Italian Sausage Sandwiches (Bombers)
Italian Sausage Sandwiches are delicious topped with pizza sauce and peppers. And super easy, whether you go with commercial sausages or homemade.
It’s something I remember fondly from my youth. These Italian Sausage sandwiches, which we called “bombers,” were a “go to” picnic sandwich growing up.
Yes, my mom would cook up a bunch of Italian sausages, cover with pizza sauce, and set into a brat or hoagie bun. Then we’d watch the grilled hamburgers languish while the guests lined up for sausage.
Now traditionally Italian Sausage Sandwiches are topped with peppers and onions. But raising the world’s pickiest eaters, my mother never even thought about going there. But now I love peppers AND the health value they add! Hooray for grown up tastebuds!
What is the Origin?
This recipe is the sandwich form of the Italian American dish, Sausage and Peppers. Per Wikipedia , “Sausage and peppers is a dish in Italian-American cuisine prepared using Italian sausage and peppers (such as bell peppers) as primary ingredients. It is served as a dish on its own, sometimes with the use of additional ingredients such as tomato sauce, onions and pasta, and is sometimes served in the form of a sandwich.”
Why You’ll Love This!
Crowd Pleaser. As I mentioned, these tasty sandwiches may be the hit of your party! With over the top flavor and a bit of uniqueness, it’s hard to go wrong! And remember
Healthy(-ish). You know all that guilt you have at summer picnics. Well these have tomato and peppers, so you can rest a little easier. And if you use Homemade Italian Sausage you can even use organic meat and avoid preservatives.
Easy. Just cook the sausage, heat up the peppers and pizza sauce, and assemble. Doesn’t get much better than that!
What You’ll Need
- Italian sausage. Pork is traditional but if you are avoiding it, you can use chicken or turkey Italian sausage.
- Buns. If you are using patties, go with hamburger style buns. For sausages use brat or hoagie buns
- Pizza sauce. Pizza sauce has more concentrated flavor than pasta sauce but in a pinch you can use pasta sauce.
- Roasted red peppers. Go with jarred or sautee your own.
- An instant read thermometer is the safest way to check for doneness.
Step by Step Directions
Cook the sausage. Patties can be grilled or fried. Sausages links can be grilled or boiled. Make sure the internal temperature reaches 160F, 165 if you’ve substituted ground turkey or chicken sausage.
Heat the pizza sauce and peppers. Toast the bun if desired.
Assemble the sandwich.
How to Serve
Italian Sausage Sandwiches are perfect served at any fun event like a picnic or BBQ. And they’re so easy you can realistically make them anytime. Weeknight dinner after a crazy busy day? Go for it!
When I serve a sandwich, I love the idea of adding a casual side salad like coleslaw. Other picnic friendly options include Carrot Raisin Salad or Broccoli Waldorf Salad.
You might also consider fruit slices, raw veggies or the classic pickle and chips.
Want to change things up? Add some cheese, such as grated mozzarella! My family didn’t do this growing up, though I see it a lot online. Perhaps it’s because these were so often served to a crowd and my mother wanted everything as easy as possible. Of course, now that I’m trying to get more calcium in my diet, I’m going to have to try it!
Typically these sandwiches are made with sausage links and served on a hoagie or brat bun. But if you make homemade Italian sausage, it’s much easier to go with a patty on a robust (to stand up to the toppings) hamburger-sized bun.
Have guests doing keto? These are also good without the bun!
Per the University of Wisconsin fresh ground meat, including sausage has a short shelf life of 1-2 days. If you are using a commercial sausage that has preservatives, please consult the packaging.
Cooked meat products (like sausage) should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within 3-4 days. Italian Sausage can be frozen raw or cooked.
Tips & FAQs
Should I prick the casings? Please don’t prick the casings until the very end when you need to test the temperature (which should reach 160F for pork or 165F for chicken or turkey). The casings help keep the sausages moist and juicy. Pricking them will allow the juices to run out.
Can I can make my own peppers? Jarred roasted peppers can be pretty pricey, so feel free to make your own. Just cut a couple peppers and a small onion into strips, then sautee in olive oil untill tender. You get extra points if they come out of your garden, your CSA or your local farmer’s market!
Finally to get peppers that are both homemade and easy, consider this. You can water bath can a dozen jars in early fall and have peppers all winter! Here is a tested recipe in a tasty olive oil and vinegar marinade (which overcomes the problem of peppers and oil being too alkaline). They’re a favorite!
And don’t forget to consider grilling these or some other favorites below for Father’s Day!
Grilling for Father’s Day
- Greek Grilled Chicken Legs from Palatable Pastime
- Grilled Beef Short Ribs from That Recipe
- Grilled Chicken Wings from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Grilled Polenta with Spicy Steak from The Spiffy Cookie
- Grilled Ribeye with Garlic Blue Cheese Mustard Sauce from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Italian Sausage Sandwiches from Art of Natural Living
- Smoked Old Bay Wings from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
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Italian Sausage Sandwich (Bomber)
- 1 pound homemade Italian sausage formed into 4 patties OR 4 Italian sausage links (about 1 1/2 pound total)
- 4 hamburger buns or 4 brat/hoagie buns
- 4 ounces canned pizza sauce
- 8 ounces roasted red peppers
- Cook the sausage. Homemade Italian Sausage Patties can be grilled or fried. Sausages links can be grilled or boiled. Make sure the internal temperature reaches 160F, 165 if you’ve substituted ground turkey or chicken sausage.
- Heat the pizza sauce and peppers. Toast the bun if desired.
- Assemble the sandwich. Place the patty or link on the bottom half of the bun. Top with pizza sauce and peppers, then set the remaining half of the bun on top.
Originally published March 2016.
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I’ll have to make these for an easy weeknight dinner. We have those nights when we are completely uninspired but don’t want the same-old-same-old. This sandwich would be a perfect option!
I love Italian sausage with peppers. And onions. Haven’t had one of these in years and years. Funny, I was just thinking of these a few weeks ago. Guess I need to make some, huh? 🙂
If I don’t get to the shops today I shall make a variation of these tonight, as the only thing I don’t have is the rolls!
These look so delicious! I love the tomato topping to finish the sandwich!
Yes, so much flavor!
I love a good Italian sausage sandwich. These sound delish!
A favorite of ours too!
I love to make sausage and yes, love to eat it. Bombers look amazing.
Someday I am going to go the full (casings and all) route in making sausage Tammy!
I love making my own sausage (actually, I have it because of my garlic allergy). The sandwich looks amazing!
A garlic allergy must be tough David… But I guess if it pushed you to make sausage it has brought some good!
Thank goodness our tastebuds change with time. My son is 19 and he still refuses to eat any soup…I’m hoping that will change with time. I love the homemade sausages! It’s always a good thing when you don’t have to push what you are eating out of your mind.
Lol. Yes, having to repress what’s in your food is probably not a good sign 😉 But I think I was a lot older than 19 when I started eating a number of new foods, so there is hope for your son yet!
I literally grew up on sausage and peppers, Inger! Nothing beats a GREAT Sausage & Pepper hero especially when said sausages are home made! Looks like you’ve got a perfect blend of herbs and spices in yours. I don’t usually put sauce on top but, I must say, it sure does look inviting!!!
Thank you so much for sharing, Inger…I’d love to make this on the grill:)
Thanks Louise! And grill season is coming!!