Sausage and peppers is a classic dish that can be made in so many ways. I will show you how to make it in the slow cooker for an easy and delicious meal! The best part is that it only takes a few minutes to prepare, and your slow cooker will do all the work for you. So gather your ingredients and let's get started!
About Sausage and Peppers
There is not a lot to be found about where this recipe originates, but one theory is that sausage and peppers is a dish traced back to ancient Rome. The dish was made with pork sausage and green bell peppers and was a popular meal among the Roman legions because it was easy to prepare and it provided them with plenty of energy for battle.
Others claim this dish comes from more recent Italian families who have brought this recipe to America. Either way, it has become a beloved recipe. Not only because of how easy it is to prepare but also because of how flavor packed and versatile it is!
About this recipe
Most recipes for sausage and peppers use multiple ingredients or require extra steps to prepare. My goal was to create a delicious recipe that only requires 4 ingredients and no extra prep. Simply throw in the slow cooker and walk away! The key is to use high-quality ingredients. I'll share my recommendations next.
sausage - the most important thing here is to eat sausage you love on its own because it's the star of the show. I prefer a chicken sausage when cooking in the slow cooker to minimize grease, but this is really up to you. A spicy sausage is, of course, a great option.
Peppers - low in calories and high in nutrients. That makes peppers the perfect food for people who are trying to add some veggies to their day. Peppers are a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect your body from disease.
onion - a source of many beneficial nutrients, including antioxidants, flavonoids, and polyphenols. These nutrients can help protect your body from disease and promote overall health. Onions are also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. Plus the flavor pairs perfectly with peppers for a well-rounded dish.
marinara sauce - this is possibly the most important ingredient in this recipe. Because we are keeping this simple and skipping all of the different seasonings, you need a flavorful and high-quality marinara that stands out on its own. I love the Kirklands organic marinara from Costco or my other favorite Muir Glen Tomato Basil.
How to make sausage and peppers in the slow cooker
This recipe couldn't be easier!
- slice sausage into ½" thick pieces
- remove ribs and seeds from peppers and ends and paper from onion
- slice onions and peppers thinly
- add everything to the slow cooker and top with marinara
This recipe cooks up quickly at only 2 hours on high or 4 on low. If you will be away or not eating in this timeframe be sure to use a slow cooker that can automatically switch to keep warm at the end of the cooking time.
How to serve sausage and peppers
There are so many delicious ways to enjoy this dish!
- in a hoagie roll as a sandwich
- over a big bowl of pasta
- over rice
- as the main dish next to a side salad
How to store
Can this be made in advance as meal prep?
The answer is yes! If you have fresh peppers and onions on hand, you can absolutely slice them up, place them in a freezer bag, and freeze them for future use. Add the sliced sauage and ensure all air is removed before sealing the bag. Just make sure to thaw completely before using and add the marinara sauce when ready to cook.
How long will leftovers last?
Any leftovers will last in the fridge for 2-3 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
Reheat in a covered dish in the oven at 350 degrees until warmed through or enjoy cold!
Can the sausage go in the slow cooker raw?
Yes, the sausage can go into the slow cooker raw. It will cook through as the dish cooks.
Can I use a different type of pepper?
Of course! You can use any type of pepper you like. Just keep in mind that some peppers are milder than others. So if you want a little spice, add a jalapeño or serrano pepper. If you want it to be milder, use just bell peppers.
Do I need to add oil to the slow cooker?
No, you do not need to add any oil to the slow cooker. The fat from the sausage is enough to cook the peppers.
What kind of sausage should I use?
I prefer chicken sausage when cooking in the slow cooker to minimize grease, but this is really up to you. A spicy sausage is, of course, a great option.
What if I don't have a slow cooker?
You can make this recipe in the oven! Just preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the sausage is cooked through and the peppers are tender.
Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers
- 1 pound Italian Chicken Sausage
- 1-2 bell peppers
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- Slice chicken sausage into ½ inch thick pieces
- Remove ribs and seeds from peppers and slice thinly
- Slice onion thinly
- Add all ingredients to slow cooker and stir to combine
- Cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours until peppers and onions are softened