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The Best Sausage, Pepper and Onion Recipe

Updated on November 15, 2015
Sausage, Pepper and Onion Sandwich
Sausage, Pepper and Onion Sandwich

A Great Sausage Sandwich Brings Back Memories

Sausage, pepper and onion sandwiches are a summertime favorite, and this easy-to-prepare recipe is a hit at parties and picnics. Similar to the popular sandwiches found at boardwalk stands and country fair food carts across the country, making a batch of sausage, pepper and onion sandwiches from fresh ingredients is sure to please the crowd at your house.

My grandfather was an avid gardener, and he loved growing Italian style peppers. Commonly known as Cubanellas, Grand Pop planted rows of these little pepper plants every summer along with sweet onions, bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and a variety of other vegetables. At the end of the growing season, he would invite us all over for a Harvest Picnic.

Sausage, Pepper and Onion Sandwiches Photo by the Author

One of my favorite memories from this annual event was his sausage, pepper and onion sandwiches -- stacked high with peppers and onions from his garden. Grand Pop grilled the long coils of fresh sausages that he bought from a local Italian butcher. The peppers and onions were cooked slowly over low heat in a large cast-iron pan until they were soft, nearly translucent and very flavorful. Served on a fresh roll, his sausage and pepper sandwiches were absolutely delicious!

Though I am not the gardener that he was, I strive to carry on many of his traditions. I grow a few peppers and tomatoes in my humble garden, and found a local butcher who makes his own fresh sausages. Though they are not exactly like the ones that my grandfather made, here's how we make our sausage, pepper and onion recipe. Enjoy!

Grand Pop's Secret Sausage, Pepper and Onion Recipe

Okay, so maybe it's not much of a secret, but this simple sausage, pepper and onion sandwich recipe is easy to make and simply delicious. Whenever we have a family gathering, potluck dinner or similar informal engagement, this is the meal that I'm often asked to bring.

The key to this recipe is using fresh ingredients: whenever possible, we buy freshly picked peppers and onions at the local farmer's market. While my grandfather used fresh sausages formed in an endless coil, our butcher makes great tasting sausages links. This is an acceptable substitution, and I don't think Grand Pop would object.

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 40 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: Enough For A Small Crowd


  • 10 to 12 Sausage Links
  • 1 Sweet Onion
  • 6 to 8 Cubanella Italian-Style Frying Peppers
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper
  • Sandwich Rolls
  • Olive Oil (or vegetable oil)
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Spread out the sausage links on a baking rack, and place the rack in a baking pan lined with aluminum foil or sprayed with non-stick cooking oil. We use links of hot, sweet and garlic Italian sausages, which are made fresh by a local butcher.
  2. Clean all of the peppers, removing the stems and seeds. Then slice the peppers into long, thin strips about 1/4" wide. Peel and slice the onion into thin strips too.Combine the sliced peppers and onions into a second baking pan, add enough olive oil to coat when mixed (a couple of tablespoons or so), then sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste. Mix well; your hands are the best tool for mixing up the pepper & onion slices.
  3. Place both baking pans into a 275 degree oven, and roast for about 30 minutes. Check the peppers often, stirring the mixture to keep the pepper and onion slices cooking evenly. Turn the sausages at least once to brown evenly.
  4. Depending on their size, the sausages should be almost fully cooked after 30 minutes of slow cooking on the low heat. Remove both pans from the oven, and combine the sausages with the pepper & onion mixture into one of the pans.
  5. Return the pan with the sausage, pepper and onion mixture back to the oven to complete the slow cooking process. The sausages should be cooked through, and the peppers & onions should be soft and translucent.
  6. Serve the sausage, peppers and onions on a soft hoagie or sub roll.
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Sausage, Pepper and Onion Recipe Tips:

Sausage: Use a combination of sweet, hot and garlic sausages (or similar specialty flavors) to add variety and to increase the taste of the finished sandwiches.Peppers: A variety of different colored and types of peppers enhances both the flavor and the visual appeal of the Sausage, Pepper and Onion sandwich.

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A Tasty Sausage Sandwich Starts with Quality Ingredients

I used to help my granddaddy make sausage. He would mix it up in a cleaned-out washtub with his hands, no gloves. Man, if we did anything like that today, they would jack the jail up and throw us under it.

— Jimmy Dean

Lawsuit: A machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.

— Ambrose Bierce

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    • KandDMarketing profile image

      KandDMarketing 5 years ago

      One of my favorite smells always was walking by the vendor's cart and smelling the sausage, peppers and onions grilling! It's tough to find good Italian sausage here in the mid-west. Thanks!

    • suzy-t profile image

      suzy-t 5 years ago

      My mouth is watering... I haven't had a good sausage and pepper sandwich in a while. I think its time for a quick road trip to the boardwalk for one at Midway !...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Well, the secret is out now and just in time for everyone trying to figure out what they can make that will be special for the 4th of July holiday. I hadn't heard of the Cubanella Italian-style frying peppers before. I could almost taste that combination of flavors with the slow cooking, deliciously done and I enjoyed the tribute to your grandfather.