This Cheesy Sausage Pasta is the dish that made me fall in love with one-pot pastas all those years ago. It’s fast, easy, SUPER flavorful, and because everything cooks in one pot, there’s barely anything to clean up after dinner. WIN. The flavorful combination of smoky sausage, spicy diced tomatoes with green chiles, and creamy Monterey Jack is simple but irresistible, and it cooks in about 30 minutes. That’s a winner in my book!
What’s in Cheesy Sausage Pasta?
This recipe was inspired by an absolutely mouth-watering photo I saw on Pinterest, which was this Spicy Sausage Pasta from KevinandAmanda.com. But, of course, I made some changes to fit the ingredients I had on hand. I nixed the heavy cream in the original recipe because I figured that between the cheese and sausage, there’d be plenty of fatty goodness going on. My version ended up being rich, but not so much so that you’ll feel super weighed down. I also added fresh spinach because I have a HUGE bag in my fridge just waiting to be used up. Plus, I felt that the recipe needed a little green.
What Else Can I Add?
Some other vegetable options for this recipe are bell peppers or broccoli, both of which go great with smoked sausage. If you want to add bell peppers, dice them up and saute them with the onions in the beginning. If you want to add broccoli, cut it into very small florets and add it with the pasta so that the broccoli can simmer a little bit and soften. There are so many different ways you can take this recipe… I’m excited to hear what you come up with!
What Type of Pasta to Use
This recipe works great with any short pasta shape (bowties, penne, rotini, etc.). I originally used campanelle (my favorite frilly flower shaped pasta), but I couldn’t find any this time around so I decided to go with wide egg noodles. One note: If you are using regular pasta (not egg noodles, which are a little more delicate), you may need slightly more broth.
Can I Use a Different Cheese?
I particularly love Monterey Jack cheese for this recipe because it melts into a super creamy texture that kind of mixes into the sauce for a super creamy finish…without adding any cream. Other cheeses will also taste great, but they probably won’t have the same creamy finish. You can try cheddar, mozzarella (aim for whole milk mozzarella instead of part-skim), or even a sprinkle of crumbled feta. And remember, pre-shredded cheese won’t melt nearly as well as cheese you shred yourself! ;)
Cheesy Sausage Pasta
- 1 yellow onion ($0.38)
- 7 oz. smoked sausage ($1.75)
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
- 1 10oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel) ($1.00)
- 8 oz. wide egg noodles* ($1.40)
- 1.5 cups chicken broth ($0.20)
- 3 cups fresh spinach ($0.85)
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack ($1.25)
- 1 green onion, sliced ($0.20)
- Dice the onion and slice the sausage into rounds.
- Add the cooking oil and sausage to a large skillet and cook over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. If there is excess fat in the skillet, drain it off before moving to the next step.
- Add the onions to the skillet with the sausage and continue to sauté until the onions have softened. Allow the moisture from the onions to dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.
- Add the diced tomatoes with green chiles (with juices), uncooked pasta, and chicken broth. Stir until everything is evenly combined. It's okay if the broth does not fully cover the pasta.
- Place a lid on the skillet and allow the broth to come up to a boil. When it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the pasta simmer for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Stir the pasta occasionally, replacing the lid each time.
- Once the pasta is cooked and only a small amount of saucy liquid remains, it's time to add the spinach to the skillet. Gently stir the fresh spinach into the pasta, allowing the residual heat to wilt the spinach.
- Once the spinach has wilted, top the pasta with Monterey Jack cheese. Place the lid back on the skillet and let the pasta heat over low until the cheese is melted and creamy.
- Sprinkle the sliced green onions over top just before serving.
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How to Make Cheesy Sausage Pasta – Step By Step Photos
Dice one yellow onion and slice about 7oz. smoked sausage (half of a 14oz. link—you can freeze the rest!) into medallions.
Add the sausage and 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet and cook over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. If there’s a lot of excess fat in the skillet, drain it off before proceeding to the next step.
Add the onions to the skillet with the sausage and continue to sauté until the onions have softened. Allow the moisture from the onions to dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.
Add one 10oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (like Rotel), 8 oz. pasta, and 1.5 cups chicken broth. If you’re using regular pasta (not egg noodles), increase to 2 cups broth.
Stir everything together until well combined. Place a lid on the skillet and allow the broth to come up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the pasta simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally (replacing the lid each time). Make sure the broth maintains a simmer.
While the pasta is cooking, shred about 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese and slice one green onion. When the pasta is tender and only a small amount of saucy liquid remains in the skillet, it’s time to add the spinach.
Add about three packed cups of fresh spinach to the skillet and carefully stir until the hot pasta wilts the spinach.
Add one cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese on top of the pasta. Place the lid on the skillet and let it heat over low for a few minutes, or just until the cheese is melted and creamy.
Top the finished pasta with the sliced green onions and serve hot!
Soooo cheeessyyyy. 🤤