Italian Sausage Pasta
Creamy Italian sausage pasta is easy to make and super delicious. It's made with spicy or mild (your choice!) Italian sausage cooked in a creamy tomato sauce. You'll love it!
Serve this Italian sausage pasta with a green salad tossed in our lemon salad dressing and a side of no yeast bread.
Italian sausage pasta
This easy dinner recipe is sure to become your family's favorite. The creamy tomato sauce has tons of flavor thanks to Italian sausages, a little white wine, and some tomato paste that gets sweet and caramelized when it's cooked.
And even though it's a real treat to eat, it's super fast and easy to make. In just 25 minutes, you can sit at the table (or stand at the stovetop) and dig into this creamy Italian sausage pasta for dinner.
How to make this Italian sausage pasta recipe
This is a wonderfully simple recipe that is perfect for a weeknight dinner. Here's how to make it:
- Start by cooking the Italian sausage, onion, and garlic.
- Then add tomato paste and white wine or stock to the pan.
- Now add the canned tomatoes and cream cheese and season the sauce with salt and pepper.
- All that is left is to add the cooked pasta and spinach to the pan and dinner is ready!
Full recipe instructions in the recipe card below.
How to cook Italian sausage for pasta
We like to remove the casing (the wrapper) from the sausage then use a wooden spoon to break it apart as it cooks. When cooked this way you can easily control how big or small you want the pieces to be. Break them up a little and you'll have big chunks; break them up a lot and you'll have a texture similar to ground beef.
But it is also delicious sliced into chunks either before or after you cook it. Slicing the sausage before cooking it will give you bigger pieces. If you cook the whole sausage first then you'll be able to slice it into thin pieces.
Variations to try
We love the recipe exactly as written, but it's also fun to play around with. Here are a few add-ins you can try:
- Sautéed bell peppers
- Kale instead of spinach
- Cooked mushrooms
What to serve with Italian sausage pasta
This recipe is easily a meal by itself. But if you'd like to add a side dish, a salad is a great option. Here are a few we like:
- A simple arugula salad with lemon salad dressing
- Roasted Green Salad
- Bacon Kale Caesar Salad
- Asparagus Salad with Balsamic Glaze
Or serve Italian sausage pasta as a side to one of these mains
- Roasted Parmesan Crusted Chicken
- Juicy Baked Chicken Thighs
- 8 Minute Baked Salmon
- Juiciest Baked Pork Tenderloin
- Baked Fish with Lemon Garlic Butter
Recipes using Italian sausage
Try these popular pasta recipes
Italian Sausage Pasta Recipe
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
- 8 ounces penne, or other short pasta. gluten-free, if needed
- 2 Italian sausages, casings removed (mild or spicy, your choice)
- 1 small onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup white wine or chicken stock
- 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 4 ounces cream cheese, can be light
- ½ teaspoon EACH: salt and pepper, more to taste
- 3 ounces baby spinach
- Grated parmesan, to serve
- Cook the penne in a large pot of salted water according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water then drain the pot.8 ounces penne
- Add the sausage, onion, and garlic to a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook, crumbling the sausages with a spoon, until the sausages are cooked, about 6-7 minutes.2 Italian sausages, 1 small onion, 3 cloves garlic
- Add the tomato paste to the pan and stir it into the sausages. Let it caramelize for 2-3 minutes then add the wine or stock to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom to release any flavorful bits that are stuck on.2 tablespoons tomato paste, ½ cup white wine or chicken stock
- Add the crushed tomatoes and cream cheese and simmer the sauce, stirring a few times, until the cream cheese has melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.14 ounce can crushed tomatoes, 4 ounces cream cheese, ½ teaspoon EACH: salt and pepper
- Add the cooked penne and spinach and stir them into the sauce. Add a little of the reserved cooking water to loosen the sauce, if needed.3 ounces baby spinach, Grated parmesan
This recipe is part of our Valentine's Day Dinner Ideas series.
Definitely repeat! Doubled for 10 people.
I’m giving this recipe an absolute 5 but I did make the minor adjustment of adding more garlic than what is listed in the ingredients because we like a lot of garlic. Nothing else was modified. That being said this dish was a hit in our house even with the picky eater. I’ll be making it again in the future. Thanks for sharing Kristen!
Just made this and loved it! Subbed cream cheese for ricotta and it was delicious
Great recipe! Will be making again!
I found your recipe after searching for what to make with the few things I had in the kitchen last night. So happy that I found this recipe! I’ll make it again even when I have more ingredients on hand. It was great!
Kristen I just love all your recipes – I don’t use all of them but have used many. They are so accessible and the ingredients, at least for me, are mostly pantry ready. Thank you for your wonderful blog and your great ideas!
Thank you so much! You just made my day!