The Art of Cooking Italian Sausage in the Oven

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The Art of Cooking Italian Sausage in the Oven 1

What sets apart Italian sausage from other types of sausage is its deep aromatic flavor. One herb that is generally used in almost all Italian sausages is fennel. This fragrant spice gives Italian sausages that signature “sweet” flavor. Other ingredients like garlic, basil, thyme, star anise, etc, elevate the taste even further. 

If you are wondering how to cook Italian sausages, one of the fastest and easiest ways to do so is in the oven. The even heat will melt the packed pockets of fat, causing the oils to mingle with the herbs and emit an incredible mouthwatering aroma that will make you want to eat them immediately!

Cooking Italian sausage in the oven is an art. If you do it right, you will end up with juicy and flavorful sausages every time.

Prepping the Sausage

Preparing Italian sausage does not take long, since it is already flavored with herbs. If you have all the ingredients, especially the vital herbs like fennel and dry Italian seasoning, you can make sweet Italian sausage at home using a sausage stuffer. Many Italian households do that to make sausages with authentic native flavors.

If you are using store-bought sausages, buy the all-natural variety so that there are no chemicals, preservatives, or other “hidden” ingredients in your sausages.

You can choose to cut them up, especially when cooking together with vegetables. But the easiest way to do it is by baking them as is. If you want to marinate the sausage, use olive oil, red wine, and balsamic vinegar to add an extra kick to it.

Do not poke the sausages. All the juicy goodness is wrapped within the thin yet sturdy outer layer. If you pierce the skin, all the good stuff will ooze out, and you will be left with very dry sausages.

Handling the Heat

How to cook Italian sausage in the oven? You can choose to use a regular pan or a broiler pan for cooking your Italian sausages in the oven, but make sure that you don’t pack them together. Place them leaving liberal space in between so that the heat can travel and cook them evenly. Add parchment paper beneath it so that you can clean the pan easily.

Temperatures and Time

You can choose to cook them at varying temperatures but make sure that you get the timing right. Any temperature between 350°F to 425°F will work; just ensure that the internal temperature is 160°F (as for most sausages).

If you don’t have a meat thermometer, take a sausage and cut it to see if the inside has turned brown. If it is still pink, it has not been cooked thoroughly.

If you are using frozen sausages, don’t bother defrosting them unless they are stuck together. Just cook them in the oven for an extra 10-15 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, pull out the pan and separate the sausages. Leave room between them. 

  • How long to cook sausage in oven at 350

Cook for at least 30 minutes, turning all the pieces after 12 minutes. You can cook them for up to 35 minutes, but any more than that can dry out all the juices and even burn them. Make sure the internal temperature is around 160°.

  • How long to cook Italian sausage in oven at 375

Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, giving them a turn halfway through. 

  • How long to cook Italian sausage in oven at 400

Preheat the oven to 400°F. It will take a shorter time to cook the sausages, so leave them in only for 20 to 25 minutes.

  • How long to cook sausage in oven at 425

If you want to get your Italian sausages done very quickly, cook them for only 15 to 20 minutes at 425°F. Any less than this can be achieved in a dedicated machine like an air fryer, which takes only eight minutes to fry sausages.

How to Get that Crispy Skin

Did you know that you can make your sausage skin extra crispy even in a regular oven? You might think this is only possible in a rotisserie oven, but you can achieve it in your normal oven. Apply a layer of olive oil and make sure to turn the sausage halfway through the cooking time.

The Art of Cooking Italian Sausage in the Oven 2

What to Bake with Italian Sausages

If you are wondering how to cook sausage in the oven with other items, it is not only easy but preferred. People often bake Italian sausage with pasta. Other ways of cooking sausage are:

Italian Sausage and Potatoes 

Cooking Italian sausage and potatoes in the oven is super simple. You can choose to peel the potatoes or keep the skin intact. You might prefer to not peel them as it can be time-consuming without a good peeler or a  multipurpose knife. If you are not peeling them, wash the potatoes thoroughly to remove any dirt. Cut them into bite-sized pieces.

Put the sausages and potatoes in a baking tin and sprinkle them with salt, pepper, dry Italian seasonings, and chili flakes (optional). Give it a splash of olive oil, red wine, and balsamic vinegar.

Italian Sausage and Peppers

Italian sausage and bell peppers are a match made in heaven. Cut up your peppers and sausages into bite-sized pieces and add some seasoning of your choice.

You can keep it simple and only add salt, pepper, olive oil, and garlic. Use a garlic press to avoid wasting time grating the clove, if you are in a rush. Both the sausage and the pepper will release sweet juices and give the dish a moist gravy. You can also add a splash of dry white wine, but be sparing with it to get the true flavors of the sausage and peppers.

If you are thinking ‘how to make Italian sausage with peppers and onions in the oven?’, it’s simple. Just add onions to this recipe for a sweet, delectable dish that the whole family will love.

Italian Sausage and Cherry Tomatoes

A common way to cook sweet Italian sausage is with pasta and tomato-based pasta sauce. This is why cherry tomatoes and these sweet sausages are not a surprising combo.

Wash your cherry tomatoes and cut up the sausages into chunks. Add them to a baking pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add garlic and Italian seasoning or simply some fresh herbs. The fresh herb will give a more intense flavor to the dish. You can also add fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs.

A splash of balsamic vinegar will make it tangier. You can also combine the two recipes by adding cherry tomatoes with your sausage and peppers in the oven for a bake.

Final Thoughts

Italian sausage is sweet and fragrant. Pop some into the oven to make some delicious sweet and savory treats. Vegetables like cherry tomatoes, peppers, and starches like potatoes work really well with Italian sausage. 

Now that you know how to bake it in the oven, make delicious Italian sausage the next time you are craving something sweet and flavorful for dinner!

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