Easy & Healthy. Can also be done in the slow cooker!
“Sub”, “Wedge”, “Hoagie”, or “Hero” – no matter what you call it, it is absolutely delicious. Many different ingredients wrapped neatly in a roll makes for an easy, satisfying, and yes, healthy meal.
Not doing the “bread” thing? No worries. Serve this sausage & peppers over a mountain of brown rice, quinoa, polenta, <pasta, if you prefer>, or by itself.
This sub offers a rainbow of bell peppers, onion, garlic, and herbs from my garden. For the sausage, of course pork is classic, but I opted for a healthier choice and used sweet Italian turkey sausage. I’ve seen so many different sausage choices now, so if you’re not into pork sausage )or turkey for that matter), opt for chicken sausage (so many different flavors options are available), or even veggie sausages. I haven’t tried veggie sausages yet, but I’ve used pork, turkey, and chicken sausages, and the results are unbelievably amazing every time.
Let’s do this…
1 tbsp olive oil
1 of each color bell pepper (yellow, red, green). You can change up the colors, if you’d like. Sometimes I use orange bell peppers. To be honest, I don’t love green peppers, but I think they are necessary here because they add a sort of spicy bite, you can’t get with the others.
1 sweet onion
5 Italian sausage links (any variety you’d like). I used sweet Italian turkey sausage.
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 cup tomato sauce (any kind – pasta sauce, canned tomato sauce, leftover homemade red sauce)
1 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
First, set yourself up. Wash your peppers, fresh herbs, and sweet onion. Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Slice peppers and onions into equal-sized strips.
Next, brown the sausage links in pan turning frequently to evenly brown on all sides.
Don’t they look like they’re posing and smiling for the camera? Almost like a synchronized swim team. Anyway…once sausage links are browned on all sides, remove them from the pan to a plate and set aside. They are not fully cooked yet!! No worries though; we’ll finish them later.
Next, put the sliced peppers, onion, and minced garlic into the skillet, and saute for a few minutes over medium heat until they are softened. You don’t want the to brown, just soften, and the onions should become translucent. Sprinkle with a little coarse salt & ground black pepper if you’d like. The salt draws the water out of the veggies and helps them cook down a bit quicker. As the veggies cook, use a spatula and scrape any stuck-on bits from the bottom of the pan leftover from browning the sausages. This adds great flavor!
Add sauce and fresh herbs, and stir. If the mixture seems a bit thick, you can add a tablespoon or so of water to thin it out, BUT remember that as the veggies cook, they will release some of their own water content, also. You don’t want to end up with a mixture that’s too runny. If you’d like, here you can add some crushed red pepper flakes for a little zing!
Now, here’s where you have a few options with how you want to deal with the sausages. You can either leave them whole and put them back into the pan with the veggies, or you can slice them into disks before replacing in the pan. It’s a matter of personal preference. In my opinion I’ve found it easier to eat these subs with the sausages cut up rather than whole. Whatever you decide, do it and put the sausages into the pan with the veggies and carefully stir.
Turn stove down to medium low and simmer covered until sausage links are completely cooked through – about 15 minutes. Time depends on whether you left your sausages whole or not. They’ll take a little longer if you didn’t slice them.
Serve hot on toasted (or untoasted if you prefer) sub rolls. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired.
YOU CAN DO THIS IN THE SLOW COOKER!!!
Spray a crock of a 5 qt. slow cooker with cooking spray, and line bottom with sliced peppers and onions. Brown sausage links in skillet as directed above. Slice the sausage links into disks (or leave them whole). Place sausages in crock over bed of peppers and onions, and pour sauce over top. Cook on high for about 2-4 hours or low for about 6 hours.
If using this method, add the fresh herbs closer to the end of cooking time.