A plate of vegetarian sausage and peppers pasta.

Plant-Based Sausage And Peppers Pasta (One Pot Recipe)

Plant-Based Sausage And Peppers Pasta (One Pot Recipe)

This vegetarian sausage and peppers pasta recipe is a delicious one-pot pasta you can make in about twenty minutes on the stove or in an instant pot.

Have you ever ordered Olive Garden’s Sausage and Peppers Rustica? When I was a teenager, for my birthday my parents would let me choose a restaurant for dinner and Olive Garden was usually my first choice. Whenever we went, I often ordered the Sausage & Peppers Rustica. It was always a good time. Now that there are awesome plant-based meats like Beyond’s Hot Italian Sausages, this pasta dish is back within the realm of possibility.


What Is Sausage And Peppers Pasta?

Sausage and peppers pasta is a delicious pasta dish with a spicy tomato-based sauce. It has slices of hot Italian sausage and bell pepper, and it’s topped with parmesan or melted mozzarella cheese.

Is Sausage And Peppers Pasta Healthy?

Sausage and peppers pasta is a fairly balanced meal with carbohydrates, protein, a few veggies, and a small amount of dairy and fiber. For an even healthier option, you can sneak in additional chopped veggies, or use whole wheat pasta instead.

Some Healthy Add-ins:

  • Minced Carrot
  • Broccoli or Cauliflower Florets
  • Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth Instead Of Water
  • Whole Wheat Pasta

Other One-Pot Pasta Recipes

While I am the type that loves to make homemade pasta from scratch, these one-pot pasta recipes are an awesome way to reclaim your time in the kitchen, especially when you’re feeling lazy. If you enjoyed this one-pot sausage and peppers pasta recipe, you might also like my other one-pot pasta recipes. I’ve recently shared my favorite one-pot spaghetti, one-pot(ish) mac and cheese, one-pot fettuccini alfredo, and my one-pot penne alla vodka recipes.

Are One-Pot Pastas Good?

Absolutely, one-pot pasta recipes taste great. Are they hands-down the best pasta you’ll ever have in your life? Maybe not, but they are good and the little that you sacrifice you get back ten-fold in the convenience category, like in the amount of time you don’t have to spend in front of the sink washing extra dishes.

How Long To Cook Pasta In A Pressure Cooker

To make al dente pasta in a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi, you should cook the pasta at high pressure for just the right length of time. For the best results, find the lowest boil time on the box for al dente and divide that number in half, then subtract two minutes. If it’s an odd number just round it down first, or just use my handy table below.


Pressure Cooker Pasta – Cooking Time Table

Box’s Lowest Boil TimePressure Cooker Time
6-7 minutesHigh for 1 minute
8-9 minutesHigh for 2 minutes
10-11 minutesHigh for 3 minutes
12-13 minutesHigh for 4 minutes

To find the box’s lowest boil time, look for the area on the pasta box that says something like “For al dente noodles, boil 10-12 minutes.” For that example, you’ll use 10 minutes to find a time on the table above, then cook your noodles using high pressure for 3 minutes. For all times in the table above, do a manual pressure release by turning the pressure release valve when the timer has reached zero. Make sure to follow the strongest safety precautions and let all excess pressure release completely before opening.


I understand that not everyone likes to eat the same things or even can eat the same things. So, here are a few common substitutions.

Do You Have To Use Hot Italian Sausage?

No, you don’t have to use hot or spicy Italian sausage. You can substitute that with your favorite sausage or other plant-based meat. Though, for a pasta dish that most closely resembles Olive Garden’s Sausage and Peppers Rustica, I recommend using Beyond’s Hot Italian Sausage links for this recipe.


Can You Use A Different Marinara Sauce?

If you would prefer to use your favorite marinara sauce instead of making your own from crushed tomatoes, you absolutely can. Omit the salt and seasonings from the recipe but add a pinch of crushed red pepper. Use about half of a standard twenty-four-ounce jar of your favorite pasta sauce for eight ounces of pasta, then stir in a tablespoon of tomato paste at the end if needed to thicken the sauce.

At A Minimum, You’ll Need:

A knife to chop the veggies and sausage.

Measuring spoons and cups to measure out ingredients.

A nonstick pan with a lid for simmering the pasta on the stove, or a pressure cooker like the one I use in the video below.


Not Required, But Really Nice To Have:

A garlic press for quickly mincing fresh cloves of garlic. This is the one I use. It’s easy to clean with a quick rinse under the faucet, can fit a few small cloves at a time, and it’s durable. If you love garlic, you really gotta get yourself one of these because once you start using fresh garlic you will never go back to that stuff in a jar.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This means I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post, at no additional cost to you. This just allows me to continue sharing great recipes with you guys.

How To Make Sausage and Peppers Pasta


Plant-Based Sausage & Peppers Pasta (One-Pot Pasta)

Makes enough for two meal-sized portions or four side-sized portions.


  • 8 oz penne pasta
  • 14 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 7 oz plant-based hot Italian sausage, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 tsp Italian sausage seasoning, or 1 tsp Italian herb seasoning blend plus 1/8 tsp of crushed red peppers
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste



Add the sausage pieces to a nonstick pan over medium heat and cook according to package instructions.


Reduce the heat and add the garlic. Cook until no longer raw, about a minute.


Add the crushed tomatoes, onion powder, and Italian seasoning. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes until thickened.


Add the salt, water, and pasta; stir to mix.

Instructions For Stovetop:

Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat until the pasta is cooked to your preference or according to package instructions. Stir occasionally, but more often in the beginning, to prevent the noodles from sticking together. Add the bell peppers to the pan for the last 4 minutes of simmering. Note: If the liquid is mostly absorbed and the pasta is still not cooked to your liking, just add an extra 1/4 cup of water and continue cooking until it is. Repeat if necessary.

Instructions For Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or another pressure cooker:

Toss the bell peppers on top, then close the lid and cook for a length of time according to the pressure cooker pasta table closer to the top of this page. Once the timer is done, do a manual pressure release by turning the pressure release valve and allowing the pressure to release before opening. Give the pasta a rough stir to loosen any that may have stuck together.


Stir in half the cheese, then top with the rest. Serve and enjoy!

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