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 and a small 3.2L Faberware and have cooked air fryer sausage in both. They cooked in the same amount of time.
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Italian 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 This Recipe Works
- 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
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, but 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.
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.
Cooking in the Air Fryer
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.
Preheat the air fryer 3 minutes before cooking, some models build this into the cooking time and others have you do it manually.
Lay the sausage on the air fryer rack or basket and put them in at 360 F.
IMPORTANT NOTE: 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 Tbsp 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
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.
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.
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.
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!
Other Air Fryer Recipes You’ll Love
And be sure to pin the recipe for later on Pinterest so you can easily get back to it!
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- 1 pkg uncooked Italian sausage, mild, sweet, or hot
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 sausage out of the fridge for 5-10 minutes before cooking.
Air Fryer Italian Sausage Temperature
Cook on 360 F.
Lay the sausage in a single layer on the air fryer basket, leaving room on all sides.
No need to preheat the air fryer, just lay the sausages on the basket and put in at 360 F.
Air Fry Sausage Cook Time
Cook the Italian sausages in an air fryer oven for 6 minutes flip over, and continue cooking for 5-6 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160F. Some air fryer models could take slightly longer to cook.
Be sure not to overcook the sausages as they'll start to shrivel and juices could start leaking out of the sausage.
Remove the Italian sausages 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.
The air fryer sausage recipe works with Italian sausages, brats, turkey sausage, or any uncooked dinner sausage.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Italian sausages have a high-fat content and like bacon, 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, or you can add 1 Tbsp of water in the bottom, or use an old piece of bread to catch the grease.
We recommend when you cook sausages to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. Sausage links, breakfast sausages, and other types are considered done when the internal temperature reaches 160F.
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Instant Pot Omni Plus Toaster Oven, 26L
Air Fryer Accessories,Phillips Air Fryer Accessories and Gowise Air Fryer Accessories Fit all 3.7QT-5.3QT-5.8QT,Set of 5-7 inch
GoWISE USA 3.7-Quart Programmable Air Fryer with 8 Cook Presets, GW22638 - Black
Ninja Air Fryer, 1550-Watt Programmable Base for Air Frying, Roasting, Reheating & Dehydrating with 4-Quart Ceramic Coated Basket (AF101), Black/Gray
Nutrition InformationYield 5 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 260Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 60mgSodium 570mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 0gSugar 2gProtein 14g
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