This Instant Pot Sausage and Peppers with penne is a delicious one pot meal that comes together in about half an hour! Just saute the sausage and pressure cook the rest!
Ingredients in sausage and peppers
I start with turkey sausages in this recipe. It is still high in protein, but has fewer calories and grams of saturated fat than pork sausage. Of course, you can use any type of sausages you’d like in this recipe though and cook time will remain the same.
Other ingredients you will need for Instant Pot sausage and peppers include:
- Red, green and yellow bell peppers
- Pasta sauce
- Penne pasta
How to make Instant Pot sausage and peppers
Because of the versatility of the Instant Pot, we can make this entire sausage and peppers dish with just one pot! Here’s how to make this dish:
- Use the saute mode on the Instant Pot. Cook the sausages in oil until they are lightly browned.
- Remove the sausages and slice them into disks after they cool enough to touch.
- Saute the bell peppers until they soften and then remove and set them aside. This will give them the perfect cook but also leave them tender and crunchy. If you cook them in the Instant Pot under pressure, they will become mushy.
- After you’ve sauteed the peppers, put the rest of the ingredients in the pot in this order: olive oil, slightly cooked sausage, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, sauce, broth and pasta. Push the pasta under the liquid.
- Cook on high pressure for five minutes.
- Perform a quick release to stop the cooking process immediately. If pasta cooks too long under pressure it will start to disintegrate.
- Add the bell peppers back to the pot and stir to combine.
Using saute mode
The Instant Pot is such a versatile kitchen appliance. In just this recipe, it takes the place of a skillet for cooking meat and veggies and a pot for boiling pasta. One of the unique features of the Instant Pot is saute mode. You will notice a button that is labeled saute.
Once you press the button, it will start to heat and you can cook just like you would in a skillet on the stove top.
Using the adjust button, you can change the temperature between normal, more or less. The display will read “hot” when it has reached the correct temperature and you can start sauteing.
Saute mode will run for 30 minutes. In this recipe, we only need it for about ten minutes. When you are finished, simply press “cancel,” and you can set the Instant Pot to cook under pressure for the rest of the recipe.
I like turkey sausage and the health benefits associated with it. However, you can also use chicken or pork sausage.
Add other veggies when you are sauteing the bell peppers if you’d like more veggies. Zucchini, grape tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus all taste great with sausage.
There are shelves of pasta sauce choices in the store. You can use ones with spicy ingredients to give it more kick, like arrabbiata sauce, or with a cheesy taste. Marinara sauce can be embellished with other spices. You can also use a can of crushed tomatoes and add some Italian seasoning and extra garlic if you don’t have pasta sauce on hand.
You can use other cuts of pasta, but it will change the cooking time. Thin pasta only takes about three minutes to cook in the Instant Pot. If you are using something thicker, it will take six to seven minutes. Just know that if you use a different kind of pasta, you should check how long to cook it in the Instant Pot.
Can you make this recipe without pasta?
If you are avoiding carbs, Instant Pot sausage and peppers is not the recipe for you. There’s really no point in using your Instant Pot just for sauteing, although it is a good option if you are somewhere where you can’t use a stovetop and skillet – for instance, your Instant Pot is great to pack on camping trips, and in this case this is when you might use your Instant Pot to just saute the sausage and peppers without pressure cooking the pasta.
If you cook the sausage and peppers under pressure, they will both be overcooked, so I would avoid making this dish low carb for that reason unless you are willing to just use saute mode.
You can always cook the pepper and sausage in a pan and serve them over rice or cauliflower rice if you don’t eat pasta. However, I would stick to stove top preparation in that case.
What to serve with sausage and peppers
As it is, Instant Pot sausage and peppers are already packed with protein, starches and veggies. But you may want a side dish to accompany it. Try some of these options below to compliment the taste of the sausage and peppers:
- Green salad
- Grilled veggies
- Broccoli salad
- Caprese salad
- Fresh fruit
- Garlic bread
Storing and reheating
You can store Instant Pot sausage and peppers for five days in the refrigerator. The leftovers are fantastic or you can use this recipe for meal prep. This makes six servings. You can divide it into six individual containers and have lunches ready in advance.
To reheat an individual portion, sprinkle some water overtop so the pasta doesn’t dry out, then pop it in the microwave for a minute or two and stir. Continue heating as needed. You can cover it with a plate or paper towel to stop the sauce from splattering the inside of your microwave.
If you made the dish in advance and are planning to serve the entire six servings, you can reheat it in the oven at 350F until completely warm (usually about 10-15 minutes).
Can you freeze this pasta?
You can freeze this pasta! You always want pasta to be frozen in its sauce so freeze the meal once it is complete.
Instant Pot sausage and peppers will last up to two months in the freezer. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating, or you can reheat from frozen by sprinkling some water overtop and microwaving for 6-8 minutes, stirring halfway through.
More Instant Pot pasta recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning this pasta into your weekly lunches.
- I get all my free-range ground turkey from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months
Instant Pot Sausage and Peppers
- 2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 4 turkey sausages
- 1 each red, green and yellow pepper
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
- 1 (796mL) jar marinara or arrabiata pasta sauce
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 375 g penne pasta
- Fresh parsley, for garnish
- Grated parmesan cheese, for garnish
- Add 1 tbsp olive oil to Instant Pot and turn to saute mode. Add sausages, cooking for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned. Remove sausages, then saute bell peppers for 5 minutes until softened. Turn off saute mode, then remove bell peppers. Slice sausage once slightly cooled.
- Add remaining tbsp olive oil, sliced sausage, onion, garlic, salt & pepper, pasta sauce, chicken broth and pasta to Instant Pot in that order, pushing pasta underneath the liquid as much as possible.
- Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to seal. Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 5 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 5-10 minutes to come to pressure then pressure cook for 5 minutes.
- Do a quick release of the pressure on the Instant Pot by flicking the switch at the top with a spoon. Open the lid when pressure gauge has dropped and the lid opens easily.
- Stir in bell peppers, then garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese (optional). Serve and enjoy!