Cooking On A Budget: Weeknight Quickie: Sausage, Peppers and Onions

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Weeknight Quickie: Sausage, Peppers and Onions

Sausage, Peppers and Onions served over pasta is a filling and delicious weeknight meal.

This basic and simple meal is one of the least expensive dishes you can make these days. If you have left over spaghetti sauce and need to use up that last cup or two, this recipe is one you can use it in. If you grow your own peppers, then you cut that cost out of the dish as well. Serve it over some pasta of your choice and you have a complete meal.

I have figured the cost based on having to buy a small jar of inexpensive sauce or you can even substitute the spaghetti sauce with canned tomato sauce that equals 8 ounces. The cost if you have to purchase the peppers and some sauce would come to around $9.93. If you have sauce already and your own garden peppers, you reduce to about $6.61 to make this dish.

When the dish cooks the onions and peppers release their juices, but you can stretch the sauce by adding just a little bit of water to the pan. Based on the fact that our sauce contained Italian spices already and the flavor that imparts from the sausage and vegetables, I did not add any extra spices. However, feel free to jazz up the dish with dry spices to suit your palette.
Alternatively you could brown the sausage up quickly and transfer all of the ingredients to a slow cooker or crock pot and set it to low and simmer until you get home from work.

  • 1 lb. Italian sausage links (4 links)
  • 1 1/2 large onion - sliced in half moons
  • 2 large green bell peppers - cut in chunks
  • 1 cup spaghetti sauce or an 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic - minced.
  • 1/2 box pasta
  1. I sliced my sausage a while after taking it out of the freezer because it is easier to slice. After you have sliced the sausage, heat up a deep skillet over medium high heat with the olive oil. When the oil starts to sizzle add in the sausage pieces and quickly brown them up, turning over as you go. When they are done remove the pieces to a waiting bowl or plate.
  2. Slice your onion in half moons and after removing the stems and seeds of the peppers, give them a rough dice. Large chunks are fine. Mince your garlic.
  3. Add the onions to the pan (keeping the fat and juice from the sausage in there) and cook for a few minutes on medium heat until they begin to soften.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium low, then add in the minced garlic and stir for about 20-30 seconds.
  5. The peppers go in next followed by the partially cooked sausage and your sauce.
  6. Pop the lid on and simmer on low heat for about 40 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. This dish actually tastes better the second day so this is a make ahead meal for sure.
  7. While the sausage mixture is cooking, prepare some pasta according to the directions on the box. When the pasta is cooked you can add some olive oil to it and toss well so the pasta won't stick.
Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50-60 minutes
Cost: $6.61, feeding 4 for $1.65 per portion
Serve the dish over the pasta and call the family in for dinner.

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