How To Cook Italian Sausage in Oven: My Favorite Recipe

Is there anything better than a really good Italian sausage? How about a good Italian sausage baked with sweet and juicy grapes, caramelized onions and Balsamic vinegar?

I’m telling you. I love a good sausage and peppers recipe, but you need to try this.

If you’re a regular on our website you know that we love posting about sausage recipes. To me, a good Italian sausage recipe is something everyone should have in their arsenal.

If you grew up near any Italian-Americans here in the United States you’ve probably had your fair share of sweet Italian sausage in a roll, smothered with fried peppers and onions. If you’re someone who likes things spicy, maybe you go for the hot sausage instead of the sweet.

When I was in high school, I had a sausage cart and I made my own Italian sausage. It was probably some of the best Italian sausage I’ve ever had. I got the recipe from my grandfather’s friend Angelo.

Whether you make your own sausage or buy it, there are so many different ways to cook Italian sausages. Sometimes it’s fun to try something new. You can cook them in a frying pan, a gas grill or in a pot simmering in marinara sauce.

One of the easiest ways to cook fresh sausage made with ground pork and natural casings is as a sheet pan dinner. With a few simple steps you can whip up an Italian sausage bake big enough to feed an army.

Out of all the different cooking methods used to cook Italian pork sausage, this is probably my favorite way.

Let’s make a nice sheet pan sausage dinner!

Table of Contents

What You’ll Need to Cook Your Italian Sausages and Grapes in the Oven

Sausage: There are so many different types of sausages to choose from. For this recipe you want to get a raw sausage that is made of pork. You will probably find an Italian sausage flavored with fennel seed, salt and pepper.

Grapes: For this recipe I suggest using big, fat, juicy red grapes. Buy them in the produce section of the supermarket and make sure you de-stem and clean them before you start cooking.

Onion: Get a large Spanish onion. The onion is going to get nice and sweet when it starts to caramelize in the oven.

Garlic: I always recommend using fresh garlic cloves if you can. So get a head of garlic and peel some cloves.

Olive Oil: Olive oil is an important part of this recipe. You should get something that is made of pure olive and not mixed with seed oils. It doesn’t have to be a very expensive olive oil. Just make sure it is real olive oil.

Balsamic Vinegar: A good balsamic vinegar is going to make this dish really special. And if it ends on your clothes, we have a guide on how to remove balsamic vinegar stains.

Salt: I always suggest using Kosher salt or sea salt when you cook.

Black Pepper: Black pepper is a must in just about every dish I cook. I like using a pepper mill and cracking the fresh peppercorns right into the dish.

How To Cook Your Italian Sausage and Grapes in the Oven

Let’s start off by preheating the oven to 400 degrees.

Peel your onions and slice them into thin strips. The thinner you slice them the nicer they will caramelize in the oven.

Take a big mixing bowl and toss in the onions, grapes, and chopped garlic. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss everything together so that the grapes and onions get coated in the flavor.

Empty the contents of the bowl onto a baking sheet and spread everything out evenly.

Pro Tip: You can like the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil first for easier cleanup.

Now you can place sausage on top of the grapes and onions.

Cover the baking pan tightly with foil and put it in the oven. During this time the onions and grapes will start to cook with the sausages.

After about 45 minutes, remove the foil and toss the ingredients around in the baking tray. Put the pan back into the oven uncovered for another 15 minutes of cooking time.

Using a meat thermometer, check the internal temperature of the sausage. You’ll know they are ready when the cooked sausages are at 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

When the sausages are cooked through and the grapes and onions are soft and caramelized, take the pan out of the oven and let it rest for a few minutes.

I like putting the pan right in the middle of the table (on a cutting board so it doesn’t burn the table) and let everyone help themselves.

The way the rich sausages complement the sweet grapes and tangy balsamic onions is really amazing.

Let me know if you make this recipe!

FAQs

Q: Do I have to use pork sausages for this recipe?
A: No. You can use a different type of sausage if you want. I just don’t think chicken sausages would be as good as pork sausages. There’s something about the way the pork and grapes go together that make this dish awesome.

Q: Can this dish be made in the air fryer?
A: Yes. An air fryer is basically a small convection oven so you could make a smaller version in the air fryer. I don’t think it would be as good as the sheet pan version where the juices from the meat combine with the onions and grapes.

Q: Can I use hot Italian sausage for this recipe?
A: Sure. Hot Italian sausage is basically sweet Italian sausage with red pepper flakes combined with the meat. If you like spicy things, give it a try!

balsamic vinegar in a small glass carafe with some grapes in the background

What to serve with it?

Appetizer: Try some crostini. Just slice some Italian bread nice and thin and toast it in the oven. Rub it with a garlic clove and top it with fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella.

Salad: A simple mixed green salad with cherry tomatoes, thin slices of red onion and a vinaigrette dressing is a perfect salad for this dish.

Wine: Pour yourself a glass of Zinfandel with this sausage and grapes dish. You’ll love the way the hints of blackberry, plums and black pepper compliment the sausage.

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