Italian Sausage and Onions Recipe

Yes, Virginia, you CAN have an Italian recipe that does not include pasta and marinara!

I learned this cooking method from Joe.  Joe is the lovingly temperamental proprietor of Joe’s Italian Kitchen in Boone, NC. Back when I hosted a local TV show, the segment I filmed with Joe was one of my favorites!   He reminds me so much of my Italian grandfather, who could be tough when he needed to, while being a lovable teddy bear-type grandfather.  Joe’s 86-year-old father still come into his store every day to help make their treasured family recipes.

(Joe isn’t sponsoring this post, I just think it’s such a cool story, and the food is REAL Italian food!)

Joe showed me the method, but I’m taking liberties with the ingredients. I couldn’t remember what all he used, bit mine tasted pretty good!

Italian Sausage and Onions

(Joe used Green Peppers too)


  • 5 links Italian Sausage
  • One medium onion
  • A handful of fresh Rosemary (you can experiment with the herbs)
  • Kosher salt or sea salt to taste


1. Put the sausage in a saute pan, which can be used in the oven. Cook on medium heat about 5 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned.

2. While the sausage is cooking, chop the onions and strip the rosemary from the stem.  Gently crush the rosemary just a little bit to release the flavor and aroma. It’s OK to add the Rosemary in chunks, because you may not want to actually eat all the rosemary.  It adds a wonderful flavor to the dish, but it can get overwhelming.

3. After the sausage browns, add the onions and rosemary to the pan.  It will look like this:

Sausage and Onions

4. Now, put the pan into a 375 degree oven for another 15 minutes or so, until the sausage is cooked through and the onions are caramelized.  I served ours with rice and pinto beans, because that’s what we had in the pantry!

Sausage and Onions Done

And lastly, ENJOY!  What do you think?


Also, this meal was under $5.00 and fed our family of 5.

Sausage: $3.38 (on sale because today was the “sell-by” date)

Onion: $0.50

Rosemary: Basically free- it came out of my garden

Rice (1 cup dry): $0.50

Beans (1 cup dry): $0.50

Grand total: $4.88.

About Sarah Pinnix

I'm a mom, blogger, vlogger, libertarian. I love Jesus, and my husband, too. Social Media Strategist for a Non-Profit (All statements here are solely my own)


  1. I haven’t made sausages in a while. You have me wanting to serve them soon.


    Real life Sarah
    Twitter: reallifesarah

    I love to find them on sale, and then put it on the menu. Good Italian sausage can be pricey!


  2. Kim Mack says:

    As a girl originally from Brooklyn, NY this was a staple growing up. Love it!!


    Real life Sarah
    Twitter: reallifesarah

    Yay! Upstate for me! And if I ever find good bagels in NC, I am loyal to that bakery for life!


    Kim Mack Reply:

    No such luck to date. But I keep hoping. Heading to NY in August. Plan to get my eat on!


  3. a couple splashes of red wine vinegar would really elevate this dish. Italian Sausage is one of my family’s fave meals!


    Real life Sarah
    Twitter: reallifesarah

    Oh, thanks, Melinda! That sounds yumm-o!


  4. $5! Nice! Looks yummy!


  5. Wow! This looks yummy! I usually just fry sausages in the frying fan. I can’t wait to try this. I really love sausages. Now I learned how to cook it in a different way. Thanks for this post!


  6. My parents are from italy and used to amke their own sausage. I remember when i was living with my parents my dad would make me italian sausage with onions and i’d usually have it with slices of italian bread. So delicious!


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