Making Italian Sausage in the Air Fryer is the perfect quick recipe for a weeknight! This air fryer Italian Sausage is inexpensive, keto-friendly, gluten free, and perfect for meal prepping.
Air Fryer Italian Sausage
We love making Italian sausage in the air fryer for SO many reasons! It’s super quick, easy, convenient, cheap (I mean, it’s ONE ingredient), and so versatile. It can be cooked from frozen if we forget to pull it out of the freezer ahead of time, too! It’s the failsafe weeknight dinner you can always count on.
This is more of a method than a recipe–You could swap out Italian sausage with bratwurst, andouille, chorizo… It works with any raw sausage links! This makes it so easy to switch up your dinners without adding a ton of extra work or time.
This meal prep recipe can be enjoyed in so many ways. Serve the sausages on buns for an easy handheld lunch, or serve with pasta for a fancy dinner that tastes like it took a lot more work! Keep scrolling for even more ways to use these tasty Air Fryer Italian Sausages.
What is Italian Sausage?
Italian sausages are usually made of ground pork mixed with Italian herbs and seasonings, then put into casings to create sausage links. Fennel seed (and sometimes anise) is the distinctive flavor that sets it apart from other sausages, but herbs like parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, paprika, and others help season it as well.
Because they’re already heavily seasoned, they’re a quick and easy option for even the newest cook! Italian sausage adds a ton of flavor to pasta, as a pizza topping, in soup, or stuffed inside squash. It’s the perfect option when you want to add a big punch without needing a lot of effort.
Italian sausage is gluten free and naturally low carb. It works great for the keto, paleo, and whole30 diets! It’s easy to freeze and reheat, so it’s a great idea to make a big batch for later on your meal prepping day.
How to Cook Italian Sausage in Air Fryer
To evenly cook Italian sausage in the air fryer, preheat your appliance to 370 degrees F for 3 minutes. Even when the air fryer says it doesn’t require preheating, I’ve still found giving it just a few minutes leads to better, more even cooking!
Add your sausages to the air fryer and cook for 12 minutes total. Halfway through the cooking time, open the air fryer and flip the sausages.
How long to cook Italian Sausage in the air fryer
If your sausages are thawed, you’ll need 12 minutes to cook at 370 degrees F (flip at 6 minutes). If your Italian sausage links are frozen, cook on 370 degrees F for 15-17 minutes (flipping at the 10 minute mark).
What to do with Italian Sausage
This versatile option can be used in so many delicious ways! These recipes with Italian sausage are loaded with flavor.
- Sausage and Peppers – This healthy meal is SO easy to come together! If you’ve already cooked your Italian sausage in the air fryer, just slice it and add it to sauteed onions and peppers for a delicious, fast meal.
- Pizza – Sliced Italian sausage makes a GREAT pizza topping! If you’re looking for an easier meal, try this Crispy Pizza Tortilla… The slices work perfectly and add a lot of flavor. Having the sausage meal prepped makes this Pizza Skillet an even quicker, easier meal on a busy night.
- On a bun – Grab a pack of hotdog buns, add your air fryer Italian sausages, and you’ve got a super quick meal! This is a great gameday meal or an easy option for pool parties or other outdoor gatherings.
- Pasta – Adding Italian sausage to your pasta instantly adds LOADS of delicious Italian seasoning taste without extra work. This Sausage and Butternut Squash Pasta is the perfect way to use up leftover sausage! This One Pan Sausage Cheese Pasta is also a big fan favorite.
- Soup – So many soups are delicious with Italian sausage! You can slice the sausage or chop it into smaller pieces and use it in this Keto Italian Sausage Soup or this Black Bean and Sausage Soup! This sausage makes this Instant Pot Pizza Soup really stand out, too.
- With Vegetables – Roast simple veggies (like green beans) on a sheet pan, then add to your air fryer Italian sausage for an easy, healthy dish. You could try air fryer vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, or potatoes for quick options as well.
Allow the Italian sausage to cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge up to 4 days.
Cooked Italian sausage can easily be frozen! Lay the sausages on a baking sheet or plate (making sure they are are not touching) and freeze for 2 hours. Transfer to a freezer bag and store for 2-3 months. To avoid freezer burn, make sure the sausages are COMPLETELY COOLED before freezing, and consider wrapping multiple times in plastic to add protection.
Thaw overnight in the fridge, for about 1 hour in a bowl of water, or by microwaving for 3-5 minutes.
Sausages are SO easy to reheat! All of these methods have their pros and cons, but I’ve found the air fryer to be my favorite–It’s fast, the sausage stays tender and juicy, and it doesn’t require hands-on cooking. With all of these methods, make sure your sausages are not touching as this can prevent even reheating.
- Microwave – Place sausages on a plate, pierce a few times with a fork to prevent them from bursting. Cover with a damp paper towel. On 50% power, microwave in 1 minute blasts until the sausage is hot all the way through.
- Air fryer – Preheat air fryer to 350 degrees F for 1-2 minutes, then add sausages. Reheat for 3-4 minutes, flipping around the 2 minute mark.
- Skillet – Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the skillet, then add sausages. Cover with lid and heat on medium for about 5 minutes or until water has evaporated. Shake pan frequently to turn the sausages and heat on all sides.
- Oven – Place sausages on baking sheet and cover with foil, then heat at 325 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through. You could remove the foil in the last 5 minutes to brown the sausages some without losing too much moisture.
Tips for the BEST Air Fryer Italian Sausage
- If you’re in a hurry, slice your sausages to reduce the cooking time! This is more of a trial and error method as the cooking time would depend on the size you’ve sliced the links to.
- The total cooking time needed will depend on the size and thickness of your sausages. Some packaged sausages are thicker while others are thin, so keep a close eye on your sausages. Pork should be cooked to 160 degrees F for safety, so use a meat thermometer to be sure.
- Cook extra! Sausages are so easy to reheat and can be tossed into SO many recipes. Cook a few extra if possible for an easy meal prep option for lunches, snacks, or a readymade dinner when you need a lazy night.
FAQ’s about Italian Sausage in the Air Fryer
This depends entirely on the size of your sausages and the size of your air fryer. Sausages should be cooked in a single layer and shouldn’t be touching, so you may need to cook multiple batches depending on how many you can fit without touching.
Pork sausage should be cooked to 160 degrees F, so it’s best practice to use a meat thermometer before removing the sausages from the air fryer.
For this recipe, it’s best to not use foil or a liner in the air fryer. Not having a liner ensures that the air circulates easily and quickly, and it allows the grease to drip away from the sausages.
Yes – USUALLY! Always make sure to double check your ingredient labels, but most Italian sausages fall perfectly into these diets. Make sure the variety you buy does not have added sugar or preservatives that may exclude them from your dietary needs.
If you like this meal prep recipe, you’ll love these ideas:
- Air Fryer Pork Chops – These quick pork chops are delicious on their own or tossed with some pasta for a filling meal that comes together without too much work!
- How to Cook Pork Sirloin Roast – This pork sirloin roast is unbelievably juice–Not just the first time, but after being reheated, too.
- Instant Pot Italian Pork – This is the perfect main course to put atop grits, risotto, mashed potatoes, cauliflower, and more! It even makes amazing sandwiches.
- Sausage and Cabbage – This quick air fryer recipe is a healthy meal that comes together so quickly! You can reheat this for an easy leftover lunch, too.
- Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin – Fancy enough for company but easy enough for your average weekday! The bacon helps ensure this doesn’t overcook or dry out when reheating.
- 1 package Italian sausage links
- Preheat the air fryer to 370 degrees F for 3 minutes.
- Add the uncooked, thawed sausages to the air fryer. Cook for 6 minutes, flip, and cook an additional 6 minutes.
To cook frozen sausage links add them in one layer to the air fryer (not frozen together) and cook for 10 minutes at 370 degrees F. Turn the sausages and cook an additional 5-7 minutes or until cooked through.