Creamy sausage pasta is made with Italian sausage, vegetables, a light and creamy homemade pasta sauce, and your favorite noodles.
Creamy Sausage Pasta
This creamy sausage pasta has a light creamy sauce. I love this simple sauce because it has a lovely flavor and a little kick of heat.
It really is comfort food, but the sauce isn’t too heavy, which is such a win-win.
The vegetables are cooked to perfection. They’re soft with just a little crunch.
The chunky ground Italian sausage pieces add a ton of flavor, and they’re such a nice change from chicken and beef.
I love delicious meals that are on the table in 30 minutes! Since it’s ready so quickly, it really is perfect for a weeknight meal.
You could even make this a one-pot meal by cooking the pasta in a Dutch oven, and then using the same Dutch oven to make the sauce and cook the veggies.
If you don’t want it to be spicy at all, this would taste just as good with honey garlic sausage and no crushed red pepper flakes.
The next time you’re wondering what to make with Italian sausage, I highly recommend making this pasta for dinner!
Pasta: I used rotini pasta in this recipe because all those grooves hold the sauce really well. You can really use any short noodle though! Just pick your favorite or whatever you happen to have on hand. Penne or bow tie pasta would be great in this dish.
Vegetables and Aromatics: We’re using onion, red bell pepper, fresh garlic, and fresh baby spinach in this dish. They all add tons of flavor, a bit of texture, and it’s a great way to get additional vegetables into your family at dinner time. You can swap the spinach for peas or cooked broccoli florets if you prefer.
Sausage: I used a mild Italian pork sausage. If you like lots of heat, feel free to use spicy sausage. If you don’t want any heat, feel free to use honey garlic sausage.
Butter: This is the fat we’re using to saute the garlic and to mix with the flour to create a roux. It adds a ton more flavor than oil, so I recommend using butter.
Flour: This is the thickening agent in this sauce, and it helps the sauce hold together and coat the noodles.
Milk: Milk adds the creamy element to the sauce base. Since we’re using milk, it really is a light and creamy sauce, which makes the crushed red pepper flakes seem a little spicier, so just be aware of that. You can swap it for half and half or heavy whipping cream if you’d like a more decadently creamy sauce.
Chicken Broth: This is the other half of the base of the sauce. Using a combination of milk and chicken broth makes the sauce creamy and super flavorful.
Spices: Italian seasoning, ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes are the spices we’re using in this dish. If you don’t want this dish to have a little spicy kick, feel free to omit the crushed red pepper flakes.
Cheese: Parmesan cheese makes the sauce creamier and full of flavor. It adds a salty umami flavor that really elevates this dish. I wouldn’t recommend swapping it for any other cheese.
How To Make Creamy Sausage Pasta
Start by cooking the pasta to al dente, according to the package instructions. In a large non-stick skillet, cook the sausage, onions, and bell peppers until they’re cooked through. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)
Melt the butter, and saute the garlic until it’s aromatic. Sprinkle the flour over top, and whisk together to make a roux.
Slowly pour in the chicken broth while whisking constantly, then repeat with the milk.
Add in the spices, and whisk to mix. Bring the sauce to a simmer to thicken.
Mix in the roughly chopped fresh baby spinach until it has wilted.
Add in the freshly grated parmesan cheese, then add in the cooked sausage crumbles.
Mix in the sausage crumbles, onion, and bell pepper.
Add in the cooked pasta, and lightly toss to coat the noodles in the sauce. Serve with a little extra fresh parmesan. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.
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If you like this recipe, be sure to check out the rest of our pasta recipes! Some reader favorites are:
- Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
- Brown Butter Sage Pasta
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
- Garlic Chicken Pasta
- Pink Sauce Pasta
- Spicy Chicken Pasta
- 4 cups dry rotini pasta
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage
- 1 medium onion (finely diced, 1 cup)
- 1 medium red bell pepper (finely diced, 1 cup)
- 3 Tablespoons butter (42 grams)
- 2 medium cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups milk*
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes**
- 8 ounces fresh baby spinach (chopped)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (plus more for garnish)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook to al dente, according to the package instructions.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the sausage and cook for 2 minutes (to get some of the grease in the pan). Add the onions and peppers, and saute until the sausage is no longer pink (about 7 minutes). Remove the sausage, peppers, and onions from the pan. Put the mixture in a covered bowl to keep it warm. Drain away any excess grease.
- Return the same skillet to the stove over medium heat. Add the butter and swirl to melt and coat the pan. Once the butter is melted, add the garlic, and stir. Saute the garlic for about 30 seconds - 1 minute (or until the garlic is aromatic). Sprinkle the flour over the top and mix together, creating a roux.
- Slowly add the chicken broth to the pan, whisking constantly until smooth. Repeat with the milk.
- Once smooth, add in the Italian seasoning, ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Turn the heat up to bring to a gentle boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the sauce has thickened (about 3-4 minutes). Since we’re using milk instead of cream, it’s important not to boil the sauce on too high of a temperature, stick with a simmer or gentle boil.
- Once the sauce has thickened, mix in the chopped spinach, and cook until the spinach has wilted (about 3 minutes).
- Stir in the parmesan cheese. Then mix in the sausage mixture, and then the cooked pasta. Toss to coat the noodles in the sauce.
- Garnish with extra parmesan if desired, then serve!
*This is a light sauce. If you're looking for a heavier or creamier sauce, I’d recommend swapping the milk for half and half or heavy whipping cream.
**Because there isn’t a high fat content in this sauce, a little spice goes a long way. If you’re sensitive to spicy flavors, you might want to omit the crushed red pepper flakes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 549Total Fat: 31.1gCarbohydrates: 42.2gFiber: 3.6gSugar: 7.2gProtein: 25.6g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
Try making this easy creamy sausage pasta recipe the next time you’re looking for a quick and delicious weeknight meal!