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Quick Air Fryer Italian Sausage couldn’t be easier! Add a bun, some air fryer peppers and onions, and you’ve got the best sandwich around!
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- About this recipe
- Why cook it in the air fryer?
- Labeled ingredient photo
- Labeled step by step photos
- What’s the difference between Italian Sausage and regular sausage?
- Why use a foil packet?
- What should the internal temperature of Italian Sausage be?
- How many minutes does it take to cook Italian Sausage in the Air Fryer?
- Why is the air fryer for this cooking method
- Cooking from frozen
- Cooking with Pepper and Onions
- What to serve with Italian Sausage?
- More Air Fryer Recipes You’ll Love
- Air Fryer Italian Sausage
About this recipe
The most common varieties of Italian Sausage you’ll find in the local supermarket are hot, sweet and mild. They’re all the same but with varying degrees of spiciness. The thing that sets them apart from “regular non-Italian sausage” is the fennel. And in the sweet variety, you’re going to find more Basil than fennel, because basil gives it that “sweet” flavor. I like them all equally, but when I’m making a sausage sandwich, I do like them on the spicier side.
Anyway, it's not quite the same these days in terms of "stuffing the sausage". The modern way to make sausage links is a little more, dare I say, sophisticated? Sanitary? Cured meat may or may not be encased in intestines, often it’s artificial.
Why cook it in the air fryer?
Can you cook sausage in the air fryer? Um, heck yes! And it’s my favorite way to do it! But, let me just say, the way that I do it isn’t typical. You can certainly make it easy and dump the sausages right into the air fryer basket, turn it on for 6 minutes, flip them, and continue to cook for another 6 minutes and call it a done deal.
Or…you can try wrapping them in foil, cooking for 10 minutes, unwrapping them, and continuing to cook for another 8-10. This will give you juicier sausages, rather than wrinkly, tough, shriveled up ones…you know what I mean.
You’re going to love making sausage in the air fryer: they come out juicy, plump, and with a crispy skin. Pretty much everything you want in a sausage.
Labeled ingredient photo
You’re going to need one pack of five Italian Sausage links. It’s your choice if you want hot, sweet, or mild, the cooking time won’t be affected. You’ll also need foil, and a few drops of water.
That’s it. And if you’d like to cook peppers and onions with the sausage, slice two peppers and one onion, toss them with 2 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper, and throw them right into the air fryer with the sausage.
Labeled step by step photos
Simple, let’s talk about the steps.
First, wrap your sausages in foil with a few drops of water. Make sure the foil packet is tight and closed, and place it into the basket of the preheated air fryer. Close the basket and cook on “AIR FRY” for 10 minutes.
Then, open the air fryer basket. Unwrap the sausage from the foil packet, discard the foil.
Close the air fryer basket and continue to cook for 8-10 more minutes on “AIR FRY”.
Check the sausage with a digital, instant read thermometer, like this one, to be sure they’ve reached 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Serve them as they are or on buns with peppers and onions.
What’s the difference between Italian Sausage and regular sausage?
Not a whole lot—mostly fennel and Italian seasoning. Fennel is a licorice-smelling spice that not everyone is a fan of. But it really gives Italian sausage its unique flavor!
Why use a foil packet?
Here’s the short answer: better sausage. They come out juicier, plumper, and not so shriveled and tough.
Here’s the longer answer: Italian sausage has a pretty high fat content. Combined with the high cooking temperature in the air fryer the basket of the air fryer can get pretty smoky and smelly. They also stick to the basket if it’s not well coated in cooking spray (which also doesn’t help the case for the smokiness).
To mitigate some of this I like to wrap them in foil. In doing this, I also noticed that it delivers much tastier sausages. They don’t come out dry, shriveled, or tough! So it’s a major win!
But do you absolutely have to wrap them in foil? No, you don’t, but I recommend it. Without the foil just cook them for 6 minutes on each side.
What should the internal temperature of Italian Sausage be?
Italian sausage should reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If you decide to eat it before it reaches this temperature you do have a slight risk of food-related illness, I worry about this with ground meats more so than meats that aren’t ground (and that includes sausage).
You can be sure that you’re reaching the proper internal temperature with a digital meat thermometer—such as this one. This is the one that I use and recommend because it folds up and has a nice magnet on it. You can stick it on the side of your refrigerator or on the side of your grill, if you’re grilling. I own two of them, and they’re under ten bucks (at the time I'm writing this)! You simply can’t beat the price!
How many minutes does it take to cook Italian Sausage in the Air Fryer?
It takes approximately 12 minutes to cook Italian Sausage in the Air Fryer. Be sure to use a digital, instant read meat thermometer so that you can be sure that it’s reached 160 degrees Fahrenheit before pulling them from the air fryer.
Yes, it will not matter or change the cooking time if you choose to use hot Italian sausage, sweet Italian sausage, or mild Italian sausage. Because they are similar in fat content, the cooking times, and process will be the same.
Why is the air fryer for this cooking method
First, let’s talk about what an air fryer actually is and what it isn’t. It’s not a fryer, it doesn’t actually (in the traditional sense) fry your food for you. It’s a high-powered countertop convection oven. It’s capable of cooking your food just like the oven, but with less power and in way less time.
Overall, I’m not a big fan of kitchen appliances. We’re a military family, we move a lot, and generally I like to keep the bulky kitchen gadgets to an absolute minimum. However, when it comes to the air fryer — I can’t live without one. And I often travel with one!
Cooking from frozen
Yes you can! It’s just going to take a little bit more time.
If you’re pulling them from the freezer and you’re in a hurry, you can place them into foil, wrap them, and cook them as directed. Then turn the air fryer down to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cooking with Pepper and Onions
Can I cook Italian Sausage with peppers and onions at the same time?
Yes, absolutely, they take the same amount of time, depending on how tender you like your bell peppers and onions. Just slice your bell peppers and onions, toss them with a little olive oil and salt, and throw them into the air fryer with your sausage. Easy!
What to serve with Italian Sausage?
You can eat it as it is, or serve it with pasta, such as this instant pot orzo, or you can serve it on a bun with ketchup, mustard, and peppers!
More Air Fryer Recipes You’ll Love
- Peppers and Onions (Air Fryer)
- Air Fryer Hawaiian Salmon
- Salmon Cakes (Air Fryer)
- Sweet and Sour Pork (Air Fryer)
Air Fryer Italian Sausage
- Air Fryer
- Aluminum Foil
- 1 package Italian Sausage Links Sweet, Hot, or Mild
- 1 tsp water
- Preheat your air fryer to AIR FRY (390 degrees F).
- Wrap your sausage links in a foil packet with 1 tsp of water. Place it into the air fryer and set for 10 minutes.
- Unwrap the sausage, place it directly into the air fryer basket, and continue to cook for another 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Check the internal temperature to make sure that it is at least 160 degrees F.