta to the pan and stir to coat it in the sauce. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve.
If you have a dry red wine on hand, feel free to use that in place of the balsamic vinegar.
- Calories: 464
- Sugar: 13.8g
- Sodium: 1043.1mg
- Fat: 12.2g
- Saturated Fat: 3.5g
- Unsaturated Fat: 7.1g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 65.1g
- Fiber: 7g
- Protein: 24.8g
- Cholesterol: 25.5mg
Keywords: italian sausage pasta recipe, sausage and peppers recipe
The nutrition is an estimate only. It was calculated using Nutrifox, an online nutrition calculator.
My introduction to Italian sausage and peppers was in 2011 when my friend, Toni, shared her family’s favorite slow cooker sausage and peppers. And by ‘share,’ I mean that I saw the finished dish and got a brief overview of the recipe. At the time, I didn’t write anything down, but the aromatic memory stuck with me.
So, I took that memory and came up with this sausage and peppers pasta. It’s not authentic, but it has the spirit of the original, and I can’t help but think of Toni every time I make it.
If you’re looking for a traditional sausage and peppers recipe, Lydia Bastianich, the maven of Italian cooking, has a wonderful recipe.
Italian sausage: I like sweet Italian sausage links, but you can also use mild or hot Italian sausage. If you want to save a step, use ground sausage so you don’t have to deal with the sausage casings.
Peppers: Any combo of bell peppers will work fine. I like the combination of bitter green bell peppers with sweeter red bell peppers or yellow or orange bell peppers.
Onion: Yellow, white, or red onion – choose your favorite. When I’m short on time, I use frozen chopped onion.
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Pasta: Any short pasta shape will work fine. I like ziti, or you could try rigatoni, penne, cavatappi, farfalle pasta, gemelli, or rotini pasta. Or use your favorite pasta shape.
Herbs: Feel free to swap the parsley for fresh basil or thyme. Or use a combo of fresh herbs.
Other garnishes: Sometimes, I add some grated Parmesan cheese on top for serving.
This dish has a very bright flavor because the peppers and sauce aren’t cooked very long at all. The peppers will still have a bit of a bite, and the tomato sauce won’t have that hours-long cooked flavor.
If you have time, feel free to simmer the sauce longer – maybe between 30 minutes to an hour. The peppers will be a lot softer, and the flavors in the sauce will develop even more. I’ve made it both ways and, in both cases, you end up with a delicious pan of pasta.
This a quick recipe perfect for weeknights – the combo of flavors with the sausage and peppers is so good! Pair it with a simple salad and some crusty bread for a delicious dinner.
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This sausage and peppers pasta post, photos, and recipe have been updated from the archives. First published in April 2016.