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Italian Sausage Bell Pepper Pasta

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Italian Sausage Bell Pepper Pasta is a hearty, delicious meal in a bowl. Spicy Italian sausage adds wonderful flavor and a little heat to bright peppers and onions, and hearty greens

This post and recipe card updated October 14, 2020
Overhead shot of finished Italian Sausage Bell Pepper Pasta in a white bowl

When I was growing up we ate leftovers several times a week. When I moved out, I swore off leftovers for the most part, and still do to this day.

I purposely make double the Baked Homemade Mac and Cheese just to have leftovers. Broccoli Salad with Homemade Dressing might just be better the next day. And I love to make a big batch of Crispy Baked Egg Rolls so I can heat them up as needed.

When I make lunch during the work week I look for recipes that can be on the table in under 30 minutes. I also want a complete meal and something that will satisfy me for the afternoon.

Kale and Quinoa Patties are a delicious superfood punch. Chicken Chickpea Salad is hearty and delicious. And Old Bay Salmon Cakes are pan-fried to golden perfection.

When I’m not sure what to make for lunch, or when I’m uninspired with my original plan, I often default to a recipe with my Italian sausage. And one of my favorite ways to do that is with Italian Sausage Bell Pepper Pasta

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
  • It’s on the table in about 20 minutes
  • You can mix up the vegetables and easily omit the pasta for a low-carb meal
  • It’s great for leftovers
Close up angled shot of Italian Sausage Bell Pepper Pasta in a white bowl

I mean, how can you resist this bowl of delicious?! I love Italian Sausage Bell Pepper Pasta because it’s easy, extremely flavorful, and versatile

INGREDIENT TIPS FOR ITALIAN SAUSAGE BELL PEPPER PASTA

I use spicy Johnsonville Italian Sausage but you could substitute mild or sweet. I buy the links, but if you’re making it for a crowd I recommend that you buy the ground sausage because it’s just easier.

The sausage has a kick, but I add some Red Pepper Flakes for a little more spice. Just remember that a little goes a long way.

I always have red, green, and yellow bell peppers in the house, so I use all of them. But if I’m missing one, I just use a little more of the other 2.

I add baby bok choy because I like the bite and contrast in texture. Kale or baby spinach are good substitutes. If you use baby spinach, make sure to add it close to the end, just enough time for it to wilt.

My go-to pasta for this dish is Rigatoni because I like the larger pieces, and rigatoni has a heartier bite than other pasta cuts. But any short-cut pasta will do.

Close up off-center shot of Italian Sausage Bell Pepper Pasta

The great thing about Italian Sausage Bell Pepper Pasta is that you may not need to add any oil at all! The sausage releases fat as it cooks, and I use that to saute to onions and peppers. If I do need to add a little oil, I use Avocado Oil. It has a wonderful flavor, and a very high smoke point.

As I mentioned, Italian Sausage Bell Pepper Pasta comes together pretty quickly, as it can be on the table in 20 minutes.

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta according to box directions.

Spray a large skillet with a little cooking spray, and heat over medium. Add the Italian sausage, break up any larger pieces, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove sausage and set aside.

If needed, add 1 Tablespoon oil to the skillet, along with red pepper flakes. When the pepper flakes start to sizzle, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the bell peppers and red onion, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the bok choy stems plus salt and black pepper to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes.

Overhead process shot: peppers, onion and bok choy stems cooking in a black skillet

Return sausage to the skillet and add the bok choy leaves. Cook for 1 minute.

Overhead process shot: vegetables and Italian sausage cooking in a black skillet

Drain the pasta, reserving 2 Tablespoons of pasta water. Add the pasta and water to the skillet. Toss together and cook for 1 minute.

Overhead process shot: all Italian Sausage Bell Pepper Pasta ingredients in a black skillet

Garnish with parsley and serve.

Front shot of finished Italian Sausage Bell Pepper Pasta in a white bowl
HEALTHIER SWAPS FOR ITALIAN SAUSAGE BELL PEPPER PASTA

Of course, there are ways to lighten up Italian Sausage Bell Pepper Pasta

  • Use whole grain pasta, whole wheat pasta, or quinoa. Or, eliminate pasta altogether. I’ve made it with just the sausage and peppers many times, and it’s just as delicious
  • Use turkey sausage or chicken sausage. If you use chicken sausage, you will need to add more oil, and you will need to add more seasonings like onion powder and garlic powder
MORE DELICIOUS ITALIAN SAUSAGE RECIPES
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Italian Sausage Bell Pepper Pasta - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Italian Sausage Bell Pepper Pasta

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Italian Sausage Bell Pepper Pasta is a hearty, delicious meal in a bowl. Spicy Italian sausage adds wonderful flavor and a little heat to bright peppers and onions, and hearty greens

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Cut ends from bok choy, and discard ends. Chop bok choy into bite-sized pieces, rinse thoroughly and drain well. 
  2. In a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook rigatoni for about 12 minutes, or until al dente. 
  3. Remove sausage from casings, and crumble into bite-sized pieces
  4. Add sausage to large skillet over medium heat, and cook for 4-5 minutes, until browned. Remove and set aside. If needed, add a little oil. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook for 1 minute. Add onions, peppers and black pepper, and saute for 3 minutes. Return sausage to pan, add bok choy, and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes
  5. Add pasta and 2 Tablespoons reserved pasta water to skillet. Toss together, and finish cooking for 1 minute. Garnish with parsley. If desired, sprinkle with a little more red pepper flakes
  6. Serve immediately

Notes

I use baby bok choy because I like the bite and contrast in texture. Kale or baby spinach are good substitutes. If you use baby spinach, make sure to add it close to the end, just enough time for it to wilt.

I use sausage links because it's perfectly portioned. But if you're making this for a crowd, buy the package of ground sausage...it's just one less step.

The spicy Italian sausage does have a kick but I still like to add red pepper flakes for more heat. Remember that less is more with red pepper flakes, so add with caution.

My go-to pasta for this dish is rigatoni, but any short-cut pasta will do

HEALTHIER SWAPS OPTIONS

  • Use whole grain pasta, whole wheat pasta, or quinoa.
  • Eliminate pasta altogether. I've made it with just the sausage and peppers many times, and it's just as delicious
  • Use turkey sausage or chicken sausage. If you use chicken sausage, you will need to add more oil, and you will need to add more seasonings like onion powder and garlic powder
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

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