These easy slow cooker sausage and peppers are slowly simmered in marinara sauce for a crock pot dinner that's hard to beat!
Why You’ll Love Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers
I love sausage and peppers, don't you?
This Italian sausage and peppers recipe is one of the easiest, most comforting dinners you can ask for.
It's truly versatile. Serve it over rice, potatoes, polenta. Use it to make a sandwich. Try it with pasta and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese or mozzarella.
There are so many delicious ways to enjoy these sausages and peppers.
Plus, they're great for meal prep.
Make them a few days in advance and serve them up for multiple meals or pack them for work or school lunches.
What You’ll Need
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- Italian Sausage You can use sweet Italian sausage or hot Italian sausage for this recipe. It all depends on your personal taste preferences.
- Bell Peppers I recommend using a combination of different colors of sliced bell peppers. I like to use red bell peppers, green bell peppers, and either yellow or orange peppers.
- Tomato Sauce If you have the time, I absolutely recommend making a batch of homemade marinara sauce. The depth of flavor is outstanding. If you don't have time, just pick up a jar of your favorite sauce from the store.
- Olive Oil This is for browning the sausage before adding it to the pot. If you're skipping that step, you won't need any oil.
- Onions You can use sweet onions or yellow onion here. I find that the onions and garlic in the marinara sauce is enough to flavor the recipe, but if you want to add more, go for it!
- Garlic Some fresh, chopped garlic will add more flavor to the dish.
- Fresh Parsley Try adding some parsley, basil, or oregano to the final dish for a pop of freshness.
Slow Cooker - This is the one that I use and I love it!
How to Make This Recipe
Step One: First, brown the sausage. Add the olive oil to a frying pan over medium heat. Brown the sausage on all sides, then add it to the slow cooker. Nestle the sliced bell peppers between the sausages in the slow cooker.
Step Two: Pour the marinara sauce over top. Set the slow cooker to high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
Step Three: Test the sausages for doneness, then serve!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Absolutely! Brown the sausage in a large pot or Dutch oven, sauté the peppers, then pour the marinara over top. Summer on low for 2 to 3 hours, until the sausage is cooked through and tender.
You can tell when sausage is cooked by using an instant-read thermometer to ensure the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can reheat this dish in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes, or until the sausage is 165 degrees Fahrenheit when measured with an instant-read thermometer.
Variations and Substitutions
Chicken Sausage or Turkey Sausage: Swap the traditional pork sausage for a chicken or turkey variety. It's a little lighter and presents you with options when you're tired of the same old thing.
Frozen Peppers: While I prefer the texture of fresh sliced bell peppers, you can totally use frozen peppers in a pinch.
Sandwiches: Add your sausage and peppers to a toasted hoagie roll for a delicious sandwich. It's best topped with cheese and then melted under the broiler for a few minutes.
Cauliflower Rice: You can use cauliflower rice as the base of your dish for a tasty low-carb option.
Raw Italian Sausage: In a rush? Skip the browning step and toss the sausage in the crock pot uncooked. The flavor will still be amazing.
How to Store
Fridge You can store any leftovers of this sausage and peppers dish in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Freezer Allow the sausage and marinara to cool completely, then transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months.
Reheating To reheat from the fridge, you can add the sausage and peppers to a pot on the stove and heat until the sausages reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can also microwave leftovers at 30-second intervals in the microwave.
To reheat from frozen, transfer the sausage and peppers to the fridge to thaw overnight, then follow the directions above.
How to Serve Crockpot Sausage and Peppers
You can serve this sausage and peppers crock pot recipe in a sandwich, over rice, polenta, or mixed into your favorite pasta.
Here are some ideas other ideas for serving:
Potatoes: These spicy Calabrian potatoes are smashed and fried with a lemony vinaigrette that would be lovely alongside this sausage recipe. Air fryer fingerling potatoes or German potato salad would be delicious as well.
- Try adding red pepper flakes. Is your final dish tasting a little flat? Try adding a pinch of salt or a pinch of red pepper flakes to the sauce to see if that wakes up the flavor.
- Use crushed tomatoes for homemade marinara. If you are making homemade marinara for this recipe, I recommend using crushed tomatoes rather than diced tomatoes. Diced tomatoes don't have enough liquid to keep the sausages covered throughout the cook time.
- You can easily double this recipe. Want to make sausage and peppers for a bigger crowd? You can easily scale up by clicking on the number next to "Servings" in the recipe card below. Be sure to check that the sausage is cooked through if you are adding more to the slow cooker.
More Slow Cooker Recipes to Try
Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers
- First, brown the sausage. Add the olive oil to a frying pan over medium heat. Brown the sausage on all sides, the add it to the slow cooker.
- Slice the bell peppers, then nestle them in between the sausages in the slow cooker. If you are using the onion and garlic, slice the onion and mince the garlic, then add them to the slow cooker as well.
- Pour the marinara sauce over top. Be sure everything is well covered. Set the slow cooker to high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
- Test the sausages for doneness, then serve!
- Try adding a pinch of red pepper flake to the pasta sauce for a pop of flavor.
- Add some fresh herbs like basil or parsley to the end of the dish if you have them on hand.
- You can use chicken sausage in place of traditional pork sausage in this recipe.
- Fridge You can store any leftovers of this sausage and peppers dish in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
- Freezer Allow the sausage and marinara to cool completely, then transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months.
- Reheating To reheat from the fridge, you can add the sausage and peppers to a pot on the stove and heat until the sausages reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also microwave leftovers at 30-second intervals in the microwave.
- To reheat from frozen, transfer the sausage and peppers to the fridge to thaw overnight, then follow the directions above.