Nothing feels better than a fine aroma of baked Italian sausages spreading through your house.
Do you agree? 🙂
How To Cook Italian Sausage in Oven?
Don’t know about you, but my boys are huge sausage fans (they like it more than hot dogs). They are able to eat it almost five times a week!
That’s why I got into the science of preparing Italian sausage in the oven, as it provides the most delicious sausage meal EVER.
The name “Italian sausage” in the US refers to sausage seasoned with fennel or anise as the original seasoning. The most common varieties marketed in the US as “Italian sausage” are hot and sweet.
The main difference between hot and sweet (mild) is the addition of hot red pepper flakes in the spice mix of the former. Let me share with you my proven method to cook Italian sausage in the oven, which will blow your (and your family’s) mind.
Italian sausages – depending on what type of sausage you prefer, you will need 2lb of either hot or sweet Italian sausage. Usually, if you are cooking sweet Italian sausage in the oven, this is enough for a four-person meal.
Onion – for this recipe, you will need 2 onions, red or yellow, sliced into half-moons. By not chopping the onion, the meal will be more juicy and flavored, and the onion will be sweet and delicious in itself.
When cooking Italian sausage in the oven, two garlic cloves are required. Peel the garlic cloves and remove the outer skin before mincing the garlic. After that, cut the entire garlic clove in half lengthwise. The better the parts, the thinner you can make them.
Further Reading: Never Spoil Your Meal With Bad Garlic
Seasonings – for cooking Italian sausage in the oven, you will need two teaspoons of dried and cut oregano, 3/4 of a teaspoon of crushed red pepper, and salt, preferably sea salt.
Olive oil – for baking Italian sausages in the oven, you need three spoons of olive oil, which you will use to mix with seasonings and coat the bottom of the pan before baking.
Fresh red paprika/pepper – for this recipe, you will need two fresh red paprika/pepper. Clean and cut it into slices.
Here’s a great and useful video from Gordon Ramsay on how to cut a pepper:
Equipment and Kitchen Appliances
- Ceramic baking dish – For oven-baked Italian sausage it is best to use the ceramic baking dish. They come in different sizes and shapes, and 9-by-13 -inches one is usually used.
- (Silicone) Spatula – It will be handy when mixing seasonings and olive oil. This mixture will be used to cover the bottom of the pan. You will use the spatula to spread this mixture over the pan bottom.
- Knife – A sharp knife is a foundation for every “process” within the kitchen. This time it will be used to cut Italian sausage into 2 inches pieces, to slice garlic, onion, and fresh paprika.
- Spoon – For the dosage of seasonings, we will need one teaspoon and one regular spoon for olive oil. Any stainless steel spoon will do the job.
- Bowl – You can either use a plastic, ceramic, or glass bowl. You will use it when mixing seasonings and olive oil for the pan.
Instruction on How to Prepare Italian Sausage
Since preparing ingredients for this meal doesn’t take long, you can power the oven.
The first question anyone will ask is what temperature should be used to cook Italian sausage in the oven? Even though this is not precisely defined, practice says that 350 degrees Fahrenheit is sufficient.
So, turn on the oven and set it to 350 and let it heat up while you are preparing the ingredients.
- Prepare Sausages – Using a sharp knife, cut the Italian sausages into approximately two-inch pieces. Make sure to stab each piece with the fork (or with chopsticks) a few times. By doing this, you are preventing sausage from “exploding” during the baking process.
- Prepare The Mixture For Baking Dish – Put 4 spoons of olive oil, two teaspoons of dried and cut oregano, 3/4 teaspoons of crushed red pepper, and one teaspoon of sea salt in the bowl. Use the spoon to mix all ingredients, making sure that none of the seasonings stay dry.
- Prepare The Onion, Garlic, and Paprika – As I’ve mentioned before, peel the onion and cut it in half-moons. This way you will get large pieces that will stay juicy even when cooking Italian sausage in the oven is finished. The garlic should be peeled off and sliced lengthwise. Wash the red paprika, clean it and slice it into large pieces, also lengthwise. After you have prepared all of those, put them into a bowl for later use.
- Prepare the ceramic baking dish by coating the bottom of it with the mixture you created in step #2 above. Spread the mixture evenly around the bottom of the frying pan using a spatula.
- Placing Ingredients Into The Ceramic Baking Dish – Use half of the garlic/onion/paprika mixture that you have previously prepared and put it on the bottom of the dish. Then, place all of the pieces of the Italian sausage on top of that. Use the rest of the vegetable mixture to cover the Italian sausages.
- Place The Baking Dish Into The Already Heated Oven – Place the ceramic baking dish (or check out some best lasagna pans here) into the oven and bake for 45 minutes. This period is enough to cook the Italian sausages in the oven with all the vegetables inside. Sausages will be juicy, and vegetables will keep their flavor.
- After 45 minutes, take the ceramic baking dish out, and your meal is ready. If you prefer, you can put two spoons of Parmesan cheese on top. Leave it in the oven for additional 5 minutes so the meal can soak a little bit of aroma from the cheese. Furthermore, the cheese will melt, adding to both texture and flavor.
Italian sausages can be served with different drinks, but the best sommeliers in the world agree that the best wine to be served with them is Riesling.
Important Tips To Follow:
- Do not use water in this recipe, since it will boil Italian sausage more than you want.
- Use fresh seasonings since they are very important for the taste of the meal.
Tricks from Professionals
The guys from WholeFoodsMarket use one handy trick that enriches the sausage flavor and makes them soft and very juicy:
- “Simmer them in beer or water until partially cooked and then finish in the oven or on the grill or stovetop.”
JustAPinch crew uses a specific technique while baking the sausages:
- “They bake it for 20 minutes uncovered, flip them over, and put them in the oven for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.”
The recipe on LiveStrongadvises something slightly different from my recipe:
- “The trick is to bake the sausages for 15 minutes and pierce them during the baking, not at the beginning.”
Jamie Oliver, the renowned world-class cook, and TV personality have a plethora of recipes for preparing sausage:
- “Jamie recommends tomato sauce and intense herb use to enrich and follow the sausage taste. In this particular recipe, he cooks them together and removes the sausages after 30 minutes to even the sauce.”
Over to You!
As you can see, cooking Italian sausage in the oven is quite simple, and it produces a delicious meal. With many variations, different ingredients, and spices, types of sausage will create your unique touch.
Let me know how your Italian sausages came out! 🙂