Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers – Iowa Girl Eats

Hot italian sausage slow cooker recipes

Photo from clay pot and pepper sausage bowl

I’ve told you before that my Aunt Mary is an

amazing Italian cook. 99% of my extended family is from Ohio, so twice a year we packed our brown Aerostar with 2 adults, 3 kids, 5 pieces of luggage and a cockapoo to visit everyone, and one of our favorite stops was Aunt Mary’s. He had a plate of Italian biscuits waiting for us at the table, plus a tub of sausages and peppers bubbling in his homemade sauce on the stove. She’s been making them for as long as I can remember, and the recipe was passed down by her mother, Rose, and probably Rose’s mother too!


recently had a craving for Aunt Mary’s sausages and peppers that just didn’t stop and then I remembered one time my mom wrote the recipe so I took a look and it turns out it’s perfect for the clay pot. Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers are layered golden Italian sausages in a clay pot with scorched onions, peppers, garlic, tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes, then cooked slowly and slowly throughout the day, until the sausages are almost crumbled and the sauce is like silk. I tell you, there is absolutely nothing better than the taste of this delicious Italian dish!

Sausage and pepper bowl photo on pasta

Tips for making sausages and clay pot peppers

  • Technically it is not necessary to brown the sausages before placing them in the clay pot, but the caramelization gives the dish a delicious depth of flavor. Besides, Aunt Mary always did it, so we should too.
  • This recipe freezes beautifully! Aunt Mary always sent us home with tupperware full of sausages and peppers that we froze and rationed little by little to savor between visits. To freeze, cool the sausage and peppers completely, then transfer them to Ziplock freezer bags and freeze flats. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat in a pot on the stove over low heat.
  • We used to put Aunt Mary’s sausages in hard rolls topped with sauce, but now I serve my sausages and peppers on top of gluten-free pasta. Rolls, pasta, on a fork straight from the clay pot, it’s not going to matter how you eat the sausages and peppers, just that you do!

close-up photo of a bowl of sausages and peppers

How to make this recipe: Start

with 3 pounds of sweet Italian sausages. Sweet sausages are not really sweet, but are mild compared to the spiciness of hot Italian sausages. I used Johnsonville because they are gluten-free and delicious, but if you can find locally made gluten-free sausages (if you need them), that will give you the most authentic taste results.


Cut the sausages in half, or in thirds if they are very long.


Then, brown the sausages in two or three batches, for 1-2 minutes on all four sides, or until golden brown. Sausages do not need to be cooked, they only have a pleasant golden brown sheen.

Crock-Pot-Sausage-and-Peppers-iowagirleats-06 Transfer the sausages

to a 6-quart pot.


In the leftover fat of the sausages add 2 Yellow onions, season with salt and pepper, then sauté until they begin to soften and turn golden. Then, place them on top of the sausages in the clay pot.


Next, add 2 large or 3 small sliced peppers (the color combo is up to you), then season with salt and pepper and sauté until the peppers are crispy and tender. Add 4 cloves of chopped garlic, then sauté for another minute and then add the mixture on top of the onions in the clay pot.


Next, add 1/

4 teaspoon of red chili flakes (optional) plus a 28 oz can of tomato sauce, a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, and 1/2 cup chicken broth. Mix everything and then simmer for 5-6 hours, or until the sausages are very tender.


I MEAN. You have to try this!!


Spicy, so much flavor, but incredibly simple, this is a recipe you’ll make over and over and over again. It’s a great treat for the crowd and, as my Aunt Mary knows, it’s great when the company comes. People can eat whenever and however they want, and then keep coming back for more (which they definitely will). Enjoy!

<img src="" alt="Sausage fork photo" /


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photo collage of clay pot sausages and peppers Culinary specialist with more than 10 years of experience in the restaurant industry.

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