This Italian Sausage Pasta Recipe is a comforting yet veggie-packed meal that can be customized to each diner’s taste. Add spice, cheese or herbs!

A white skillet filled with an Italian sausage pasta recipe topped with fresh herbs.

Sausage and Peppers Pasta is a weeknight wonder!

What are the go to weeknight meals in your home?

For my family, it’s all about those all-in-one recipes, where your carbs, protein and veggies all come from the same recipe, no side dishes needed.

This Italian Sausage Pasta Recipe is a classic example. Ground sausage comes together with lots of onions and bell peppers in a simple tomato sauce, then you toss everything with pasta and dinner is served.

Why you’ll love this Sausage Pasta Skillet

  • Customize it to your liking. Make it spicier, or change up the veggies!
  • No rigatoni? No problem. Use any pasta shape you have on hand.
  • You’ll be in and out of the kitchen in 30 minutes.

Italian Sausage Pasta Recipe ingredients

  • pasta – I used mezzi rigatoni in my version, but just about any pasta shape will work here. I recommend a short, tube-like shape if possible (ziti, penne and regular rigatoni are some of my other favs here).
  • sausage – the star of this dish! I chose a mild Italian sausage for my family, but you can also make it spicy. More on this later.
  • garlic – adds a fragrant depth of flavor to the dish.
  • bell peppers – the MVP veggie in this recipe. I used one red pepper and one yellow pepper, but any color combination of bell peppers works.
  • onion – I used a yellow onion, but white onion works here too.
  • white wine – this deglazes the pan and adds a bit of acidity. If you’d rather not use wine, use a little extra broth for that step instead.
  • tomato sauce – canned tomato sauce adds a robust tomato flavor to this sausage and peppers pasta.
  • broth – I prefer chicken broth here, but if you have veggie or beef broth on hand, those work too!
  • oregano – dried oregano infuses the tomato sauce with a spaghetti sauce-like flavor.
  • salt and pepper – seasons the dish to perfection.
  • fresh herbs – optional, but finishing the dish with fresh basil or parsley adds a pretty and fragrant touch.
  • Parmesan cheese – I like to add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese to each serving of skillet pasta with sausage for that classic Italian cheesy goodness.
  • Burrata or fresh mozzarella cheese – optional for a creamy and luxurious finish.
  • red pepper flakes – add as little or as much as you want to each serving to kick up the heat!
A speckled bowl filled with sausage and peppers pasta topped with fresh herbs and chunks of burrata cheese.

How to make Pasta with Sausage and Peppers

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, start cooking the sausage in a large skillet.
  3. Add the garlic, bell peppers and onions to the sausage and continue cooking until the veggies are softened.
  4. Deglaze the pan with wine, scraping up all the brown bits.
  5. Add the tomato sauce, broth, oregano, salt and pepper to the skillet and simmer for a few minutes until the liquid has reduced by half.
  6. Drain your pasta, reserving a bit of the cooking water in case you need it later.
  7. Add the drained pasta to the skillet and toss and stir until everything is well combined.
  8. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of pasta cooking water to thin it out.
  9. Scoop the pasta into bowls and garnish depending on each diner’s preference.

Home Chef Tips for this Italian Sausage Pasta Recipe

  • The Italian sausage I’ve used for this pasta with sausage and peppers is the kind that comes in a 1 pound roll (I used Bob Evans brand). If you can only find Italian sausage in link form, that’s fine – just cut it out of the casing and crumble it into the skillet.
  • If everybody you are serving likes spice, you can make this dish with spicy or zesty hot Italian sausage in place of traditional Italian sausage.
  • You may not need the pasta water at all to thin out the sauce, but saving pasta cooking water is always a good habit to get into when making pasta.
A white skillet filled with pasta with sausage and peppers topped with fresh herbs.

How to serve Spicy Sausage Pasta

This pasta can be served on its own directly from the skillet, or you can really jazz it up with a few final flourishes.

Fresh herbs like basil or parsley add vibrant color and flavor. Grated Parmesan cheese will add a salty bite that is always welcome with pasta.

Big slices of fresh mozzarella cheese or big pieces of torn burrata make for the most luxurious finish. They will slowly melt over each serving of pasta.

I love a hefty sprinkle of red pepper flakes to turn my serving into spicy sausage pasta, but kids may want to skip that. The great news is that each person can customize their serving.

What pairs well with sausage and peppers?

There’s veggies built right into this pasta, but if you’d like even more, I’d suggest a simple green salad with citrus vinaigrette. And nobody is going to turn down homemade garlic bread.

How about a rosemary cocktail to drink and some oven baked apples for dessert?

Skillet Pasta with Sausage storage

This Italian sausage pasta should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

How long does sausage and peppers last in the fridge?

When stored properly, this pasta with sausage and peppers should last up to 3 days in the fridge.

Sausage Skillet Pasta FAQs

What is Italian sausage seasoning made of?

Italian sausage seasoning typically includes a blend of garlic, red pepper flakes, fennel seeds, paprika and other herbs and spices.

What is the distinctive flavor in Italian sausage?

The most distinctive flavor in Italian sausage usually comes from the fennel seeds.

Do you cook sausage before putting in sauce?

Yes, it is essential to brown sausage before adding sauce for this Italian sausage pasta recipe. This allows the sausage to cook throughly and also develop flavor and texture from the browning.

A white skillet filled with an Italian sausage pasta recipe topped with fresh herbs.

Sausage Skillet Pasta

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This Italian Sausage Pasta Recipe is a comforting yet veggie-packed meal that can be customized to each diner's taste. Add spice, cheese or herbs!


  • 12 ounces mezzi rigatoni or traditional rigatoni pasta
  • 3/4 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Chopped basil and/or parsley, for garnish (optional)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)
  • Burrata or fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into pieces, for serving (optional)
  • Red pepper flakes, for serving (optional)


  1. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions for al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat large high-sided skillet over medium. Add sausage to skillet and cook 4 minutes, breaking meat up with back of spoon as it cooks.
  3. Add garlic, bell peppers and onion to skillet. Cook 6 to 8 minutes or until vegetables are softened and golden brown, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add wine to pan and cook 1 minute, scraping up brown bits on bottom of pan.
  5. Stir in tomato sauce, broth, oregano, salt and pepper and simmer 4 minutes or until liquid has reduced by half, stirring occasionally. 
  6. Add drained pasta to sausage mixture; toss to combine. If sauce is too thick, add pasta water a splash at a time until desired consistency is achieved.
  7. Garnish pasta with basil and/or parsley and Parmesan cheese, and top with burrata and red pepper flakes, if desired.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 551Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 1200mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 25g

This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. Nutrition information does not include any optional ingredients or toppings. You should calculate the nutrition information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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