This cheesy Smoked Sausage Pasta recipe is quick and easy. With only one pan and everyday pantry ingredients, it makes a perfect lower-fat healthy dinner for a busy weeknight.
😊Why you will love this recipe.
A great-tasting smoked sausage recipe with pasta made in one-pan in only 30 minutes from start to finish, nobody is waiting for dinner.
This is a light version and fits well in healthy diets like low-caloric diets and low-fat diets. If made using full-fat products, one serving is 562 calories and 36 grams fat. By switching to lower-fat products, one serving is 374 calories and 12.5 grams fat.
A skinny version of an American Test Kitchen Spicy Sausage Pasta recipe (subscription required) from their The Best Simple Recipes cookbook. I lowered the fat by using turkey smoked sausage and substituted low-fat sour cream for the heavy cream.
Check out some other must-try easy casserole dishes, 30 Minute Cheesy Jambalaya, Chili Mac and Cheese, and Cheesy American Goulash. Or if you are ready for some Italian, see Baked Chicken Spaghetti, Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage, and Chicken Baked Ziti.
👨🍳How to Make Smoked Sausage Pasta
- Slice precooked turkey smoked sausage, kielbasa, or chorizo into ¼ inch thick disks. Chop the medium onion also.
- Over medium-high heat in a large oven-safe skillet, cook the sausage and onion until the onion is clearing and the sausage is browning.
- To the sausage mixture, add chicken broth, drained diced tomatoes or RoTel, sour cream, and spices. Bring to a boil and add uncooked pasta.
- Simmer until pasta is tender. Mix in a little cheese. Top with more cheese and brown under a broiler.
- Serving sprinkled with sliced scallions.
Sausage: I suggest turkey smoked sausage, which provides excellent taste and decreases the fat. Any sausage can be used, but it should be thoroughly cooked before being used in this recipe if uncooked.
Pasta: The pasta is cooked in the spicy sauce in the dish. Use a bite-sized standard commercial-type pasta and cook until tender. I used bowtie pasta, but something like penne pasta would be good. If you want to use a non-standard type of pasta, you need to cook until al dente or cook separately and add it near the end.
Cheese: I like Monterey Jack cheese in this casserole, but Pepper Jack, mozzarella, or cheddar cheese are also excellent choices.
You will need 1 to 1 ½ cups of shredded cheese of your choice. Use a lower-fat cheese, like 2% or lower fat, to keep this skinny. I never recommend using fat-free cheese.
Tomatoes: Use tomatoes with green chilis added—commonly called Rotel, which come in 10 ½ ounce can. It will add lots of spiciness—6/10 spicy. If you don't want that spicy southwest-type taste, use a can of drained diced tomatoes.
Spices: No additional spices are suggested, but you can add other flavors if you want. Use drained diced tomatoes instead of Rotel, and add what you like. You can adjust the spiciness with red pepper flakes.
A diced bell pepper can be added with the dry pasta. Other vegetables, like broccoli, can be added fully cooked when the cheese is added.
Use Italian sausage and drained diced tomatoes—season with Italian seasoning or basil. Change the cheese to mozzarella or an Italian cheese mix.
Three changes make this recipe healthier. Turkey smoked sausage or kielbasa will decrease the fat, as will using lower-fat sour cream and shredded cheese. Never use non-fat cheese or sour cream.
Using full-fat products, one serving is 562 calories and 36 grams of fat. By switching to lower-fat products, one serving is 374 calories and 12.5 grams of fat. Since this is how I usually cook this recipe, this is what appears in the nutrition calculations.
The sodium can be decreased by using low sodium broth and cutting the added salt in half to save 200 mg of sodium per serving.
Store leftovers sealed airtight and refrigerated for 3-4 days or frozen for 3-4 months.
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Preheat 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil over medium-high heat in a large oven-safe skillet.
Chop one medium onion and 1 pound of cooked sausage of your choice into ¼ inch medallions. I suggest turkey smoked sausage.
Add the onion and sausage to the pan. Cook until onion is clearing nicely and sausage is browning—about 5 minutes. Add two cloves of minced garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
Add a 14 oz can of chicken broth, a 10 ½ oz can RoTel, or a can of drained diced tomatoes, ½ cup sour cream, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper—mix well.
Add 8 oz.(2 cups) of dry pasta of your choice.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat to low: cover and simmer. Stir occasionally and cook until pasta is tender — about 15 minutes. If you are approaching the endpoint for the pasta and too much fluid is present, uncover and increase heat to medium-high for the last few minutes.
Add ½ cup of shredded cheese of your choice and mix in.
Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheese on top.
Place under broiler until cheese is melted and browned.
Garnish with chopped green onions if desired.
Smoked Sausage Casserole in 30-Minutes
- 1 pound smoked sausage - turkey sausage suggested
- 1 onion - medium chopped
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 2 cloves garlic - minced or crushed
- 14 oz chicken broth - Low sodium suggested
- 10.5 oz RoTel - or drained diced tomatoes
- ½ cup sour cream - low fat suggested
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 8 oz dry pasta - of choice
- 1 ½ cup shredded cheese - Monterey, cheddar, or mozzarella. Low fat suggested.
- 2 green onion - sliced to garnish optional
- Preheat 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil over medium-high heat in a large oven-safe skillet.
- Chop one medium onion and 1 pound of cooked sausage of your choice into ¼ inch medallions. I suggest turkey smoked sausage.
- Add the onion and sausage to the pan. Cook until onion is clearing nicely and sausage is browning—about 5 minutes. Add two cloves of minced garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
- Add 1 – 14 oz can low sodium chicken broth, 1 – 10 ½ oz can RoTel, ½ cup low fat sour cream, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Mix well.
- Add 8 oz.(2 cups) of dry pasta of your choice.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat to low: cover and simmer. Stir occasionally and cook until pasta is tender — about 15 minutes. If you are approaching the endpoint for the pasta and too much fluid is present, uncover and increase heat to medium-high for the last few minutes.
- Add ½ cup of shredded cheese of your choice and mix in.
- Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheese on top.
- Place under broiler until cheese is melted and browned.
- Garnish with chopped green onions if desired.
Your Own Private Notes
- This is an easy recipe to modify to your taste. Use the sausage, pasta, and cheese of your choice.
- The pasta going in uncooked works well if you are using standard commercial type pasta but always be aware of the endpoint you want and watch for it.
- If you want to use a non-standard type of pasta, you need to cook until al dente or cook separately and add it near the end when mixing in cheese.
- Using full-fat products, one serving is 562 calories and 36 grams of fat. By switching to lower fat products, one serving is 373 calories and 12.3 grams of fat. Since this is how I normally cook this recipe. This is what appears in the nutrition calculations.
- If you don't want spicy, substitute a can of drained diced tomatoes for the Rotel.
- I like to use precooked turkey sausage but use the sausage of your choice. You can even use bulk sausage as long as you cook it to a safe 165°.
- Use the cheese of your choice, also. I suspect most will use cheddar but I like Monterey for this. Even mozzarella would be good. To decrease fat, you can use a 2% milk cheese. Please do not use non-fat cheese.
- Good refrigerated for 3-4 days and will freeze well for 3-4 months.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Editor's Note: Originally Published September 28, 2013. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.
This dish really does have a great flavor, but I forgot how spicy Rotel is to my kids and me. I used beef smoked sausage and nothing low fat. 😆 I'm looking forward to trying it again with fire roasted tomatoes and maybe a little fresh spinach at the end.
I made this tonight with spicy sausage casings off and broken up. It was awesome! My daughter and I both loved it! I googled based on what I had in the fridge and how lucky I was to find this recipe. I have it saved to favorites and will definitely make again.
Welcome to the blog.
I really need to rewrite and redo the photos for this recipe but glad it worked well for you. I won't be changing the recipe since I do really like the results.
Thanks for the note.
Delish! It's now on our "most played" recipes rotation.
Welcome to the blog and sorry about the delayed response.
This is a very tasty recipe but very dependent on the sausage. It doesn't get much attention so it is on my list to update and republishe.
Thanks for the note and Happy New Years.
Doc! Another favorite of mine; this recipe and the have been my after-work go-to's for a while now. Quick, easy, and of course, delicious. Thanks for the 30 minute recipes!
I'm terrible with the HTML. This recipe is great, too: https://www.101cookingfortwo.com/cheese-jambalaya/
Made this one tonight (with the diced tomatoes) and it turned out great! I went ahead and mixed in all of the cheese which made the presentation a little less impressive but it also made the sauce really creamy which was great. Will definitely make again soon!
Thanks for the note Eric. I think I will do this again tonight.
Made this again tonight (I've made it a few times in the last year, it's my wife's second favorite recipe behind the oven filet on this site), and one tip is that for leftovers the next day if you heat it up in a pan on the stove and mix in some more cheese it's almost as good as the day before.
Thanks for the idea and the comment.
This is on the stove cooking, as I type this... I can't wait to try it. My 6 yr old son chose this for dinner tonight. :)
It is a little spice for a 6 yr. old. But I loved the taste...
This sounds delicious. I was at BJ's and bought some Hillshire Farms Turkey Kielbasa. Of course there were three packages in one bundle. I fried some up for dinner with some potatoes for my husband and I and froze the other two. I was looking for something different for this sausage and this looks like it will fit the bill.