Chris and I eat chicken sausage pretty frequently, sometimes for breakfast, and sometimes as an easy dinner on hot dog rolls topped with mustard. Regardless of what time of day we’re having sausage, it is always paired with onions and peppers. Therefore, creating this Lightened Up Hot Italian Sausage and Pepper recipe was a no-brainer! This is an easy weeknight dinner, ready in an hour or less. It definitely packs a punch with the spicy sausage and crushed red pepper flakes, but the onion and green pepper balance out the heat, don’t worry!
To make this Lightened Up Hot Italian Sausage and Peppers you need the following: 2 cups whole grain pasta (dry), 4 spicy Italian chicken sausages, 2 green peppers, 1 yellow onion, 1 clove of garlic, 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt, and 1 1/2 cups of marinara sauce (recipe in this post!).
Begin by whipping up the marinara sauce! You need the following: 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme, 3/4 teaspoon of dried basil, 3/4 teaspoon of dried oregano (not pictured, sorry!), 1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley, 3/4 teaspoon of dried minced onion, 1/4 teaspoon of sugar, and 1 clove of garlic. Throw everything into a food processor or blender, and pulse until well combined. It should be pretty thin, with very few chunks of tomatoes. The sauce can be made in advance, and stored in the fridge. Don’t be afraid to alter the spices in my recipe to suit your taste buds!
Once you’ve tackled the sauce, bring a large pot of salted water and 2 cups of whole grain pasta to a boil. Boil pasta for about 8 minutes, drain, drizzle with oil to prevent sticking, and set aside.
Thinly slice 1 yellow onion, and add to a pan over medium heat with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.
Immediately mince 1 clove of garlic, and add it to the pan with the onion. Cook the onion for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
While the onions start to get soft, chop up 2 green peppers.
Add the green pepper to the pan with the onion, stirring to combine. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, cut your 4 chicken sausages into small rounds. My sausage was precooked, if you’re using raw sausage, you should cook it before you cook the vegetables. Be sure to drain any grease from the pan before adding the veggies, if you still want this to be “lightened up!”
Fast forward 15 minutes. Vegetables are looking de-li-cious!
Throw the sausage in with the vegetables, stirring to combine.
Cover, and cook over medium heat for 5 more minutes.
Now we want to add the sauce! You will be adding in the entire food processor/ blender of sauce, which is about 1 and 1/2 cups.
Stir to coat the sausage and peppers in the sauce, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, uncovered. Looking good!!!
Finally, throw the cooked pasta into the mix.
Stir in the pasta, making sure everything is coated in sauce. Allow to cook over low heat for about 2 more minutes, just to make sure everything is warm throughout.
Plate up, sprinkling with Parmesan cheese, if desired. Can you say summer comfort food, without the guilt?? I can!
You could certainly leave the pasta out of this dish, and eat it on its own to really make things light. Or you could leave the pasta out, and pile it on a toasty roll! All methods would work well! I highly suggest making this asap– you don’t even have to turn on the oven!
2 cups whole grain pasta
2 green peppers
1 yellow onion
4 spicy Italian pre-cooked chicken sausages
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce (recipe below)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. dried basil
3/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
3/4 tsp. dried minced onion
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp. granulated sugar
Begin by making the marinara sauce. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and pulse until combined, and has a sauce-like consistency. Set aside.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil with the 2 cups of whole grain pasta. Boil for about 8 minutes, drain, and set aside. Toss with a quick drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking.
Thinly slice yellow onion, and add to a pan over medium heat with 1/2 Tbsp. of olive oil and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Mince 1 clove of garlic, and add to the pan with the onions. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. In the mean time, chop up 2 green peppers. After 5 minutes, add the green peppers to the pan with the onion. Stir to combine, cover, and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring every so often.
Cut 4 spicy Italian chicken sausages into small rounds. Add to the pan with the soft vegetables, stir, then cover again and cook for 5 more minutes. Add the marinara sauce to the pan, stirring to combine. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes, uncovered.
Finally, throw the pasta into the pan, stirring to evenly coat with the sauce, and cook for about 2 more minutes.
Serve immediately, with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese if desired.