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5 from 2 votes

Easy Sausage & Peppers Pasta

This Easy Sausage & Peppers Pasta is loaded with penne pasta, Italian sausage, colorful bell peppers, and parmesan cheese. It is tossed with store-bought marinara sauce to keep the recipe quick and simple, but still full of flavor.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: American, Italian
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 645kcal
Author: Brianna May


  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds pre-cooked pork or chicken mild Italian sausage links about 8, sliced*
  • 3 bells peppers julienned in 1 inch pieces*
  • 1 large yellow onion julienned in 1 inch pieces
  • 8 cloves garlic pressed or minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 2 24 ounce jars marinara sauce*
  • 1 pound penne pasta*
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (1.5 - 2 Tablespoons of salt). While the water heats, make the sauce. In a large skillet or pot over medium high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the sausage and brown for 5-7 minutes.
  • Turn the heat to medium. Add the peppers and onions to the pan. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until they have begun to soften.
  • Stir in garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and chili flakes. Sauté for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
  • Pour in jars of sauce and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes, while the pasta boils.
  • Boil the pasta in a large pot according to the instructions on the package.
  • Drain the pasta or pour it back into the pot or directly into the sauce (use the larger pot).
  • Add all of the sauce to the pasta and fold it together.
  • Fold in the parmesan and basil. Serve with more basil and parmesan on top.


  • Sausage: I usually use mild or spicy chicken Italian sausage, but pork sausage works great as well. You can also use sweet Italian sausage. Since the sausage is pre-cooked, it is easy to slice before browning. If you are using raw sausage links, cook them most of the way through before slicing and browning. You can also use raw ground sausage. Fully cook it during Step 1. 
  • Bell Pepper: Use any color of bell peppers. I liked to use a combination of red, orange, and yellow bell pepper.
  • Marinara Sauce: Use any pasta sauce. I use a combination of marinara and italian herb to add more flavor. Vodka sauce, arrabiata, mushroom, or garlic flavored sauces will work great as well. You can also use seasoned crushed tomatoes.
  • Penne Pasta: Use any short cut pasta. You can also use gluten free pasta.
  • Add salt to the pasta water. I use about 1.5 - 2 Tablespoons of salt per pound of pasta I am cooking. This is crucial for flavor when boiling pasta. 
  • Cook the pasta al dente. Boil the pasta for the shortest time instructed on the back of the package (the cook time is usually a range). For this type of penne, I usually boil it for 9-10 minutes.  
  • Do not overcook the peppers and onions. After you sauté them, they will continue to cook in the sauce as it simmers. They should still have a bit of a bite and not be mushy.


Calories: 645kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 1837mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 10g