Italian Sausage Pasta is an easy 30-minute meal made with simple ingredients! It's a perfect weeknight dinner to prepare for your family, kids, and friends. Everybody will love this restaurant-quality pasta dish!
30-minute sausage pasta - quick and easy dinner
This Italian-inspired sausage pasta is one of my go-to quick recipes when I am short on time. It's an easy dinner recipe to have in your rotation for busy weeknights. The Italian sausage is seared and then combined with spinach, mushrooms, and tomato sauce! Then, it's tossed with bow-tie pasta (farfalle) and topped with red pepper flakes.
This meal is simple, yet the flavors are fantastic! It tastes like a pasta dish from a fine Italian restaurant and might become one of your family's favorite meals.
If you love 30-minute weeknight meals and looking for more dinner inspiration you might also like these 2 recipes: creamy sausage gnocchi and creamy mushroom pork chops.
- Sausage. Use crumbled sausage without casings. Any type of pork sausage, spicy sausage, mild, sweet, or Italian sausage will work!
- Pasta. This recipe uses an Italian pasta, called Farfalle, or bow tie pasta. The bow-tie shape of this pasta works very well with the tomato pasta sauce, spinach, and mushrooms. It will add an appealing look to your dinner. Cook bow-tie pasta al dente for best texture.
- Spinach is a leafy green vegetable high in fiber and is a great source of many vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. I use fresh spinach to add some veggies to this recipe. You can also use frozen spinach - thawed and drained of any liquid. Or, use kale instead.
- Mushrooms. I used crimini mushrooms in this recipe. You can also use white button mushrooms, portobello, or shiitake.
- Tomato sauce for pasta. Use your favorite tomato sauce - it can be a store-bought pasta sauce or marinara sauce. Any flavor will work: traditional, tomato basil, arrabbiata, garlic tomato sauce, etc.
What kind of sausage to use
- Crumbled Italian sausage. I used 15 oz of crumbled mild Italian sausage.
- Italian sausage links. You can also use Italian sausage in casings. I would remove the casings and slice the sausage.
- Sweet, spicy, or mild Italian sausage. You can use spicy, sweet, or mild Italian sausage - in this case, I do recommend adding some spice, such as red pepper flakes.
How to make Italian sausage pasta
Below are general instructions and step-by-step photos. For the full recipe, scroll down to the recipe card.
1) First, bring the pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta once it's cooked.
2) While the pasta is cooked, proceed with the rest of the recipe. In a large, high-sided skillet, cook sliced mushrooms with olive oil until cooked through but not overcooked. Remove mushrooms from the skillet.
3) Next, cook the crumbled Italian sausage with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the same skillet for about 5 minutes. Drain excess fat.
4) Then, to the same skillet with cooked sausage, add minced garlic, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes.
5) Next, add the tomato marinara pasta sauce and spinach.
6) Once you add all these ingredients to the skillet, bring everything to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes, until the spinach wilts, occasionally stirring.
7) Then, add the cooked and drained pasta to the pan with the sausage mixture, and mix everything well. Remove from heat. Top with cooked mushrooms when ready to serve.
- Use red wine. Add a splash of dry red wine (about ¼ cup) to the tomato marinara sauce, if you like. It will add richness and flavor to the sauce, and is a very Italian thing to do!
- What is a good substitute for canned tomato sauce? You can use canned diced tomatoes or canned crushed tomatoes instead of tomato sauce.
- Spice it up! Sausage pasta is the kind of recipe that benefits from a bit of heat. Use red pepper flakes to spice up this dish, especially if the sausage is not spicy.
- Use crumbled sausage or remove casings from the sausage and slice the sausage into small pieces. Do this even if you use sausage links. This will make the texture of the whole dish much better!
- Make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free short pasta - there are many options on the market right now.
- Toppings. When serving, top this sausage pasta with shredded Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, or cracked black pepper.
- Salt. Use your best judgment and don't add a lot of salt. Usually, most sausages are quite salty, so don't add any salt at all or add very little as the whole dish might already be salty enough from sausage.
What to serve with pasta
- Bread. Italian sausage pasta pairs well with baguette, garlic bread, olive bread, or sourdough bread.
- Salad. Throw some greens together with olive oil or balsamic vinegar-based salad dressing. Top with toasted nuts and Parmesan cheese. Don't miss these delicious salad recipes: 30-Minute Berry Spinach Salad and Arugula Salad with Pears, Apples, and Cashews.
Storage and reheating tips
Because the sausage pasta is made without any cream or cheese, this 30-minute weeknight meal is easy to store and reheat. You can also make this ahead. Here are some tips:
- Fridge. Store sausage pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freezer. Freese the pasta in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
- Reheat in the microwave oven. Reheat the refrigerated pasta in a microwave oven for about 1 minute. Taste and reheat for 30 seconds more, if needed.
- Reheat on the stovetop. Reheat the Italian sausage pasta in a large, high-sided skillet on the stovetop on low-medium heat.
Other Italian sausage pasta recipes
- 30-Minute One-Pan Italian Sausage Gnocchi
- Creamy Sausage Tortellini with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Mozzarella Cheese Sauce
- Italian Sausage Pasta with Vegetables
Italian Sausage Pasta - 30-Minute Meal
- 12 oz pasta farfalle (bow tie) or penne
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 oz mushrooms crimini, sliced
- 15 oz Italian sausage mild, crumbled
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning or Herbs from Provence
- red pepper flakes to taste
- 13 oz tomato sauce such as tomato pasta sauce or marinara
- 6 oz spinach fresh
- salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. While the pasta cooks, proceed with the recipe below.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat in a large, high-sided skillet.
- Add sliced mushrooms and cook for 3 or 5 minutes until they are cooked through but not overcooked. Remove mushrooms from the skillet.
- To the same, now empty, skillet, add crumbled sausage and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the sausage is cooked. Drain excess fat.
- To the same skillet with sausage, add minced garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, tomato pasta sauce, and fresh spinach. Bring to a boil on medium heat and stir everything well. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes until the spinach wilts to your liking.
- Add cooked and drained pasta to the sauce. Reheat.
- Mix everything well. Remove from heat.
- Season with salt, freshly ground coarse black pepper, and red pepper flakes, if you like. Top with cooked sliced mushrooms.
- Tip: use your best judgment about the salt. If the sausage is salty enough, you might not need to add any extra salt.
- Tomato sauce. It can be a store-bought tomato pasta sauce or marinara sauce. Any flavor will work: traditional, tomato basil, arrabbiata, or garlic tomato sauce.
- Sausage. I used mild Italian sausage. Italian sausage links can be used, too, with casings removed and sausage links sliced. You can also use sweet or spicy Italian sausage.
- Italian seasoning of Herbs from Provence. The mix that I used contained dried rosemary, thyme, parsley, tarragon, marjoram, basil, and sage.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
All Rave Reviews at home! This is definitely on the menu rotation!
Christina, this makes me so happy! ❤️
I wonder why the calories are so high in this recipe. Could it be the sausage?
Monty, sausage and pasta both would have a lot of calories.
super easy and delicious
Greg, I am happy the recipe was enjoyed! 🙂
My first attempt at cooking in a long time. Used leftover Italian spicy sausage. This was easy - even for me. Delicious!
Paul, thank you for trying this recipe, and glad it turned out well! 🙂
This was so easy and delicious! I will definitely be making it again. Loved all the tips as well!
Patty, thank you for trying the recipe and glad it turned out well! 🙂
Excellent! Hubby liked it and I'm addicted to it. Pretty quick & easy to make. We have leftovers for tomorrow. Will definitely be on our regular list!
I used regular Italian seasoning and added a dash of basil. I also used fresh white mushrooms (for the price savings) and a basic marinara sauce.
Rosemary, your comment made my day! Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback! 🙂
We love it exactly the way it is!
Love your comment, Suzanne!
I swapped out the sausage for ground beef and switched the mushrooms for peppers and onion for my fussy eaters! Delicious.
Missa, I love your changes! Thank you for sharing. And, thanks for the 5-star rating! 🙂
My husband loved it. It does make a lot. We’ll be having it another night..
Cathy, I am so happy the recipe was enjoyed! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your wonderful comment and the 5-star rating! 🙂