This classic baked Italian sausage and peppers recipe is made even better by roasting Italian sausage, sweet peppers and onions on a sheet pan so they're browned, caramelized, buttery and delicious. Easy prep and clean up!
Italian sausage and peppers has been a staple in my family for as long as I can remember. A family gathering wasn’t complete unless there were spiedini, chicken cutlets, meatballs, pie, and a big crockpot of sausage and peppers simmering away.
Sweet bell peppers, onions, and potatoes were cooked down to mush with Italian sausage swimming in a pool of liquid. It wasn't bad, but it wasn’t exactly my favorite. That's why my version is different.
By roasting the peppers and onions at a high temperature, they get buttery soft and caramelized. Roasting concentrates the flavor rather than dilutes it - it's a total game changer.
Since the sausage cooks much faster than the veggies, it gets added only for the last few minutes of cooking. Then, the broiler steps in to give it a beautifully browned and crisp skin.
This low-carb, paleo-friendly meal is perfect for weeknight dinners or for serving a crowd. You can eat it alone or tuck it into a crusty Italian roll or between two slices of buttery garlic bread for the best Italian sausage and pepper sandwich of your life.
Why this recipe works
- This one-pan recipe is made entirely in the oven so it's quick to prep and even easier to clean up!
- Simple ingredients that are budget-friendly and easy to find.
- Perfect for a low carb, or even keto-friendly meal.
- Roasting at high heat brings the most amazing texture and flavor out of the vegetables and sausage. No mush with this recipe!
- Italian Sausage - OId-fashioned homemade Italian sausage is the way to go for this recipe, if you can find it! If not, any sausage will work. You can use sweet, spicy, or both, depending on your preference. Here in New Jersey I'm lucky to have several places to get really good homemade Italian sausage, Ernest and Son's and Bagliani's being my favorites.
- Bell Peppers - Sweet bell peppers make up the bulk of the vegetables in this dish. I used green and red peppers, but you can use any color you prefer. If you want to add a little spice, throw in some jalapeño peppers as well.
- Onion -A yellow or sweet onion works best for this recipe, but if a white or red onion is all you have that will work too.
- Fennel Seed - These are the seeds used to flavor Italian sausage, so I add a few extra to the roasting pan with the peppers and onions because I love their flavor. If you're not a fan or don't have any in your pantry, it's no problem to leave them out.
- Sheet Pan - I swear by these basic, inexpensive aluminum half sheet pans. They're incredibly versatile and will last forever!
- Mandoline Slicer - You can slice the peppers and onions with a knife, but a mandoline slicer makes it faster and easier to achieve thin, uniform slices that will cook more evenly. I recommend using a cut-proof glove to avoid nicking your fingers.
Step by Step Instructions
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine peppers, onion, garlic, and fennel seeds, if using, on a large sheet pan. Season generously with salt and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil and mix to combine.
- Roast the vegetables for 20 minutes, then toss them around with a spatula. Roast for another 20 minutes or until very soft and caramelized around the edges.
- Arrange the sausage over top of the vegetables, then roast for another 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through to an internal temperature of 160℉ for pork sausage or 165℉ if using chicken sausage.
- Place the pan on the top rack of the oven and switch the broiler on to high. Keep a close eye on it and remove the pan as soon as the sausage browns. Sprinkle with parsley and serve as-is or with rolls to make sandwiches.
Tips for success
- If you’re doubling or tripling this recipe for a crowd, use separate sheet pans for each batch. Overcrowding the ingredients in one pan will cause them to steam rather than caramelize.
- Depending on how hot your oven runs, you may need to add the sausage earlier to avoid burning the vegetables before the sausage is cooked through. Check the vegetables after 30 minutes (halfway through the second half of baking). If they’re already starting to char on the edges, add the sausage at this time instead of waiting another 10 minutes.
- For extra easy cleanup, line your sheet pan with parchment paper!
Ways to Serve Baked Italian Sausage and Peppers
You can serve this dish on its own for a low-carb, keto friendly meal or along with a crusty Italian roll or garlic bread for sandwiches. This dish also goes really well with these recipes for a complete meal!
- Roasted Potatoes with Onion and Rosemary
- Italian Chickpea Fritters
- Spinach with Butter and Parmesan
- Farinata - Italian Chick Pea Flatbreads
- Escarole with Olives and Capers
How to Prep, Store and Reheat This Recipe
You can make this even easier for weeknight dinners by having the peppers and onions pre-chopped and ready. Once sliced, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To store leftovers, just place the sausage and vegetables in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, either warm them in the microwave, in a pan on the stove, or in an oven preheated to 300 degrees until warmed through.
FAQS About Baked Sausage and Peppers
Do not pierce or poke holes in sausage before baking so that the juices to stay inside the sausage and not escape.
Absolutely! This recipe will work with any kind of sausage you like. I love using a broccoli rabe or provolone sausage. Chicken or turkey sausage also works well, and this can even be made vegan if you use a plant based sausage.
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