Sausage and Peppers Hero

This Epic Sausage and Peppers Hero is our hero, no doubt.

This has been a staple favorite sandwich in our house ever since we lived in New York City in the late 80s.  

Take the time to make the marinara sauce, it really makes a huge difference.

This is as authentic as Little Italy in NYC. To do them right, you’ll need about an hour and half, but it’s worth every single minute.

Sausage and Peppers Hero a checkered napkin.


This Italian sausage sandwich is about as delicious as they come.

Some call it a Sausage and Pepper Roll and some call it a hoagie. It’s classic Italian Street Fair Sausage and Peppers.

Watch us show you how easy it is to make this epic Sausage and Peppers Hero at home!


We love a good sandwich here at H2FaL. And man, do we have some good ones for you to make. Check the recipes out for these scrumptious sandwiches!


We love to make a batch of our homemade marinara ahead of time, and freeze what we don’t use.

This is a recipe that we turn to time and time again, and it is essential when making an authentic Sausage and Peppers Hero.

And it’s not hard to make!

Jar of fresh marinara sauce


We love to make our epic Sausage and Peppers Hero just like they make them at New York City’s biggest Italian street festival: Feast of San Gennaro.

The flavors are bold and hold nothing back. Just like the Big Apple.

This is why we go with hot Italian sausages, but if you prefer sweet sausage, it is without doubt delicious, too. You could even do a mix of them, too. Simply cook them up in a hot skillet with a little oil until nicely browned on the outside. They’ll finish cooking in the marinara.

Hot Italian sausages cooking a in large skillet with a pair of tongs moving them around.


Now this next step is really important.

Simmering the browned sausages in the marinara, with additional onion, garlic and herbs is what truly makes the Sausage and Pepper Hero one that is epic.

While the sausages simmer, and your stomach starts to grumble, it’s time to make the onions and peppers.

A pair of tongs lowering an Italian sausage into simmering marinara sauce


Using the same skillet that you used for browning the sausages, add a little more oil, and toss in the onions and peppers.

After they start to soften, toss in the garlic. Now we’re talking.

Once they are nice and soft, about 15 minutes of cooking, add the fresh basil and parsley, and cook for another minute or so.

EXPERT TIP: You can prepare the sausages and onions and peppers a day in advance. Simply re-heat in separate skillets before assembling and toasting the sandwiches.

Red and green peppers and sliced onions simmering in a large black skillet with a wooden spoon.

Red and green bells peppers and sliced onion and herbs cooking in a large skillet with a wooden spoon.

To complete the perfect sausage and peppers hero, we spread a little of the marinara sauce onto an Italian hero roll.

Place a cooked sausage on top of the layer of marinara, and then layer the sausage, then onions and peppers and then top with sliced mozzarella. Place under the broiler until the cheese has begun to melt and the roll is just getting slightly toasted.

And get ready for the most amazing Sausage and Peppers Hero you will ever try.


  • Can the marinara sauce be frozen? Yes. We freeze our homemade marinara all the time. Keep in the freezer for up to two months.
  • What are the Sausage and Peppers Hero calories? This is one of those sandwiches that you eat in moderation. One sandwich is: calories.
  • What is the best type of roll to use?. When looking for bread, you want a roll that is slightly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. A soft hoagie isn’t the classic roll, but is still very good.

Sausage and Peppers hero on a checkered napkin.

If you’re looking to make an epic sandwich that friends and family will be talking about for a long time…you’ve come to the right place.

And when you make this epic sandwich, take a pic and the post it on Instagram and tag @howtofeedaloon and #howtofeedaloon!

Sausage and Peppers Hero on a checkered napkin.

Sausage and Peppers Hero

This Sausage and Peppers Hero is really one to write home about. Be sure to make the homemade marinara, if you can, you won't regret it. Simply amazing! Great with our without melted mozzarella...we, naturally, love it with the gooey melted cheese! So good!
Print Pin Rate
Course: lunch, Sandwich
Cuisine: Italian, Italian / American
Keyword: Italian Sausage and Onions Sandwich, Italian Sausage Sandwich, Sausage hero NYC
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Marina Preparation: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 433kcal



  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 12 3 oz hot Italian sausages
  • 1 ½ tbsp fresh basil chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp flat-leaf parsley chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 medium yellow onions peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 cups fresh marinara sauce click for recipe
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 large yellow onions peeled, and cut into about 6 or 7 wedges, each.
  • 2 red bell peppers seeded, cored, and cut into 6 lengthwise pieces
  • 2 green bell peppers seeded, cored, and cut into 6 lengthwise pieces
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ tbsp fresh basil chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped


  • 2 to 3 cups fresh marinara sauce click for recipe
  • 12 to 14 thin slices of fresh mozzarella
  • 4 crispy Italian hero rolls 6 to 8 inches long (cut the ends off, if you prefer)



  • Make the marinara sauce and then re-heat in a large pot, preferably a Dutch oven.


  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • When the oil is hot, add the sausages and cook for about 4 minutes, turning occasionally to brown on all sides.
  • Using tongs, remove the sausages from the pan and set them aside on a platter.
  • Add the onions and reduce heat to medium, cooking the mixture, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, or until the onions have softened.
  • Add the basil, parsley and garlic to the pan and saute for about 2 minuteS.
  • Transfer the onion mixture the prepared marinara sauce.
  • Place the sausages and any accumulated juices in the pot and mix it well.
  • Simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Season the sauce with a healthy pinch of salt and pepper and then set aside. 


  • In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  • When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook it for 1 to 2 minutes, or until starting to brown.
  • Add the onions and peppers and season with a healthy pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Saute them, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until they soften and start to brown.
  • Add garlic, basil and parsley and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan, and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the peppers and onions have softened and starting to caramelize. Set aside.


  • Turn your broiler onto high.
  • Open the rolls and place on a baking sheet and add a layer of marinara sauce on the bottom half of each roll. Then place a cooked sausage on the layer of marinara, and then a layer of peppers and onions, and then cover with sliced mozzarella.
  • Place under the broiler and cook until the cheese has started to melt and the bread is begining to get toasty on the edges. Remove and serve at once with more marina sauce on the side.



Homemade fresh marina is always best, but quality store-bought will work, too.
The marinara, sausages and onions can all be prepared a day in advance.  Simply re-heat all component before assembling and toasting the sandwich.
If you can't find Italian rolls, then go with a hoagie or submarine roll.  They are softer and not authentic for an Italian hero, but will still be delicious. 
Watch closely once the hero's are under the broiler.  Don't let them burn!


Calories: 433kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 375mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2268IU | Vitamin C: 133mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!

Update Notes: This post was originally published in December of 2016, but was republished with new photos, step by step instructions, tips, and FAQs in August of 2019.

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