Easy, cheesy, Creamy Sausage Pasta with savory mushrooms, tender penne noodles, and spicy Italian sausage, all in a light yet rich creamy garlic and parmesan sauce.
Is there anything better than a bowl of steamy, cheesy, meaty pasta put in front of your face on a cold winter night? Or any night, really? This one hits all the right notes: tender pasta, spicy sausage, earthy mushrooms, salty parm, and a creamy, garlicky sauce all in one dish. Plenty of pasta for you, less dishes to clean up.
I know sometimes pasta gets a bad rap, but it’s honestly no worse for you than eating two pieces of bread on a sandwich, so long as your bowl (and that sandwich) aren’t gigantically oversized. Everything in moderation, right?
HOW LONG DO YOU COOK GROUND SAUSAGE?
Ground sausage only takes about 6-8 minutes over medium-high heat to cook through. If you’ve purchased sausage in the casings, you can easily cut the meat out of the casing before cooking and it will crumble up nicely.
You’ll want to either take the sausage out of the pan with a slotted spoon if you are going to use the grease in a skillet for cooking something else, or you should drain the sausage and dump the excess fat in the skillet if you need to start clean.
WHAT TEMPERATURE DO YOU COOK ITALIAN SAUSAGE?
If you are cooking sausage links, you should place raw, thawed links onto a greased baking sheet or lined with parchment or another oven-safe liner. Place them about an inch apart and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes, flipping over once at the halfway mark. If you’re not sure if they are done cooking, use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. It should read 160 degrees for fully cooked sausage. That’s the perfect way to cook Italian sausage for this pasta sausage white sauce recipe.
10 SIDES THAT GO WELL WITH PASTA
Not sure what to serve with this authentic Italian sausage pasta recipe? No worries, I got ya covered.
- A lovely side salad always pairs well with just about any pasta dish!
- Garlic bread, of course.
- Nutty, crunchy, yummy Roasted Broccoli hits the spot.
- Not a broccoli fan? How about some Roasted Asparagus?
- Instead of garlic bread, try a nice, piping hot Potato Roll.
- A Quick, Creamy Cucumber Salad makes a nice complement to the creamy garlic and parmesan sauce.
- A lovely fruit salad makes a great end to a hearty pasta dinner.
- How about a broccoli dish that is in salad form instead of roasted?
- An updated version of succotash right here in this foil pack veggie medley.
- Dessert is considered a side, right?
HOW CAN I CUSTOMIZE CREAMY SAUSAGE PASTA?
Would you like to change up this pasta recipe just a bit? No problem! Here are some ideas to get you started.
Make it a one-pot dish by adding in more vegetables. Good ones to add in include spinach, kale (add toward the end) or smaller cuts of broccoli, bell peppers, or zucchini (saute with the mushrooms).
Make it spicy by adding red pepper flakes, diced jalapenos or poblanos, or even spicier sausage, if you can find it.
Try using a veggie pasta or gluten-free pasta in this dish if you have special diet needs. It would be just as delicious with some spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles as well!
Add bacon crumbles and goat cheese to up the savory ante!
Swap out the sausage for another ground meat and add in 1 teaspoon dried Italian herb blend or 1/4 teaspoon each dried basil, thyme, oregano, and parsley or rosemary to the meat when you are browning it.
Creamy Sausage Pasta
- 4 cups penne noodles
- 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage spicy or mild, your preference
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2-1 cup sliced mushrooms see note
- 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese optional
- fresh parsley or thyme for garnish optional
- In a deep skillet, or pot, bring 4 cups water to a boil. Stir in penne noodles along with 1 teaspoon salt. Boil 6-9 minutes until fork-tender. Drain, toss with 1 teaspoon oil, and set aside.
- In the same skillet you used for the pasta (or a new one if you used a pot) cook sausage over medium-high heat, breaking up with a spoon or spatula as it cooks, for 6-8 minutes or until completely browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
- Reduce heat to medium and add butter to the pan. Once melted, stir in garlic 1-2 minutes til fragrant. Add mushrooms and saute 3-4 minutes until very tender.
- Stir in chicken broth and heavy cream and simmer over medium-low heat until reduced (about 5-10 minutes).
- Stir in cooked sausage and noodles. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with parmesan and parsley or thyme if desired and serve.