Italian Sausage vs Regular Sausage
Italian sausages are thicker and slightly bigger than the regular sausages. Gristles in Italian sausages have more fat. In America, Italian sausage is also referred to as a style of Pork Sausage. In the markets, you will find them in large, 6-inch links, sometimes coiled when you buy them in bulk.
Types of Italian Sausages
Italian sausages are seasoned with fennel and garlic. In Italy, you will find a wide variety of sausages which are quite different from the regular Italian sausages that you will find in the markets. The most common varieties of Italian sausages are Hot and Mild (Sweet). Both varieties have the same ingredients, but hot Italian sausages contain chili peppers that makes them hotter and spicier than the mild ones. Sweet sausages do not have red peppers, but they often have rosemary or fresh basil.
How to Eat Italian Sausage
You can eat Italian sausages in many ways, which we will talk about in detail in this article. You can grill it, sauté it, wrap it with pastry, soup it, sauce it or anything you like. But make sure to cook these sausages thoroughly unless you buy the smoked ones from the butchers.
How to Cook Italian Sausage
How Can I Cook Italian Sausages in the Oven?
Most people enjoy grilled sausages but, if the weather doesn’t cooperate, then you can cook them in the oven instead. Cooking Italian sausages in the oven is very easy and straightforward. But you will need to prepare them in a particular way to get the most flavor from your Italian sausage.
- Two Italian sausage links (Mild or Hot)
- Two cloves of garlic
- Olive oil
- Wash the sausages and place them in an oven-safe dish
- Take a fork and prick the sausages
- Cut the garlic cloves into halves and put them in the dish
- Pour some olive oil on the sausages
- Add salt and pepper (optional)
- Turn the oven at 350ºF and place the dish in the middle of the oven
- Cook the sausages for 30 minutes
- Once cooked cut the sausages to check that they are not pink inside
How Can I Cook Italian Sausages on the Stove?
Frying an Italian sausage on the stove can improve its flavor and adds texture. You will need to boil the uncooked sausages first before you cook them.
- Five sausage links (Hot or Sweet)
- ¼ cup of water
- Put a non-stick pan on the oven over a medium heat
- Place the sausage links in the pan
- Add some water and put a lid on it
- Let the sausages steam cook for ten minutes
- Take the cover off and keep turning them over for ten more minutes
- Your sausages are ready once they turn deep golden-brown on the outside
How Can I Cook Italian Sausages on the Grill?
No matter what kind of sausages you are grilling, Italian, or regular, nobody likes burnt sausages. It can be a bit tricky to cook sausages on the grill all the way through before it burns on the outside. The secret to cooking Italian sausages perfectly on the grill is to keep them away from the flames. If the grill is flared up, then your sausages will be burnt on the outside but still raw on the inside.
On the grill always cook your sausages over an indirect fire or on the cold zone, then finish over on the fire to brown them up.
- Italian sausage links (Mild or Spicy)
- Lay the Italian sausages on the grill away from the direct heat
- Cover the grill for 10-15 minutes and let the grill do the job
- Depending on the heat the bottom side of the sausages should be nicely cooked
- Turn the sausages over and put the lid back on for another 10-15 minutes
- The sausages should be nicely cooked (both sides) by now
- Move the sausages on the hot side and cook them for two minutes on each side to brown them up
How Can I Cook Italian Sausages in the Air Fryer?
Cooking Italian sausages in an air fryer is way easier and simpler than grilling or frying on the stove, and you get perfectly cooked sausages every time. Fat from the sausages drips away when you cook them in an air fryer, which makes it a little bit healthier.
- Italian sausage links (Hot or Mild)
- Put a little bit of water at the bottom of the fryer and then place the rack/basket inside — this way, it doesn’t create smoke when the fat drips at the bottom.
- Place the sausages in the basket, and air fry them at 350º F for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, increase the temperature to 400º F and cook them for another 5 mins. It will give the sausages a beautiful brown look.
How Can I Cook Italian Sausages in a Pan or Skillet?
Cooking Italian sausages in a pan or skillet is the traditional way of cooking sausages. Read the section above “How to cook Italian sausage on Stove?” for it.
Italian Sausage Pepper and Onions Skillet Recipe
- 5 Italian sausage links
- 1 medium green pepper
- 1 medium red pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 can of diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Grease your pan then brown each side of the sausages
- Turn the heat to low and add ½ a cup of water
- Cover the pan and cook the sausages for 10-12 minutes
- On a separate pan add 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Add the sliced pepper, onions, and the minced garlic
- Sauté 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are tender and crisp
- Slice the previously cooked sausages into ½ inch sizes and add them to the vegetables with the tomatoes and pepper flakes
- Cook and stir the mix for 5 minutes or until heated through
How to Cook Hot Italian Sausages?
Hot Italian sausages contain red pepper flakes that make the sausages hot and spicy. Like the regular sausages, you can cook hot Italian sausages on the grill or stove or in the oven or air fryer. Here is a Hot Italian Sausage recipe for you:
Gordon Ramsey’s Spicy Rice with Hot Italian Sausage Recipe
How to Cook Italian Sweet Sausages?
Sweet or mild Italian sausages do not contain red pepper flakes, unlike hot Italian sausages. It is the less spicier of the two but still packs a ton of flavor, and seasoned with fresh or dry herbs.
Like the hot Italian sausages, you can cook sweet Italian sausages on the grill or stove or in the oven or air fryer. If you are not a big fan of spicy sausages them simply replace them with Italian sweet sausages and follow the same recipes.
How to Cook Italian Turkey Sausages?
Italian turkey sausages taste great with pasta, lasagna, pizzas, and more. Usually, Italian turkey sausages contain turkey, seasonings (sea salt, extractives of spices including paprika), and rosemary extract.
Italian Turkey sausage recipe
- 3 pounds red potatoes
- Cooking spray
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper ( freshly grounded)
- 6 hot Italian turkey sausages
- 3 bell peppers (cut into ½ inch strips)
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Preheat oven to 375º F
- Place the potatoes in a roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper. Bake the potatoes at 375º for 40 minutes or until tender.
- While potatoes are cooking, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Pierce the sausages with a fork several times. Cook the sausages for 5 minutes or until lightly brown, then remove sausages from the pan.
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in the pan again. Sauté bell peppers for 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in ¼ teaspoon of salt, vinegar, rosemary, and crushed red pepper. Put the sausages back in the pan.
- Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until the sausages are done.
How to Cook Italian Chicken Sausages?
Italian chicken sausages are the healthier alternative to traditional Hot and Mild sausages. Italian chicken sausages have less fat than beef and pork sausages. They taste really good in spaghetti sauce, meatballs, polenta or sandwich.
Italian Chicken Sausage Recipe
- 2 ½ cups chicken broth
- 1 ½ cups white quinoa (uncooked)
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 1 pkg (12 oz each) fully cooked Italian chicken sausage, sliced
- 2 cups chopped baby spinach leaves
- Stir together broth, quinoa, and onion in a large skillet. Bring to a boil. Then cover the pan to reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
- Add ¼ cup cheese to skillet, constantly stir until the cheese melts. Stir in drained tomatoes, sausage, and spinach. Heat 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture is hot. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup cheese.
How to Cook Italian Sausages for Pasta?
Italian Sausage with Pasta Recipe
- ¾ pound Italian pork sausage
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup tomato Sauce
- 8 ounces dry Penne pasta (uncooked)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and cook for 5 minutes. Break them apart with spoon to crumble.
- Add water, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and pasta to the skillet. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Cover the pan to reduce heat and cook another 15 minutes or until pasta is tender.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.
How to Cook Italian Sausages for Spaghetti?
Spaghetti with Italian Sausage Recipe
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 8 Italian sweet sausage links
- 8 Italian hot and spicy sausage links
- 1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 pound (16 oz, 450 g) spaghetti pasta
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook for 5 minutes, then add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
- In a separate pot boil some water for pasta.
- Once the onion and garlic are cooked, remove them from the pan and set aside. Remove the sausage meat from the casings and add to the pan. Break them apart with spoon to crumble and cook on medium to medium-high heat until lightly browned.
- Lightly purée the whole peeled canned tomatoes in a blender, and add to the skillet with the sausage meat. Add the cooked onions and garlic. Heat to a bare simmer.
- Once the pasta water has come to a rolling boil, add the spaghetti pasta. Allow the water to return to a rolling boil. Cook, uncovered, with a vigorous boil for 10-12 minutes. Drain the pasta and place it in a serving bowl.
Italian Sausage Soup Recipe
- 3 spicy Italian sausage links (casings removed)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 large onion (diced)
- ¼ tablespoon dried thyme
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 regular can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- ¼ cup white wine
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 32 oz. low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 small head of broccoli
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- Brown the sausages in a large pan over medium heat until crispy. Break them up with a wooden spoon. Remove the sausages from the pan and set aside.
- Increase heat to medium-high and add 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, onion, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Sauté until softened, about 4 minutes.
- Add chickpeas, white wine, cream, and stock; bring to a boil and simmer until chickpeas are tender, 5 to 8 minutes.
- Toss the broccoli and sausage in and simmer until broccoli is bright green and cooked. Garnish with parsley and drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.
Italian Sausage and Peppers Recipe
- 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tablespoon oregano (dried)
- 1 tablespoon red pepper (crushed)
- 3 bell peppers (sliced)
- 1 large onion (sliced)
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 sweet or hot Italian sausages, sliced into quarters
- ¼ cup freshly sliced basil
- Preheat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and red pepper. Add peppers and onions to the pot and toss to coat in oil mixture. Scatter sausage pieces on top of vegetables.
- Bake until vegetables are tender and the sausage is cooked through (40-45 minutes). Top with basil and serve hot.
Italian Sausage for Lasagna
- 1 lb bulk Italian pork sausage
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 2 garlic clove (crushed)
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves (chopped)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 cups diced tomatoes (from 28-oz can), (not drained)
- 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
- 12 lasagna noodles
- 1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese or small curd cottage cheese (2 cups)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves (chopped)
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz)
- Brown the sausage with onion and garlic over medium heat until sausage is no longer pink.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, sugar, tomatoes, and tomato sauce — heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered and cook it until the sauce is slightly thickened.
- Cook and drain lasagna noodles as directed on the package.
- In medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and the oregano.
- Spread the sauce mixture at the bottom of the ungreased baking dish. Then lay down the first layer of lasagna noodles. Spread the cheese mixture over noodles. Then spread a cup of the sauce mixture over the cheese. Sprinkle with 2/3 cup of the mozzarella cheese. There is your first layer. Now you will repeat this three times with the noodles and remaining mixtures.
- Put the lasagna in the oven at 350°F for 45 minutes.
Italian Sausage Nutrition
The following nutrition facts is provided by the USDA for one Italian sausage link (75 g).
What Goes Well with Italian Sausages?
Italian sausages goes well with:
- Creamy Parmesan-Polenta
- Grilled Vegetables
- Sautéed Peppers and Onions