Traditional Spetsofai (Spetzofai) Recipe - Spicy Greek Sausages with Peppers and Tomato sauce

Traditional Spetsofai (Spetzofai) Recipe – Spicy Greek Sausages with Peppers and Tomato sauce

Posted in Appetizer & Meze, Beginner, Fried, Main Courses, Mainland Greece, Our hand picked recipes, Sunday family meal ideas, Traditional Greek Taverna Recipes, Weekend family meal ideas Originally published on Last updated on By

A rustic spicy Greek dish made with thick country sausages and peppers in a rich tomato sauce.. Perfect over a glass of red wine or tsipouro! Paired with salty kefalotyri cheese or tangy feta, lots of crusty bread, to dig in all the delicious sauce, it is guaranteed to warm you up during the cold winter’s days. Spetsofai is a Greek dish, one can find in many variations. The famous spetsofai from Pelio contains aubergines, while in most areas, it is prepared with green or multicoloured mild bell peppers, or spicy peppers hot enough to make your eyes tear! (If using mild sausages, spice it up with  some red hot chilli peppers and hot paprika and be generous with the seasoning. If using spicy and salty sausages, then use mild peppers and watch out the seasoning.) Enjoy!


  • 4 spicy country sausages, sliced
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 sweet red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • a cup of water
  • 4-5 tbsps olive oil
  • a glass of red wine
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 2 chili peppers (optional)
  • a pinch of paprika
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. To prepare this delicious Greek dish, place a saucepan over high heat, add one tbsp of olive oil and sauté the sausages, until nicely coloured. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen paper and leave them aside.
  2. Into the same pan, add the rest of the olive oil, the chopped onion and season with freshly ground pepper; sauté for a minute. Add the garlic and tomato puree and sauté for one more minute. Add the peppers and continue sautéing.
  3. Deglaze with the red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan, with all the delicacies, and wait for it to evaporate. Then add the sugar, the canned tomatoes, a cup of water, the herbs and spices, turn the heat down to medium and cook for 25-30 minutes with the lid on, until the peppers tenderise.
  4. Add the sausages and cook a little bit longer, until the sauce thickens. Check for seasoning; if  you’re using too spicy or salty sausages, you’ll probably won’t need to add any salt or pepper.
  5. Serve while still hot with some crusty bread aside or as a main dish with basmati rice. Enjoy!

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  1. What specifically are “Spicy Country Sausages”? What brand would I look for?

    • Depends where you are shopping at. In Greece these are branded as traditional Greek sausages and are flavoured depending on their origin (Ipiros etc). Abroad, your best bet would be a local greek deli to get the original saucages – alternatively you can try any sausage that you really fancy, but be mindful that it needs to be spicy (not in the hot sense but with a lot of spices) to bring out the flavour on this dish



    • I know it’s a little late but I just found this recipe. The only place I could find country sausages in the UK is here

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  3. O Kyrios Don says:

    I usually use hot, mild or sweet Italian sausage and throw the zest of half an orange into the sauce then jazz it up with some crushed red (pizza) pepper and a pinch of oregano. If you’re doing this in the US where sugar is generally added to canned tomatoes at the factory, I suggest leaving out the sugar, you can always add it later if you like.
    Leftover spetsofai also makes a KILLER sandwich on a toasted, hollowed-out, crusty, French roll or baguette! Be careful to not make it too sloppy with too much of the sauce, though.

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  5. Wendy Allmark says:

    My family love this recipe.

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