This easy sausage and pepper pasta is the perfect weeknight dinner. It's got spicy Italian sausage, sweet bell peppers and crushed tomatoes that simmer to a rich and hearty sauce. The best part is that it only takes 30 minutes.
We're no strangers to comforting bold pasta dishes around here. I make pasta at least once a week sometimes more, so if you need some more ideas let me introduce you to some favourites like this creamy chicken pasta (one of my most popular) or this super simple pasta amatriciana or this one-pan chorizo pasta.
But let's talk about this sausage pepper pasta really quick. It's like the quicker and easier version of my chicken in tomato sauce. It's kept lighter by using Italian sausage but made with chicken rather than pork. And I can tell you it's a game-changer! Diced tomatoes, garlic, Italian herbs and red bell pepper are all you need to create an incredible dinner.
Why This Recipe Works
- It's a 30-minute dinner that everyone in your house will love.
- The garlic, Italian herbs, spicy sausage and sweet bell pepper are a flavour match made in heaven.
- It's great for meal prep because it stores and reheats just as good (if not better) than when it's made fresh.
- You only need a handful of ingredients- most of them are pantry items.
- rigatoni- or another type of pasta with ridges so that the sauce hugs those noodles
- olive oil
- spicy Italian sausages- I've used chicken but you can use regular pork ones
- chopped/ diced or crushed tomatoes
- red pepper flakes
- red or yellow bell pepper
- onion and garlic
- chicken stock
- tomato and grilled pepper stir through sauce
See the recipe card for quantities.
Step By Step Instructions
Step 1 & 2
- Remove the chicken sausage (or whatever sausage you're using) from the casing. Heat the olive oil in a skillet, cast iron pan or high sided frying pan.
- Brown the sausage meat and remove to a bowl. Add the diced onion and garlic to the pan and brown well , scraping up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan from the sausages.
Step 3 & 4
- Add in the tomato paste/ puree, the herbs and the beef stock. You can use chicken stock if you prefer it. Or even vegetable stock works here if that's all you have. If you're adding in some red wine, you would pour it in here.
- Pour in the tin of chopped tomatoes, the roasted pepper stir through sauce (this is optional) I just think it adds a hint of chargrilled smokiness that really pushes all the other flavours forward. Then stir in the bell pepper and continue to simmer gently until the peppers are tender and the sauce is hot.
Step 5 & 6
- Add the sausage back into the sauce and top with lots of fresh chopped parsley.
- If the sauce is too thick for your liking, stir in some of the reserved pasta water to get it to the perfect consistency.
Absolutely! This 30-minute sausage pepper pasta can take almost any veggies you've got hanging around that you need to use. Carrots, celery, mushrooms, courgette (zucchini), pretty much anything goes here!
You bet! The wine adds a great depth of flavour, but feel free to skip it. There's lots of flavour going on from the browned onions, sausage and stock.
Substitutions & Variations
This pasta with sausage and peppers is so adaptable! I've listed some of the most common adaptations you may want to make.
- Making a tomato cream sauce - add in some single or double cream to create a very luxurious rose sauce
- Spicy (or not!) - if you love spice then feel free to go heavy on the crushed chilli flakes. If not you can use a regular pork sausage and skip the chillies.
- Vegetarian - Yes! you can even make this vegetarian by using lentils or chopped mushrooms in this sauce. Just be sure to brown the mushrooms well before adding them in.
This 30-minute sausage pasta is similar but with less spice.
Equipment can have a big impact on how a recipe turns out. For this recipe, it really couldn't get more straightforward.
- cast iron casserole pan
- zester for the garlic
- pasta pot
- colander for draining the pasta
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the hob until hot. You may need to add in some water to loosen the sauce a little.
The sauce is amazing for freezing! I would freeze it before adding any pasta. Pasta can get really mushy once it's defrosted unless it's a thicker noodle-like lasagna sheets.
If you use the chicken sausages add a few extra drops of olive oil to compensate for the lack of oil in the chicken. Regular Italian pork sausages are high in fat that render out as it cooks.
Need more simple meal ideas? Check these out-
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Easy 30 Minute Sausage and Pepper Pasta
- 400 g (6 ⅓ cups) rigatoni
- Italian style chicken sausages, casings removed
- 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) olive oil
- 1 (1) brown onion, diced
- 3 cloves (3 cloves) garlic, minced
- 1 (1) tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) tomato puree
- ¼ cup (¼ cup) beef or chicken stock made with a stock cube *see notes
- ¼ cup (¼ cup) red wine, optional *see notes
- 3 (3) sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
- ½ tablespoon (½ tablespoon) dried oregano
- ½ tablespoon (½ tablespoon) Italian herb mix
- 1 (1) bell pepper, yellow or red, thinly sliced
- Parmesan cheese and parsley for serving
- Heat the oil in a cast-iron pan and brown the chicken sausage meat. Once the sausage meat has browned add in the garlic and onion and brown well scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add in the thyme, oregano and Italian herb mix. Pour in the beef stock and bring to a gentle simmer scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Mix everything well.
- Bring everything to a gentle simmer and adjust the seasoning. Add the pasta to the pan tossing well to coat everything. Add in some pasta water if your sauce needs a little thinning.
- Top with parmesan and chopped parsley and serve with garlic bread.
- It will seem like a lot of stock to have one cube dissolved in only ¼ cup water but it gets well mixed throughout the whole sauce. So, we add tons of flavour using a whole cube but limited liquid using only ¼ cup.
- I’ve used the powdered parmesan cheese because sometimes it’s just what you need, but feel free to use the fresh stuff or something like Grana Padano if you prefer.
- Any type of noodle works with this pasta recipe. Long noodles like tagliatelle are really great because the sauce really clings to them.