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Cozy Soup Recipes to Get You Through the Winter

Skillet Italian Sausage and Peppers with Whole-Wheat Penne [+ Video]

41 Reviews

This skillet Italian sausage and peppers with whole-wheat penne is the perfect home cooked meal and it’s all in one pot which makes clean up a breeze!

This dish is a family favorite for us! And it’s weird to say that because I have picky eaters (they are SO much better than they used to be), and usually peppers and onions aren’t on the “yes list” for picky eaters, but in this recipe, they just work! The flavor is bold, and everyone loves sausage and pasta!

When I need to get dinner on the table quickly, this is one of my go-to recipes. All you need is one pan and 30 minutes!

a photo of cooked penne pasta in a skillet mixed with sauteed peppers and onions and sausage.


What Do I Need to Make Sausage and Peppers Penne?

Most of the ingredients in this dish are pantry staples, so all you will need at the grocery store are some sausage links, a couple of peppers and an onion. Here is a list of what you will need:

  • Whole-wheat Penne Pasta – you can find this right by all the other pasta at the grocery store
  • Italian Sausage – I generally go with mild uncooked sausage, but you could use spicy sausage or a sweet sausage depending on what you are craving
  • Green Pepper – remove the stem and seeds and slice into thin slices
  • Red Pepper – remove the stem and seeds and slice into thin slices, red peppers are a little sweeter than green peppers so they add another dimension of flavor
  • Yellow Onion – use a sharp knife to slice the onion in the thin slices
  • Red Wine (cooking wine) – we don’t drink alcohol so we cook with cooking wine, but feel free to use whichever you prefer
  • Tomato Paste – a 6oz can, any brand works, just choose your favorite
  • Tomato Sauce – an 8oz can, any brand works, just choose your favorite
  • Water – thins out the sauce a little
  • Italian Seasoning – a dried seasoning blend that you can buy at the grocery store that usually includes dried basil, dried oregano, dried rosemary, dried thyme and dried marjoram
  • Sugar – enhances the flavors
  • Salt – adds flavor
  • Parmesan Cheese – great for a garnish to add an extra punch of flavor

The measurements for every ingredient can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post. The detailed instructions for how to make this recipe are also in the recipe card. 

a photo of a large skillet full of slices of sausage and sauteed peppers and onions all mixed with cooked penne pasta.


Reasons You Will Love This Italian Sausage Recipe

Here are a few reasons that you are going to love this recipe:

  1. Easy: The ingredients are simple and easy to find. The recipe is made in one pot so cleanup is easy. The only techniques you need to know are slicing, sauteing and simmering. Nothing fancy here!
  2. Quick: I live for dinner recipes that come together in less than a half hour!
  3. Flavor: By sauteing the sausage in the pan first, it flavors the whole dish. The peppers and onions get flavored by the sausage and add their own flavors and then the tomato pasta and sauce with the Italian seasoning and red wine add all the flavor you need.
  4. Well rounded: This dish includes veggies, protein and carbs all in one pan so you don’t even need sides if you don’t want them.
  5. Inexpensive: All of the ingredients are cheap making this recipe very budget friendly.
a close up photo of a cast iron skillet full of sauteed sausage, peppers and onions mixed with cooked penne pasta.

What Italian Sausage is Best in Pasta?

Italian sausage and peppers are sautéed and then simmered in the rich sauce and tossed with cooked whole-wheat penne pasta. I like to use a mild Italian sausage, but you could use a sweet or spicy pork sausage, or even a turkey or chicken Italian sausage would work great if you’re really watching your calories.

One Pot Pasta Recipe

What I really love about this, is everything is cooked and assembled in one big pot (aside from the cooking of the pasta), it’s seriously easy as can be and comes together in 30 minutes (or less!).

a photo take directly above a cast iron skillet full of cooked penne pasta, slices of italian sausage, sauteed sausage and onions, all simmered in a rich sauce.


What is Italian Sausage?

Italian sausage most often refers to a style of pork sausage that is seasoned with fennel.

Can Italian Sausage Be a Little Pink?

It’s ok to be a little pink in the middle but it shouldn’t look raw. If you’ve cooked it for the time & method it says on the packet it should be alright.

a photo of a pot whole wheat penne with sauteed sausage and peppers.


Dinner is on the table in 30 minutes and the whole family loves it! This Italian sausage and peppers whole-wheat penne is guaranteed to go into your regular dinner rotation!

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a photo of cooked penne pasta in a skillet mixed with sauteed peppers and onions and sausage.

Skillet Italian Sausage and Peppers with Whole-Wheat Penne

4.13 from 41 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
This skillet Italian sausage and peppers with whole-wheat penne is the perfect home cooked meal and it's all in one pot which makes clean up a breeze!


  • 12 ounces whole-wheat penne pasta
  • 1 pound Italian sausage links 1 package
  • 1 small green pepper sliced
  • 1 small red pepper sliced
  • 1 small yellow onion sliced thin
  • ½ cup red wine we use cooking red wine
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 12 ounces water
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Parmesan Cheese for finishing


  • In a large pot of salted water, cook pasta until al dente.
  • Reserve starchy cooking water.
  • Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over a medium-high heat.
  • Brown sausages on all sides, until almost cooked through, remove and cut into ¼ inch slices. You don’t have to worry about cooking them all the way through, they will finish cooking while the sauce simmers.
  • In the same pan drizzle another teaspoon or so of olive oil and sauté the peppers and onions until slightly softened, about five minutes.
  • Return sausage back to the pan and deglaze with red wine.
  • Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, Italian seasoning, sugar and salt.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  • Simmer for ten minutes.
  • Add penne to the skillet, toss with sauce. If needed add starchy pasta water to loosen the sauce up.
  • Season with salt and pepper and garnish with grated parmesan cheese.


Store covered in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts
Skillet Italian Sausage and Peppers with Whole-Wheat Penne
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 780 Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Fat 38g58%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 16g
Cholesterol 86mg29%
Sodium 1733mg75%
Potassium 1083mg31%
Carbohydrates 72g24%
Fiber 10g42%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 1941IU39%
Vitamin C 80mg97%
Calcium 64mg6%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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Cozy Soup Recipes to Get You Through the Winter

About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

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But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

Leave a comment

Recipe Rating


  • Well let me just add one thing, there is no such thing as Cooking Wine, that will only ruin anything you use it on, loaded with Sodium, Please use Wine that you will Drink. If you don’t believe me, just taste the so called cooking wine, and judge for yourself! I can’t believe someone who Cooks would even suggest using something that will only Ruin any meal you add it Too !

    • Reply
  • Simple recipe with mostly pantry items and end of summer locally grown peppers. I threw in a jalapeño as well.

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    • Thank you so much Lisalen! I love the addition of the jalapeno for some kick!

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  • Didn’t love the tomato flavor in this recipe, maybe less tomato paste.

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    • Thank you for the feedback! You can definitely reduce the tomato paste if you would like!

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  • Came here after making this recipe for years. I gave it to both my sisters as well and it is a staple in our household. The sauce is so easy and delicious! This is one of my back pocket recipes bc it is so easy, doesn’t require a lot of babysitting and it reheats well for work lunches.
    10/10 recommend

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    • Thank you so much Jessica! This is great feedback!

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  • My family really enjoyed this recipe. Paired it with drop biscuits and a salad. Perfect.

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    • I’m so glad you guys love it!!

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  • Can this be made in an instant pot?

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    • It can, the only advice I would have would be to use less liquid than the recipe calls for. The Instant Pot will not lose liquid like the skillet will. Good luck! Let me know how it turns out!!

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  • I have made this multiple times and it is so delicious! I’m thinking about making this for a dinner party. Do you think I could make the sauce an hour or so ahead of time and keep warm either on the stove or in a slow cooker? That way I’m not tied to the stove when guests arrive.

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    • Yes absolutely! On low on the stove top or low in the slow cooker should work great.

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  • I have made this twice and love it. I do use a pound of pasta and double all the sauce ingredients except the water to feed my family.

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    • Thank you for the tip on feeding a bigger crowd! So glad you enjoy it!

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  • This is a great recipe–BUT can it be frozen??

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    • Yes absolutely! We like to leave the pasta out if we are freezing it and cook the pasta fresh when we serve it.

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  • This is not a one pot dish because you need to boil pasta separately. Little bit disappointed.

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    • You can totally boil it first in this pan and then set it aside.

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  • Just stopping in to say this has been a family favorite for a couple of years now. So easy and delicious! Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

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    • This is what we love to hear!! Thank you Heather and you’re welcome!

      • Reply
  • I’ve never used a red cooking wine. What should I look for? And is there a substitute for it? The recipe looks like it would be delicious.

    • Reply
    • Hi Pat! The cooking wine is by the vinegar. If drink alcohol, you can use regular alcohol just use 1 1/2 times the amount. Cooking wine is common though so if you look by the vinegar, you will find it! Enjoy!

      • Reply
  • I am part Italian and this looks very good. I hope I can make it one day. I have made sweet Italian peppers left whole, green peppers sliced kind of thin in strips, thinly sliced white or yellow onion, worcestershire sauce and a little butter. We enjoy that so I know we will enjoy yours.

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  • This may be a silly question, but how much water do you add when combining all sauce ingredients?

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  • Don’t have any peppers, so am substituting carrots and a head of broccoli, cut up.Don’t drink red wine, so using water. Other than that, am following the recipe to a “t”.

    • Reply
    • Let us know how it goes! We don’t drink wine either but we will sometimes do water with a little balsamic vinegar. yummy!

      • Reply
  • I made this last night! It was awesome!! The wine I used was a red Malbec.
    Its definitely a keeper!!!
    The only thing I did different was I use brown sugar in my pasta sauce. Not quite as sweet as white sugar.
    Thanks for sharing. We absolutely loved the sauce.

    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed it!

      • Reply
  • Made this tonight for company using half and half, hot and sweet turkey sausage. It was a big hit. Next time I will add some garlic with the onions and peppers. Thanks for a great recipe.

    • Reply
    • How did you use the half and half?

      • Reply
    • Thanks Gail!

      • Reply
  • On Step 4 I added a tsp of minced garlic, zucchini and at the last minute of sauteing I added crimini mushrooms. I”m obsessed with feeding lots of veggies with dinner and this made a wonderful addition.

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    • I think that sounds like a fantastic addition!

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  • can this dish be cooked then frozen to be eaten at a later date? I am trying to prepare meals for the month in advance.

    • Reply
    • Absolutely, though we prefer to wait to add the pasta until serving.

      • Reply
  • I have made this a bunch of times and making it again tonite. Everyone here loves it . Sometimes I add fresh spinich when it’s almost ready. This and a loaf of fresh garlic bread makes a great dinner. Thanks for the recipe

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    • What a great idea to throw in the fresh spinach!

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  • Made this tonight!!! Awesome! Thanks!

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    • So glad! Thanks Kathleen!

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  • Do you think deglazing with an equal amount of beer would work? Has anyone tried that?

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  • Is there any way you can just use regular pasta sauce?

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    • Absolutely!

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  • wow… Just made this and it was delicious. Peppers, onions, sausage and pasta… What’s not to like. Even my picky 15 year old daughter enjoyed it enough to have a second serving. 🙂 stellar dish!

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    • So glad that you enjoyed it!

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  • what an you use instead of the wine??

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    • we will use cooking wine (the fake stuff) or a little grape juice and red wine vinegar combo 🙂

      • Reply
  • What a wonderful flavor combination! I can’t resist italian sausage 🙂

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  • This looks so great Nicole! Love how it’s a one pot dish and done in under 30 minutes. Perfect comfort weeknight food!

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    • she did such a great job!

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  • I love skillet dinners like this! Looks so good!

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  • I’m here!! this looks absolutely delicious Nicole, sausage & peppers is one of my favorite comfort foods, and your version looks awesome!

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    • doesn’t it look just awesome?!

      • Reply
  • Great recipe Nicole! Looks amazing and your pics are great. I’ll stop by your blog 🙂

    • Reply

Cozy Soup Recipes to Get You Through the Winter