Turkey Sausage and Peppers

Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

By using turkey sausage in an old Italian-style recipe for pork sausage and peppers, we’ve slashed the fat and cholesterol. The flavor of this dish improves when it’s made in advance.


  • 2 pounds Italian-style turkey sausage links
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 3 red peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into long slivers, 1 inch wide at thickest point
  • 2 green peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into long slivers, 1 inch wide at thickest point
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • cup dry white wine
  • 2 cans (14½ or 16 ounces each) Italian-style plum tomatoes, with juice, or tomatoes in puree
  • Salt
  • ½ cup finely shredded fresh basil leaves or ¾ teaspoon dried basil and 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper


    1. Prick the sausages with the tip of a sharp knife. Place in a large nonstick skillet in a single layer. Add ¼ inch cold water and cook over medium heat, turning the sausages once, until the water evaporates, 6 to 8 minutes. Raise heat slightly and cook, turning sausages with tongs, until they are browned on all sides, about 5 minutes longer. Add a little of the olive oil if the pan is dry. Transfer the sausages to a plate and wipe any fat from pan.
    2. Add the oil and the onions and raise the heat slightly. Sauté, tossing, until onion begins to wilt, about 6 minutes. Stir in the peppers and garlic and cook 2 minutes. Cover and steam until the peppers begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
    3. Add the wine, scraping up any browned bits in the pan, and boil for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and salt to taste. Cook, stirring and breaking up the tomatoes, until the sauce begins to thicken, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the fresh basil or the dried basil. Lower the heat and tuck in the sausages, spooning the juices over them. Simmer, partially covered, until the sauce has thickened slightly, 20 to 30 minutes. Add water if sauce is too thick or uncover the pan if it is too thin.
    4. Add pepper to taste and the remaining fresh basil or the parsley, correct seasonings. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice.