Spetzofai is a classic Greek dish that’s full of Mediterranean flavor. Spicy sausage combined with colorful sweet bell peppers are cooked in a hearty tomato sauce and ready in under an hour. Serve this delicious dish with some feta and bread to soak up that rich sauce and dinner is served!
Spetzofai, pronounced: Spetz-o-fa-ee is traditionally served as an appetizer and comes from the region of Mt. Pelion in Thessaly Greece. But, it can easily be the main course on any day of the week. There is so much flavor in this dish! In Greece, a lamb sausage is what is used but even nowadays that can be hard to find. So, beef can be used or your favorite sausage.
I used a beef sausage known as soutzouki. It is commonly used in Greek and Turkish cuisine. In Turkey, it’s known as sujuk. This particular sausage is sold in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern grocery stores.
Make it vegan
Yes, you read that right. If you’re craving a lighter version just swap out the sausage for eggplant. Here’s how it’s done:
- Cut 1-2 eggplants into cubes and lay them flat on a baking tray. Sprinkle both sides with salt and set them aside for 15-20 minutes.
- The eggplant will release their bitter juices so, pat them dry with a kitchen towel and then pan fry them in some oil.
- Follow the remaining steps in the written recipe to make a delicious vegan spetzofai.
Ingredients needed to make the spetzofai
- soutzouki sausage or your favorite sausage
- red, yellow, and orange bell peppers
- garlic cloves
- crushed tomatoes
- olive oil
- tomato paste
- sugar or honey
- salt & pepper
- dried oregano
- crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- bread, pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes (or a salad)
There are so many ways to serve this dish
- serve the sausage and peppers with toasted bread to soak up the rich sauce
- serve it with pasta or rice
- the spetzofai tastes great with mashed potatoes
- turn it into a pita sandwich
- serve it with a nice salad or with roasted vegetables
- serve it with some eggs for brunch
How long do the sausage and peppers stay fresh?
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Spetzofai freezes well too. Store it in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. This dish tastes good at room temperature or hot. It’s up to you.
I hope that you give this hearty dish a try and if you do please let me know your thoughts in the comments section. I will be back here soon with another delicious recipe worth sharing. na eiste kala (be well) & kali orexi (bon apetit)! -Dimitra
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- 1-pound beef or lamb sausage (1-2 eggplants to make it vegan)
- 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 and ½ pounds bell peppers, assorted colors
- 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 14 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
- Toasted bread and feta for serving
Cut the sausage into rounds (1/2 inch) and place in the pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Cook them over medium heat until golden all around and until they release their fat. About 10 minutes.
Transfer the sausage to a plate and if there’s more than a quarter cup of grease in the pan discard it some of it.
Slice the bell peppers and add to the pan. Season with a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat until soft. About 8-10 minutes.
Add the sliced garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and mix together until melted.
Place the sausage back into the pan.
Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and sugar.
Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Cover with a lid and cook until the sauce thickens. About 15 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Add dried oregano and serve with toasted bread, feta cheese, and a salad.
This dish keeps fresh in an airtight container up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Make this dish vegan by substituting eggplant cubes for the sausage. Cook them in a quarter cup of oil until soft and golden. Transfer to a plate and cook the remaining ingredients until the sauce thickens. Add the eggplant during the final 5 minutes of cooking and serve.
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