Vegan Sausage and Peppers

These vegan sausage and peppers are a crowd-pleaser through and through. We’ve served this plant-based dish to many crowds of non-vegans of all ages, and it is always a massive hit! It’s also easy to make and versatile: serve over pasta, on a sandwich, with rice, potatoes, or on its own!

Overhead zoomed in photo of a sliced seitan sausage cooked with peppers and onions in a large skillet

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Sausage and pepper sandwiches were always at the top of my favorite festival foods when I was growing up. 

That’s why I’m so very excited to be able to enjoy them again in a vegan version that is just as delicious as the original!

This dish is my go-to when I want to please everyone at the party but don’t have the time to cook five different dishes. And I can’t even begin to tell you what a hit it is every single time!

Even some of the older members of my family were shocked to learn this recipe is vegan. I think that’s why veganizing a classic comfort food like this is so powerful. It makes people realize vegan food isn’t all grass and twigs after all!

Why You’ll Love These Vegan Sausage and Peppers

  • This easy vegan sausage and peppers is a classic recipe that everyone loves, but made vegan!
  • This recipe is perfect served at a family party or Sunday dinner but also simple enough for easy weeknight dinners!
  • Versatile – Serve this as vegan sausage pasta, with rice or potatoes, or in an Italian “hoagie roll” for a fantastic sausage and pepper sandwich.

Ingredients for Vegan Sausage and Peppers

This is a simple recipe using only a few ingredients, but you won’t believe the amazing flavor.

  • Italian seitan sausages – We like to use our homemade spicy Italian seitan sausages for this. You can also use one of the many available store-bought options mentioned in the section below.
  • Colorful bell peppers – I like to use a classic combination of red bell peppers and green bell peppers for this recipe. 
  • Onion – I prefer using white or yellow onion. 
  • Olive oil – For sauteing the onions and peppers. 
  • Salt and pepper
Overhead photo of all the ingredients you need to make vegan sausage and peppers

How to Make Vegan Italian Sausage From Scratch

We love to use our homemade plant-based spicy Italian sausage for this recipe. It’s a lot less expensive than store-bought varieties and is pretty easy to make, especially if you’ve made seitan before!

It’s a simple combination of vital wheat gluten, all-purpose flour, marinara sauce and herbs and spices. You knead the dough, roll them out, and steam them to set them. 

Then they’re ready for grilling, sauteing, or just eating out of the fridge!

Vegan Italian Sausage Brands

There are a plethora of Italian inspired plant-based sausage options available at most grocery stores these days. Most of these vegan sausage links are found in the frozen section though some markets do store them in the refrigerated meat section with other sausages. Here are a few of our favorites.

Beyond Meat Sausages – Beyond Sausage is our go-to for store-bought vegan Italian sausages. They’re easily found and the flavor is absolutely amazing. Their Italian sausage comes in both a sweet Italian and hot Italian sausage variety. This is a great tasting soy-free, gluten-free, and GMO-free option.

Gardein – Gardein offers a delicious hot Italian style sausage in their “Ultimate” line. These do contain gluten, but are soy free.

Field Roast – This soy-free Italian sausage is bursting with garlic and fennel. Yes, you do need to take the plastic casing off before cooking. Field Roast makes are soy-free sausage but not gluten free.

Tofurky – Flavored with fragrant basil and sundried tomatoes, these are always a crowd pleaser. Tofurky sausages do contain both wheat and soy.

Trade Joe’s Italian Sausageless Sausage – TJ’s reformulated their sausageless sausage to remove the egg whites and make them fully vegan. These links do contain gluten as well as soy and are only available at select Trader Joe’s. 

Overhead photo of sliced vegetarian sausage and peppers with onions in a large saute pan

Substitution Options

If you need a substitute for any of the ingredients in this recipe, here are our best tips! Please remember though, that substituting any ingredient may lead to a (not-always-pleasant) change in the final result.

For the vegan sausage: You could use an unbreaded vegan chicken (like Tofurky!) to shake things up. Or, try some soy curls rehydrated in our vegan chicken bouillon powder.

For the bell peppers: Feel free to use orange or yellow bell peppers. You can also spice up this dish by adding some spicy peppers like those Italian “long hots”, cherry peppers, or even jalapenos.

For the white/yellow onion: You could use shallots, but you’d need a LOT. You can also skip the onion entirely. I do not recommend using red onion because I find the pungency to be a bit overwhelming in a recipe like this. 

For the olive oil: You can sub avocado oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil, or safflower oil for this recipe. You can also skip the oil if you’re oil-free and saute in vegetable broth. This will yield a slightly different result. Using a high-quality cast iron pan will help!

Seasoning options: Red pepper flakes can be added for a spicy sausage and peppers dish! Italian seasoning or even fresh basil is another wonderful addition.

How to Make Vegan Sausage and Peppers

This is such a simple process, even the most novice cook can conquer this recipe!

Here’s what you do:

  1. Heat a very large pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. 
  2. Add the vegan sausages whole and roll them around on the hot pan to let them “crisp” a little. This will take about 5-7 minutes. Remove the sausages from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add the olive oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, add the sliced onions and peppers and cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Slice the browned vegan sausages into bite-size, 1/2 inch pieces and add them back to the pan with peppers and onions. Saute another 5-7 minutes.

Sheet Pan Vegan Sausage and Peppers

We haven’t tried this yet, but you can probably adapt this recipe to make like sheet pan meals. Let us know if you give that a try in the comments!

How to Serve this Vegetarian One-Skillet Meal

You can serve sausage and peppers all on its own as a hearty one-dish meal! Or there are so many different variations people like to serve this as! Here are some of our favorites:

Vegan sausage and peppers with rice: This is an ideal weeknight combo and perfect for meal prep! Use your favorite rice: brown, white, basmati, jasmine, any of them will work!

Vegan sausage and peppers pasta recipe: We love to use bowtie or penne pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente. You can do this before or while the peppers and onions cook. Strain and spray with cold water so it doesn’t get sticky. Cover and set aside until you are ready to add it to the sausage and peppers. Perfect for date night!

Vegan sausage and peppers and potatoes: Another busy work night winner! To make things super easy, pop some potatoes in to bake while you make the dish!

Meatless Sausage and Pepper Sandwich: You can also serve the vegan sausage and peppers in long Italian rolls. Perfect for game day!

Overhead close up photo of a round white plate of bowtie pasta with vegan sausage and peppers

What do you eat with sausage and peppers?

If you’re serving this dish for a big family dinner or party, you’ll probably want a few sides to go with it!

We like to serve sausage and peppers with:

How to Store Leftovers

Store leftovers in a well-sealed, airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

We do not recommend freezing this dish, as I find the peppers get limp and mushy after freezing.

How to Reheat

Reheat this dish, covered, in the microwave, stirring every minute or so until warmed through. It usually takes 2 ½ minutes on high in our microwave, depending on the portion size.

FAQs

Since sausage and peppers is such a classic dish, there are lots of questions about it! Here, we’ll answer some of the most common questions. Please let us know if you have more questions in the comments!

Does vegan sausage taste like real sausage? 

Yes, there are many vegan sausages on the market these days that taste just like the traditional sausage you grew up eating! We love the sausages from Beyond Meat, Gardein “Ultimate”, Tofurky, and Field Roast!

What is a vegan alternative to sausages? 

There are lots of vegan sausage alternatives on the market these days. You can also make your own vegan sausages out of seitan. We have both a classic seitan sausage and an Italian seitan sausage recipe on our website.

Can you eat plant based sausage raw? 

As a general rule of thumb, no you cannot eat plant based sausage raw. The amount of time and temperature you need to cook plant based sausages will vary from brand to brand, so always make sure you are reading the package directions and following them!

Do they eat sausage and peppers in Italy? 

Sausage and peppers is actually more of an Italian-American tradition. It’s said to have become popular at Italian street festivals in the late 1920s, most notably the San Gennaro Festival on Mulberry Street.

What country is sausage and peppers from? 

The dish sausage and peppers is said to have originated from Italian street festivals in the US around 1927. This is a common dish in Italian-American cuisine and was passed down through generations from Italian immigrants to their families.

Overhead photo of a round white plate of vegan sausage and pepper pasta on a long wooden board

More Vegan Recipes with Peppers

If you dig peppers (or just have a lot of them to use up!), try these other vegan recipes with peppers:

I hope you enjoy this recipe and wish you so much success making and serving it for your loved ones!

When you try it, we’d love for you to leave a star rating and review on the recipe below. This helps more people find our vegan recipes, and we love hearing about your experience!

Enjoy!

Overhead zoomed in photo of a sliced vegan sausages cooked with onions and bell peppers in a large skillet

Vegan Sausage and Peppers

Terrence Roche
These vegan sausage and peppers are a crowd-pleaser through and through. We’ve served this plant-based dish to many crowds of non-vegans of all ages, and it is always a massive hit! It’s also easy to make and versatile: serve over pasta, on a sandwich, with rice, potatoes, or on its own!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Vegan Dinner Recipes
Cuisine Italian-American
Servings 4 -6 servings
Calories 222 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Heat a very large skillet or saute pan over Med-high heat. 
  • Add the vegan sausages whole and roll them around on the hot pan to let them “crisp” a little. This will take about 5-7 minutes. Remove the sausages from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the olive oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, add the sliced onions and peppers and cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring often.
  • Slice the browned vegan sausages into bite-size, 1/2 inch pieces and add them back to the pan with peppers and onions. Saute another 5-7 minutes.

Notes

*2 cups of sliced pepper / onion usually equals about 1 large of each. Slice into 1/4 inch bite-size strips.

To Serve: 

  • Serve over bowtie or penne pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente. You can do this before or while the peppers and onions cook. Strain and spray with cold water so it doesn’t get sticky. Cover and set aside until you are ready to add it to the sausage and peppers and serve with our Italian Restaurant House Salad and / or Homemade Garlic Bread
  • As sandwiches. Alternatively, you can serve the vegan sausage and peppers in long Italian rolls alongside our easy Potato Wedges. The first is perfect for date night and the second is great for game day. Actually, they’re both amazing any time!

To Store:

Store in a well-sealed, airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 the recipeCalories: 222kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 10gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gSodium: 401mgFiber: 3gSugar: 10g
Keyword meatless sausage and peppers, plant based sausage and peppers, vegan sausage and peppers, vegetarian sausage and peppers
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