Italian crockpot sausage and peppers are a super simple yet amazing dish that is packed with flavor. Not only is it easy, but it tastes like an Italian sausage pizza without the crust. It's a Whole Lotta Yum!
Sausage and Peppers Crockpot Recipe
Serve the slow cooker sausage and peppers straight from the pot, broil a little cheese on top, or serve on a bun. The recipe is also low carb, no sugar, gluten-free, and keto-friendly.
From Pinterest: "Absolutely loved this recipe! The family asked for thirds! I cook for a family of 5 picky eaters." ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "I tried this and its BOMB!!!!"
This is our favorite go-to recipe on our food blog ~ seriously! ~ and we admit we're a little obsessed with Italian sausage recipes. Not only is this sausage and peppers recipe just a handful of simple ingredients, but there's also just something amazing and special about this combination of flavors.
Seriously though, if you're on the hunt for crockpot Italian sausage recipes, it doesn't get better than this.
This is a crockpot sausage and peppers recipe with sauce, you'll find some recipes out there I'm sure that don't add sauce at all, or use crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce instead of pasta sauce. We are huge sausage fans at our house and eat them regularly, and I'll tell ya what, not using a delicious marinara sauce for this recipe I'm sure would still be good, but it will NOT turn out as great.
Why you'll love Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers
- The crockpot version comes together in just 10 minutes
- It tastes like sausage pizza but is way healthier
- It's easy to make substitutions like swapping pork for chicken sausage
- Depending on your marinara sauce, this is also low carb, gluten-free, and paleo
If you're looking for even more Italian sausage recipes for dinner then you'll want to check out our instant pot sausage and peppers, baked brats in the oven, and our Italian sausage bake.
Other crockpot recipes you'll want to try include Italian Tortellini Soup and Mississippi Pot Roast.
Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers ingredients
The ingredients for crockpot sausage and peppers is super simple! We love to keep extra frozen Italian sausages and frozen sliced peppers in the freezer to know we already have ingredients on hand when we need a quick meal.
- Italian sausages - you can use either pork or chicken, most brands come 5 to a pack, some come as a pack of 4.
- red & green peppers - while using a variety of colored peppers is pretty, it's perfectly fine to use one color. Green, red, yellow, or orange are all great options
- onion - red is pretty, but any variety will work like yellow or sweet onions.
- seasoning- garlic salt, Italian seasoning, black pepper
- marinara sauce - Rao's makes the best store bought marinara on the market, it tastes just like homemade, plus it has no added sugar or artificial ingredients. While Amazon and many grocery stores now carry it, Walmart sells it for 25% less than most places.
- olive oil - for searing the sausage in, any high heat oil will work
- Mozzarella cheese- (optional) any white cheese or cheese blend will work like Monterey Jack, 3 cheese blend, or Monterey Jack
- buns - (optional) serve the recipe casserole style over polenta, pasta, zoodles, or cauliflower rice, OR serve them like a hot dog on a bun.
- shredded cheese (mozzarella, Italian, Monterey Jack, or Colby Jack)
- stadium-style buns
How to make Sausage and Peppers in Crock Pot
This recipe comes together in 10 minutes and then slow cooks during the day while you're gone. We've also made instant pot sausage and peppers if you want them quickly and have an Instant Pot.
To summarize the Italian sausages and pepper recipe process, you'll be browning the sausages and then cooking the sausages, peppers, and onions in a large skillet over medium heat with a seasoned sauce before you cover and cook them for 15 minutes until heated through.
1. Sear the Sausage
Heat a skillet on medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan.
Sear the Italian sausages 2-3 mins on each side until starting to brown. You aren't trying to cook them all the way through, you're just browning the outside a bit which always increases the flavor while slow cooking.
Lay the seared Italian sausages in the bottom of a crock-pot.
Add the uncooked sliced onions and peppers on top of the sausages.
Sprinkle the garlic salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning over the top.
Spread the marinara sauce over the onion and pepper mixture.
3. Slow Cook
Cook the crock pot sausage and peppers recipe on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours until the peppers are soft and the Italian sausage is cook through. Add more salt and pepper to taste if desired. The sausages are cooked through when the internal temperature is at least 160 degrees, but sausages often do well up to 190 degrees and still stay juicy inside.
The recipe is seriously SO delicious as is, but to take it up a notch, take the sausage and peppers out of the slow cooker and spread into a broiler-safe pan with the sausages on the top.
4. Add Cheese
Adding cheese is an optional step, but highly recommended!
Sprinkle with your favorite shredded white cheese, I think mozzarella, Monterey Jack, an Italian blend, or Colby Jack would all be great choices. We used mozzarella since that's what we had in the fridge at the time we made up the slow cooker sausage and peppers recipe.
We used about ½-3/4 cup of shredded cheese for 5 peppers.
Broil the Italian sausage and peppers mix for 1-2 minutes 4" from the heat source until the cheese is melted.
Sausage and Peppers Crockpot tips
- Skip browning the Italian sausage before adding it to the crockpot to make the dish even faster
- Using chicken sausage instead of pork lightens up the recipe
- The recipe uses just one package of Italian sausages, you can definitely double this recipe to serve a crowd or just to have leftovers
- This makes a great freezer meal too. Freeze the recipe before adding the cheese for best results, and then add the cheese after it's done cooking.
- Many people also love to eat sausage and peppers in a crockpot served on a bun like a big messy hot dog, which is so tasty too! I'd recommend toasted the buns slightly before serving, if you want the crockpot sausage, peppers and onions with BOTH cheese and a bun, you'll want to:
- toast the bun and add a little butter to each
- add the crock pot sausage and peppers mix
- sprinkle with shredded cheese
- broil the sausage and peppers in the bun until the cheese is melted, keeping an eye on things so the buns don't burn.
- Serve and enjoy!
What Side Dishes Go with Sausage and Peppers?
If you’re wondering what goes with crockpot sausage and peppers, there’s a variety of classic recipes and Italian-inspired ideas you’ll love. Many people serve Italian sausage and peppers on a bun like a fancy hot dog, but it’s also often served as the main dish without a bun and a variety of sides. Here are a few ideas!
- A bun like hot dog buns or a hoagie roll
- Over pasta
- Served over polenta
- Roasted vegetables like broccoli or Brussel sprouts
- Caesar salad
- Simple green salad
- Meat and cheese board
- Antipasto salad
- And Italian wine of course!
How Do You Make Italian Sausage Tender?
To make Italian sausages tender, you'll want to make sure and not overcook them. The internal temperature for Italian sausage should be at 160 degrees. Some people prefer to simmer the sausages in liquid like chicken broth prior to grilling or pan frying sausage as another way to keep the sausages tender. Do not pierce the sausages with a fork before cooking, this will release juices that also help to keep sausage tender.
How to store Crockpot Sausage and Peppers
- Storing: After cooking, allow the Slow Cooker Italian Sausage and Peppers to cool completely. Place the leftovers in an airtight storage container and put it in the refrigerator. It should stay good for about 3-4 days.
- Freezing: Transfer the completely cooled leftovers into freezer-safe storage containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Make sure to seal tightly to prevent freezer burn and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Reheating: Set the slow cooker on low and heat for 1-2 hours, or until the dish reaches a temperature of 165°F (74°C).
- For frozen leftovers, first thaw them in the refrigerator overnight. Then, transfer the dish to the slow cooker and heat on low for 2-3 hours, or until fully heated through. You shouldn’t reheat sausage or any foods from frozen in a Crock-Pot.
Italian Sausage Crock Pot Recipe FAQs
If you're following a low carb or keto diet you might be wondering if sausage and peppers are keto. My husband is currently on a keto diet and this is actually one of his favorite recipes!
As long as you're using a keto-friendly marinara sauce like Rao's and don't serve the keto sausage and peppers on a bun, this is a keto-friendly recipe.
Each serving of keto sausage and peppers is 6 net carbs without the bun and with a sugar-free sauce like Rao's. We highly recommend you calculate this yourself also since calculators can vary as can brands of ingredients.
Yes, you can put raw sausage in a slow cooker. The slow, steady heat of the cooker will thoroughly cook the sausage over several hours. However, for added flavor and texture, we do recommend browning the sausage in a skillet before adding it to your Crock-Pot.
Italian sausage is a specific type of pork sausage that's known by flavors of fennel and/or anise. You can either buy it as mild sweet Italian sausage or hot Italian sausage that include red pepper flakes.
Sausages should ideally be cooked slow or on a medium-low heat. Cooking sausages too quickly on high heat can cause them to burst or burn on the outside while remaining raw on the inside. A slow, steady heat allows the sausage to cook evenly all the way through.
More Sausage Recipes You'll Love
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Gwen Sampson says
We have made this twice now, both times it seemed like there was too much liquid. The taste was fantastic
I would try a thicker sauce or you could try using less of it, we're probably using different brands of sauce. I'm glad you loved it!
Katherine A says
how do you print just the recipe?
Hi Katherine, at the top of the post there's a "jump to recipe" button that'll take you right to the printable recipe card at the bottom.
Hi, if you decide not to sear the sausages first and just put them straight into the slow cooker, do you have to fry the onion and pepper or can you throw those in the slow cooker with the sausages without pre frying? Thanks
Beck and Bulow says
Wow, this was tasty! My five year old inhaled it – he’s a meat lover. And we used organic beef shanks instead of veal, but the result was the same: a taste sensation. Visit us: https://www.beckandbulow.com
Where does veal and beef shanks factor into sausage and peppers? What kind of sausages you been smoking?