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Ground Italian Sausage and Potatoes – Easy Comfort Food

Italian Sausage and Potatoes is an easy hearty meal. The combination of crispy potatoes, sweet onion, and ground sausage will have your family asking for more.

This one-pan fried potatoes recipe cooks up perfectly every time in cast iron making this a quick meal and clean up a breeze.

Top down photo of sausage and fried potatoes sprinkled with parmesan cheese in a cast iron skillet sitting on a linen tablecloth with a striped blue towel knotted on the handle.

Italian Sausage and Potatoes is a complete meal! There’s nothing like a hot pan of crispy potatoes and onions unless it’s loaded with ground Italian sausage and seasoned with the perfect amount of spice.

I grew up learning how to fry potatoes perfectly. It was the most often requested thing my dad asked for regardless of the meal.

The potatoes had to be perfectly browned with crispy edges and lots of onion. He would have loved Italian Sausage and Potatoes.

Why You’ll Love Sausage and potatoes recipe

  • One-pan meal makes this an easy recipe to make and clean up!
  • It’s a quick 20-minute meal.
  • Ground sausage makes eating this meal easier than using links.
  • Simple ingredients
  • Easy to customize to your family’s tastes.

How do you fry the perfect potato?

It’s not a simple thing. I just talked to my sister and she said she can never get her potatoes crispy. Here’s what I told her:

  1. If you can, use a cast-iron skillet. I use this 13-inch cast-iron skillet for the majority of my skillet work. Cast-iron can get really hot which is perfect for frying potatoes.
  2. Cover the bottom of the skillet with neutral cooking oil such as vegetable or canola oil.
    • Neutral cooking oil will not add flavors and it has a “high flash point” meaning you can safely heat it to a high temperature.
    • Add enough oil or the potatoes will stick to the pan and will not release when you want to turn them.
  3. Heat the oil until HOT. You can test it by adding a small piece of the onion to the pan and if it sizzles you’re ready to cook.
    • If your pan isn’t hot enough, your potatoes will just absorb the oil and will not crisp up.
  4. Cut your potatoes and onion all the same thickness. This will guarantee that they cook at the same rate.
  5. Add the potatoes and onion to the pan. Let them cook until brown before flipping them over. I like the control that I get with a fish spatula.
    • There isn’t any reason to keep flipping them. Doing so will not allow both sides to get crisp and you run the risk of breaking the potatoes.
  6. Remove the potato and onion mixture to a plate lined with a paper towel.

Who knew there was so much to consider when frying potatoes! The key to great Italian Sausage and Potatoes is to pay attention to the little details. That’s the key to any recipe really.

Top down photo of sausage and fried potatoes sprinkled with parmesan cheese in a brown bowl.

Italian Sausage and Potato Ingredients:

  • Potatoes – I like the baby Yukon or red potatoes. They are smaller so that makes them bite-sized. They also assure me that I have a balanced dish and that it’s not all potatoes.
    • You can add larger potatoes and just cut them into smaller pieces.
    • Leave the peeling on. There are nutrients in the peeling, there’s less work, and they taste great.
  • Italian Sausage – Please don’t use breakfast sausage. Breakfast sausage has different seasonings than Italian sausage. If you don’t have Italian sausage, you can use any of its substitutes that you can check from here.
    • Sausage Potato Skillet will not take on the spices called for in this recipe if you use breakfast sausage. It will taste like breakfast sausage.
    • You can also use ground pork. We’re adding seasoning so feel free to make that change.
    • You can buy pre-ground or link sausage and remove the casing yourself. Sometimes it’s hard to find ground Italian sausage.
  • Onion – I used yellow onion in this recipe. You can substitute what you like to use. White or red onions work fine.
  • Garlic – I use fresh but you can buy pre-minced.
  • Parmesan – I like shredding my own Parmesan Reggiano. It doesn’t melt the way the packaged cheeses do because it has less moisture content. I like seeing this cheese mixed in with the Sausage Potatoes and Onions.
  • Spices – Fresh or dried herbs are fine. I used oregano, rosemary, thyme, and, salt and pepper. For convenience, you can substitute with 1-1/2 teaspoons of an Italian Seasoning Blend.

Quick tip: When I boil potatoes for another meal I’ll make extra. Previously cooked potatoes fry up perfectly and make this meal really quick to put together.

How to make Fried Potatoes and Sausage

The order of these steps maximizes the flavor of this dish. Let me tell you why.

  1. Drizzle the bottom of the cast-iron skillet and preheat until hot.
  2. Add the ground Italian sausage and cook until browned. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel. Don’t drain any drippings.
    • The sausage drippings will infuse the potatoes with flavor from the sausage.
  3. Add more oil until the entire bottom of the cast-iron pan is coated if necessary. Once hot, add the sliced potatoes and onions. Salt and pepper (liberally). Allow the potatoes and onion to brown on one side. Turn and brown the other side. Once browned, add the minced garlic. Cook just a minute or two until fragrant.
    • If you added the garlic with the potatoes and onions, in the beginning, it can burn. Cooking it for just a minute or two will release the flavor. Burnt garlic tastes bitter.
  4. Remove the potato mixture and drain if there is a lot of oil remaining on the bottom of the pan. If there isn’t to much oil just add the sausage back into the potato mixture.
  5. Add the dried or fresh herbs and heat just until the ingredients are hot and the spices are aromatic.
    • There’s no need to cook these herbs. They are best with just a little heat to wake them up if dried or softened if fresh.

Variations you can make to Italian Sausage and Potatoes

  • Add peppers, mushrooms or veggies you like to the potato and onion mix
  • Use Italian link sausage and brown it like you did the ground sausage. I recommend slicing it to the size of the potatoes.
  • Instead of Parmesean cheese use Asiago.
  • Add scrambled eggs to the Italian Sausage and Potatoes for a breakfast scramble that will keep you full for hours.
  • Make it vegetarian! Just skip the sausage. Potato and onion skillet is amazing!

You don’t have to add a poached egg, but it transforms this Italian Sausage and Potato recipe into a rich dish that’s over the top.

I learned how to poach the perfect egg from Downshiftology. She’s made it as foolproof as you can get.

Looking for more Ground Italian Sausage Recipe?

Top down view of a cast iron skillet filled with fried potatoes and ground sausage.

What can I make with Italian Sausage and potatoes

This is definitely a savory one-dish meal that’s perfect for any meal of the day. My preference would be to add something a little sweet whether it’s bread and jam for sopping up that egg or a fruit dish. Here are some recipes I think you may like.

  • Basic Muffin Recipe – This recipe is perfect with a drizzle of honey but I’ve also included 8 variations that you can make so it’s perfect for you.
  • Fruit Cocktail Salad – This creamy dreamy salad is a great accompaniment to any savory meal and can even be served as a salad or dessert.
  • Dark Chocolate Banana Bread – Talk about decadent. This bread is tender and moist and loaded with chocolate flavor.

If you like this Sausage and Potato Recipe here are a few more recipes I think you’ll like

Top down photo of sausage and fried potatoes sprinkled with parmesan cheese with a soft cook egg pouring over it.

Ground Italian Sausage and Potatoes

Author: Julie Menghini
Italian Sausage and Potatoes recipe makes an easy hearty dinner. This one-pan fried potatoes and sausage recipe is a quick meal and clean up a breeze
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Breakfast, Main Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword: Fried potatoes and sausage, Italian Sausage and Potatoes, Italian Sausage and Potatoes Skillet, Sausage and Potato Skillet
Servings: 8

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 lb Italian Sausage ground
  • 4 cups potatoes sliced
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary dried or fresh
  • 1/2 tsp oregano dried or fresh
  • 1/2 tsp thyme dried or fresh
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Reggiano shredded
  • Cooking oil
  • eggs optional

Instructions
 

  • Drizzle the bottom of the cast-iron skillet with cooking oil and preheat until hot. Add the ground Italian sausage and cook until browned. Remove the sausage to a plate lined with a paper towel.
  • Add more oil until the entire bottom of the cast-iron pan is coated. Once hot, add the sliced potatoes and onions. Salt and pepper (liberal).
    Allow the potatoes to brown on one side. Turn and brown the other side. Once browned, add the minced garlic. Cook just a minute or two until fragrant.
  • Remove the potato mixture and drain if there is a lot of oil remaining in the bottom of the pan. If there isn’t extra oil, just add the sausage back into the potato mixture.
  • Add the dried or fresh herbs and heat just until the ingredients are hot.
  • Add the Parmesan cheese and top with a poached egg if desired.

Notes

For your convenience, 1 1/2 tespoons of Italian Seasoning Blend can be exchanged for the herbs listed. 
Tips for perfectly frying potatoes:
  1. If you can, use a cast-iron skillet. I use this 13-inch cast-iron skillet for the majority of my skillet work. Cast-iron can get really hot which is perfect for frying potatoes.
  2. Cover the bottom of the skillet with neutral cooking oil such as vegetable or canola oil.
    • Neutral cooking oil will not add flavors and it has a “high flash point” meaning you can safely heat it to a high temperature.
    • Add enough oil or the potatoes will stick to the pan and will not release when you want to turn them.
  3. Heat the oil until HOT. You can test it by adding a small piece of the onion to the pan and if it sizzles you’re ready to cook.
    • If your pan isn’t hot enough, your potatoes will just absorb the oil and will not crisp up.
  4. Cut your potatoes and onion all the same thickness. This will guarantee that they cook at the same rate.
  5. Add the potatoes and onion to the pan. Let them cook until brown before flipping them over. I like the control that I get with a fish spatula.
    • There isn’t any reason to keep flipping them. Doing so will not allow both sides to get crisp and you run the risk of breaking the potatoes.

Nutrition

Calories: 291kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 13gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 521mgPotassium: 605mgFiber: 3gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 54IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 118mgIron: 4mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

As you know, food is about the memories around it as much as it is eating it. This recipe reminded me of my dad eating my fried potatoes.

I soaked up the praise he delivered over this simple meal. I only wish he was here to try it with that soft drippy egg! He would have gone bonkers over this Italian Sausage and Potatoes recipe!

What to do with extra potatoes

When I buy a bag of potatoes I always have plenty leftover for other recipes. Here are a few of our favorites:

Recipe Rating




Nina

Tuesday 5th of July 2022

This was so delicious and helped me use what I had in my freezer instead of giving up on dinner. My kids (7 & 8) loved it and they are the PICKIEST! Thanks so much - great recipe!

Julie Menghini

Wednesday 6th of July 2022

I'm so glad you enjoyed it Nina! Thank you!

Shawn T

Tuesday 8th of March 2022

Looks great ! I have a question. We Love crispy fried potatoes. The problem we have is we only a #10 cast iron pan and can never get enough potatoes in the pan for all of us. I do not want to do them in batches as they have the best consistency and flavor right off the pan. What would you do besides getting a bigger pan (can not afford)

Julie Menghini

Thursday 10th of March 2022

Hi Shawn! Crowding the potatoes is what keeps them from getting good and crispy and you're correct that they're best right out of the pan. You can also slice them and lay them on a sheet pan. Drizzle them with olive oil and bake them. I'd use a 400F oven for about 45-55 minutes and turn them over halfway once they're brown. If you'd do me a favor, can you email me with this question as well? [email protected]

Healthy World Cuisine

Thursday 5th of March 2020

Now this is comfort food the boys would love! Crispy potatoes are the key to success for this recipe for sure. Thanks for the tips. Hope you are doing well. Saved to all of our favorite boards.

Julie Menghini

Saturday 7th of March 2020

Thank you so much! It's our kind of comfort food too. We are all doing well and I really appreciate your sharing! Hugs, Jules

Nikki Lee

Friday 21st of February 2020

We loved this for Sunday breakfast! The runny egg on top makes it perfect and creamy! Delish!

Julie Menghini

Monday 24th of February 2020

Thank you, Nikki. It's a great way to begin or end the day in my opinion!

Jennifer Ann Stewart

Tuesday 18th of February 2020

Brooks wants to marry me all over again after making this for him!!

Julie Menghini

Monday 24th of February 2020

Yay, Brooks! Go marry that girl again. Comfort food like this makes John very happy too!