Square image of Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers in two bowls.

Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers – Kalyn’s Kitchen

12 mins read

Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers is so easy for a slow cooker main dish, and if you like sausage and peppers you’ll want to make this often. I love this for a tasty one-dish meal with about 10 net carbs, but add zucchini noodles, a salad, or pasta if you prefer.

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Back when I was a full-time elementary school teacher struggling to keep up with this blog, I had a favorite dish I’d make for Weekend Food Prep by simply browning Italian Sausage links and throwing them in the slow cooker with a jar of low-sugar marinara sauce to cook for a couple of hours. Then I’d take one of the sausages to school to eat for lunch with some kind of side salad or zucchini noodles.

Recently the idea popped into my head to turn that super simple dish into more of an actual recipe! And this new recipe for Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers is still extra easy to make and only has five ingredients. And it’s also something that’s great to make on the weekend and eat leftovers during the week.

I found this easy combination so satisfying that after I tried it once I found myself making it several more times within a few weeks, and I absolutely loved it for a low-carb main dish with my favorite Italian flavors. And I experimented with it enough times to come up with a tip for an easier way to brown the sausage on all sides, which is essential for getting the best flavor.

I do think slow cookers are having a bit of a comeback in this era of rising food prices, and they can be a wonderful way to make simple inexpensive ingredients taste great! If you’re someone who still pulls out the slow cooker once in a while I hope you’ll give this a try!

What ingredients do you need?

(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)

1200 Pasta sauce sausage collage

What Sausage did I use for Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers?

For many years I always used Jenni-O Turkey Italian Sausage when I cooked Italian Sausage, but then it disappeared from the stores by me, and I was mourning it for a long time! Now I’m a fan of Demark Foods All Natural Hot Italian Sausage, which comes in a pack of ten sausages at Kroger, and only has one net carb per sausage. I use half the package for this recipe and freeze the other half to make it again later. You can use any brand of pork, turkey, or chicken sausage that you prefer, and either hot or sweet Italian sausage will be good.

What pasta sauce did I use for Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers?

I’d love to use my own marinara sauce if I had some in the freezer, but most often I make this with the Rao’s Pasta Sauce (affiliate link) I’m so fond of. And all the Rao’s sauce varieties are super low in carbs! If you can’t find Rao’s where you shop, look at the nutritional information and pick the sauce with the lowest amount of sugar you can find!

Collage image for Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers showing recipe steps.

How to Make Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers:

(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)

  1. Heat olive oil in frying pan, add sausages and cook until they’re browned, not cooked through.
  2. Remove to cutting board and cut sausages in half lengthwise. 
  3. Put sausage back in pan and brown the cut side.
  4. Remove to cutting board. When it’s cool enough to handle, cut sausage into pieces and put into slow cooker
  5. Turn slow cooker to LOW.
  6. Add pasta sauce to frying pan and simmer until sauce is slightly reduced. Use the turner to scrape off any sausage bits in the pan.
  7. While sauce reduces, cut red and green peppers into pieces.
  8. Add peppers to slow cooker.
  9. When sauce has reduced by about 1/4 pour into the slow cooker and stir to combine with sausage and peppers.
  10. Put lid on slow cooker and cook on LOW about 1 1/2 hours for peppers, or longer if you prefer softer peppers.
  11. Serve hot, with grated Parmesan to add at the table if you like!

Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers in two bowls with slow cooker and Parmesan in background.

Make it a Low-Carb Meal:

I’d enjoy this recipe just served in a bowl as an easy one-dish meal. If you want something more, this would be amazing served with Zucchini Noodles. Or serve with something like Lemon Parmesan Kale Salad or Spring Mix Salad for an easy dinner!

Want more Low-Carb Dinners with Italian Sausage?

Check out 40 Low-Carb and Keto Italian Sausage Recipes for lots more ideas using delicious Italian sausage!

Ingredients

  • 5 links Italian Sausage (see notes)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • one 24 oz. jar Rao’s Marinara Sauce (see notes)
  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 1 large green bell pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat half the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat, add sausages, and cook until they’re nicely browned on both sides. They won’t be cooked through.
  2. Remove sausage to cutting board and cut each sausage in half lengthwise.
  3. Heat the rest of the olive oil, add sausage, and brown the cut side of the sausage.
  4. Put sausage on cutting board and cut into pieces when it’s cool enough to handle. Put sausage pieces in slow cooker and turn to LOW.
  5. Add the pasta sauce to the frying pan and simmer about 10 minutes so sauce is slightly reduced. Use the turner to scrape any sausage bits off the bottom of the pan.
  6. While sauce reduces, cut red and green peppers into pieces a little bigger than one inch across.
  7. Add peppers to slow cooker.When sauce has reduced by about 1/4 pour over sausage and peppers in the slow cooker and stir to combine.
  8. Put lid on the slow cooker and cook on LOW about 1 1/2 hours for peppers that are still slightly crisp, or a bit longer if you prefer softer peppers.
  9. That’s it for this easy recipe; enjoy!
  10. This will keep on the fridge for at least a week. It can also be frozen, although the peppers will soften when they’re frozen. And I bet you won’t have any left to freeze anyway!

Notes

Use pork, turkey, or chicken sausage, whichever you prefer. Either sweet or hot Italian Sausage will be delicious prepared this way. I used Denmark Foods All Natural Italian Sausage (from Kroger) with only 1 net carb per sausage.

I always use Rao’s Pasta Sauce (affiliate link) for this recipe, and that’s the lowest-carb sauce I have found. If your store doesn’t have Rao’s look for a sauce that’s low in sugar.

Nutritional information calculated using the products I used that are mentioned in the post.

This recipe created by Kalyn.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

5

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 407Total Fat: 30.5gSaturated Fat: 8.3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19.5gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 1105mgCarbohydrates: 12.6gFiber: 2.8gSugar: 7.7gProtein: 19.6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.


Did you make this recipe?

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating (under the PRINT button in the recipe) or share a photo of your results on Instagram! THANKS!

Square image of Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers in two bowls.

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers is a great dish for low-carb diet plans, and low-carb diets might prefer pork Italian sausage. With turkey or chicken Italian sausage this recipe would be great for any phase of the original South Beach Diet.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Slow Cooker Recipes for more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:

I first started cooking Italian Sausage in the slow cooker with low-sugar marinara sauce back in 2006, when I was a full-time teacher who needed easy recipes to take for lunch to school. In 2023 that recipe was updated into this version that combined it into Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers for a one-dish meal.

Pinterest image for Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers shown in two bowls with slow cooker and Parmesan in background.

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