This creamy Italian sausage pasta is coated in a light, garlic, cheesy cream sauce and filled with Italian sausage, mushrooms and spinach. It's the one pan recipe that will be your new favorite weeknight dinner.
Consider this the sequel to this sausage and broccoli pasta recipe. That was and still is, a repeat recipe when we have busy weeks or a limited amount of time to make dinner. After making it easily 100 times (hardly an exaggeration), I decided to pull together a new recipe for some variety.
Why You'll Love This Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta
- It's a one pan dinner
- Comforting & Satisfying
- The cream sauce isn't too heavy
- Easy to make
- On the table in about 35 minutes
Tell Me About This Dinner Recipe
- Flavor: The flavor is perfectly balanced— it's seasoned with thyme and garlic, but isn't too overpowering. While this pasta recipe does have a cream sauce, it's very light and gets it's flavor from all the ingredients cooking together.
- Ease: A goal of mine for one pan recipes is simplicity. While the first step does require you to sauté the sausage, onion, mushrooms and spices together, it's a hands-off recipe after that.
- Time: From start to finish this dinner recipe takes about 35 minutes depending on the type of pasta that you use. See recipe notes for pasta options.
Ingredients For Italian Sausage Pasta
- Sausage: You can use either regular sausage or turkey sausage— either work perfect for this recipe.
- Pasta: Depending on the type of pasta that you use, it will depend on the cook time. I prefer to use either rigatoni or penne as it fits best in the pan.
- Onion: The onion adds more flavor as it caramelizes.
- Mushrooms: Any type of mushrooms work for this recipe. I prefer baby bella mushrooms so that's what I used.
- Spinach: Any type of spinach will work for this recipe.
- Chicken Broth: The chicken broth is not only used to cook the pasta but also to add another layer of flavor.
- Heavy Cream: Just a little bit of heavy cream is needed help create a creamy sauce.
- Parmesan Cheese: Just a little bit of the cheese adds flavor.
- Garlic & Thyme: The combination of these provide extreme flavor.
- Salt & Pepper: More flavor.
- Lemon: Just a touch of lemon at the end adds a bit of freshness.
Overview: How To Make This One Pan Recipe
If you've tried my other one pan dinners then you know how easy and quick this sausage pasta will be.
- Sauté the Sausage: You want to almost cook the sausage entirely, breaking it up as it cooks. This takes about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the Onion, Mushrooms, Garlic & Spices: When the sausage is almost cooked, add in the onions, mushrooms, garlic and spices. This will allow the flavors to develop.
- Add the Chicken Broth: Stir in the chicken broth, while gently rubbing the bottom of the pan to lift up the flavor bits. Bring it to a boil— just as you would water for pasta.
- Add the Pasta: Stir in the pasta and cover the pot with a lid. Give the pasta a stir every few minutes.
- Add the Heavy Cream, Cheese & Spinach: Once the pasta is just about cooked, stir in the heavy cream, cheese and spinach.
- Finish with Lemon: Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the pot. Give it a stir.
One Pan Dinner Success Tips
- Large Pan: You want to make sure you have a large enough pan to hold all the ingredients. You want the ability to be able to stir the ingredients together without them pouring out. I recommend using a dutch oven or similar pan in size.
- Allow the Chicken Both to Boil: Just like you bring water to a boil before you add the pasta, it's crucial that you do the same for the chicken broth.
- Don't Add the Heavy Cream Too Early: Make sure you follow the recipe instructions and add the heavy cream in with the cheese and spinach. If you add it with the chicken broth it can curdle.
One Pan Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage, sweet or spicy
- 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 (6 ounce) bag baby spinach
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 pound rigatoni pasta
- In a large pot, like a dutch oven, cook the sausage over medium-high heat. As the sausage starts to cook, break it up with a spatula until almost cooked— about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the onions, mushrooms, thyme and garlic.
- Stir in the chicken broth, while gently rubbing the bottom of the pan with a spatula to lift up the flavor bits. Bring to a boil, just as you would water for pasta. Once boiling, stir in the pasta and cover the pot with a lid. The cook time will vary depending on the type of pasta that is used, for penne it's about 11-13 minutes.
- Once the pasta is cooked stir in the heavy cream, parmesan cheese and spinach. Then, add the lemon juice. Serve immedately. Garnish with parmesan cheese, if desired.
- The pasta stays fresh for up to 1 week when stored in the refrigerator.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The sausage mixture can be cooked up to 2 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. The day of, start at step 2. This recipe can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat as desired.
- Sausage: You can use Italian sweet or spicy regular sausage or turkey sausage.
- Chicken Broth: Using the chicken broth provides more flavor. If you don't have it on hand, you can use water. You might need to add a bit more salt at the end.
- Cheese: If you need this recipe to be dairy-free you can omit this.
- Heavy Cream: Any type of milk works— I’ve used dairy-free milks too, typically oat milk.
- Pasta: This recipe works best with a short pasta like penne, rotini or rigatoni. The cook time will vary depending on the pasta that you use.