I feel honored that I even have this Italian Sausage and Peppers Recipe to share with you all. I didn’t even know what Italian Sausage was until I moved to NJ. Seriously! I grew up believing there was only one kind of sausage in the world. You could get it in breakfast links or by the pound at the grocery store.
Looking back, there is one other incident where I had Italian Sausage, but at the time I had know idea what I had eaten, I just knew that it was so flavorful it blew my mind. I was serving as a missionary for my church and we would often be invited to have dinner with people from the congregation in which we were serving. One night we ate with a family who we hadn’t eaten with before and the father, who grew up in New York, made dinner that night. He made the most amazing spaghetti I have ever had. It had giant meatballs and what I now know were large Italian sausage links in it. It was FANTASTIC!!!
I asked him what the other meat was besides the meatballs and he kind of laughed and said, It’s special sausage I order from New York.” I remember thinking it was a little excessive that he (living in California) ordered his sausage from New York.
Then about 6 years later I moved to New Jersey and completely understand why he would go to the trouble of ordering sausage from across the country. The Italians out here in the East really know what they’re doing with their sausage!
I’m hoping good Italian Sausage is more easily available out West then it was when I was a kid. Your going to need some to make these ridiculously delicious Italian Sausage and Pepper Sandwiches.
Back to the recipe: One of my good friends in New Jersey introduced me to this recipe and taught me how to make it. She is Italian so I feel very fortunate to have learned this art at her feet.
it’s not complicated, but certain things really matter. Like, you brown your sausages. Do not just throw them in the 9×13 baking dish without browning them first. She likes to use half hot and half mild sausages. I really like the hot ones, but my kids don’t so I end up doing all mild sausages most of the time.
Once you have browned the links, you put them in a 9×13 baking dish, slice up as many peppers and onions as you want. I usually slice 2 or 3 onions and one large red and one large green pepper. Then you throw on a handful of peeled and smashed garlic cloves….at least seven or eight. Don’t crush or chop the garlic. Leave it basically whole, just a little smashed or broken. Drizzle with olive oil (the olive oil is another non-negotiable step, don’t skip it or use any other oil), salt and pepper, cover with foil and bake for 2 hours. Remove the foil for the last 30 minutes of baking.
Serve with nice crusty rolls or your favorite Italian bread. Make sure to dip the bread in those delicious juices on the bottom of the pan. So good!
This recipe also works great in the slow cooker. You do all the same steps, brown sausage, slice onions and peppers, toss in garlic, drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper, and then instead of a 9×13 baking dish you put it in the slow cooker and set it to low for 4 hours. Same great results as baking it!
Cooking it in a slow cooker is a great way to serve it at a Super Bowl Party or other Holiday gatherings.
- 8-10 Itaian sausage links
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 1 large red pepper, sliced
- 1 large green pepper, sliced
- 7-8 cloves of garlic, peeled and slightly smashed (they should still look like a whole piece of garlic)
- Drizzle Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Brown Sausages in a skillet. When browned transfer them to a 9x13 baking dish. Once all of them are in the dish, cover them with the sliced onions, peppers and garlic cloves
- Drizzle a small amount of Olive oil over the pepper and onions.
- Salt and Pepper. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours. Remove the foil for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
- Serve with Crusty rolls or your favorite buns.
- **For Slow Cooker instructions see written post.