Italian Sausage with Peppers and Pasta

Italian Sausage with Peppers and Pasta is a quick and easy delicious dinner perfect for busy weeknights! This is a relatively light meal…there’s no heavy marinara sauce or pasta sauce-just the delicious flavors from the sweet bell peppers, sun dried tomatoes, Italian seasonings and onions. Use ground, mild or spicy Italian sausage, but if you’re in a pinch, ground beef works well, too!Italian Skillet Supper on a white plate with spinach leaves and cherry tomatoes

Why this easy skillet recipe works

  • Not all Italian recipes are drowning in tomato pasta sauce and melted Mozzarella! This is a relatively light dish that can be as mild, spicy or cheesy as you like!
  • The sweet bell peppers offer a nice flavor combination to the savory, salty sausage 
  • Use any kind of ground Italian sausage you like – sweet Italian sausage, hot Italian sausage or mild – it’s your call. 
  • Great last minute or make-ahead dinner! No need for a marinara sauce of any tomato paste or tomato sauce 

Here’s what you’ll need

This Italian sausage with peppers and pasta recipe is ready in minutes and is quite filling! Serve with a slice of crusty bread and a homemade Caesar salad and call it dinner on a busy weeknight.

Two pounds ground Italian sausage (mild, hot or a combination), yellow onion, olive oil, a little minced garlic (fresh garlic or garlic powder), orange bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, sun dried tomatoes, dried Italian seasoning blend, one pound of tubular pasta, fresh grated Parmesan cheese and baby spinach. (You can toss in a little diced green bell pepper if that’s what you’ve got on hand!)

Use any tubular pasta you like – rigatoni, penne pasta, mostaccioli, tortiglioni or ziti.

How to make it

This is an overview of this easy recipe. For exact ingredient measurements and simple steps, see the recipe card below.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat; add onions, peppers, drained sundried tomatoes and sausage; saute vegetables and garlic for a few minutes; cook till sausage is brown and there’s no visible pink. Season with Italian seasonings, salt and pepper to taste. (Drain the sausage if there’s excess oil.)

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil in stockpot; add a little bit of salt to the water and toss in the pasta; cook according to package instructions for al dente cooked pasta. Drain and return to skillet with Italian sausage and pepper mixture.

Combine and allow to cook for a couple of minutes on low heat; add the baby spinach leaves, toss and top with a little grated fresh Parmesan cheese, cover and cook until cheese melts. Serve and enjoy!

Tips and Substitutions

  • When you’re heating the sausage, use the edge of a wooden spoon to break the sausage down into small browned bits
  • Use any type of tubular pasta with this light Italian dish
  • Want it cheesier? Toss the Parmesan into the Italian sausage mixture and combine well, then add more cheese and place the skillet under the broiler for 3-5 minutes.
  • Want it spicier? Add in a little crushed red pepper flakes
  • No Parmesan? Substitute with any aged cheese like Pecorino Romano, or Asiago.
  • Garnish with fresh basil and serve with a nice glass of red wine

What’s in Italian Sausage?

American Italian Sausage is generally pork sausage, seasoned with herbs, red pepper and fennel. It can be purchased in bulk (ground) or in links. 

Can I Substitute Sausage Links for Ground Sausage?

Yes, links can be substituted for ground sausage but keep in mind, the links have a casing on them which keeps them intact. If you elect to use sausage links, simply parboil them (place them in hot water) for 5 minutes or until the casing dissipates. Then, add them to the skillet; use the sharp edge of a spatula to break the sausage down into smaller pieces.

Make ahead and storage

You can make this Italian Sausage with Peppers and Pasta skillet supper in advance if you like! Make the sauce and cook the pasta. Store each in a separate airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

When ready to reheat, pop the noodles in the microwave or plunge them into a pot of hot water. Reheat the sausage sauce on the stove or in the microwave; combine and enjoy. The meat sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Italian Skillet Supper

If you’re in a pinch to get dinner on the table fast, this Italian sausage, peppers and pasta works every time!

More pasta recipes

Italian Skillet Supper

Italian Sausage Skillet Supper

Savory Italian sausage with sweet peppers, sun dried tomatoes and Italian herbs served with rigatoni pasta, baby spinach and fresh Parmesan.
5 from 2 votes
Print Rate
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 cups
Author: Anecia Hero


  • 2 lbs ground Italian sausage not sausage links
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup yellow onion chopped
  • ¼ cup yellow bell pepper chopped
  • ¼ cup orange bell pepper chopped
  • 4 chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning blend
  • 6-8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt, for pasta water
  • 1 lb. tubular pasta Rigatoni, Penne, etc.
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • fresh Parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large skillet, heat oil on medium. 
    1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Add onions, peppers, sun dried tomatoes and sausage; allow to cook until there is no visible pink on the sausage ; drain if needed (See recipe notes)
    2 lbs ground Italian sausage, ½ cup yellow onion, ¼ cup yellow bell pepper, ¼ cup orange bell pepper, 4 chopped sun dried tomatoes, 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning blend
  • Add Italian seasonings and combine well
    2 tablespoons Italian seasoning blend
  • Meanwhile, bring stockpot of salted water to boil
    6-8 cups water, 1 tablespoon salt, for pasta water
  • Add pasta to boiling water and cook 10-12 minutes; drain pasta
    1 lb. tubular pasta
  • Add cooked pasta to meat mixture; toss until pasta is coated
  • Add spinach to meat and pasta mixture; combine well; season to taste
    1 cup baby spinach, salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish with fresh parsley or Parmesan cheese; cover until cheese melts, then serve
    fresh Parmesan


  • Do not drain the meat after cooking unless there's an excess of oil; the flavored oil is the sauce for this dish
  • If you make this dish using sausage links, parboil the sausage first to remove the skin; then, place the sausage links in the skillet; use sharp edge of spatula to break the sausage apart

Nutrition Estimate

Serving: 1cupCalories: 843kcalCarbohydrates: 61gProtein: 32gFat: 51gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 1132mgPotassium: 677mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 730IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 87mgIron: 4mg
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