Grilled Italian Sausage With Sweet-and-Sour Peppers and Onions Recipe

Perfectly cooked Italian sausages, with a classic sweet-and-sour accompaniment.

J. Kenji López-Alt

Why It Works

  • Simmering the sausages directly in the pan of sautéed peppers and onions, placed on the grill, infuses them with flavor from both the ingredients in the pan and the smoke of the grill.
  • A final charring step on the hotter side of the grill gives the sausages plenty of color and snap.

The classic combination of fennel-scented Italian sausage links on a bed of sweet and tangy peppers and onions, improved with a multi-step cooking process. Nestle the sausages in a pan of sautéed onions and peppers and place it directly on the grill, allowing the sausages to soak up all that good, smoky flavor, then char them on the hot side of the grill to finish.

Recipe Facts



Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Active: 30 mins
Total: 65 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) vegetable oil

  • 1 large onion, sliced into 1/4-inch strips (about 2 cups)

  • 2 red bell peppers, stems and cores removed, sliced into 1/4-inch strips

  • 2 green bell peppers, stems and cores removed, sliced into 1/4-inch strips

  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) apple cider vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons (45g) sugar

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 pounds (900g) sweet or hot Italian sausage

  • Buns, for serving


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and browned in spots, about 8 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar. Remove from heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  2. Light 1 chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange coals on one side of charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate.

  3. Transfer onion and pepper mixture to a 10-inch-square disposable aluminum pan. (Alternatively, construct a tray out of a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil, 10 inches square, with sides about 2 inches high.) Nestle sausages into onion and pepper mixture.

  4. Place tray on hot side of grill and cook until simmering, about 4 minutes. Slide to cooler side of grill. Cover grill, with vents over sausages. Cook with all vents open until sausages register 140 to 145°F (60 to 63°C) on an instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes, turning once halfway through.

  5. Remove lid. Using tongs, remove sausages from peppers and place directly on cooking grate over hot side of grill. Cook, turning occasionally, until well browned and crisp, about 3 minutes total. Return sausages to peppers. Toast buns over hot side of grill, if desired. Serve sausages with buns and sweet-and-sour peppers.

Special Equipment

Grill, 10-inch square disposable aluminum pan, instant-read thermometer

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1030 Calories
69g Fat
53g Carbs
49g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1030
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 69g 88%
Saturated Fat 24g 121%
Cholesterol 129mg 43%
Sodium 2278mg 99%
Total Carbohydrate 53g 19%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 19g
Protein 49g
Vitamin C 72mg 360%
Calcium 164mg 13%
Iron 6mg 32%
Potassium 938mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)