How to Cook Italian Sausage Quickly

Italian sausage is traditionally made from pork, which must be cooked the sausage thoroughly to prevent food-borne illnesses. How you cook the sausage depends on its intended purpose. For example, if you intend to use the sausage in lasagna, you need to remove it from the casing or use bulk sausage. If you intend to eat it like a hot dog or slice it, you need to cook it in link form. The stove-top method is the best way to cook both bulk and link Italian sausage quickly.

Sliced Italian sausage with rosemary on a cutting board. (Image: ulkan/iStock/Getty Images)

Bulk Sausage

Step 1

Spray the skillet with the nonstick spray to prevent sticking.

Step 2

Add the bulk sausage to the cold pan, and turn the burner under the pan to medium-high.

Step 3

Turn the sausage with the spatula to let it brown on all sides. Continue to cook the sausage for up to 10 minutes, or until it is completely brown with no pink spots.

Link Sausage

Step 1

Spray the skillet with the nonstick spray to prevent sticking, and heat it to medium-high.

Step 2

Add the sausage links to the hot skillet, and turn them with tongs until they are brown on all sides.

Step 3

Splash approximately the red or white wine into the skillet. Use more or less, depending on your personal taste.

Step 4

Cover the skillet and reduce the heat to low. Let the sausage simmer in the wine for 10 to 15 minutes, turning it every few minutes.

Step 5

Place the probe the meat thermometer into one of the links. The sausage is done and safe to eat when the internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, link or bulk

  • Skillet with lid

  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • Spatula

  • Red or white wine

  • Meat thermometer

  • Tongs

Tip

Do not pierce the casing on the link sausage. This can cause the juices to escape and the meat to dry out. Do not cook sausage on more than medium-high heat. Higher heat can crack the casing and dry the sausage out, and the outside will cook faster than the inside. Use plain water or broth in place of the wine, or add it to the wine.

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