Is sausage keto friendly and should you enjoy sausage as part of your low carb meal plan?
If this delicious sausage and peppers recipe is any indication, all signs point to yes. Before I give a keto diet seal of approval, let’s chat a little bit of my back story. This way you can see exactly why I’m qualified to give a thumbs up or thumbs down.
I struggled with yo yo diets for the majority of my life. Throughout that 20 year struggle, I tried it all: I ate low calories, I added more exercise, I took a shot with every mainstream diet out there, and yes, I counted grams of carbs in an attempt to follow various low carb and keto diets like Atkins, South Beach and all of the rest.
Even though I tried all of the low-carbohydrate diets out there for decades, I couldn’t get the weight off for good. At least not until I reached my highest weight of 245 pounds after my first pregnancy. At this point I was desperate to lose weight, but all of the nutrition information I came across only resulted in more yo yo diet misery.
Each low-carb diet I followed included plenty of sausage since it was the easiest way for me to cut carbs without cooking extravagant meals. I kept my sources of carbs low with plenty of sausage links and hot dogs that were easy to throw on a George Foreman grill.
Beyond easy meals with basic ingredients like this, and of course simple ground beef recipes since that’s also easy to fry up, my keto meal options were extremely limited. I didn’t really even eat a whole lot of chicken since my cooking skills were really that limited.
I only tell this story because this is not a great way to have long term success on a ketogenic diet. Variety is important to keep you interested in the low-carb foods on your meal plan. It’s also important that you learn at least keto cooking basics so you can make the majority of your meals at home.
While it’s perfectly OK to dine out from time to time, finding keto foods at restaurants can be tricky since added sugar is in nearly every recipe you come across. Dining out too often means your total carb count may skyrocket, but you won’t even know it since restaurants hire sneaky little chefs with their sneaky little sugary sauces.
Before we get into more sausage talk (after all, what girl doesn’t love a little sausage talk every now and then 😉) Wait, not little – we need plenty of grams of protein in our sausage links 😂
As I was saying before my innocent little food blog almost went full on Only Fans – here’s a quick tip when you do eat out with the whole family. Always be sure to check nutritional information before you get to the restaurant. That way you can see which dishes are higher in carb content so you know what to avoid or when to ask for modifications.
OK – back to sausage. I’m talking keto-friendly sausage, just in case I confused anyone else.
So is sausage a safe bet for keto?
As with most things in life, the final answer is it depends.
There is a wide variety of sausages available. While the types of sausage you buy for specific keto sausage recipes may matter, when it comes to keto friendly sausage, it really all comes down to the total carbs in the type of sausage you choose.
Whether you’re cooking up breakfast sausage as a side for eggs, you’re grilling smoked sausage for dinner, or even when you’re putting out summer sausage for guests – it all comes down to number of carbs in the sausage meat you choose.
Keeping carb intake low and healthy fats high is what matters most to kickstart weight loss results on a high-fat diet like keto.
Reading through the nutrition label on foods is important to stay in the metabolic state of ketosis long term. A few extra net carbs here or a couple extra grams of added sugar there can start to add up throughout the day.
Keeping things very simple when you start keto is the way our students have more long term success. This means always look at the label for total grams of carbohydrates first, then consider the quality of the food you’re putting into your body next.
While looking over that label you’ll want to look at carbohydrate count, but also consider the fat. Keto is a high fat diet, which means you need to eat enough fat to get into ketosis. The best sausages will be sausages with higher fat content, like Italian sausage or pork sausage. I wouldn’t choose turkey sausage or Italian chicken sausage since these are leaner meats.
If your gut tells you to choose turkey sausage over the more flavorful varieties, this is typically a digestion problem more than a preference. This is literally your gut telling you it needs some work.
When you eat too little fat long term like many mainstream diets have trained you to do, the half of digestion known as bile flow can get thick and sticky. If you don’t actively work to improve this, it will be difficult to eat the levels of fat necessary for a ketogenic diet.
The best part of a keto diet is all of the good recipes with amazing flavors the extra fat provides. These meals keep you feeling satiated because they contain the high quality fats your brain and body need to thrive.
When you end up eating small amounts of carbs plus small amounts of fat on a keto diet, you’re not really following keto at all. Now you’re back to a low calorie diet, which has been proven to fail in more than 95% of people who attempt these plans.
I know I veered off track with the sausage talk, but one of my favorite things about a keto diet is there’s no more need to starve yourself. Nothing makes me roll my eyes bigger than a keto advocate who tells you to burn the fat on your thighs instead of adding any extra ounce of fat to your low calorie meals. High fat diets just don’t work that way.
Hopefully I’ve done my job in helping you understand there’s no such thing as a food that’s keto or not keto. There are foods that are more keto friendly that can help you stay in ketosis, but no one single food is considered keto for everyone. The way to get keto right is by keeping track of the carb count that works for you.
Now that we’ve concluded sausage is indeed keto friendly under the right circumstances, let’s get to a few notes about this delicious keto sausage and peppers recipe. The main ingredients you need include sausage links, bell peppers, onions, coconut oil and spices like basil, oregano and salt.
My favorite way to get more healthy fats into the recipes I make is by using coconut oil for cooking. Please don’t use any old vegetable oil you have laying around in the pantry when it comes to keto cooking. The point of a low carb diet is to bring inflammation down. Highly processed vegetable oils keep inflammation high.
(Except when it comes to vegetable oils, we do)
This is an easy meal to make, but you may need to take an extra step while the sausage cooks in the hot oil.
When coconut oil gets hot, it splatters. When you’re cooking the sausages in the oil, step back so you don’t get burned! Either that or just use one of these splatter screens to lessen the hot oil splatters.
You’ll want to fry each side of the sausage in the hot oil until the outsides are golden brown, or approximately 2-3 minutes per side. They won’t be fully cooked when you remove them. Set them aside to allow the sausages to cool while you saute the veggies.
Once you remove the sausages from the oil, turn heat down from medium-high heat to medium-low heat and add in minced garlic. The oil will be hot, so you don’t want the stove temp too high since it can burn the garlic.
Then add the sliced bell pepper and onions. I like to use both green and red bell peppers. I usually use whatever kind of onion I have at home, but sweet onions seem to work best.
Stir the veggies on occasion as they soften. Save some time by grabbing the cutting board and slicing the partially cooked sausages into 1 inch thick slices while the veggies cook. They’ll probably still be hot, but you can use a napkin to grab the sausages while you cut.
After you cut up the sausage, grab a small mixing bowl and blend the spices together. Set the spice mixture aside until you’re ready to add the sausage.
After about 5 minutes, the veggies should be soft enough to add in the sliced sausages. Sprinkle the seasoning on top and then cover. Allow the flavors to blend over medium heat for around 10 minutes.
Once the main meal has been removed from the heat, I like to stir in a little olive oil to give this dish a great flavor. Don’t cook the sausages in olive oil since it turns rancid at high heats. Stirring olive oil into warmed food should be fine.
Another quick tip – this recipe is great to reheat as leftovers, so I often make a double batch.
Want another amazing sausage recipe? Try this easy keto sausage crust pizza.
Don’t forget to save this recipe to your favorite keto family friendly meals Pinterest board. Keep scrolling for the nutrition facts and recipe card.
Full disclosure: this blog may contain affiliate links where I receive a small commission (tiny, at best) – but this affiliate advertising program helps keep my healthy fat blog afloat.
I also do my best to provide my best keto tips and tricks via resource links throughout the posts with the same helpful info that’s helped me lose 100 pounds. Hopefully you click through and the blogs and videos help you too! If you find something you love, share the healthy fat love on social media to help others.
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One Pan Sausage and Peppers
A simple one pan sausage & peppers recipe that’s perfect for mixing things up on a ketogenic diet.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 25 mins
- Yield: Serves 4 1x
- Category: Keto Dinner Recipe
- Method: Stove top
- Cuisine: Keto / Low Carb
- Diet: Diabetic
- 1 lb Italian sausage links
- 1 green pepper, sliced
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp dried basil flakes
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- Slice the onions and peppers. Set aside.
- Heat the coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat
- Once very hot, add the sausage links. Cook approximately 2-3 minutes per side, or until brown on both sides. (They will not be fully cooked).
- Remove sausage from the oil and place on a cutting board. Allow sausage to cool.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low. Add minced garlic, peppers and onions to the oil. Saute until the veggies soften, approximately 5 minutes. Stir on occasion.
- Add the basil, oregano, salt and red pepper flakes to a small mixing bowl. Stir until combined.
- Slice the partially cooked sausage into 1 inch thick slices.
- Add sausage into the pan with the veggies. Top with spices and stir well.
- Cover and allow the flavors to blend over medium heat for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the olive oil.
- Serving Size: Recipe Serves 4
- Calories: 544
- Sugar: 4.7
- Fat: 47
- Saturated Fat: 19.6
- Carbohydrates: 8
- Fiber: 1.5
- Protein: 21.7
Keywords: One Pan Sausage and Peppers, Keto Sausage Recipes, Easy Keto Dinner Recipes