overhead image of sausage and peppers pasta in a white bowl garnished

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Why I love this sausage and peppers pasta recipe

I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of a comforting pasta dinner, and this sausage and peppers pasta is one of my favorites. It’s a simple adaptation of my favorite sausage and peppers sandwich recipe, but since I don’t always have a perfect Italian roll, this is usually a little more convenient.

I don’t really know why, but rotini is my favorite pasta choice for this recipe. I think it’s the way the sauce clings between each layer of the pasta, but maybe it’s just because it’s pretty. If you don’t have rotini, you can easily use your favorite pasta. Just make sure to cook it to al dente in salted water.

Serve this recipe with: kale caesar salad / portillo’s chopped salad / apple cider sangria / brandy slush / olive oil brownies / blueberry shortcake

sausage and peppers pasta in a bowl garnished with crushed red pepper flakes, red wine glass in the background

Here’s what you’ll need to make it

pasta in a large skillet with peppers, onions and Italian sausage

How to make sausage and peppers pasta

Boil the rotini pasta. Heat a large pot of salted water until boiling. Cook the pasta according to the directions for al dente on the package. Stir as needed to keep the pasta from sticking to the pot.

Drain when the pasta is cooked, and if you need more time for the rest of the dish, just drizzle with a bit of olive oil and let it sit in the colander.

Brown the sausages. Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Add the sausages and cook them until they are mostly browned. It’s ok if they’re not 100% cooked yet.

Transfer them to a plate and let the rest. You’ll need to slice them before you return them to the pot to finish cooking.

Sauté the vegetables. Heat the olive oil in the skillet and add the onions and peppers. Cook until the onions are translucent. It should take about 5 minutes. Stir as needed to prevent burning. Add the garlic and let it cook for an additional minute.

Make the sauce. Stir in the tomatoes and basil, and allow them to come to a simmer. Return the sliced sausage to the pan and simmer until the sausage is fully cooked through.

Toss the pasta. Add the drained pasta to the skillet, stirring to coat it with the sauce. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed. Then, serve immediately.

overhead image of final dish

FAQs and tips for making this recipe

How do you make rotini pasta?

Rotini pasta should be cooked to al dente in boiling, salted water. Cooking times will vary by brand.

What’s the difference between fusilli and rotini pasta?

Both are twist-shaped pasta. The basic difference between the two is the way they are made. Rotini pasta is more of a corkscrew while fusilli tends to look more like a double helix.

How do you know if a sausage is cooked?

Pork sausage should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160˚F. The sausage will no longer be pink in the center and uniform in (browned) color.

What is a sweet Italian sausage?

Italian sausage is generally made from pork and seasonings like garlic and fennel. Spicy or mild sausage usually contains red pepper, in different amounts, while sweet sausage wouldn’t contain it. I find that sweet sausage tends to have a more pronounced fennel (anise) flavor.

Close up of rotini pasta with peppers and sausage

More dairy free pasta recipes

More sausage recipes

overhead image of dish

Italian Sausage and Peppers Pasta

This Italian sausage and peppers pasta recipe is one of my favorite pasta recipes! It’s simple and satisfying, with sautéed bell peppers, onions and flavorful Italian sausage. Customize it by using your favorite Italian sausage – spicy, mild or, my favorite, sweet. You could even swap turkey sausage if you’re looking for a healthy choice. Either way, this recipe is sure to become a family favorite. 

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 1 pound rotini pasta
  • 5 links Italian sausage
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 bell peppers (any color), sliced
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente, in salted water.
  2. Heat a large skillet to medium-high. Add sausage links and brown on all sides, until no longer pink. Transfer sausage to a cutting board or plate. Set aside.
  3. Add olive oil, peppers, and onion to the pan with a pinch of coarse salt. Cook the vegetables until the onions are translucent. Add garlic and continue to cook for another minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes and basil to the pan and reduce heat to a simmer. While the sauce simmers, slice the sausage and return to the pan.
  5. When the pasta is cooked drain and toss with the sausage and peppers until evenly coated with sauce. If needed, adjust seasoning with salt & pepper to taste.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 464
  • Sugar: 10.6 g
  • Sodium: 455.2 mg
  • Fat: 13.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 70.4 g
  • Fiber: 5.9 g
  • Protein: 15.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 17.9 mg

Keywords: dairy free, Italian, comfort food, sausage, pork, pasta

Last Updated on November 12, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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