Grilled Sausage and Peppers

Overhead shot of three grilled sausage and peppers sandwiches.

I’ve thought a lot about why I like to cook. 

There’s not just one reason, of course, but there is something that I keep coming back to: I like to cook because it makes other people happy. 

I like watching the reactions of my dinner companions as they bite into something, waiting several suspenseful seconds until they smile, express their pleasure, or simply nod and take another bite.

Sometimes, that’s the highest praise. 

It’s not as altruistic as it sounds- cooking for others makes me feel good about myself. Sure, it’s hard work for someone else’s benefit, but it fills my heart as much as anyone’s stomach. 

And so, I grill sausages. 

Grilled sausages in a soft bun with grilled peppers and onions

There’s no better way to make friends than serving smoky, flavorful, juicy meat in a convenient hot dog shape for dinner.

Tucked into a soft bun and loaded with vinegary, jammy peppers, grilled sausage and peppers is crowd-friendly food at it’s finest.

People come ready to eat, and I arrive happy to feed them.

Let’s make sausage and peppers

The one technique that’s a little different here is simmering the sausages before grilling them.

I like to give myself the assurance that the sausages won’t dry out on the grill, but feel free to skip this step if you don’t have a pan large enough to fit them or you simply don’t want to. 

Overhead shot of a sheet pan with bell peppers, onions, and hot dog buns.

The technique that’s non-negotiable is tossing the warm peppers and onions with freshly grated garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and plenty of salt. The juices from the sweet peppers mingle with the oil and vinegar to create an emulsified, dressing-like coating on the vegetables that make them good enough to eat on their own. 

It’s a far cry from the undercooked, watery, unseasoned peppers that usually come with grilled sausage and peppers. 

Overhead shot of a bowl of grilled peppers and onions.

Instead of an obligatory vegetable accompaniment, the peppers and onions become shining co-stars to the A-list cut of meat. 

Grilled meat and a house full of hungry friends creates the ideal scenario for a happy ending. It’s the kind of predictable plot line that every cook shamelessly enjoys.

Grilled Sausage and Peppers

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes

Make friends by serving grilled sausage and peppers- juicy meat and vinegary, jammy peppers in a soft bun makes everyone happy.


  • 4 bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise, seeds and stems removed
  • 2 onions
  • 6 soft Italian sub rolls
  • 2 lb. hot Italian sausage (about 8 links)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar



Cut onions in half lengthwise, preserving the root. Slice each half in half lengthwise again. Preserving the root helps the onion layers stay together, making it easier to grill.


Heat gas grill to medium.


Place 2 lb. sausages in a large straight-sided, oven-proof skillet on the grill and cover with water just until sausages are submerged. Cover the grill and cook until water reaches a boil, about 10 minutes. Transfer sausages (they should be fully cooked) with tongs to a rimmed plate or cutting board; set aside. Using oven mitts, dump water from skillet and remove from the grill.


Add onions and peppers to the grill. Cook, flipping every 5 minutes or so, until vegetables soften and char, 15–20 minutes. Lower the heat on the grill if they start to char too quickly. You want them to be completely tender, not burnt on the outside and crunchy on the inside.


Meanwhile, in a large, heat-safe bowl, add the grated garlic, olive oil and vinegar. Once grilled vegetables are done, cut off the root to pull apart the onion wedges and slice peppers lengthwise into ½ inch strips. Transfer to the bowl with the garlic, oil and vinegar. Season generously with salt and pepper. Toss well until the juices of the peppers emulsify with the olive oil and vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning.


Add sausages to the grill and cook, turning occasionally until grill marks appear, about 5 minutes. Transfer back to plate and let rest at least 5 minutes.


If the sausages are large, slice them in half on a diagonal, crosswise. If you’d like, slice them in half again lengthwise (that can make it easier to fit into the sandwich).


Serve the rolls with grilled sausages and pepper/onion mixture.


  • 619 Calories


If you're enjoying a summer evening outside by the grill, rosé and slightly chilled, lighter bodied reds hit the spot. An off-dry German riesling would help to balance out the spice, while a German Pinot Blanc that's high in acid will help balance the sweetness of the peppers. For a bolder, more peppery pairing, try a Sicilian red or Syrah from California.

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