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Italian Sausage and Pepper Pasta

It’s not out of the ordinary to use Italian sausage when making a meat sauce. However, the purpose of this sausage and pepper pasta dish isn’t to come away with sauce to use on other dishes. It’s a hearty, one-dish dinner in its own right. Even better, it allows you to get dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.

A plate of sausage and pepper pasta, garnished with parsley, served on a wooden table.
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Italian Sausage and Pepper Pasta

This Italian sausage and pepper pasta recipe is an amazing, tasty, quick and easy dinner. The amount of flavor this dish has is incredible.

Involves mixing the Italian sausage with roasted red peppers that you make into a yummy sauce, plus garlic chicken broth, milk, cream cheese, spinach, parmesan cheese and pasta. So, it is creamy and delicious.

Also, we’ve tried it with meat-substitute sausage. Between Beyond Meat and Impossible, we find that the Impossible plant-based sausages are the best. Not only do they taste closest to the real thing but also they crumble and have the same texture as traditional Italian sausage. Side note: try them on the grill like brats. Then serve in a bun with mustard. Chef’s kiss, delish!

Ingredients Overview

Ingredients for a sausage and pepper pasta dish with spinach, and a creamy tomato sauce displayed on a kitchen counter.

Steps to make this sausage and peppers pasta dish

You will have to do a little bit of prep to get all of the ingredients ready to cook. For example, with the roasted red peppers we call for, it is better if you put them through the food processor first so they are in smaller chunks. Also, with the Italian sausage, you’re looking at ground sausage, not links in their casings. Now onto the cooking steps.

In a large pot add the oil, garlic and sausage and cook over medium to high heat until the sausage is cooked and browned.

Raw ground sausage with spices and pepper in a frying pan.
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Add in the chicken broth, milk, puréed red pepper, pasta, salt and pepper and stir. If the pasta isn’t fully covered you can add 1/4 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of chicken broth.

A pot containing uncooked pasta, tomato sauce, sausage, pepper, and other ingredients, being prepared for cooking.
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Bring to a boil and cover and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 12 minutes. Once the pasta has cooked add the spinach.

Fresh spinach leaves added to a pan of cooked chickpeas and pepper.
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Stir until it’s hot and spinach has wilted. Add in the cream cheese and Parmesan.

A pan full of cooked pasta mixed with tomato sauce, spinach, sausage, and pepper, topped with a dollop of cream and grated cheese.
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Stir these last ingredients to combine and melt everything. This is what your pot will look like at the end.

A skillet full of creamy tomato pasta with spinach and sausage.
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Remove from heat and serve!

A fork lifting a cheesy noodle garnished with herbs above a plate of macaroni and cheese with sausage and pepper pasta in the background.
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Tips and Tricks

As I mentioned earlier, if you’re looking to make a meat-free version, you can try ground Italian sausage from Impossible Meats. Beyond Meat also has one though we prefer the Impossible brand.

If you’re cooking with regular sausage, you have a couple of options, based on the flavor and heat you want. For example, for something more spicy you can go with hot ground sausage instead of Italian. Speaking of spice, you could always add some red pepper flakes.

Earlier I mentioned that you need to puree the roasted red peppers before adding them to this recipe. It’s best to drain the juice or liquid from the container first and then put the peppers in the food processor. If you leave the liquid in, your sauce will be too soupy and won’t thicken up as shown.

Finally, we used elbow pasta in this version. You can try any small pasta that is good at holding sauce. Tortellini would be terrific if you want to add another level of flavor to this one-pot dish. Even bowtie pasta could work, too.

Creamy sausage and macaroni cheese garnished with parsley on a white plate.
Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

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A close-up of a bowl of sausage and pepper pasta with a creamy tomato sauce garnished with fresh parsley.

Italian Sausage and Pepper Pasta

It's not out of the ordinary to use Italian sausage when making a meat sauce. However, the purpose of this sausage and pepper pasta dish isn't to come away with sauce to use on other dishes. It's a hearty, one-dish dinner in its own right. Even better, it allows you to get dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.
This Italian sausage and pepper pasta recipe is an amazing, tasty, quick and easy dinner. The amount of flavor this dish has is incredible.
Involves mixing the Italian sausage with roasted red peppers that you make into a yummy sauce, plus garlic chicken broth, milk, cream cheese, spinach, parmesan cheese and pasta. So, it is creamy and delicious.
Also, we've tried it with meat-substitute sausage. Between Beyond Meat and Impossible, we find that the Impossible plant-based sausages are the best. Not only do they taste closest to the real thing but also they crumble and have the same texture as traditional Italian sausage.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Dinner, Entree
Cuisine Italian
Servings 5
Calories 746 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound Italian sausage, ground You can substitute another kind of sausage, based on your preferences. Or you can use a plant-based sausage, such as Impossible or Beyond.
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil This is to coat the pan.
  • 1 1/2 cups milk If you'd like to lower the fat content, you can go with 2% or skim milk. Conversely, if you'd like a fuller fat mouth feel, substitute cream.
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth If you're making a meat-free version of this dish, use vegetable stock instead.
  • 16 ounces roasted red peppers, drained Drain the liquid before pureeing.
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups baby spinach This will wilt to a much smaller quantity.
  • 12 ounces pasta Choose your favorite pasta. Because this is cooking in one pot, you may want to choose small pasta shapes, such as elbow.

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot add the oil, garlic and sausage and cook over medium to high heat until the sausage is cooked and browned.
  • Add in the chicken broth, milk, puréed red pepper, pasta, salt and pepper and stir. If the pasta isn’t fully covered you can add an additional 1/4 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of chicken broth.
  • Bring to a boil and cover and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 12 minutes.
  • Once the pasta has cooked add the spinach. Stir until it’s hot and wilted.
  • Add in the cream cheese and Parmesan and stir to combine and melt everything.
  • Remove from heat and serve.

Notes

Tips and Tricks
  • If you’d like to lower the fat content, you can go with 2% or skim milk. Conversely, if you’d like a fuller fat mouth feel, substitute cream.
  • You can substitute another kind of sausage, based on your preferences. Or you can use a plant-based sausage, such as Impossible or Beyond.
  • If you’re making a meat-free version of this dish, use vegetable stock instead.
  • Choose your favorite pasta. Because this is cooking in one pot, you may want to choose small pasta shapes, such as elbow.
  • Three cups of baby spinach may seem like too much spinach. But trust us: it will wilt to a much smaller amount.

Nutrition

Calories: 746kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 31gFat: 41gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 2606mgPotassium: 793mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 2740IUVitamin C: 49mgCalcium: 286mgIron: 3mg

Disclaimer

Please note that nutrient values, if included with the recipe, are estimates only. Variations can occur due to product availability/substitution and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of origin, preparation, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.

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