Ground Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce With Peppers
This rich and flavorful ground Italian sausage pasta sauce is packed with veggies to give you a nicely balanced meal.
Sausage and Peppers Just Belong Together
I always chalk a hearty stick-to-your-ribs meat sauce up to being more of a cold weather meal, but this one hits different.
There’s something about the ground Italian sausage, bell peppers, and zucchini that make this sauce just fine for the warmer months.
We’ve always been a fan of sausage and peppers here—but up until now we’ve only featured them together on a sheet pan, on a bun, or on pizza.
So, it was time to make the combo sing with pasta!
How to Cook Italian Sausage for Pasta
Start by browning the ground sausage in a pot. Once the sausage is just cooked, remove it with a slotted spoon and set it aside.
Once the rest of your sauce comes together, stir the sausage into it, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes.
The Ingredients You’ll Need
- Olive oil
- Ground Italian sausage
- White onion
- Green bell pepper
- Tomato paste
- Chicken broth
- Canned crushed tomatoes
- Fresh parsley
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
How to Make Ground Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce With Peppers
- Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Once it’s warmed, add the ground sausage and break the sausage up with a spatula into crumbles as it cooks.
- Remove the cooked sausage from the pot with a slotted spoon, leaving the juices in the pot, and set aside.
- Stir the onions, peppers, zucchini, and parsley into the pot. Hit it with a generous amount of salt, then let it simmer for 5-8 minutes or until the veggies are tender.
- Add the garlic and stir, letting it cook for about 30 seconds.
- Pop the tomato paste and chicken broth into the pot and give it a good stir, letting the tomato paste melt into everything.
- Stir in the tomato sauce and, finally, add the sausage back to the pot.
- Cover and simmer on low for about 30 minutes.
Recipe Tips + Tricks
- If you keep parmesan rinds in your freezer, now it a great time to use one! Pop a parmesan rind into the sauce before you cover it to simmer to enrichen the flavor of the sauce.
- Any noodle variation can be used with this sauce, but the best noodles to use for a hearty sauce like this are fat chewy ones. We love using pappardelle or rigatoni.
- You can replace the zucchini with any kind of summer squash; you could also use chopped mushrooms!
- If you want to add some heat, use hot Italian sausage and add chili flakes at your leisure.
- Red, orange, or yellow bell peppers can be used in place of green, but they’re all sweeter, so they will add a bit of a sweetness to the flavor profile.
- We love serving this with a hunk of burrata! The creaminess really cuts through the richness of the sauce leaving you with a nice balance. You could also use ricotta or cottage cheese.
Useful Tools for This Recipe
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Spatula or meat masher
- Slotted spoon
- Large pot
- Stirring spoon
- Measuring cups and spoons
Have You Made This Recipe?
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Other Sausage Recipes You’ll Enjoy
- Sheet Pan Sausage and Peppers on a Bun
- One-Pan Tortellini and Sausage Skillet Dinner
- Sheet Pan Turkey Sausage and Peppers
- Sausage and Roasted Red Pepper Pizza
Get the Recipe:
Ground Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce With Peppers
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 lb ground Italian sausage, Mild or hot, it's up to you!
- 1 cup diced white onion
- 1 cup diced green bell pepper, You can use red, orange, or yellow instead, but these variations are sweeter and will slightly sweeten the sauce.
- 1 cup diced zucchini
- 3 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
- 2 TBSP tomato paste
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- Fresh parsley
- Sea salt, to taste
- 1 lb pasta—something fat and chewy is suggested, like pappardelle or rigatoni
- 8 oz burrata, divided (optional)
- Cracked black pepper
- Heat up the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Once the oil has warmed, add the ground sausage to the pot. Using a spatula or meat masher, break it down into crumbles as it cooks.
- When cooked, remove the sausage from the pot with a slotted spoon; set it aside.
- Bring the onions, peppers, zucchini, and parsley to the pot. Hit them with a generous amount of salt and let them all simmer for about 5-8 minutes, or until the veggies are tender.
- Stir in the garlic, letting it cook for about 30 seconds.
- Spoon the tomato paste into the pot, and then add the chicken broth; give it a good stir until the tomato paste melts into everything.
- Pour the tomato sauce into the pot, then stir in the sausage.
- Cover and let it all simmer on low for about 30 minutes.
- Pop a parmesan rind into the sauce before you cover it to simmer. This will enrichen the flavor of the sauce!
- If you prefer, you can replace the zucchini with any kind of summer squash or use chopped mushrooms.
- Use hot Italian sausage and add chili flakes to spice things up.
- Optional, but adding a nice hunk of burrata cuts through the richness of the sauce, leaving you with a nice balance. Other options include ricotta or cottage cheese.
12 Comments on “Ground Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce With Peppers”
I love this sauce. I can’t get Italian sausage in NZ so I add mustard and fennel to the minced meat to get that flavour.
This is such an incredible meal and easy meal! I love the suggestion of fat chewy noodles – so satisfying. Yum!
The tip for popping the parmesan rind into the sauce is phenomenal! I’m never making sauce without doing that again. This was absolutely delicious.
This was so good, and a perfect way to sneak some extra veggies into my kids’ diets.
My whole family loves this meal! Totally family friendly!
This Ground Italian Sausage Pasta is so fabulous! My family loves it! Thank you so much for this dinner
I usually make any meat based pasta sauce with ground beef or pork – but this sausage sub was awesome! So much flavor!
What a hearty and healthy pasta recipe! Can’t wait to make this again!
Wow I am in love with the color and flavors in this pasta sauce! Thank you!
This pasta sauce was so flavorful! I doubled the recipe and I am going to freeze the extra so I can have it ready for a quick week night meal!
Love this recipe. It’s easy and delicious. Thanks for sharing :)
Dang! What a genius idea to add veggies into this sauce! We had EVERYTHING on the list to make this for dinner. YUM! YUM! YUM!