How to Cook Italian Sausage Perfectly (Four Different Ways)

There are many different types of sausage, which can work well in different types of recipes or meals, depending on your own personal taste. Sausages can be eaten for breakfast or as a main course, and they’re truly versatile in regards to all the ways you can cook them! 

One of the most famous uses of Italian sausage is the beloved Zuppa Toscana soup that you find at Olive Garden. This savory cream soup is made with Italian sausage, potatoes, chicken broth, chopped kale, and heavy cream (or half and half). You don’t need any other seasoning except sea salt and black pepper because the sausage brings all the flavor.

You can also use Italian sausage in some of your favorite Italian recipes. For example, instead of using ground beef in stuffed peppers, meatballs, or spaghetti, try substituting Italian sausage. The sausage adds a whole new dimension of flavor!

Italian sausages are especially versatile and delicious, but no, they’re not actually from Italy! 

Succulent Italian Sausage

Italian sausage is a beloved staple in households and kitchens across the globe. Known for its savory blend of flavors, this versatile ingredient is a must-have for any cooking enthusiast looking to explore the authentic tastes of Italy. In this article, we will be delving into the world of Italian sausage, specifically discussing the best methods to cook it and how to bring out its scrumptious flavors.

There are many types of Italian sausages, including sweet, mild, and hot, which vary in the spices and flavors used. These sausages can be enjoyed in a plethora of dishes, from classic pasta meals to slow-cooked stews or even grilled to perfection on their own. With so many options available, understanding how to properly cook Italian sausage is essential to unlocking its full potential.

Selecting the right cooking method will greatly influence the texture and flavor profile of your dish. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a first-time cook, the techniques discussed in this article will provide valuable insights on how to achieve the perfect texture and taste. So, gather your ingredients and get ready to dive into the wonderful world of Italian sausage.

Italian sausages are basically just sausages made of ground pork, with an added taste of fennel or anise. They can be hot, or spicy and sweet, depending on the number of red chili flakes used in them. They can be cooked in many ways and are delicious with many types of meals, especially thanks to the intense flavor they provide! 

If you’ve never cooked Italian sausages before, you might not know where to even start. Especially with so many possible ways of cooking them! So we’ve put together this simple guide with the main different methods and some tips and advice! Trust us, the recipe options are almost endless! You can even try an Italian sausage bake with marinara sauce.

How to cook Italian sausage:

There are many different ways in which you can cook Italian sausages, depending on the type of recipe you’re following or the type of flavor and result that you’re aiming for. We’ve included the most common and basic methods of cooking them, and might have even included a recipe or two as well! 

How to fry Italian sausage: 

Frying is the most common and popular way to cook Italian sausage, mainly because it’s very fast and quite easy. It’s especially ideal for cooking the sausages for breakfast! Although there are plenty of main course recipes for fried Italian sausages too. 

Here is a step by step of how to fry Italian sausages:

  1. Place a pan on medium heat and add some oil. Preferably it will be a nonstick pan, as sausages tend to stick to the bottom of the pan otherwise! 
  2. Place the sausages in the pan and brown them by slowly turning them around and pressing down. 
  3. After the sausages have been evenly browned, you can add some white or red wine to the pan, enough so that the sausages are half submerged. This will add flavor, and it will avoid the sausages from becoming dry. If you don’t want to use wine when cooking the sausages, you can simply add water in the same way, so that they will retain their juices. 
  4. Cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat down to low. Now you let the sausages simmer for around 10 to 15 minutes. You can turn them over now and then, to ensure they’re cooked evenly. 
  5. To ensure the sausages are cooked all the way through, it’s recommended that you check the interior temperature with a meat thermometer. When they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, they’re ready. 
  6. Serve by themselves or with other ingredients, and enjoy! 

How to grill Italian sausage: 

Grilling is a great way to cook Italian sausages and it can add a delicious and unique grilled flavor to them! However, it’s not the easiest method, as it is very easy to accidentally cause the sausages to go too dry. However, if done properly, the sausages will have a delicious crispy exterior, while remaining juicy inside. It’s all about maintaining the temperature, whether it’s on a grill or a barbecue. 

There are two different grilling methods popularly used for cooking Italian sausages: 

Direct grilling: 

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This is the basic and most common way of grilling sausages. 

Here is a step by step:

  1. Prepare the grill by preheating it to a medium-high heat, and spray with oil for a non-stick effect.
  2. Use a fork to poke some holes in the sausages, causing some of the juices to flow out. This will prevent the edible casings from splitting or bursting while on the grill. 
  3. Place the sausages on the grill rack, leaving space between them so that they’re not touching. 
  4. Grill the sausages for around 10 minutes on each side. When you think they’re ready, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should be a temperature of around 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  5. Serve by themselves or with other ingredients and enjoy! 

Poaching then grilling: 

Poaching and then grilling is a great method of cooking Italian sausages, as it ensures that they don’t go dry on the grill. It also gives them an extra juicy flavor! 

Here is a step by step: 

  1. Take a large pan, and insert water, beer, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. You don’t necessarily need to add beer, but it adds juiciness to the sausages. You also don’t have to worry about the alcohol aspect, as it will evaporate completely during the grilling process! 
  2. Use a fork to poke some holes in the sausages, as this will avoid the edible casing from splitting or bursting. 
  3. Add the sausages to the pan and place on medium to high heat. 
  4. Once the liquid in the pan starts to boil, turn down the heat and leave it all simmer for around 5 minutes. 
  5. Remove the sausages from the pan and place them on a preheated grill at medium to high heat. Remember to leave enough space between sausages so they don’t stick together. 
  6. Grill the sausages for around 5 minutes until they are brown. Then remove the sausages from the grill and let them rest for a while. 
  7. Serve by themselves or with other ingredients and enjoy! 

Now that you know the two different methods of grilling, there are plenty of recipes you can try out! To help you brave poaching, which is the more complicated one, we thought we’d share an easy and fast recipe including the beer and all! 

How to bake Italian sausage: 

Baking Italian sausages is by far the easiest method of cooking them, as it requires very little effort and they’re guaranteed to come out tasting great. There are also plenty of traditional Italian recipes to cook with baked Italian sausages! 

Here is a step by step guide on how to bake Italian sausages: 

  1. As a preparation step, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Then use a fork to poke holes in the sausages, as this will prevent the edible casing from splitting or bursting during the cooking process. 
  2. Use some oil to grease the bottom of a baking dish, to ensure it becomes a non-stick surface. Then place the sausages in it, making sure they do not overlap and that they aren’t touching, to stop them from sticking together. 
  3. You can add some seasoning and some extra ingredients if wanted. Then cover the dish with some foil and place it into the oven. 
  4. Bake the sausages for 45 minutes. Then remove the foil, and bake them for another 10 minutes until they’re evenly browned. 
  5. Serve by themselves or with other ingredients and enjoy! 

Now that you know how to bake Italian sausages, you might want to try a recipe that uses this cooking method. It’s a classic Italian dish that is both easy and delicious, so why not give it a go? 

How to Cook Italian Sausage

Grilled beer sausages - This recipe follows the poaching method for grilling sausage, and it uses beer to add an extra juicy flavor! It’s really simple to follow and will take under 30 minutes to complete, making it a great option for a fast yet delicious meal. This recipe serves around 6 to 8 people, but feel free to modify the ingredient amounts!
Baked Italian sausage with peppers - This is an easy to follow recipe that will serve around 6 or 8 people, although you can easily modify the amounts for each ingredient to serve a different amount of people. It takes around an hour in total cooking time, and the result will be a delicious Italian main course.
4.95 from 90 votes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 people
Calories 355 kcal


Grilled beer sausages

  • 3 lbs. Hot Italian Sausage
  • 3 cups Beer
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dijon Mustard

Baked Italian sausage with peppers

  • 3 lbs. Italian Sausage cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 Potatoes quartered
  • 2 Onions quartered
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper quartered
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper quartered
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper quartered
  • 1 tbsp. Basil chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper


Grilled Beer Sausages

  • Place the slices of onion at the bottom of a large pan.
  • Use a fork to poke holes into the sausages (to avoid the edible casing from splitting or bursting), and place the sausages on top of the layer of onions, in the pan.
  • Add the beer and water into the pan, and place the pan on medium heat to let it all simmer.
  • Leave for around 5 minutes, until the sausages are half-cooked, then remove them from the pan.
  • Preheat the grill to a medium-high heat while you let the sausages sit for around 2 minutes. Remember to spray the grill with oil for a non-stick effect.
  • Brush the sausages lightly with some oil and place them on the grill, leaving enough space between them.
  • Grill the sausages for around 6 minutes per side, until they are completely brown and crispy.
  • Remove the sausages from the grill and let them rest for around 3 minutes.
  • Serve with the seasoning and sauce of your choice (mustard is the most popular option), and enjoy!

Baked Italian sausage with peppers

  • Once you have all the ingredients ready and you’ve cut the sausages into pieces, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Get a large roasting dish and insert the bell peppers, potatoes, onions, basil, salt, pepper, and sausages.
  • Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for around 60 minutes. You can stir occasionally to ensure everything cooks evenly.
  • Remove from the oven and serve by itself, or with other ingredients. It’s quite popular to serve it with spaghetti or other pasta, as that is the Italian way!


Calories: 355kcal
Keyword Baked Italian sausage with peppers, Beer Sausages, Grilled Beer Sausages, Italian sausage
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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