Make this Slow Cooker Italian Sausage and Peppers today and enjoy all the Italian flavors. It’s very filling, and you can have it on its own or as an easy add-on to zucchini pasta, regular pasta, cauliflower rice, regular rice, mashed cauliflower or potatoes and of course sandwiches.
You all seem to be enjoying my latest Italian Sausage and Peppers recipe that I decided to recreate a new version of this recipe for you. This Slow Cooker Italian Sausage and Peppers are absolutely the perfect combination of juicy and spicy Italian sausage with the sweetness of bell peppers and the onions. It’s so good that I bet you’ll be eating it for dinner and/or lunch like there is no tomorrow! And I promise you won’t get tired of it 😉 I’ve also been making this Italian Sausage Tomato Sauce Recipe lately so if you’ve got extra, you should try it as well, along with my Low-Carb Sheet Pan Sausage and Veggies!
It’s one of those recipes that seem perfect for any occasion. Whether it’s a regular weeknight or if you’re entertaining guests, this sausage and peppers recipe is always welcomed. I love how simple it is to make and thanks to the slow cooker, you can set it and forget it.
How to make this Slow Cooker Italian Sausage and Peppers Recipe
- Olive oil — or your oil of choice.
- Italian sausage links — try to buy nitrate-free sausages. 1 pound of fresh sausage links comes out to be around 6 medium-sized links in their casing.
- Onion — feel free to use white onion, yellow onion, sweet onion, or whatever you have on hand.
- Garlic — fresh garlic is best for this recipe.
- Mushrooms — I used sliced white mushrooms but feel free to use cremini if that’s what you have on hand. Buy them pre-sliced to save some prep time.
- Bell peppers — I used 2 red bell peppers but you can use any type. Keep in mind that red bell peppers are the sweetest and green is the least sweet. Orange and yellow bell peppers are great swaps.
- Tomato sauce — try my homemade sugar-free tomato sauce if you have time or use a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes from the store.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Fresh parsley — for a pop of colour at the end as a garnish.
You have two ways to make this recipe. One is using a cast iron skillet and slow cooker and the other way is using only a slow cooker (throw everything in the slow cooker and let it cook by itself). However, if you want my honest opinion, I think the first option is better because the sausages will have a nice crust that you get from sautéing them in the cast iron. This is how I make this Slow Cooker Italian Sausage and Peppers:
- In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. When the skillet is very hot, add sausage links, and cook for about 2 minutes each side. This step is very important to give the sausages a nice crust. Then, place them on a cutting board, slice them and place in the slow cooker.
- In the same skillet, add onions and cook for about 2 minutes. If you need pour more olive oil and stir constantly. Then add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer onions and garlic to the slow cooker.
- Again in the same skillet add mushroom and cook for 2 minutes or until they get a nice golden color. Transfer to the slow cooker.
- Now in the slow cooker, add bell pepper, tomato sauce, salt and black pepper. Cover and cook for 5 hours on low or 3 hours on high, or until sausages are cooked through and tender. Top with parsley before serving.
How do I store leftovers?
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It’s even more delicious on the second day. Reheat the sausage and peppers on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through.
Can sausage and peppers be frozen?
Yes, absolutely! Sausage and peppers freeze very well. Store leftovers in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat gently on the stove before serving.
How long do sausages take to cook in slow cooker on high?
It will take about 2-3 hours on high and 5-6 hours on low. I love how easy it is to make this in the slow cooker. Want another slow cooker recipe? Try my Slow Cooker Chicken and Sweet Potato!
Do you have to cook sausages before putting in slow cooker?
No, it’s not necessary, but I think if you sauté the sausage in the skillet before putting in the slow cooker, it will add an extra flavour to this dish and the sausage will look delicious.
Can I use pre-cooked sausage to this recipe?
No, I really don’t think it’s a good idea. The best sausage to make this Slow Cooker Italian Sausage and Peppers recipe is the uncooked Italian sausage in its casing and you can use either sweet Italian sausage or hot Italian sausage recipes. It’s totally up to you.
How do I make this spicier or milder?
Feel free to use spicy sausage or mild sausage. You can also add a few pinches of red pepper flakes or cayenne powder to the recipe to increase the heat.
How to Serve Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers
- My husband loves this recipe with a toasted bun and provolone cheese on top. Or serve it with a side of cornbread to soak up the sauce.
- It’s also delicious with zucchini noodles or even regular noodles if you’re not on a low-carb/whole30/paleo diet.
- You can also serve over a bowl of cooked brown rice or cauliflower rice.
- Mashed cauliflower, mashed butternut squash, or regular mashed potatoes are great options too to spoon the sauce over.
- Or you can have it on its own with a side of roasted vegetables. Delicious!
Can I use the Instant Pot for this?
I do not recommend pressure cooking this recipe as the tomato sauce is too thick for the pot to come up to pressure. I suggest using a pot on the stove top to make the recipe if you are in a rush. Simply use a pot instead of a skillet to brown everything then instead of transferring to a slow cooker, just add the tomato sauce to the pot and simmer until the sausages are cooked through to your liking.
Are sausages and peppers healthy?
Yes, this sausage and peppers recipe is quite healthy! It’s packed full of proteins and veggies that works for a lot of different diets from gluten-free, low-carb, paleo, and whole30-friendly. It’s a family friendly meal that everyone will love. You can make this even healthier by serving it with a side of salad or roasted vegetables for extra nourishment.
- Make sure the onions and bell peppers are cut thick. As the sausages and peppers are cooking for a while in the slow cooker, this helps them keep their shape. Thinly cut onions or peppers may end up breaking down into the sauce.
- Feel free to add any extra herbs or spices you like such as Italian seasoning or dried herbs.
- Be sure to use uncooked Italian sausage in its casing and not precooked sausages or they’ll become overcooked and tough.
- Don’t have tomato sauce or a can of crushed tomatoes, you can use marinara sauce in its place.
- Did you know you can prepare this the night before for a quick and easy dinner the next day? In the evening, go through steps 1-4. However, instead of starting the slow cooker, cover the dish and store it in the fridge. Then, in the morning before heading to work, you can start the slow cooker and have dinner ready once you’re home! Make sure the keep warm function is on!
More Sausage Recipes to Try:
- Sausage and Kale Stuffed Acorn Squash: This is a feel-good meal that is perfect for a cold winter day! This sausage and kale stuffed acorn squash is filled with healthy goodness. Perfect for entertaining as well!
- Italian Sausage, Onions and Peppers Skillet: This Italian sausage, onions, and pepper skillet is a low-carb, gluten-free, paleo, and whole30-friendly recipe that’s all made in one pan!
- Italian Sausage Tomato Sauce: Filled with delicious tomato flavors and spices, this Italian sausage tomato sauce is perfect over any dish. Meal prep this sauce beforehand so you can simply reheat it with some noodles and have a quick dinner during the week.
- Low-carb Sheet Pan Sausage and Veggies: Make this simple sheet pan dinner tonight featuring sausages and veggies! Easy to make and even easier to clean up after.
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- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb fresh Italian sausage links - nitrate-free (or 6 medium Italian sausage links in their casing)
- 1 medium onion cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
- 3 cloves garlic
- 8 oz (227) white mushroom sliced
- 2 red bell pepper cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
- 1 1/2 cup any tomato sauce (I prefer homemade tomato sauce or you can use 28oz can of crushed tomatoes)
- Coarse salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley for garnishing
- Over medium-high, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add sausage links, and cook for about 2 minutes each side, just until they get brown (but the sausage will not be cooked though).
- Place them on a cutting board, slice them and place in the slow cooker.
- Add onions and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir constantly. Then add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer onions and garlic to the slow cooker.
- In the same skillet add mushroom (if necessary pour more olive oil in the skillet) and cook for 2 minutes or until they get a nice golden color. Transfer to the slow cooker.
- Add bell pepper, tomato sauce, salt and black pepper to the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook for 5 hours on low or 3 hours on high, or until sausages are cooked through and tender.
- Top with parsley. Enjoy!
- Click HERE to watch the web story.
- For an easier clean-up, use a slow cooker liner.
- I like using red bell peppers as they're sweeter. You can also use orange or yellow bell peppers.
- To save prep time, buy pre-sliced mushrooms.
- Do not skip searing the ingredients in your skillet before adding to the slow cooker. It adds a ton of flavor to the overall dish.
- To store: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
- To reheat: Reheat leftovers on the stove or microwave.
- To freeze: Once cooled, you can freeze the recipe for up to 3 months. Make sure to fully thaw in the fridge before reheating.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.
Watch the Web Story HERE.