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Sausage and peppers have been on the menu at virtually every major family event I have ever attended. They’re at graduations, birthday parties, rehearsal dinners, barbecues, holidays, and sometimes they’re just around because they’re delicious. Some people have funeral potatoes — we have sausage and peppers.
This version of Italian sausage and peppers uses a slow cooker to cook it slowly over the course of several hours, which lets all the flavors really meld. For the best results, start with fresh Italian sausages with the casings still on. Personally, I like my sausage as spicy as possible, but you can use sweet or spicy sausages, or a combination of both.
Cut the raw sausages into pieces and put them in the slow cooker with sliced onion, garlic, sliced red bell pepper, sliced mushrooms, and tomato sauce. You can use homemade tomato sauce, a jar of your favorite marinara sauce, or a big can of crushed tomatoes. Cook all those things in a slow cooker set to “low” for five hours, and you’ll have a gorgeous, bright-red sauce that’s sweet and flavorful and great for dipping good Italian bread into.
The author provides two versions of the recipe. One involves using a cast iron pan to sauté the sausage, onions, garlic, and mushrooms separately before putting them in the slow cooker. The second option is to put the raw sausage and all the other ingredients directly into the slow cooker and use that appliance for everything. The second method is much easier, but the author says the first tastes better, because sautéing the sausages first gives them a nice, golden-brown crust that is absolutely delicious.
Of course, if you have an Instant Pot, you know exactly what to do with this recipe: Sauté the sausage, onions, garlic, and mushrooms in the Instant Pot, then switch the pot to slow cooker mode and you’ll have the best of both worlds. You can eat the sausage and peppers on their own, serve it over pasta like a sauce, or spoon it onto bread and make it a sandwich.
Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Italian Sausage and Peppers from Primavera Kitchen
More Delicious Sausage Recipes from Kitchn
- Pasta with Feta, Broccoli, and Sausage
- Sausage and Tomato Risotto
- Slow Cooker Sausage and Spinach Breakfast Casserole
- Orecchiette with Caramelized Fennel and Spicy Sausage
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