Instant Pot Sausage and Peppers is a simple, flavor-packed meal made with Italian sausage, sweet bell peppers, onions, and rich tomato sauce.
One of my family's all-time favorite meals is Italian sausage with peppers. Whether served over a bed of pasta with a side of garlic toast or on a bun served with a side of Crispy Baked Oven Fries or Air Fryer Zucchini Fries, this simple meal delivers flavor.
Reasons to Love Instant Pot Sausage & Peppers
- Minimal Ingredients & Minimal Effort. Just like my recipes for Instant Pot Brats and Instant Pot Sausage and Potatoes, Instant Pot Italian Sausage is made with a handful of ingredients, this recipe packs a punch and comes together quickly.
- Flavorful Results. Simmered in a sauce made from chicken stock, bell peppers, onions, garlic, and spaghetti sauce, the sausage soaks up so much flavor while creating a rich, luscious sauce.
- Versatile Serving Options. Instant Pot sausage and peppers make a flavorful low-carb meal, a hearty sauce for pasta, or the base for mouth-watering Sausage and Pepper Grinders.
- Italian Sausage: To impart the most flavor into the sausage and to create the most flavorful sauce, be sure to use uncooked Italian sausage links. Turkey, pork, or chicken Italian-flavored sausage all work well in this recipe. Select mild, spicy, or sweet Italian Sausage links depending on your family's preferences.
- Bell Peppers: You can use any color of bell pepper, or a variety of bell peppers if you like.
- Onion: Yellow or sweet onions work best in this recipe.
- Garlic: What's an Italian dish without extra garlic added? Use either minced jarred or freshly minced garlic.
- Broth: For the thin liquid needed, use either vegetable broth or chicken stock.
- Spaghetti Sauce: A shortcut to adding so much flavor to Instant Pot Sausage and Peppers is to use a prepared marinara or spaghetti sauce. Use your favorite jarred sauce, Instant Pot spaghetti sauce, or homemade spaghetti sauce.
- Use Frozen Peppers and Onions: Using a 10-ounce bag of frozen peppers and onions is not only a time-saving tip but also typically saves you a few pennies as well. After sauteing the sausage, remove them to a plate, turn the instant pot off, deglaze the pan with stock then add in the frozen peppers and onions, along with the garlic, and tomato sauce, and cook for 6 minutes on high pressure.
- Gluten-Free Modification: If you need this recipe to be gluten-free, be sure to check the label of your sausage carefully, as it will vary depending on the brand you purchase.
- Low-Carb Modification: Be sure your sausage and tomato sauce do not have added sugars.
- Omit the Peppers and Onions. If you are just looking for a recipe for Italian sausage, simply omit the peppers and onions from this recipe. The cooking time will remain the same.
- Omit Tomato Sauce: love the flavor that the tomato sauce adds to this dish, but it can be omitted and still produce delicious results.
How to make Sausage and Peppers in the Instant Pot
The following tips are provided to help you achieve perfect results. You will find the detailed instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step One: Sear Italian Sausage. Using the saute function, sear the sausage links until browned on each side. Be sure to pierce each sausage with a fork 3-4 times on each side before searing, this will ensure the sausage cooks evenly and does not burst open while pressure cooking.
Step Two: Saute Peppers and Onions. Remove the sausages from the inner pot and place them onto a plate. With the Instant Pot still on the saute setting, add in a bit more oil and the sliced onions and peppers. Saute for 3-4 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften.
Step Three: Deglaze Inner Pot. Any time you use the saute function, it is crucial to add in a thin liquid and scrape up and use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the inner pot. This will help to prevent a burn notice from happening.
Step Four: Layer Ingredients. Nestle the sausage back into the inner pot add in the minced garlic and top the sausage with the tomato sauce.
Step Five: Pressure Cook. Place the lid on the pressure cooker, being sure the vent knob is sealed, and set to cook on High Pressure for 6 minutes. Once cook time has been reached, allow pressure to release naturally on its own for at least 10 minutes. It does not matter if your unit is on keep warm or not.
- Serve the sausage on hoagie buns with peppers and onions. Add a side of baked sweet potato fries or Air Fryer french fries to complete the meal.
- Serve the sausage, along with the peppers, onions, and sauce over pasta or rice with a tossed Greek Salad on the side.
- Serve as a stand-alone dish with Parmesan Roasted Broccoli or Garlic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus on the side, for a lower-carb meal.
- Refrigerate: Leftover cooled Instant Pot Sauage and Peppers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
- Freeze: Allow the sausage and peppers to fully cool. Freeze the leftovers for up to 3 months in an airtight, freezer-safe container.
- Reheat: Defrost in the refrigerator if needed. Reheat in a microwave-safe dish covered with a paper towel to prevent splatter in 1-minute intervals until warmed through.
No! You can skip sauteeing the sausages. In fact, you can even skip sauteing the onions and peppers and just layer the ingredients in the inner pot and cook for 7 minutes on high pressure. Just keep in mind that the exterior of the sausage will be softer, but you can finish them on the grill or under the broiler to crisp up if desired.
Yes! This allows the sausages to cook evenly and for pressure not to build in the casing of the sausage, which could cause the sausage to burst or split open. It also allows for more flavor from the rich sauce to infuse the meat.
Absolutely! You can double this recipe, or even just opt to throw in a couple of extra sausages with no change to the cooking time. Just keep in mind you may need to brown your sausages in batches.
More Italian-Inspired Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot Lasagna Soup
- Instant Pot Lasagna
- Instant Pot Pasta Fagioli
- Instant Pot Creamy Italian Pasta
- Instant Pot Spaghetti
- Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana
If you enjoyed this easy recipe for Instant Pot Sausage and Peppers, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
Instant Pot Sausage and Peppers
- Turn the Instant Pot to saute and let heat until it reads HOT, or for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in 1 teaspoon of the oil. Pierce each sausage several times with a fork and then place the sausage into the oil and sear on each side until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Once browned, remove the sausage from the inner pot and place them onto a clean plate.
- With the pressure cooker still on the saute setting, add in an additional teaspoon of oil, along with the sliced peppers and onions. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables have begun to soften. Turn the Instant Pot off.
- Add in the stock, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the inner pot.
- Add the sausage back to the inner pot. Add in the garlic and then spoon the tomato sauce over the sausage.
- Set to cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Once the cooking time has elapsed, allow the pressure to release naturally on its own for at least 10 minutes.
- Serve on buns, over pasta or rice, or as a stand-alone meal.