Can you air fry sausage and peppers? Heck yes, and I can show you how! This air fryer sausage and peppers with onions recipe is a delicious meal that is low-carb and low-calorie. Add some marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese to your air fryer Italian sausage links, and you've got yourself a new family favorite. It’s great on hoagie rolls, over rice, zoodles, cauliflower rice, and more!
Have I ever mentioned that I love air frying foods? Only probably a million times by now. What started originally as Air Fryer Fridays ended up becoming “Air Fryer Most Days.” 😊
So, about this recipe. We're going to be air frying Italian sausage and peppers. I love me some easy weeknight dinner ideas, and this dish most definitely qualifies.
You can broil Italian sausage links in an air fryer in practically no time. Best of all, you can make air fryer sausage and veggies at the same time.
I’m going to show you how to air fry Italian sausage links that are made of chicken and pork. (Here’s the recipe for my super delicious Italian fennel sausage, if you really want to go all out.)
However, you could also make air fryer chicken sausage and peppers, air fryer pork sausage and peppers, or even vegan “sausage” and peppers. This recipe can work for a variety of sausages with some tweaks to the cooking time.
Just make sure to cut the veggies to the sizes I’m recommending, and use large raw links. Precooked sausages will have a much shorter air frying time. (To make precooked air fryer sausage links, follow the directions in the air fryer brats recipe.)
📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
One serving of Air Fryer Italian Sausage, Peppers, and Onions has 425 calories, 11.8 grams net carbs, and 33 grams protein. Nutrition information was calculated using my homemade Italian fennel sausage and includes marinara sauce and Parm, but no sub rolls.
Why make Italian sausage and peppers in an air fryer? Here are a few reasons:
- Low Carb, Keto, Gluten Free, Paleo: The sausage and peppers can be served up in a variety of ways to fit many special diets. For example, skip the Parm and serve over zoodles to make it gluten free, dairy free, and Paleo. Serving sausage and peppers over zoodles or riced cauliflower is also low carb and keto friendly.
- Protein: Your meal is covered for high-quality protein when you make this easy air fryer recipe. You’ve also managed to pack a lot of veggies into your healthy entrée.
- Fast: Air fried Italian sausage comes together quickly, with minimal prep. You’ll love this air fried sausage for a quick weeknight meal.
- Simple Ingredients: The fresh seasoned sausage and colorful vegetables are simple, wholesome ingredients. Sausage and peppers may feel like an indulgent dish, but it has a lot to offer in terms of nutrition.
- Delicious: IDK about you, but the main reason I like Italian sausage and peppers is that it tastes great! If you’re looking for a crowd pleaser, this delicious recipe is what you need.
Here's what you need to make Italian sausage, peppers, and onions in an air fryer:
- Italian sausage (fresh pork sausage)
- Bell peppers (Green peppers are least expensive, but a mix of red, orange, and yellow peppers look lovely)
- Onions (I used a mix of red onions and white onions)
- Olive oil
- Red wine vinegar
- Dried herbs
- Marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese (for serving)
Totally do-able, am I right? Most people don't eat sausage and peppers alone, so I'd also add hoagie rolls or your favorite whole grain pasta to this list. If you want a low-carb and low-calorie option, use cooked spaghetti squash or zoodles instead.
I know some of you are going to want to use pre-cooked chicken sausage or turkey sausage in this recipe. Please don't do this.
You need raw, uncured sausage for this recipe to turn out well. The cooking time in this recipe is for raw Italian sausage links, not precooked sausages that only need browning. High-quality fresh Italian pork sausages are the way to go for this recipe.
Raw poultry sausage could work here, but they may not be as juicy as sweet Italian sausages made with pork. That’s because turkey and chicken sausages are usually lower in fat.
But what if you'd rather use Italian chicken sausages because they are lower in calories than pork sausages? My Fennel Sausage Recipe is a mix of chicken thighs and pork shoulder so that it's lighter but still provides enough fat. That is what I used here.
BTW, these are not the little breakfast sausage links. (Those have a much shorter cooking time.) If we're dishing up sausage and peppers in the air fryer, let’s do it right!
I use a 10-Quart Kalorik Digital Air Fryer Oven to make sausage and peppers. Your Ninja Foodi, Cosori, Pampered Chef Air Fryer, Actifry, Nuwave, Instant Vortex, Cuisinart, Philips, Power Air Fryer, etc. can probably work as well. However, you might need to make some slight adjustments to this recipe.
My air fryer oven is pretty large and has two trays. If you have a small air fryer basket, you may want to cut this recipe in half. If you have a lot of mouths to feed, you’ll need to make this air fryer recipe in batches.
Another thing to keep in mind is that all air fryers cook foods a little differently. You may need to make slight adjustments to the air frying time depending on the air fryer you use.
I also recommend having a good knife and a meat thermometer when you make Italian sausage and peppers. With the thermometer, you can be absolutely sure the sausage is cooked properly.
🔪 How to Make Air Fryer Italian Sausage and Peppers
How do you cook store bought Italian sausage? Air frying Italian sausage is easier than you might think!
Cut the peppers and onions into wedges that are about 1-inch (2.54 cm) thick. Put the onions and peppers in a large bowl. Stir in the olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.
Spread the onion and pepper mixture out on two air fryer trays. Drizzle any olive oil mixture left in the bowl on top of the veggies. Put the trays in your air fryer.
Air fry the peppers and onion for 6-7 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200C). Then switch the position of the trays in the air fryer and air fry for 6-7 more minutes at 400F (200C).
After you’ve air fried the veggies for a total of 12-14 minutes, take the trays out of the air fryer. Flip and stir the peppers and onions. Place two fresh Italian sausages on top of the veggies in each tray.
Tip: don’t pierce the casings of the sausage! The casings help the sausage links to stay moist and juicy while they cook.
Place the trays with the Italian sausages, bell peppers, and onions back in the air fryer. Now that the peppers and onions are partially cooked, you’re ready to air fry sausage.
️⏲ Cooking Time and Temperature
How long do you cook sausages in an air fryer? Air fry Italian sausages for 20 minutes in an air fryer preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200C). Remember we are using raw, large sausage links for this recipe.
Switch the position of the trays in the air fryer halfway through this cooking time (i.e., at 10 minutes). You’re welcome to give the veggies a stir if they’re getting crispy around the edges. The sausages should brown nicely in the air fryer.
Tip: if your air fryer smokes when you cook fatty meats, try adding a little water to drip tray. I’ve never had this issue, but I’ve heard it’s helpful to those who do.
Check the sausage with a meat thermometer after cooking. If you used chicken or turkey sausage, it should have reached a safe minimum internal temp of 165F (74C). All-pork Italian sausage should reach a minimum safe temp of 160F (71C).
Let the sausages rest for 10 minutes before serving. If you’ll be having hoagie rolls with your meal, now’s a good time to toast them in the air fryer.
Preheat the air fryer to 400F (200C). Toast the rolls, cut side up, for 2 minutes. I toast them 2-3 at a time on the top rack of the air fryer.
To serve, split each sausage in half lengthwise. Divide the peppers and onions between 8 toasted grinder rolls, and top with a sausage half. Spoon warm marinara sauce over the Italian sausage grinders, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Boom. Dinner is done.
(For keto, serve the sausage and peppers over zoodles or cooked spaghetti squash instead of using sub rolls. Sugar-free marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese are low carb-friendly.)
Leftover cooked Italian sausage and peppers will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator in a covered container. Leftovers are super reheated and used to make an Italian sausage sandwich! You can reheat sausage and peppers in the microwave or on the stovetop with a little oil.
🥗 Side Dishes
What goes with sausage and peppers? This recipe for air fryer sausage and peppers is an entrée that can fit into a variety of meals. Here are some sides for sausage and peppers:
- Air Fryer Frozen French Fries (for air fryer sausage and chips or air fryer sausage and potatoes)
- Air Fryer Frozen Onion Rings
- Spiralized zucchini noodles
- Rice or cauliflower rice
- Air Fryer Frozen Vegetables
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). One of the wonderful things about air frying is that it automatically makes certain dishes lighter. If you are cooking meats (like sausages) that are high in fat, some fat drips off while it cooks. You'll see the fat in the drip pan at the bottom of the air fryer oven when cooking is complete.
The energy (i.e., calories) you get with this meal will ultimately depend on your sides and the sausages you use. Serve it over roasted (low-oil) spaghetti squash for a lighter meal. Enjoy it in your favorite whole grain hoagie roll or over pasta to bump up the energy.
I also recommend adding a big side salad filled with non-starchy veggies to help fill you up. I generally stick with 1-2 tablespoons of dressing on my salads. The calories in salad dressings add up fast, especially if they contain a lot of added oil or cream.
How do you serve sausage and peppers in your household? Do you like them in a hoagie roll, over spaghetti, or over a low-carb alternative like spaghetti squash? (You can drop a comment below and let me know!)
If the sausage contains ground pork or ground beef, it should be cooked to a minimum safe internal temperature of 160F (71C). If the sausage contains ground chicken or turkey, it should be cooked to 165F (74C). Italian sausages containing a mixture of meat and poultry should be cooked to 165F (74C).
Cooked Italian sausages can stay at room temperature for 1-2 hours. After that, they should be refrigerated or frozen in keeping with food safety recommendations.
No, you don’t need foil or parchment paper to make Italian sausage in the air fryer. Cleanup is easy without it!
Frozen sausages will take about 5 additional minutes in the air fryer. If you’d rather thaw them first, leave them in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours.
Cooking methods that allow fat to drip away from the sausage and that use little fat or oil are generally considered healthier. Air frying and oven roasting on a rack are two options for making fatty meats a little leaner.
For a plant-based option, you could try making Tofurkey Italian sausage in the air fryer or cooking Beyond sausage in an air fryer. They’ll need less air frying time than a raw meat sausage.
👩🏻🍳 Other Air Fryer Sausage Recipes
If you're seeking more air fryer meals, you have come to the right place! Make sure you check out the entire section on Air Fryer Recipes. Here are some more healthy air fryer recipes with sausage:
- Air Fryer Sausage Patties
- Air Fryer Brats
- Frozen Meatballs in Air Fryer (make air fryer Italian sausage balls from frozen with this recipe)
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Air Fryer Italian Sausage and Peppers with Onions Recipe
- 1½ lbs. sweet Italian sausages, raw (NOT precooked sausage!) 680 grams (4 links; I used my homemade fennel sausage, store-bought Italian pork sausage may also be used)
- 2-3 medium green peppers (about 20 ounces/567 grams)
- 1 large onion (I used a mix of red and white onion)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups marinara sauce (choose one with no added sugar and low or no added oil)
- 4 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
- hoagie rolls, spaghetti squash, or pasta (not included in nutrition information)
- Note: you may need to make this recipe in 2-3 batches if your air fryer has a smaller capacity.
- Cut the peppers and onions into wedges that are about 1-inch (2.54 cm) thick. (If you cut them too thin, they're more likely to burn!)
- Put the onions and peppers in a large bowl. Stir in the olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.
- Spread the onion and pepper mixture out on two air fryer trays. Drizzle any olive oil mixture left in the bowl on top of the veggies. Put the trays in your air fryer.
- Air fry the peppers and onions for 6-7 minutes at 400°F (200°C). Then switch the position of the trays in the air fryer and air fry for 6-7 more minutes at 400°F (200°C).
- Take the trays out of the air fryer. Flip and stir the peppers and onions. Place two fresh Italian sausages on top of the veggies in each tray. Put the trays back in the air fryer.
- Air fry for 20 minutes at 400°F (200°C), switching the position of the trays in the air fryer after 10 minutes. (Stir the veggies if needed.)
- Check the sausage with a meat thermometer after cooking. If you used chicken or turkey sausage, it should have reached a safe minimum internal temp of 165°F (74°C). All-pork Italian sausage should reach a minimum safe temp of 160°F (71°C).
- Let the sausages rest for 10 minutes before serving. If you'll be serving the sausage and peppers in submarine rolls, toast them while you wait. Toast the rolls, cut side up, for 2 minutes in an air fryer preheated to 400°F (200°C).
- To serve: split each sausage in half lengthwise. Divide the peppers and onions between 8 toasted grinder rolls, and top with a sausage half. Spoon warm marinara sauce over the Italian sausage grinders, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
This recipe has been updated from 2020 to include a recipe tweak or two, new photos, a new recipe video, and more nutrition information. Enjoy!