|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
Crockpot Italian Sausage and Peppers is an easy and flavorful recipe that cooks all day while you're busy doing other things. It's a wonderful dish to come home to. You can serve this with hot cooked pasta or rice, or just dish it up in a big bowl and dig in.
Italian sausage is made in two varieties: hot and sweet (or mild). The flavoring for both is almost the same, using basil, garlic, parsley, paprika, fennel, and oregano, but the hot variety also uses crushed red pepper flakes. You can use other types of sausage in this recipe too if you'd like. Polish sausage would be wonderful, and you don't need to saute it before adding it to the slow cooker.
Serve this dish with hot cooked brown rice to soak up the wonderful sauce. A green salad tossed with sliced mushrooms and cubes of avocado would be a perfect side dish. Some toasted garlic bread or breadsticks add some nice crunch and contrast. For dessert, offer a chocolate cake or pie from the bakery.
- 2 pounds sweet or hot Italian sausage (or another sausage type)
- 2 yellow onions (chopped)
- 1 orange bell pepper (cut into 2-inch pieces)
- 1 red bell pepper (cut into 2-inch pieces)
- 1 yellow bell pepper (cut into 2-inch pieces)
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes (undrained)
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1/2 cup dry red wine (or water)
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cook the sausage in a heavy skillet over medium heat until browned, turning occasionally.
Layer half of the onions on bottom of a 4-quart crockpot, then add half of the peppers. Add all of the browned sausage, then the rest of the onions and peppers. Add the bay leaves and garlic.
Combine the diced undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine, parsley, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper in the skillet and mix well to blend.
Pour this tomato mixture over the food in the crockpot.
Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 7 hours or until the sausage is 165 F on a meat thermometer. Remove and discard bay leaves.
Taste the sauce; at this point, you can add more of any of the herbs if you'd like. The slow cooker tends to mute the flavors of herbs, so season to taste before you serve.
Serve immediately over hot cooked rice or pasta.