Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Baby Arugula Salad with Turkey Italian Sausage and Red Pepper Strips (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

Baby Arugula Salad with Italian Sausage and Red Pepper Strips reminds me of one of my favorite pasta dishes.

Baby Arugula Salad with Italian Sausage and Red Pepper Strips found on

I'm trying to get better about using up little bits of things that are in the fridge, and a few weeks ago I found myself with just two links of spicy turkey Italian Sausage and no idea how to use it.  I sat down in my office chair and paged through a few cookbooks and quickly spotted a recipe for Spinach Salad with Italian Sausage in Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh.  I didn't have spinach, but I had one of those little tubs of baby arugula, and since I love Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and Arugula, I thought maybe a salad with baby arugula and Italian sausage might be a winner as well.  If you're a fan of arugula, I promise this Baby Arugula Salad with Turkey Italian Sausage and Red Pepper Strips is really wonderful; I thought all the flavors here were perfect together.

Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, and squeeze the hot turkey Italian sausage out of the links into the pan.  (If you have pre-cooked turkey Italian Sausage, you could cut it into small pieces and brown.)

If you have an old-fashioned potato masher like this one, it's a good way to break the sausage apart into little pieces.  Cook the sausage until it's browned well.

If the arugula isn't as crisp as you'd like, soak it in the salad spinner in VERY COLD water for a few minutes.

Cut half of a red bell pepper into thin strips.

Whisk together sherry vinegar, Dijon, and olive oil to make the dressing.  (If you don't have sherry vinegar, white wine vinegar will work.)

Spin the arugula well to get it as dry as you can.

Put the arugula in a bowl and toss with the dressing.

Then put the arugula into a serving bowl, top with the cooked Italian sausage pieces and red pepper strips, season with fresh-ground black pepper and a little salt, and serve right away!

Baby Arugula Salad with Turkey Italian Sausage and Red Pepper Strips
(Makes about 2 whole-meal salads; recipe adapted from Spinach Salad with Italian Sausage in Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh.)

2 links raw turkey Italian sausage, hot or mild (about 8 oz. sausage)
2 tsp. olive oil
5 oz. baby arugula
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into short thin strips
fresh-ground black pepper and salt to taste

Dressing Ingredients:
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. garlic paste (from a jar or tube)
2 T sherry vinegar (or white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar will work)
1 T olive oil (or slightly more if you prefer a less vinegary dressing)

Heat the 2 tsp. olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan, and squeeze the sausage out of the casings into the pan.  Cook over medium high heat, breaking the sausage apart, until the sausage is completely cooked through and slightly browned, about 5-7 minutes.  (I like to use a potato masher to break up the sausage as it cooks.)

While the sausage cooks, check the crispness of your arugula.  If it's not as crisp as you'd like, put it in a salad spinner and cover with VERY COLD water.  Let the arugula soak 2-3 minutes, then drain and spin until it's very dry.  Cut the red bell pepper in half, save half for another use and cut the other half into short, thin strips.

Whisk together the Dijon, garlic paste, vinegar, and olive oil to make the dressing.  Put the dried arugula into a bowl and toss with the dressing.  (You may not want all the dressing if you don't like your salads too wet.)  Transfer the dressed arugula to a serving bowl (or individual bowls) and top with the browned turkey Italian Sausage and red pepper strips.

If you'd prefer more of a wilted salad, you can remove the cooked sausage from the frying pan and heat the dressing, scraping the bottom to get any sausage bits; then pour the hot dressing over the arugula.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Everything in this recipe is a delicious low-glycemic ingredient, and this is a perfect salad for any phase of the South Beach Diet.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Deliciousness with Turkey Italian Sausage:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

Pasta with Hot Italian Sausage, Kale, Garlic, and Red Pepper Flakes ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Bow Tie Pasta and Italian Turkey Sausage Skillet Meal ~ Coupon Clipping Cook

Casserole with Brown Rice, Ground Turkey, Green Pepper, Mushrooms, and Feta ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Sausage and Kale ~ Simply Recipes

Phase One Stuffed Peppers with Italian Sausage, Ground Beef, and Mozzarella ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Hot or Mild Turkey Italian Sausage Meatballs with Fennel-Mustard Sauce ~ The Perfect Pantry

Pasta with Sausage and Collard Greens ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

CrockPot Italian Sloppy Joe ~ Skinnytaste

Grilled Sausage and Summer Squash with Herbs, Capers, and Kalamata Olives ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Lentil and Sausage Stew ~ Budget Bytes

(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. This salad looks wonderful, Kalyyn, I really need to do the same and get better about using up what I already have crowding my fridge. I think baby arugula is way better than spinach, anyway!

  2. Sue, if only I was half as good about using up all the food in the fridge as I am at getting infatuated with things at the grocery store and stocking up!

    Totally agree about the arugula. Spinach is okay, but arugula is great!

  3. You know, I don't think I've ever thought to put crumbled sausage in a salad before! This is such a great idea for a hearty dinner on a hot day, especially with plenty of spicy arugula. :)

  4. Eileen, glad you like it. Not sure I would have thought of it either without the cookbook, but it sure did work!

  5. I always feel so frugal when I use up the bits and pieces in the fridge, and like this salad, something special always results.

  6. Lydia I am trying to do it much more often!

  7. Kalyn, I must respectfully, and somewhat bashfully tell you that I find your photos a bit too brightly colored to appear realistic. The reds are too red, the greens are too green...and I think a more gentle touch with the colors would make the dishes more appealing. Just my opinion.

  8. Joyce, you may be right but every computer monitor is calibrated differently, so they may not look the same to me as they do to you. Not sure what I can do about that. I have to edit the way it looks good on my monitor. But I always appreciate honest feedback.

  9. Waiting on the arugula to sprout in the garden :)

    This recipe looks awesome!!!



  10. Tess, lucky you; nothing better than fresh-picked arugula!

  11. What a great combination! I do something like this on a pizza, and this will be much healthier. I love your pictures, by the way. They are one of the things that attracted me to your recipes.

  12. DLAOKC, thanks, and glad you like it!

  13. I have a delicious italian sausage pasta recipe that my family loves. I should make my plate with Aragula next time instead of pasta. I love the idea!

  14. Helene, I thought the combo of Italian Sausage + arugula was really a good one!


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