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Air Fryer Sausage

Cooking sausage in the air fryer is the easiest, quickest and most hands-off method there is for perfectly juicy, golden brown Italian sausages.

Whether you serve the air fried sausage as is, in a bun, over pasta or in a classic sausage and peppers preparation, you’ll never want to make it any other way again!

Perfectly golden brown, crispy Italian sausage cooked in the air fryer.

Thinking back to air fryer tofu, the first recipe I made in the air fryer, I definitely didn’t think I’d have the relationship I do today with this countertop kitchen appliance.

I was sure it’d be good for just a handful of uses and end up in the basement on a shelf for most of the year.

Well, I was wrong.

And if making these sausages in the air fryer isn’t evidence of just how wrong I was, I don’t know what is.

Air fryer sausage is not some genius, original idea.

Let’s face it, it’s just sausage links cooked in an air fryer. No other ingredients.

But, what it is is the confirmation that yes, you can cook sausage in an air fryer in literally just minutes and it comes out perfect.

When I say perfect I mean a beautiful crispy golden brown exterior with a juicy, succulent center.

The same applies to cooking brats in the air fryer in case you prefer those to sausage.

Maybe that’s a bit graphic or over the top way to explain a cooked sausage but face it, it’s exactly how you want your sausage cooked.

Uncooked pork sausage links on a plate before air frying.

CAN YOU COOK SAUSAGE IN AN AIR FRYER?

Considering sausage is something most throw on the grill, stew in a sauce or sauté in skillet (how I mostly grew up eating it), it’s a fair question to wonder if it can be made in an air fryer.

So when I knew I wanted to make sausage and peppers for dinner recently, I decided to test it out.

And once again, the air fryer basically blew me away with its capabilities.

The answer is not only yes, you can cook sausage links in an air fryer, but they come out PERFECT.

The texture is spot on, the cook time is just 10 minutes (give or take a minute or two on either side) and it’s a completely hands-off cooking method.

Doesn’t get better than that.

Sausage links on a tray in air fryer before cooking.

HOW TO COOK SAUSAGE IN THE AIR FRYER

To make sausage in the air fryer whether it’s sausage links, sausage patties or the longer sausage coil, all you need is the sausage itself.

For this recipe I’m using Italian sausage but any seasoning type will work and any type of meat.

Whether it’s pork, turkey, chicken, or lamb sausage, this same air fryer method can be used.

You can use uncooked sausage or fully cooked sausage, interestingly the cooking times are just about the same for either.

Simply place thawed sausage links in the air fryer either in the basket or on the trays.

Make sure the sausage is in a single layer so the air fryer can work its convection magic allowing the air to flow all around the sausage as it cooks creating that perfectly “fried” texture.

HOW LONG TO COOK SAUSAGES IN THE AIR FRYER

Air fry at 400°F for 10-12 minutes.

Sausages should be golden brown on the outside and have reached an internal temperature of 160°F (if cooking from raw) on the inside for a juicy cooked center.

If you’re starting with fully cooked sausage, the internal temperature doesn’t matter, you’re just looking for the desired color.

Crispy golden brown air fried sausage links on the tray in the air fryer.

TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST AIR FRIED SAUSAGE

  • Don’t pierce holes in the sausage – you’re not cooking a potato! Piercing holes in the sausage (as many recipes say to do) only lets all the juices seep out while air frying. Why would you want to do that?! You’ll end up with a mess in the bottom of your air fryer and dry sausage. No bueno.
  • If you want to avoid any potential smoking (this doesn’t happen excessively for me but can when you’re air frying something higher in fat like sausages), place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of your air fryer to catch the drippings. It’ll make clean up a little easier too. I do this with air fryer cod sometimes too to catch the butter and lemon topping that drips off the sides.
  • Air fry as many sausages as you can fit! To make enough for a larger crowd or to simply have delicious leftovers, you can air fry as many sausages as you can fit in one layer in your air fryer. For oven model types like I have that’s probably about 8-10. For basket models, maybe 5-8.
Air fryer Italian sausage served with peppers and onions on a plate.

WHY COOK SAUSAGE IN THE AIR FRYER?

The old me would’ve thought making the protein component to a meal in the air fryer while cooking everything else another way was wasteful and just resulted in more clean up.

Well, I’ve pivoted from that point of view.

True, sometimes, like if you’re making a sheet pan meal, it wouldn’t make sense to use the air fryer.

And I do love sheet pan meals like sheet pan BBQ tofu and vegetables and sheet pan maple mustard chicken especially this time of year.

But, if it’s a case of using the grill or oven to cook the sausage separate from the rest of the meal, this is when the air fryer not only makes sense but becomes the best method available.

Compared to a traditional oven, there’s no pre-heating time required.

Compared to grilling, there’s no attention needed while the sausage cooks.

The air-fryer not only makes the quickest work of cooking the sausages but does so in a way that frees up your time and mental capacity to cook the rest of the meal!

And, the resulting air fried sausage tastes the best of all the cooking approaches!

Win, win.

Sausage cooked in the air fryer served with peppers, onions and garlic.

HOW TO SERVE AIR FRIED SAUSAGE

If it’s summer, maybe you’re inclined to just throw a perfectly cooked air fryer sausage in a bun. I say go for it.

As long as you’re putting some mustard and kraut on it and not ketchup that is.

Other ways to enjoy the crispy golden brown sausage is with some sautéed peppers, onions and garlic like seen here for a quick and easy dinner. I love this meal served with some rice. It’s also a great one for meal prepping.

Or, slice it and throw it over some pasta.

Pesto spaghetti squash makes a great “pasta” base as does serving it with red lentil pasta or even air fryer cauliflower gnocchi.

Since we’re headed into fall right now, I’ll be enjoying it with this creamy pumpkin garlic pasta in the near future!

Alternatively, make your entire meal in the air fryer and serve the sausage alongside some easy air fried frozen broccoli, air fryer okra or, air fryer mushrooms.

How to cook Italian sausage in the air fryer in just 10 minutes to a perfectly crispy golden brown exterior and juicy center.

I hope you give this method a shot next time you’re about to cook sausage, I think you’ll love it!

For more like this, check out all my air fryer recipes.

Air fryer sausage

Air Fryer Sausage

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 11 minutes

Cooking sausage in the air fryer is the easiest method for juicy, golden brown Italian sausages in just 10 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 4-5 Italian sausage links (*see note)
  • parchment paper (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place sausage links on the trays or in the basket of air fryer. Line bottom of the air fryer with parchment paper if using to catch any grease.
  2. Air fry at 400°F for 10-12 minutes until golden brown on the outside and juicy in the center. For uncooked sausages, internal temperature should be 160°F when fully cooked. Serve hot as desired.

Notes

*Sausages can be cooked or uncooked, cooking time will still be 10-12 minutes regardless.

**Any kind of sausage links (pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, etc.) can be used.

***Feel free to cook as many sausage links as your air fryer can fit in a single layer. For oven models with trays, you can likely fit 8-10. Basket model air fryers may be slightly less.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 323Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 697mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 18g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Please leave a comment & rating below or share a photo on Instagram and tag @runningtothekitchen

Natalie

Monday 27th of September 2021

I made this today for lunch. The sausages turned out perfect. Thanks.

Michelle

Monday 27th of September 2021

Such an easy and delicious way to prepare sausage, love that crisp texture from the casings!

Tara Teaspoon

Monday 27th of September 2021

I don't use my air fryer much, but these sausages looked too good not to try! They came out juicy and cooker to perfection!

Toni

Monday 27th of September 2021

I love how easy you can make this! Thanks for sharing!

Beth Sachs

Monday 27th of September 2021

Some great tips for cooking sausages in the air fyer!

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