A one-pan version of a classic Italian-American meal, My Sheet Pan Sausage and Peppers will make dinner and clean up a breeze! Simple prep, amazing flavor, and easy clean up is a win-win-win!
I am married to an Italian-American from New Jersey. His first solid food was Sausage and Peppers, followed promptly by Zeppole for dessert. Prior to developing this recipe, The Boy (my husband) was in charge of the sausage and peppers situation in our house. Cloaked in secrecy, he would go into the kitchen, use every pan and utensil we owned, and emerge from a smoky, greasy kitchen with some pretty amazing sausage and peppers. But ugh. The clean-up was brutal.
Trust me, I broke the "if you cook, you don't clean" rule then and there. But I also vowed to find a way to make just as delicious a version of his sausage and peppers, without the mess. It kills him, kills him, to admit that I did it. Starting with the right ingredients, sweet onion, fresh herbs, no green bell peppers, and the secret ingredient I got our youngest daughter to sweet-talk out of him, I've done it! Sausage and Peppers, one pan, one bowl, easy clean-up. I win. It's all about the winning 🙌
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- Simple prep - Slice your veggies, place everything on a hot sheet pan, roast, flip, roast, eat. Done. How easy is that?
- Amazing flavor - As this sheet pan dinner roasts, the juices from the Italian sausages flavors the already seasoned veggies, and everything gets those spots of flavorful char and the whole thing is irresistible.
- Easy clean up - The whole recipe takes one bowl and one pan. Give your hot sheet pan a quick spritz with nonstick spray just before adding all the ingredients and clean up will be a breeze!
- Can feed a crowd - The recipe, as written, will serve up to 4 people. Double the recipe and place it on 2 sheet pans. Place them on separate racks and your all set!
Simple ingredients, treated with respect... put them together and you will always have a great dish.
~ Jose Andres
- Italian sausage - I prefer to use sweet Italian sausages and The Boy likes a mixture of hot and sweet. No wrong choice.
- Bell peppers - Did you know that red bell peppers are just fully ripened bell peppers? Red, orange, and yellow bell peppers are the exact same fruit as green bell peppers that have been allowed the time to ripen. Green bell peppers, being immature, taste more bitter than their ripe siblings, and I prefer not to use them. I like the sweetness of a fully ripe red bell pepper, mixed with orange or yellow. And yes, I said they are a fruit. Botanically speaking, they have seeds in the middle and grow from the flower of a plant, therefore they are fruits. Science 🤓
- Onions - Try to find sweet onions if you can. They are naturally sweeter and caramelize faster than yellow or white onions, but any and all will work.
See recipe card below for quantities.
The Boy's Secret Ingredient
I put my youngest daughter to work on prying my husband's secret ingredient for his famous sausage and peppers. Guys. It was honey. He drizzled honey all over the vegetables when he was sautéing them. So sometimes, when I make this dish, I add one tablespoon of honey to the vegetables as I toss them. Just enough to give a hint of sweetness, but not enough to cause them to burn on the sheet pan. Optional and not traditional, but pretty darn tasty!
Sometimes you can't find the exact thing and think that now you can't make the delicious thing... nah, let's make it work!
- Fresh herbs - I always prefer fresh herbs, but sometimes can't find them. The only one I won't compromise on is fresh rosemary. Dried rosemary tends to be spiky and sharp and doesn't easily soften. If you can't find fresh, just omit the rosemary. Or forget the fresh herbs completely and use dried Italian seasoning, which contains rosemary, but in its non-spiky form.
- Alliums - If you don't know what an allium is, you probably don't have a problem with them. Alliums are a class of 500+ vegetables that includes onion, garlic, scallion, shallot, leek, and chives. If you are allergic to alliums, you can just omit the onions and the garlic. Also, check the label of your sausage, as some brands include garlic in their ingredients.
I am not the food police and I encourage you to play with your food if you like.
- Spicy - Go all hot Italian sausage if you like and add about ½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes to the vegetable seasoning.
- Other sausages - If you don't like Italian sausage, I used to not enjoy the fennel flavor in them, you can use any other sausage such as kielbasa, andouille, or try my Maple Mustard Glazed Bratwurst Sheet Pan Supper for another delicious sheet pan situation.
- Vegetarian - You can for absolutely use vegan or vegetarian sausage in this recipe.
Equipment: Sheet Pans
Sheet pans are the undisputed hero of the kitchen. They are not only good for making cookies, they are unbeatable for roasting vegetables, entire sheet pan dinners, and my easy sheet pan french toast. I even use my sheet pans to transfer ingredients from the prep area to the cooking area. But be aware that not all sheet pans are created equal.
The cheap sheet pans you get at discount stores, or in "starter baking sets" are usually thin and of poor quality and workmanship. I also don't care for nonstick sheet pans, as they scratch easily and the coating becomes sticky over time. Heavy gauge aluminum sheet pans are thicker, very affordable, and are used most often in professional kitchens.
In most of my recipe process shots you'll see me use a large sheet pan, which measures 13 by 18 inches with a 1 inch rim. I also use my small sheet pan, which is 13 by 9 inches, for when I want to keep cook several things at once, without blending the flavors. I also use it for keeping prep ingredients together before cooking, and for flash freezing something I want to store in the freezer.
I tell you all of this because using a good quality aluminum sheet pan in this recipe will get you the best results. The instructions will call for you to preheat the pan in the oven before roasting your sausage and peppers, and most discount store sheet pans will warp at high heat. Good quality pans will not. You can get a 2 pack of my favorite large sheet pan for less than $30 and it's well worth the investment. I have 8 of them. And 4 of the smaller ones. 🤭
I mean, making this Sheet Pan Sausage and Peppers is as easy as falling off a log. Slice, season, roast, flip, roast, done. (bonus points if you do a little dance to that)
Start by preheating your oven to 425°F and placing a large sheet pan on a rack placed in the lower third of your oven.
1. Slice your peppers and onion in ¼ to ½ inch thick slices and separate your onion pieces.
2. Add all of your vegetables to a large bowl and add your olive oil, herbs, and salt and pepper. Toss.
3. Carefully remove your sheet pan from the oven and scatter your vegetables over the pan in a single layer. Nestle your sausages between the vegetables, making sure each sausage makes contact with the surface of the pan.
4. Place in the oven and allow to roast for 20 minutes. Remove the pan and flip everything over.
5. Place the pan back into the oven for at least another 20 minutes, or until the sausage is fully cooked, 160° to 165°F, and your vegetables are softened to your liking. If you want additional color on your sausages, slice a few, or all, in half and place the whole pan 6 inches from your top broiler for 2 to 3 minutes. Watch it carefully or it might burn!
Delicious just as it is, The Boy likes to melt a little provolone cheese on a ciabatta roll and pack it full of everything for the ultimate sausage and pepper sandwich!
Occasionally I like to dice the cooked sausages and peppers and toss everything with penne pasta. Top with some torn basil and grated romano cheese and you have yourself a great meal!
The doneness of vegetables is a personal preference for eaters. In some dishes, like my Thai Chicken Meatballs, I like to feel the toothsomeness of my veggies when I bite in. With other dishes, like my Southern Cabbage, I want my vegetables to almost melt from the caramelization.
Even in this simple sheet pan dinner, you have the ability to have it the way you want. There is a direct correlation between the thickness of your vegetable slices and how they will cook. Slice your peppers and onions thinner if you like your veggies really soft and thicker if you want them with a little bit of bite to them.
If the liquid from your sausage and peppers didn't evaporate, it is probably because you overcrowded your pan. Everything needs to be spread out so that heat can get between the ingredients and allow steam to escape.
You also need to use a large enough pan, with a low rim, such as my 13 by 8 inch large sheet pan with a 1 inch rim. This allows heat to sweep across the pan, evaporating all the liquid that is produced during roasting. If you can't spread out your ingredients on one sheet pan, just use 2 pans and place them a couple levels apart in the oven.
In the interest of easier clean up, you can line your pan, but I don't. Having the food come into direct contact with the preheated pan kickstarts the caramelization process, giving you a better overall result. If you're worried about the food sticking, give your hot pan a quick spritz with nonstick spray when you take it out of the oven.
Yes! Actually, it's a fairly simple formula. Start with your choice of protein, add whatever seasonal or traditional vegetables you prefer, some seasonings, and a fat like olive oil. Roast at high heat (usually 425°F) until your protein is fully cooked and your vegetables are fork tender.
Storage and Reheating
Store leftover Sausage and Peppers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can freeze individual portions by placing them in a zip top bag and pressing out excess air before sealing. You can also suck the excess air out with a straw! Store in the freezer for up to 3 months and thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
To reheat leftover Sausage and peppers, place in an oven safe dish and cover with aluminum foil. Heat in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes, or until everything is hot. You can also heat on full power in your microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, or until hot.
Sheet Pan Sausage and Peppers
- 3 bell peppers red, yellow, and orange
- 1 medium onion
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary finely minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 8 Italian sausage links
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Lower an oven rack to the bottom third of your oven, closer to the heat source. Place a large sheet pan in the oven to preheat along with the oven.
- Slice your bell peppers and onion in ¼ inch thick strips, separating the onion pieces. Smash your garlic cloves with the flat side of your knife or the bottom of a bowl.
- Finely chop your fresh rosemary and thyme. Gather your dried herbs, salt, and pepper.
- Place all your peppers, onions, and smashed garlic in a large bowl. Add the herbs, salt, pepper, and olive oil and toss to evenly coat everything.
- Remove the sheet pan from the oven and give a quick spritz with nonstick spray. Toss all the vegetables on the hot pan. Nestle the sausages in with the vegetables, trying to get each sausage to make contact with the hot metal. Bake at 425ºF for 20 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and use tongs to toss all the vegetables and turn the sausages over. There will be some moisture, which will evaporate while it finishes roasting. If there is an excess, just blot away with some paper towels. Place the pan back into the oven for 20 more minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven. Slice some or all of the sausages in half, if desired. Set the oven to broil and move the rack to 6 inches from the broiler. Place the pan under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until the sausages get a nice brown color and the edges of the vegetables start to char just a touch. Watch carefully, as it can burn quickly.
- Serve as is or make sausage and pepper sandwiches. Alternatively, dice up the sausages and serve everything tossed with pasta.
The nutritional and caloric information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It does not assert or suggest that readers should or should not count calories, and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s or doctor’s counseling.