How to Cook Italian Sausage in the Oven (Very Easy!)

Nicole Austin

It's so simple to cook Italian sausage in the oven, you'll do it all the time.

Sausage is a highly flavorful way to experiment with different recipes — the variety of herbs, spices, and meats is fun to explore, and sausage tastes great both alone and as part of a complex recipe.

Whether paired with onions and bell peppers, pasta, or sauerkraut, sausage can meet and then exceed all of your food expectations. Plus, it’s easy to make. This is why it’s one of the most popular meats to enjoy.

In fact, sausage is more popular than bacon for breakfast in the United States — a fact that is shocking, considering that a survey conducted by Smithfield reports that 65% of participants would favor declaring bacon America’s national food.

How to Cook Italian Sausage Photo

Sausage comes in a variety of flavors, comprised of several different types of meat. Depending on what is added, sausage ranges from sweet, to savory, to downright hot.

There are many ways to prepare sausage, but today we are going to focus on arguably the most popular kind of sausage and an easy preparation with simple steps — how to cook Italian sausage in the oven.

Why Cook Sausage in the Oven?

Cooking sausage in the oven is a practical choice and many people's favorite way to prepare their breakfast sausage or a fantastic sheet pan dinner.

It frees up the stove top, allowing you to prepare other parts of your meal.

The oven is also an excellent way to regulate temperature for cooking, especially if you’re using a meat thermometer.

It is also easier to cook in the oven, as you can typically place your sausage in the oven and do relatively little else to prepare it — occasional turning is encouraged, but sausage will not need a lot of added effort when baked.

In other words, less time spent focusing on it next time, offering you an easy dinner or breakfast!

Ovens are versatile and convenient ways to prepare food. You can easily use them year-round without depending on the weather, as you would with a grill.

Many people prefer cooking sausage in the oven because it’s a healthier option. When preparing sausage in the oven, oil or other potentially unhealthy ingredients are not necessary.

How to Cook Italian Sausage Picture

Ease of cleaning is another reason people may want to eat food prepared in an oven. Sausage can be greasy, and cause splattering or other messes. Not only are these a hassle to clean up, but they can also contribute to safety issues in the kitchen

A lined baking pan can help reduce cleanup to almost nothing, making life much easier.

Baking sausage is also as close to foolproof as you can get. You can easily reach and maintain the desired temperature for a predictable cooking time and even heating, which is difficult to achieve with a skillet.

This cooking method also allows for other foods to be added to the oven so you can prepare multiple items simultaneously. This is a huge advantage when preparing food, especially for a larger gathering.

One of the challenges with preparing a meal for several people is trying to make sure that all components of your dish are ready at the same time.

Baking sausage in the oven allows you to prepare multiple Italian sausage links or patties at once, along with other foods you may be serving, without the guesswork of trying to figure out when to prepare each item.

Instant Pot Italian Sausage Bell Pepper Sauce Pic

How to Cook Italian Sausage in the Oven

There are three main types of Italian sausage regularly available at the grocery store: sweet, mild, and hot.

Sweet Italian sausage is as it sounds- it has a gentle, lightly sweetened flavor. This is excellent for children, people who don’t like heat in their food, or people trying sausage for the first time.

It may be your best bet if you're trying to please the whole family with an Italian sausage bake!

Don’t let the “sweet” fool you- it is perfect for pasta sauces, savory dishes, and as a pizza topping.

Mild Italian sausage has a bit of a bite to it, but nothing crazy. There’s some heat, but it is nothing overpowering or concerning.

Hot Italian sausage has spice and heat. There are a variety of “hot” sausages that range from milder to extremely hot, so be familiar with the brand or ingredients when deciding what sausage to use for your recipe.

You can always add more heat later if you want, with something like red pepper flakes.

Some people choose to combine more than one type of sausage in a recipe to give the food balance. I’m a big fan of that mixed-bag approach. It keeps each bite refreshing and flavorful.

Regardless of the type, the approach to cooking is the same.

How to Cook Italian Sausage Image

Here’s how to cook Italian sausages in the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. While the oven is heating, remove the sausage from the fridge. Separate links, if necessary.
  3. Cover a baking sheet or dish with aluminum foil and place the sausages on top. Keep them separated and do not overlap to allow for even cooking.
  4. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, turning the sausages about halfway through.
  5. Optional: turn the heat up in the oven to 500 for a minute, or sear the sausage in a pan before or after baking, to create a crisp, crunchy exterior.

This delicious oven meal may be the easiest dinner you make all week!

Instant Pot Italian Sausage Photo

How to enjoy Italian sausage:

Italian Sausage and White Beans Skillet Image

How to Cook Chicken Sausage in the Oven

Chicken sausages have become a very popular alternative to pork sausages because they are lower in fat and calories.

It also works well with dietary restrictions such as halal or kosher diets.

There are more varieties than ever of chicken sausages on the market, with lots of companies experimenting with various complementary flavors and combinations.

Aidells makes a very wide variety of chicken sausage with sometimes unexpected ingredients. My personal preference is the spinach and feta, followed by the chicken and apple, though I suspect my kids would love for me to buy the spicy mango with jalapeno or pineapple and bacon smoked sausages someday!

Instant Pot Italian Sausage Pic

Here’s how to cook chicken sausages in the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. (Optional) Brush the sausages with some olive oil.
  4. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Check the center for pinkness to see if it is done.
  6. Remove the sausage from the oven and allow to rest.
  7. Serve hot.
Buffalo Chicken Hash Image

How to enjoy chicken sausage:

Sausage Spinach Pasta Picture

How to Cook Chinese Sausage in the Oven

Also known as lap cheong or lap chong, Chinese sausage is a sweet and savory cured meat.

Commonly pan-fried or steamed, this sausage is also able to be prepared in the oven for your convenience.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Place sausages in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  3. Using a sharp knife, lightly score the sausage diagonally on both sides to allow an even cook time.
  4. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven.
  5. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
  6. For a crispy outer layer, broil during the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. Keep an eye on the meat to prevent burning.
  7. Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes before slicing.
Chinese Sausage with Fried Rice

How to enjoy Chinese sausage:

Simply add your freshly made Chinese sausage to any of these recipes!

Asian Shrimp Rice Bowls Image

Now you're all set to go! Just remember, if you're using store-bought sausages, check to see whether your variety is already fully cooked.

While raw sausages can generally be found, some great brands like Seemore sell their sausages pre-cooked. In that case, you just need to spend a fraction of the time to heat them for taste.

Nicole is a self-published author of fiction novels, and a lover of food and spending time in the kitchen with her six children. She lives in coastal Maine where she loves exploring new recipes especially those that can save time, money and wow a crowd.

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