The flavors in this easy one-pot sausage peppers & pasta are amazing. With just a few ingredients and some spices, you'll have a quick dinner that tastes like it took all day to make!
One-pot meals are so easy to make with very little fuss or mess. There are a few easy steps to this recipe, but so worth it!
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I used the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker & Air Crisper to make this recipe, but you can make it in the Instant Pot Duo Crisp, an electric pressure cooker with or without a crisping lid, or on the stove and in the oven.
I will give all of my suggestions for the various appliances, so no matter how you want to cook it, you can make this delicious sausage peppers & pasta!
Frequently Asked Questions
As long as you add in the vegetables after pressure cooking like the recipe states, you should be able to double the recipe in the 6.5qt and 8qt size pressure cookers.
Keep in mind that the time to pressure will be longer, so to avoid overcooked pasta, I would decrease the PC time to 1-2 minutes.
The only problem I can see with freezing it is the peppers and onions tend to get watery when thawed and the texture is different. If that doesn't bother you, then it's fine to freeze.
Can I change the Type of Pasta in this Sausage Pepper & Pasta Recipe?
Absolutely! You can use any type of pasta you want in this recipe, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
The shape and thickness of the pasta makes a difference in cook time, so you will need to adjust for that. I also recommend only using dry pasta and not fresh pasta in this recipe to avoid overcooking.
If the pasta you want to use is similar in size & thickness to penne, like rigatoni or ziti, keep everything the same. Even farfalle pasta would do great using the same cooking time in my experience. Probably even elbow macaroni would be fine at this PC time.
If the pasta is much thinner, like spaghetti or very small like ditalini, I would definitely decrease the PC time by 1-2 minutes to avoid overcooking.
If using something as thin as angel hair, you will need to decrease the PC time to zero minutes.
The sausage may not completely cook in 0-2 minutes, so if making these adjustments, make sure to cook the sausage completely during the browning process.
What Kind of Sausage Should I Use?
You can use anything you like, but I used a combination of sweet and hot Italian sausage in the casing. I find this is a great balance of flavors in recipes.
The brand doesn't much matter, I think I used Johnsville in this recipe. The sausage links come in packs of 5 and I buy 1 pack of each type that I want to use and use a total of 5 links. I freeze the remaining 5 for another recipe or to make this one again.
I like to keep the casing on the sausage for this recipe because it does add a textural element that I like. It keeps the snap of of the sausage. You can certainly remove it if you want.
Can I use Another Meat or Skip the Meat?
Yes, absolutely! You can either skip the sausage and replace it with chicken or even pork and I'm sure just about any other kind of meat or add the other meat to the sausage. The only thing to consider is will the meat cook completely and not overcook in the pressure cook time.
Pork and chicken will definitely cook in the PC time listed in the recipe when they are cut into bite size cubes and browned beforehand. Even most cuts of beef will cook in the PC time when cubed, that includes tougher cuts of beef as well.
Quick cooking shrimp or fish should be added at the end when you add the peppers. So, if you wanted to make this with shrimp, make sure they are thawed and peeled and then add them at the end and let the residual heat cook them.
Other types of fish that are quick cooking should cook in the same way as the shrimp, but honestly I can't think of any fish I would use in this recipe. If I wanted to serve fish with it, I'd omit the meat in the dish and serve it as a pasta side to a nicely prepared piece of fish. That's just me, though!
How Can I Make this Sausage Peppers & Pasta without an Electric Pressure Cooker?
There are several ways you can make it, but the quickest way is using the stove and oven.
You can also slow cook it, but you will need to make some changes to the recipe itself and I'll go over my suggestions below.
Sausage Peppers & Pasta Stovetop/Oven Directions
Dutch Oven Directions:
If you have a dutch oven, this would be a great use for it! You can brown the sausage and the peppers/onions at the same time. Then add in the dry pasta with the liquid and other ingredients and simmer until the pasta is done.
I would increase the liquid to 2 cups to account for more evaporation. When the pasta is done to your liking, stir in the tomato paste. Top with cheese and pop the dutch oven in the oven and broil the top to melt the cheese.
Skillet & Pot Directions:
You can also simply boil the pasta on the stove in water until they are cooked 90% of the way, then drain them. Return the pasta to the pot.
While the pasta is cooking, sauté the sausage until it is ¾ of the way cooked through and add the onions and peppers.
Sauté until the vegetables are to your liking and transfer everything to the large pot that you cooked the pasta in and add in the other ingredients, but reduce the beef stock to about ½ cup or so. Mix it all together and add more stock if needed.
Scoop the sausage pepper & pasta into a large casserole dish, top with cheese and bake at 350℉ until heated through. Broil the top if needed to get the cheese browned up more.
Slow Cooker Directions
This one is a little harder for me to give suggestions for because I'm not a huge slow cooker and have never done something with pasta, but after thinking about it for a bit, this is what I would do.
I would sauté sausage and add it to the slow cooker along with the pasta, diced tomatoes, seasonings, and 2 cups of beef stock. Slow cook on high for 2-3 hours or until the pasta is cooked through.
Sauté the veggies and add them in along with the tomato paste and slow cook on high for another 30-60 minutes.
When everything is cooked to your liking, either put the sausage peppers & pasta into a large casserole dish and top with cheese and broil the cheese in the oven or scoop out into individual servings into an oven safe container and brown the cheese using the broiler.
How to Make Sausage Peppers & Pasta with the Ninja Foodi, Instant Pot Duo Crisp, or an Electric Pressure Cooker.
The Ninja Foodi and IPDC will have the same directions, so first let me address using an electric pressure cooker without a crisping lid.
Follow the same instructions in the recipe below, but after you add the veggies and stir it all up, transfer to a large casserole dish and use the broiler on your oven to melt and brown the cheese on top.
For the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker & Air Crisper or the IPDC, here are the detailed instructions.
I like to get my prep out the way by cutting all the onions and peppers into ½" strips and measuring out all my seasonings into a small bowl.
Add 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil into the inner pot and turn the sear/sauté on high.
Cut the sausage into about 2" pieces. I find the easiest way to do this is with kitchen shears. The pair I use and love are from Pampered Chef and you can find them here: Pampered Chef Kitchen Shears
I also cut the sausage on the diagonal, but that is simply for looks.
When the pot is hot, add the cut up sausage. Cook for a few minutes until browned, turning a few times to get all sides. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon so you keep the oil and juices in the pot to sauté the onions and peppers. Leave the pot on high.
I use this Scoop 'N Drain from Pampered Chef because it has a huge scoop and makes it super easy to remove food from any pot. It's great for various pasta and potatoes too!
Put the sausage in a bowl for later.
Add in the onions and peppers. Season with ½-1 teaspoon of fine grind sea salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are done to your liking and remove them from the pot into a large bowl.
Deglaze the pot with the beef stock, making sure to scrape the bottom to remove any stuck on pieces. Even the slightest bit stuck to the button could trigger the water notice. If you are unfamiliar with the water notice or burn notice, please refer to this article: Pressure Cooking 101
Add back in the sausage, along with the fire roasted tomatoes, pasta, brown sugar (optional, but it balances everything nicely), balsamic vinegar, minced garlic and roasted garlic.
I use both types of garlic in the recipe for the best flavor, but you can omit the roasted garlic and/or the minced garlic if you prefer.
Add in the seasoning blend and stir well to combine everything. Finally, add the tomato paste on top and do not stir.
Put the pressure lid on turn the valve to seal. Set the pressure on high for 4 minutes. When the time is up, allow the pot to natural release for 2 minutes and manually release the remaining pressure.
Remove the pressure lid and stir in the tomato paste and add in the onions and peppers and stir to combine everything. Turn the Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot off.
Top with grated cheeses of your choice. While I always prefer freshly grated cheeses, this is one of the times when getting an Italian blend already shredded in a bag can save both time and money.
So, if you don't have blocks and blocks of various cheeses on hand, please do that. However, if you do have tons of cheese, use whatever blend of cheeses you like. I used mozzarella, parmesan and pecorino romano. You will need about 1½ cups of cheese to cover the top.
Spread the cheese in an even layer on top of the sausage peppers & pasta and close the crisping lid. Air Crisp or Air Fry on 400℉/200℃ for 5 minutes, check and see if the cheese is melted and brown to your liking.
If it isn't, continue to AC for 2-5 minutes longer, checking frequently so it doesn't burn.
Serve & Enjoy!
If you love one-pot meals, check out these easy and delicious recipes!
One-Pot Sausage Peppers & Pasta
- Electric Pressure Cooker
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning blend
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp sea salt, fine grind
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp black pepper
Sausage Pepper Pasta Ingredients
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb Italian sausage sweet, hot, mild or a combination
- 2 Vidalia onions
- 2 green bell peppers
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt, fine grind for the onions and peppers
- ½ tsp black pepper for the onions and peppers
- 1½ cups beef stock
- 8 ounces penne pasta
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 14.5 ounces fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 bulb roasted garlic
- 1 tsp minced garlic about 3 cloves
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1½ cups Italian Blend cheese or any combination of
- Mix up the seasoning blend in a small bowl.
- Cut the sausage into bite size pieces. Add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to the inner pot and turn the sear/ sauté on high. When the oil is hot, add the sausage and brown it on all sides. Remove the sausage from the pot, leaving the oil and juices in the pot.
- Slice the onions and peppers into ½" slices and add to the hot pot. Season with ½-1 tsp of salt and ½ tsp pepper. Sauté for 5-10 minutes or until the vegetables are done to your liking. Remove from the pot and place them in a different bowl from the sausage.
- Deglaze the pot with the beef stock and make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom. Return the sausage to the pot along with the diced tomatoes, pasta, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, roasted garlic, minced garlic, and seasoning blend. Stir to combine.
- Place the tomato paste on top and do not stir. Put the Pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Set the pressure on high for 4 minutes. When the time is done, allow the pot to natural release for 2 minutes, then manually release the remaining pressure.
- While the pot is pressure cooking, shred the cheeses you want to use. You will need about 1-1½ cups of shredded cheese to cover the top.
- Open the lid and stir in the tomato paste and add back in the veggies and stir it all together. Top with shredded cheese and AC on 400°F/200°C for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and brown to your liking. Make sure to check on it every couple of minutes after the first 5.
- Serve & Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.