Making air fryer Italian sausage is a quick and easy way to make perfect air fryer sausage every single time. Whether you serve them with peppers and onions, or alongside pasta sauce and pasta, cooking air-fried sausages is the quickest method out there.
Eating protein sources like sausage is a fantastic alternative to your regular chicken, pork chops, or beef. It doesn't get much easier than cooking Italian sausage in an air fryer, not only are they low carb, but they're gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, dairy-free, grain-free, and keto-friendly too.
Whether you have a toaster oven style or a basket style fryer, both will work for this recipe! We have an Omni Plus, A Cosori, and a small 3.2L Faberware and have cooked air fryer sausage in all of them. They cooked in the same amount of time.
Quick and Easy Sausage in Air Fryer
Since buying an air fryer, we've been air frying up a storm on the daily and have been super impressed at how much faster and BETTER food turns out compared to cooking in an oven.
Making Italian sausage in the air fryer has definitely become one of our new favorite sausages to make! Truth be told, my college-age son was begging to eat this batch as soon as it came out of the air fryer and it was one of those dishes eaten at the counter standing up since he knew it was for a blog post and wasn't supposed to be dinner that night.
Why You'll Love This Recipe!
- You can't cook Italian sausage quicker than making air fryer Italian sausage
- The only ingredient you need for this recipe is Italian sausage
- You can use this SAME method for making air fryer brats or sausage links too- any uncooked sausage will work
- It's a great basic recipe to add to other recipes like pasta, vegetables, or serve it on bun
- Sausage in an air fryer is low carb, paleo, keto-friendly, and gluten-free
- It works for either a toaster oven style or basket style air fryer
- You can cook sausages in less than 20 minutes from start to finish!
Don’t have an air fryer yet?? After tons of research, we decided to purchase an air fryer/toaster oven combo and it replaced our old countertop toaster oven. But after quickly realizing how handy TWO air fryers would be, we also just got a smaller basket style air fryer.
Ingredients for Air Fryer Sausage
- 1 pkg uncooked Italian Sausages (mild or spicy)- ours came 5 to a pack
- Optional- feel free to add sliced peppers or onions alongside the uncooked sausages. They cook in the same amount of time.
Johnsonville sausage air fryer - If you have Johnsonville brand sausage, it's easy to air fry them! Just follow the recipe instructions for that brand and any brand of raw link sausages.
One reason we loved to eat air fryer Italian sausage is that you just need one ingredient.... a package of uncooked sausage.
How many other protein options do you just cook straight out of the package that doesn't need additional seasoning or oil? That's one of the reasons we seem to have sausage for dinner almost every week.
We used the Trader Joes brand Italian sausage, we love the Johnsonville ones too. Any favorite variety of yours will work. The uncooked Italian sausages seem to come in a standard size regardless of brand, some brands call them Mild Italian Sausage, and others might call them Sweet Italian Sausage. By all means, buy the spicy variety if you want to, they cook the same way as the mild.
How to Air Fry Sausage
Since Italian sausages are already preseasoned and have a higher fat content, you don't need to do any prep work for this recipe. I like to take the sausages out of the fridge for 5-10 minutes before cooking.
- We cooked this recipe on 360F, you could technically cook it at either a lower time for longer or a higher time for a shorter amount, but in the batches we made, cooking them at 360F cooked the air fried Italian sausage as fast as possible but not so hot that they started to shrivel.
Most uncooked Italian sausage brands come with 5 in the package, depending on what model of air fryer you have will determine how many you can cook at one time. Make sure they're in a single layer or else they won't brown, and be sure to leave a little room on all sides to get them to cook evenly.
- Lay the sausage on the air fryer rack or basket and put them in at 360 F.
Important Note for Air Fryer Sausage
Italian sausage has a high-fat content like bacon, which could cause your air fryer to fill with white smoke. Make sure your drip tray is clean before cooking these if you have an air fryer oven model like we do. By starting with a clean air fryer, I did NOT get any smoke during cooking and everything worked perfectly.
I've also read tips from others who put perforated parchment paper under the item they're cooking so that less grease drips during cooking. You can also try adding a little water (say 1 tablespoon on the bottom of a basket air fryer), or put a piece of old bread on the bottom to absorb much of the grease.
Air Fryer Sausage Cook Time
3. Cook the Italian sausage in an air fryer oven for 6 minutes and turn over. Continue cooking the sausage air fryer recipe for 5-6 more minutes until the internal temperature reaches 160F.
Air Fryer Italian Sausage Cook Time
Our air fryer sausage ended up taking 11 minutes to cook, but different types of air fryers might take a different amount of time. It’s super important to keep an eye on the temperature to get the hang of how long to cook pork chops in air fryer in your exact model.
The key is making sure the internal temperature of the sausage is 160 F, that's when you know they're done. We highly recommend using a digital meat thermometer when making breakfast sausages or to cook sausages in general.
Since the sausages are such a quick-cooking recipe you could skip flipping them over, we noticed both sides turned brown even in the batches that didn't get flipped. Check at the half-way cooking point and if the bottom isn't getting brown at all be sure to flip them over.
4. Remove the sausage from the air fryer and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. It takes at least 5 minutes for the juices to redistribute evenly throughout the meat and make every bite juicy and moist.
What to serve with Air Fryer Italian Sausage
We had leftover sauteed peppers and onions in the fridge and served that with the air fryer Italian sausages if you want to add something like sliced peppers or onions to the sausages, season them and mix with oil, spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray, lay the veggies on the rack and put the Italian sausage on top of the peppers before cooking.
Using a toaster oven style air fryer like below, when you flip the sausage it did leave little indents, that did not happen in the batch made in our basket style air fryer. They of course both taste the same!
How to Store Air Fryer Italian Sausage
- Store: Transfer leftover air fryer sausages into an airtight container or wrap it in heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap. They will keep up for up to 4 days.
- Freeze: Air fried sausage leftovers can also be frozen for up to 2-3 months. Store them either in an airtight container or a freezer Ziplock bag.
- Reheat sausages in air fryer: When you're ready to eat them again, preheat your air fryer to 360 F and then cook them for 3-5 minutes, or until heated through.
Air Fry Italian Sausage FAQs
Yes, you can totally cook air fryer sausages from frozen, there’s no need to thaw them first! They do take a few minutes longer took but they turn out just as delicious as fresh.
If you're cooking frozen Italian sausage in an air fryer, preheat your air fryer basket for 5 minutes at 400 F. Cook the frozen Italian sausage in the air fryer for 12-14 minutes, flipping halfway.
As long as you don’t overcook the sausages, they won’t burst. Some people say if you poke a few holes in sausages before cooking it’ll prevent them from bursting. This isn’t accurate info and instead it causes the valuable sausage juices to leak and the end result won’t be as juicy.
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