How to Cook Italian Sausage


This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

For hearty flavor and pure comfort, nothing beats scrumptious Italian sausage. I’ll show you how to cook Italian sausage on the stovetop, in the oven or on the grill so it’s crispy brown and juicy every time.

Italian sausage fits into so many fabulous recipes, such as sausage and peppers, sausage and pasta, or sausage hoagies with mounds of caramelized onion. Minestrone soup with Italian sausage cut into rounds is practically a feast all on its own. And it’s all made possible by proper preparation of the sausage.

A plate of Italian sausage with fresh herbs.

What is Italian Sausage?

Italian sausage is made from seasoned ground pork stuffed into casing shells to produce links about 6 inches long. Typically it’s made with fennel seed and red pepper flakes. That combination gives Italian sausage its distinctive flavor and character.

How to Cook Italian Sausage

Unlike smoked sausage, Italian sausage needs to be cooked to 160°F as it is a raw ground pork product.

Cooking sausage too high, too fast and unevenly can cause links to be too dark on the outside and still raw at the center or the skins to split and disintegrate.

Gradually bringing them up to heat, and turned for even browning will allow for perfect sausages. To avoid them curling you can skewer them lengthwise or place in a barbecue clamp.

Do You Need to Pierce the Skin?

No, please don’t! This is common tip appears on many recipes but it’s not ideal.

Unfortunately, this will cause all those lovely juices to escape as well, sort of defeating the whole purpose of encasing meat in an impermeable membrane to hold the juices in.

Italian sausage in a pan with water and being browned.

Note: Cooking times will vary based on thickness of the sausages.

Stovetop

  1. Place links in a skillet in water.
  2. Bring slowly to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 -12 minutes, covered
  3. Uncover, allow water to evaporate and continue cooking, turning frequently until browned.

Oven

  1. Place links on foil-lined baking sheet.
  2. Place in cold oven and turn heat to 350°F
  3. Cook for 25-35 minutes or until internal temperature registers 160°F.

Grill

  1. Place on a 375°F grill and close the lid.
  2. Turn every until uniformly browned about 15 to 20 minutes or until the pork reaches 160°F.

More Delicious Sausage Recipes

How to Cook Italian Sausage

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
This recipe will show you How to Cook Italian Sausage. Whether cooked on the stove top, oven or grill, these sausage links will turn out perfect every time!

Ingredients

  • 4 Italian Sausage Links or as many as desired
  • water

avatarFollow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest

Instructions

  1. Place sausage in a large skillet.
  2. Add water to 1/2" depth. Bring to a simmer and cover.
  3. Simmer for 12 minutes. Remove lid and continue to simmer until water evaporates turning sausages occasionally to brown.
Oven
  1. Place links on foil-lined baking sheet. Place in cold oven and turn heat to 350°F.

  2. Cook for 25-35 minutes or until internal temperature registers 160°F.

     

Recipe Notes

To Grill
  1. Place on a 375°F grill. Close the lid.
  2. Turn every until uniformly browned about 15 to 20 minutes or until the pork reaches 160°F.

 

Nutrition Information
Calories: 388, Fat: 35g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 85mg, Sodium: 819mg, Potassium: 283mg, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 16g, Vitamin C: 2%, Calcium: 20%, Iron: 1%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword Italian sausage
Italian Sausages served on a white plate, one is sliced up.
Italian Sausages served on a white plate, one is sliced up.
Top photo - Italian Sausages served on a white plate. Bottom photo - sausages being being in a frying pan, with water added.

More Recipes You'll Love

About the author

Holly

pinterest facebook twitter instagram

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

More Posts by Holly

Latest & Greatest Dishes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments

  1. Instead of water, try using brewed coffee. I grew up in a Mennonite German Community and we made our own sausage. We cooked it in the oven in a dutch oven at 350 degrees for about an hour after adding about a half inch of coffee on the bottom of the pan. The coffee adds a distinct flavor. I use it on bratwurst and turn it after 30 minutes. I usually throw in a little garlic as well. I think it would also be worth trying on Italian Sausage.

    PS: Love your website and the many recipes that are well developed, easy to understand and delicious. You make sense out of food preparation. Be proud of your fine work.

    1. I’ve never heard of that Darrell, sounds yummy so I’ll have to give it a try! Thank you for your kind words, you made my day!