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Published October 14, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This easy-to-make Italian Sausage and Peppers recipe comes together in under 30 minutes and is jam-packed with onions and mushrooms in a marsala sauce. You will love this few-ingredient dish that the entire family will enjoy.
While I enjoy eating this sausage and peppers alone, I prefer to serve it over top of my Polenta Recipe or Creamy Risotto for the ultimate Italian meal.
Sausage and Peppers
Sausage and Peppers is a classic American-Italian dish consisting of Italian sausage cooked with peppers and onions. It is said to have gained popularity at Italian street festivals in the 1920s for the Feast of San Gennaro.
While there is no original precedent for the exact ingredients in this dish, it has since been altered by all who make it. Nowadays, you will see the sausage and peppers cooked in a red sauce or in a brown sauce, which is what I did. Ingredients such as garlic or mushrooms can be added to the dish as well. It is a fantastic recipe if you are looking for something quick and delicious to serve or need to feed a lot of people at one time.
Ingredients You’ll need
- Sausage – You can use sweet or hot Italian Sausage in this dish, just as long as they are links.
- Peppers – I like to use a combination of red, yellow, and green bell peppers. However, you can use just one of these colors of peppers if you make it.
- Onions – You can use red, yellow, white, or sweet onion.
- Mushrooms – I believe the addition of mushrooms helps to enhance this recipe. I recommend using cremini, button, or portabella mushrooms.
- Marsala – Any good marsala wine will work for this dish.
- Beef Stock – Use a good beef stock when making this dish as it will season up the vegetables and the sausage when braising.
- Oil – You will need olive oil to sear the sausage and sauté the vegetables
How to Make Sausage and Peppers
Add the olive oil to a large rondeau or frying pan over medium-high heat and sear the sausage on all sides until golden brown. These do not have to be cooked through.
Set the sausage to the side on a plate and add the onions to the pan sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add in the mushrooms and continue to sauté for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned and tender. See chef notes below.
Stir in the peppers and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned.
Mix in the garlic just until fragrant.
Deglaze with the marsala wine and cook until it is almost gone, or au sec.
Pour the beef stock and cook for 5 to 6 minutes to infuse and concentrate the flavor.
Season the liquid with salt and pepper and add back in the seared sausage and cook until the sausage is warmed up and cooked throughout, which takes about 4 to 5 minutes.
Serve the sausage and peppers over some polenta or risotto and garnish with parmesan cheese and optional chopped fresh parsley.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make this recipe up to 30 minutes ahead of time. If you are pinched for time, make it 1 day ahead of time, cool it, and then store it until ready to reheat and serve it. If you do this, the vegetables will soften up quite a bit.
How to Store: Cover this and keep it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. This will freeze well if you cover it and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating and serving.
How to Reheat: Add the desired amount of sausage and peppers to a medium-sized saucepan and cook over low to medium heat until hot.
Chef Notes + Tips
- If you do not drink wine, just skip the deglazing with marsala and go straight to adding in the beef stock.
- When sauteing the mushrooms, the pan may begin to get brown on the bottom from cooking the Italian sausage. If this happens, just add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to help release that fond so as not to burn.
- Remove the pan from the burner or turn the burner off when deglazing with the marsala wine. This will ensure the pan does not catch on fire, especially if you are nervous about that. Be sure to turn the burner back on if you turned it off.
- There will be quite a bit of sauce in this recipe. Feel free to back off by 1-2 cups of beef stock. If desired, you can also thicken the sauce with roux.
More Sausage Recipes
- Homemade Italian Sausage
- Pasta and Italian Sausage
- Stuffed Shells
- Zuppa Toscana
- Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
Italian Sausage and Peppers Recipe
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 Italian Sausage Links
- ½ peeled and julienne red onion
- 3 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
- 1 seeded and julienne red bell pepper
- 1 seeded and julienne yellow bell pepper
- 1 seeded and julienne green bell pepper
- 2 finely minced cloves of garlic
- 2/3 cup marsala wine
- 4 cups good beef stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- parmesan cheese for garnish
- Add the olive oil to a large rondeau or frying pan over medium-high heat and sear the sausage on all sides until golden brown. These do not have to be cooked through.
- Set the sausage to the side on a plate and add the onions to the pan sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add in the mushrooms and continue to sauté for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned and tender. See notes below.
- Stir in the peppers and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Mix in the garlic just until fragrant, which takes about 1 minute.
- Deglaze with the marsala wine and cook until it is almost gone, or au sec.
- Pour in the beef stock and cook for 5 to 6 minutes to infuse and concentrate the flavor.
- Season the liquid with salt and pepper and add back in the seared sausage and cook until the sausage is warmed up and cooked throughout, which takes about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Serve the sausage and peppers over some polenta or risotto and garnish with parmesan cheese and optional chopped fresh parsley.
Delicious! Easy & fast after prep is done. I served this with mashed potatoes.. Every recipe I have made of Chef Billy’s has been delicious!
That’s great to hear.
Another five star recipe! This was so good. When I told a friend about it, she invited her husband and herself over for dinner! I am going to try Chef’s bread recipe to go with it. By the way, my husband and I ate the leftovers in the next day and we thought it was even better then.
We love Chicken Marsala so when I saw this recipe I wanted to try it. It was fabulous I served it over mashed potatoes as my husband doesn’t like polenta. So good and will definitely be making it again! Thank you for the great recipes!
Could you please give weight of the 8 sausages used. Our local butcher does larger links and others use smaller ones.
Thank you. Love you recipes.
They are homemade and don’t have specific weights. It is however pretty standard that 4 sausages make up a pound.
Made this tonight and this was a sure winner in my house. I forgot the mushrooms, shame on me. I served it over mashed potatoes, because that is what I had. I will definitely make this again with the added mushrooms This will go into our rotation. Love all your recipes. Thanks for sharing your wonderful dishes.
You made me want some sandwiches.
My father, from northern Italy made a similar dish. He thickly sliced his sausage, used a lot more peppers as well. Rather than adding stock he’d use chopped tomatoes(fresh or canned, whichever he had on hand) and tomato paste. He’d add a little dried oregano to his also. There was less sauce in his but he served it with polenta most of the time. Was a regularly requested family and friend favourite.