Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers is an easy weeknight meal! Italian sausage cooks for hours in the slow cooker with bell peppers, onions, marinara and spices. They come out tender and juicy and full of flavor every time. Stuff the sausage and peppers in hoagie rolls or enjoy with pasta.
We absolutely love Italian sausage around here, especially in Tortellini Soup and Spicy Italian Sausage Dip. I had never made Italian Sausage in the slow cooker, but after trying out this recipe I think we have a new favorite!
SAUSAGE AND PEPPERS
I hadn’t ever thought to cook Italian sausage in the slow cooker so when I saw a recipe for them I was a little skeptical. Won’t the skins burst? Will they actually cook all the way through? Will they be tough?
The results were surprising! The sausages are incredibly tender and juicy and you still get that wonderful pop when you bit into them. The peppers and onions because sweet and tender and the sauce, simmering away with all of those flavors is thick and flavorful.
Sausage and Peppers has become one of our favorite meals, and has made its way into our monthly dinner rotation.
CAN YOU PUT RAW SAUSAGES IN THE SLOW COOKER?
The key step to cooking italian sausage and peppers in your crock pot is browning the sausage first. Browning does a few things.
Adds color to make them look prettier.
Seals in the juices, adding texture and flavor.
Helps jumpstart the cooking process, ensuring that your sausages are cooked through.
While browning is a step that I highly recommend, you can skip it if you simply don’t have the time.
HOW TO MAKE SAUSAGE AND PEPPERS
Brown. Like I mentioned above, this step adds color, flavor and texture to the finished dish so I do recommend it. It helps if you’ve got a slow cooker that has a browning function like this one. You can brown your onions at the same time; just make sure that the sausage is touching the bottom of the pan in order to brown, nestling the sliced onions around them.
Cook. Add sausage, onions, peppers, marinara and spices to the slow cooker and stir gently to combine, then cover and set your slow cooker to low for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3 hours.
Serve immediately, or switch to the warm setting for up to 2 hours.
There are a few ways we serve this meal but our favorite is nestled in rolls for hearty sandwiches and topped with fresh Mozzarella or Parmesan. I usually serve a big green salad on the side and dinner is done. Here are some other ways we’ve served sausage and peppers:
With pasta, like spaghetti or penne. Pour on lots of that luscious sauce and top with grated cheese and fresh basil or parsley.
Baked in hoagie rolls. This is the way we usually serve this meal. Brush the insides of the rolls with butter and bake, open faced, for a few minutes or until the bread is golden and a little crispy. Place sausages inside, top with sauce and cheese, then broil again until the cheese melts. Kind of like a meatball sub.
SAUSAGE AND PEPPERS ON THE STOVETOP
Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers take anywhere from 3-5 hours to cook, plus about 15 minutes of prep. If you don’t have that kind of time or you don’t own a slow cooker, you can cook sausage and peppers on the stovetop in about an hour.
Brown the sausage and sliced onions in a little olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed soup pot or dutch oven for about 6 minutes oven medium-high heat. Pour in the marinara and add sliced peppers and seasonings. Stir it all together and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for at least 45 minutes to an hour.
Italian Sausage is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
3bell peppersany color, seeded and cut into strips
1medium red or white onioncut into strips
3cupsmarinara sauce(1 24-ounce jar or 3 cups homemade)
Fresh minced parsley or basil for garnish
For serving: Cooked pasta or hoagie rolls for serving, fresh grated Mozzarella or Parmesan cheese
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Sear sausage 2-3 minutes on each side, (just until browned, they don’t need to be cooked through). (you can skip this step if you’re pressed for time, but it really adds a ton of flavor).
Place sausage on the bottom of your slow cooker. Top with strips of bell pepper and onion. Sprinkle with seasonings. Pour marinara sauce over the top. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours (recommended) or on high for 2-3 hours.
For sandwiches: Toast hoagie rolls in the oven under the broiler for a few minutes or until charred around the edges but still soft. Place a sausage in each roll and top with peppers and sauce. Sprinkle cheese on top and broil for a few minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately, garnished with fresh herbs.
For pasta: Cook your favorite pasta to al dente in heavily salted water. Drain. Serve pasta in individual plates or bowls topped with sausage, peppers and sauce. Serve with grated cheese and fresh herbs for topping.
does not include pasta or bread for serving.
figures 1 sausage per person plus peppers, onions and sauce for topping.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.