This one-pot Smoked Sausage with Peppers and Onions has just the right balance of sweet and spicy flavors, from a touch of added honey and crushed red pepper. With only four main ingredients, this thirty-minute meal is perfect for a busy weeknight, it’s inexpensive, and the whole family will love it!
The sweetness in this recipe makes it something the kids will love, and luckily, the sugars almost all come from the bell peppers and tomatoes. Just a tablespoon of honey in the whole dish, stirred in at the end, adds a touch more sweetness that helps balance out the acidity of the tomatoes and smokiness of the sausage. And while the kids may not like the added spiciness from the crushed red pepper, you can feel free to omit it to suit your family’s needs (or serve it on the side).
I served this sausage with peppers and onions over cooked basmati rice. It’s delicious on its own, but this recipe creates a super delicious sauce that is best absorbed by something. Rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice… all of these would be delicious with it. And it would also be AMAZING piled onto a sub roll or bread to make a sandwich (great idea for the leftovers, if there are any!).
The beauty of this dish, besides the gorgeous colors from the peppers, tomatoes, and cilantro, is how simple and easy it is to make. Just pile all your peppers, onions, and sausage in a large skillet at once, with a pinch of salt, cooking it in a mixture of canola or olive oil and butter. The oil will help crisp parts up, while the butter will add richness and browned color. The salt will help draw the liquid from the vegetables out to help them brown even more.
And speaking of the browned color- this is important- you’ll want to refrain from stirring this too much. The sugars from the peppers and onions will naturally caramelize, and will develop beautiful, delicious browning on the vegetables and sausage. I cooked this mixture for about 20 minutes, stirring to flip around only about 4 times (every five minutes or so).
After the peppers and onions soften, just add some water to deglaze the pot and scrape up those delicious browned bits (you can use wine or broth if you’re feeling fancy), and add the tomatoes, honey, and red pepper, continuing to cook until the sauce thickens a bit. That’s it! SO EASY.
You can use any kind of smoked sausage you want for this. I used natural turkey kielbasa with no added preservatives, nitrates, or nitrites. Keep in mind: smoked sausage comes fully cooked, which enables you to just throw it in the pan with all the vegetables at once. If you want to use something like Italian sausage, it will work, but since it comes uncooked, you’ll need to cook it through in the pan before adding the vegetables.
If you like smoked sausage and one-pot recipes, try this easy one-pot Mediterranean Turkey Sausage and Rice.
Here’s the recipe for this ridiculously easy Sweet and Spicy Sausage with Peppers and Onions!
Sweet and Spicy Sausage with Peppers and Onions
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 bell peppers any color, seeded and sliced
- 2 yellow onions peeled, halved, and sliced
- 14 oz. smoked sausage such as kielbasa, sliced diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces
- 15 oz. canned diced tomatoes
- kosher salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper more or less depending on spice preference
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped, plus more for serving
- cooked rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, or other grain for serving (optional)
- Melt butter (1 tablespoon) with olive oil (1 tablespoon) over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
- Add peppers, onions, and sausage, with a pinch of salt. Stir to coat in oil and salt, then sauté for about 20 minutes, stirring only every 5 minutes or so in order to develop good color. It will seem like too much, but don't worry- the vegetables will cook down a lot.
- Meanwhile, cook up rice/quinoa for serving, if necessary.
- Once peppers and onions are softened and browned, add the water (1/2 cup) to the pot, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Add the honey (1 tablespoon), crushed red pepper (1/4 teaspoon), and canned diced tomatoes with their juices. Stir and turn heat to low. Continue cooking until some of the liquid has evaporated and you are left with a thick sauce.
- Turn off heat and stir in cilantro (2 tablespoons). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve over cooked rice or other grain or grain substitute, garnished with extra cilantro if desired.
- Smoked sausage comes fully cooked. You can use uncooked Italian sausage, or any other sausage you like. If you do this, cook the sausage in the skillet before adding the peppers and onions, to ensure it cooks fully.
- This is a great meal for kids, but if your kids don't like spicy, feel free to leave the red pepper out, or serve it on the side with dinner.
- For a gluten-free version, make sure the sausage you buy is gluten-free.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.
- Large Skillet