Ready in less than 30 minutes, this Italian sausage and peppers pasta is a great dinner idea for busy weeknights when you need something quick and easy, while still being tasty and healthy. The simple combination of Italian sausages, bell peppers, onions, pasta, and parmesan cheese help to create a delicious and nutritious well-balanced meal.
I love pasta, especially pasta with a bit of heat. Whether it’s a pinch of chili flakes, a bit of spicy sausage, or a combination of the two, a good pasta dish covered in a tomato sauce with a bit of kick is my kind of pasta meal.
What You’ll Need
You’ll need the following ingredients to make spicy sausage and pepper pasta:
Pasta: I think rigatoni works best with sausage and peppers, but you could certainly use another pasta shape if you like; penne pasta, farfalle pasta, and conchiglie pasta would also work well.
Italian Sausages: The recipe is designed to be spicy so I used spicy Italian sausages, however, if you’re not a fan of spice, you could easily use a mild Italian sausage. If you’re not a fan of pork sausage, feel free to use beef sausages, turkey sausages, or chicken sausages instead.
Bell Peppers: Red bell peppers tend to provide the best flavor as they are the sweetest variety, however, yellow and orange bell pepper will work too. I don’t recommend using green bell peppers as they are too bitter.
Onion and Garlic: Some aromatics to enhance the flavor of the sausages.
Herbs and Spices: A bit of Italian seasoning to level up the Italian-inspired flavors and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes to turn up the heat.
Tomatoes: To tie the sauce together. I think a jar of passata works best but you could use diced tomatoes if needed.
Parmesan Cheese: Because no pasta dish is complete without parmesan cheese!
How to Make Italian Sausage and Peppers Pasta
Making pasta with sausage and peppers is incredibly quick and easy and makes great leftovers too. Here’s how to do it:
- Cook the pasta. Begin by cooking your pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente or cooked to your liking.
- Cook the peppers. Add the red bell peppers to a pan with the onion and garlic and olive oil and cook until just tender.
- Cook the sausage. Remove the Italian sausages from the casing, add them to the pan with the peppers and cook it in a pan until no longer pink.
- Make the sauce. Once the sausage and peppers are cooked, add the tomato sauce and simmer everything for a few minutes until well incorporated to allow the flavors to come together.
- Mix it up. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and gently stir, add parmesan cheese and stir again, adding splashes of pasta water as needed until the desired consistency is reached and the pasta is well coated in the sauce.
- Season and serve! Taste, adjust seasoning as needed, and serve!
The pasta is best served immediately with a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese, and you can add a few extra red pepper flakes for extra heat if you like.
Don’t like spicy? Use a mild Italian sausage instead and omit the red pepper flakes altogether.
Can’t find rigatoni pasta? While any pasta shape will work, I think short-cut pasta, such as penne, rotini, elbows, bow ties, shells, and ziti, works best.
Don’t eat pork? You can use chicken sausage or turkey sausage instead, just make sure it’s Italian and/or spicy for the best results.
Want to make it gluten-free? Use gluten-free pasta instead, and ensure your sausages are gluten-free.
Want to make it vegetarian? You won’t get the same level of flavor, but you could use tofu sausage or ground tofu instead. Be sure to add a bit more olive oil and additional herbs and spices to make up for the fat and flavor you’ll be missing from the pork sausage.
Storage and Reheating
To Store: Allow the pasta to cool completely and then place it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To Freeze: Allow the pasta to cool completely and then place it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: When you’re ready to eat, thaw the pasta completely, then add it to a pan on low-medium heat, add a splash of water, and heat until the pasta is warm and the sauce is smooth, adding small splashes of water to rehydrate the pasta as needed. The pasta can also be reheated in the microwave from thawed for 1-2 minutes.
More Healthy Pasta Recipes:
Sausage and Peppers Pasta
Made with spicy Italian sausages, onions, and red bell peppers, and ready in less than 30 minutes, this sausage and peppers pasta is a flavor-packed meal that is perfect for busy weeknights.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
- 12 ounces (340 grams) rigatoni, about 4 cups, or short-cut pasta of your choice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 Italian sausages, casing removed
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed chilies
- 1 jar passata or tomato sauce, 24 ounces (680ml)
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook to al dente or according to package directions. Once cooked, drain pasta, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a large pan on medium-high heat, warm the olive oil, then add onion and bell pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly tender. Then add sausage, squeezing the meat out of the casing, and continue to cook for 5-6 minutes, breaking the sausage up with a spatula or wooden spoon, until cooked through.
- Once the sausage is almost cooked, add the garlic, Italian seasoning, crushed chilies (optional), a pinch of salt, mix to combine with the vegetable and sausage mixture, and cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add passata to the pan and stir to combine with the sausage and vegetable mixture and bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust with salt and spices as needed.
- Once the pasta is cooked, strain (be sure to reserve the extra cup of pasta water!) then transfer noodles to the pan with the sauce (or use the empty pasta pot if your pan is too small), gently tossing the pasta until coated with the sausage and pepper sauce.
- Add parmesan cheese, mix gently again to combine, adding small splashes of the reserved pasta water as needed until a smooth consistency is reached.
- Serve the finished pasta immediately with additional freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Any leftover pasta can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 3 months.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 660 calories
- Sugar: 12 grams
- Fat: 25 grams
- Carbohydrates: 82 grams
- Fiber: 7 grams
- Protein: 27 grams
Keywords: sausage with peppers and pasta, pasta with sausage and peppers, italian sausage and peppers pasta