What could be better than spicy Italian sausage, tender bell peppers and onions simmered in a rich and flavorful tomato sauce before being served in a crusty hoagie roll?! Nothing, right 🙂 Well… except for the fact that a serving of traditional sausage and peppers sandwich typically has somewhere 600-750 calories per serving.
Today, I wanted to share my lightened up version. You can serve this easy, delicious (and now healthy!) dinner any night of the week and feel good about it… because it’s actually good for you. For starters, I make a quick substitution – using turkey sausage instead of pork. One link or 4 oz of pork sausage has over 300 calories and close to 30 grams of fat while turkey sausage has less than 150 calories and 10 grams of fat. To lighten it up even more, I serve it over whole wheat pasta instead of in a hoagie roll – and we skip the cheese. I add plenty of whole plum tomatoes and thick slices of bell pepper to make it more hearty – and I usually add in diced carrot and zucchini too, if I have it on hand.
- 1 lb. turkey sausage
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 2 bell peppers (red or yellow), diced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or to taste)
- 28 oz can peeled plum tomatoes
- 1 lb. pasta (any kind)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cook turkey sausage and 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-heat until the fat renders, about 15 minutes. If necessary, add a few tablespoons of water. As you brown the sausage, break it up into bite-sized pieces.
- Add sliced onions and diced bell peppers to the pan and sauté with the sausage. After a few minutes, add the peeled tomatoes and juices. Carefully break apart the tomatoes with the back of a spoon, stirring to incorporate with the other ingredients.
- After a few more minutes, add garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and crushed red pepper. Simmer for about 25 minutes, or until peppers are tender.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according the package directions. Spoon the sausage and peppers on top of the pasta. Garnish with fresh basil.