I don’t make sausage and peppers nearly as often as I used to, but when I do it always reminds me of living in New York. When you live there, you see sausage and peppers show up in various forms — on pasta, pizza, sandwiches, and just like this recipe, over polenta.
This meal comes together pretty quickly, but requires a few minutes slicing onions and peppers, and polenta. Other than that, it’s nearly hands-off. But as with most easy dinner recipes, the timing is everything. The veggies and sausages go into the oven first, and as they cook, they lose a little volume and that leaves plenty of space for the tomatoes and polenta rounds.
Keep reading for the full recipe and helpful notes.
While you can prepare polenta from scratch (it’s as easy as boiling water), there are times when having a tube of prepared polenta comes in very handy. Making sausage and peppers in the oven along with heating up the polenta rounds, makes for a very easy sheet pan dinner
When it comes to sausages, go for hot or sweet Italian sausage. Depending on your preference, you can also use chicken or vegetarian sausage. Expect an extra kick of heat from hot Italian sausage, plus another little pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
For even cooking, every 10 minutes or so, stir the peppers and onions around. If you prefer them much more cooked, you can remove the sausages, tomatoes, and polenta, and keep roasting the veggies until they are extra roasted. Be sure to flip the polenta over halfway through cooking too. If you want a crisp top, you can also give everything a quick stint under a hot broiler — maybe 2-3 minutes. And that’s it! Oh, except for the Parmesan cheese. You’ll want a good sprinkle on top.
Sheet Pan Dinner Recipe: Polenta with Sausage and Peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for pan
1 pound chicken, pork, or vegetarian sausages
1 large onion, cut into strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
2 teaspoons dry Italian herbs
Salt and pepper
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 tube (18 ounces) polenta, cut into 8 rounds
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
Fresh grated parmesan cheese, for serving
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly oil. Lay the sausages down the middle of the baking sheet.
2. Place onions and peppers in a bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil, dry Italian herbs, salt and pepper, and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Gently toss. Arrange the onion and bell peppers on the baking sheet in an even layer around the sausages.
3. Roast for 20 minutes, then remove pan from oven. Scoot the peppers off to one side to make room for the tomatoes and polenta rounds. Arrange them on the baking sheet. Season the tomatoes and polenta with a little salt and pepper. Place back in the oven for another 20-25 minutes, or until sausages are cooked through and veggies are tender.
4. Halfway through the remaining roasting time, flip the polenta rounds over. If desired, finish the roasting under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to crisp up the polenta round tops.
5. To serve, place 1-2 polenta rounds on a plate and top with some of the sausage, peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Yield: 4-6 servings
P.S. — If you’re a fan of easy meals, be sure to check out these other family-friendly recipes.
Credits: Recipe and photos by Lindsey Rose Johnson for Design Mom.