Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers is a mouthwatering and filling crock pot recipe. Perfect for game day, a cozy supper at home, or any night you’re craving an Italian feast!
Hello, hello, my friends! How was your weekend? I had a really fun one, but only took one picture – Ben and Lincoln playing telephone through a tube of Sesame Street wrapping paper in between peanut butter spoon bites. Turns out two year olds are pretty easy to please. ;)
I also scooted over to Davenport for my good friend Lindsey’s bridal shower on Saturday. It was so great to see her and a couple friends from college who I haven’t seen in YEARS (hey Kel!) ;) This was the kickoff to all the fun events that will take place over the next couple of months leading up to her wedding in the spring. Aren’t weddings, and being able to catch up with old friends, THE. BEST??
Also contending for title of THE BEST is today’s recipe for Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers – I am on a crock pot KICK!
I’ve told you before that my Aunt Mary is an incredible Italian cook. 99% of my extended family is from Ohio, so twice a year we’d pack up our maroon Aerostar with 1 travel size Battleship (so many pieces – what were they thinking?) 2 adults, 3 kids, 5 pieces of luggage, and a cockapoo to visit everyone, and one of our favorite stops was always Aunt Mary’s. She’d have a platter of Italian cookies and goodies (hello Chocolate Sheet Cake with Peanut Butter Icing!) waiting for us on the table, and a vat of sausage and peppers bubbling in her homemade sauce on the stove. She’s been making them for as long as I’ve known her, and the recipe was passed down from her Mom, Rose, and likely Rose’s Mom too!
Last summer we couldn’t make it out for a visit but my parents, who did, brought back a tupperware of my Aunt Mary’s sausages and they were so dang good that I ate them all by myself. Whoops! Poor Ben. Anyway, I had a craving for sausage and peppers that wouldn’t quit last week, and remembered my Mom had written down the recipe last summer, so I took a look and turns out it is perfect for the crock pot!
Browned sweet (mild) Italian sausages are layered in a crock pot with seared onions, peppers, garlic, tomato sauce, and crushed tomatoes, then cooked low and slow all day long – until the sausage are nearly fall apart tender, and the sauce is like silk. I’m telling you, there is absolutely nothing better than the taste of this mouthwatering Italian dish.
After tumbling out of the van in my Aunt Mary and Uncle Bobby’s driveway, and kisses and catching up of course, we’d stuff the sausages into hard rolls smothered with sauce (you know when you drench crusty rolls in sauce or au jus and they get chewy? THAT.) Since crusty rolls no longer exist in my gluten-free world though, I went ahead and served my sausage and peppers on top of gluten-free penne. Rolls, penne, on a fork straight outta the crock pot – it’s not going to matter how you eat the sausages and peppers – just that you do!
These sandwiches are perfect for game day – simply set out a platter of rolls and provolone cheese slices next to the crock pot – as an easy, filling dinner before heading out for evening activities, or making on a Sunday afternoon to enjoy leftovers all week long. They only get better as they sit!
Start with 3lbs Sweet Italian Sausages. Sweet sausages aren’t actually sweet, rather they’re mild compared to the spiciness of hot Italian sausages. I used Johnsonville because they’re gluten-free, and delicious, but if you can find locally-made sausage that’s gluten-free (if you need it,) that’s going to give you the most authentic-tasting results.
Slice the sausages in half, or into thirds if they’re really long.
Next, brown the sausages in two or three batches, for 1-2 minutes on all four sides, or until golden brown. The sausages don’t need to be cooked through, just have a nice golden brown glow.
Transfer the sausages to a 6-quart crock pot.
This crock pot is nearly identical to the one I have and I love it! It cooks food uniformly, is programmable, turns to “warm” after the cooking time is up (instead of off,) and has a removable crock so you can assemble your ingredients in the crock then transfer it to the fridge, vs the ENTIRE unit, if you don’t want to cook the meal right away. Which is what I did with this dish – instructions will be in the recipe below!
In the fat leftover from the sausages add 2 sliced yellow onions, season with salt and pepper, then saute until they begin to soften and turn golden brown. Then, pile ’em on top of the sausages in the crock pot.
Next add 2 large or 3 small sliced bell peppers (the color combo is up to you!) then season with salt and pepper and saute until the peppers are crisp tender. Add 4 cloves minced garlic and saute for another minute, then add the mixture on top of the onions in the crock pot.
Next add 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (optional,) plus a 28oz can tomato sauce, 28oz can crushed tomatoes, and 1/2 cup chicken broth. Mix everything up then cook on low for 5-6 hours, or until the sausages are very tender.
I MEAN. You HAVE to taste this!!
Saucy, so much flavor, yet incredibly simple, this is a recipe you will make again and again and again. It’s a huge crowd pleaser and, as my Aunt Mary knows, is great when company is coming over. People can eat whenever and how ever much they want, then keep coming back for more (which they definitely will.) Enjoy!
Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers
Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers are perfect for game day, a cozy supper at home, or any night you’re craving an Italian feast! Serve over pasta, or with provolone and crusty rolls.
- 3lbs gluten-free Sweet Italian Sausage links, cut in half, or thirds if large (I used Johnsonville brand)
- salt and pepper
- 2 yellow onions, cut in half then sliced
- 3 small or 2 large green bell peppers, sliced (can mix different colors if you like!)
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon (or more) red chili pepper flakes
- 28oz can gluten-free tomato sauce
- 28oz can gluten-free crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup gluten-free chicken broth
- Drizzle a small amount of grapeseed or vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium/medium-high heat (6/10 on the heat scale.) Add half or a third of the sausages (depending on how big your skillet is,) then brown for a minute or two on all four sides, or until golden brown, then transfer to a 6-quart crock pot (sausage does not need to be cooked all the way through.) Repeat with remaining sausage then add to crock pot.
- Turn heat up to medium-high then add onions to skillet, season with salt and pepper, and saute until just beginning to become tender, 3-4 minutes then add to crock pot.
- Add bell peppers to skillet, season with salt and pepper, then saute until crisp tender, 4-5 minutes, adding a drizzle more oil if necessary to keep peppers from burning. Add garlic then saute for 1 more minute, and then add peppers and garlic to crock pot.
- Add red chili pepper flakes, a little pit of salt and pepper, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, and chicken broth to crock pot then cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until sausages are very tender. Serve over pasta or inside rolls with provolone cheese on top.
- I have a nearly identical crock pot to this crock pot which I love and recommend >
- This dish can easily be prepared ahead of time. Follow all directions stopping just short of slow cooking, then put the covered crock with the ingredients in the refrigerator overnight. Place onto base the following day then cook for 30 minutes on high, then another 5-6 hours on low.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.