This Creamy Sausage Pasta is a quick and easy one pot recipe. It makes a brilliant midweek dinner, where the pasta is cooked in a super tasty the sauce, all in a single pan.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, one pan meals ARE LIFE.
I’m only just starting to experiment a bit more with one pot pasta dinners though and WHO KNEW?!
The water that the pasta cooks in transforms into a delicious, sticky, silky sauce right there as it cooks the pasta. What could be easier?
This recipe for Sausage Pasta uses a few extra tricks; cream cheese for a creamy sauce without any heavy cream, chunks of sausage for mini meatballs without the faff and magical fennel seeds which transform it into something really special (more on that in a minute).
✅ Dinner in under 30 minutes.
✅ All made in a single pan.
✅ Super fresh, tasty and creamy.
How do you make this one pot sausage pasta recipe?
Start my softening your onions and garlic in the olive oil in a large pan (one which has a lid).
They should just be starting to go see through.
Add in your chunks of sausage and your slices of red pepper. Turn up the heat.
Top tip: Sausage ‘skin’ pieces can be a bit yucky, so I just take each sausage and cut along the length and remove the sausage meat from the skin. Break it into large (or small) chunks as you pop into the pan.
I like to squish some of the sausage chunks with the spoon as they cook so that they go nice and crispy.
When the sausage is starting to colour and the peppers are just getting blackened edges, add in the other ingredients; the pasta, tomatoes, fennel seeds, salt and pepper, Italian herbs, chilli flakes and stock.
Top tip: I always make up 750ml of stock but only add 500ml to start with. I then check on the pasta as it cooks and add more if needed, if it’s looking dry. If you like very ‘wet’ saucy pasta, go ahead and add it all at the start.
Give everything a good stir, pop on the lid and once it is bubbling, turn the heat down to medium/low and cook for about 13 – 15 minutes until the pasta is ALMOST cooked.
When the pasta is almost cooked, add the cream cheese, grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil, stir through to just heat through and serve immediately.
What I used to make the Creamy Sausage Pasta recipe:
Olive oil – This should be regular Olive Oil NOT Extra Virgin Olive Oil. For one, that’s too expensive for this! Plus it will smoke too much when you fry.
Onion and garlic – If you want a shortcut, frozen, pre prepared garlic and/or onions are perfect (it’s what I use mostly as one of my favourite shortcuts).
Sausages – Try to use a good quality, high meat content sausage.
Red peppers (or bell peppers/capsicum if you’re in the USA) – You can use other colours (or other veg in fact) but I think these work well with the other flavours.
Pasta – Any dried pasta works well, I haven’t tried it with wholemeal pasta but it would probably just take a little longer to cook.
Tinned tomatoes – Any type of chopped, tinned tomatoes will work for this. I do find that better quality tomatoes are noticeable if you can.
Fennel seeds – These little monkeys are controversial! I do not like aniseed flavour AT ALL, but in this dish they do somehow just elevate it to something special. Please invest in a jar and try it, let me know what you think!
Italian herbs – Any dried Italian herb mix is fine, or oregano if you don’t have a mix.
Chilli flakes – You can add more if you like Spicy Sausage Pasta. It is worth adding this, even for kids, as it really adds a warmth to the dish.
Vegetable stock – Any good quality, fairly low salt, vegetable stock is fine. I think Marigold brand is the best around.
Cream cheese – Any brand is fine, low fat or regular.
Parmesan – Grana Padano is a good, slightly cheaper alternative to Parmesan if you prefer.
Fresh basil – Fresh basil can get very squishy when chopped, I tend to snip into strips with scissors.
Variations on the recipe:
Sausage Pasta Bake recipe – Pop some breadcrumbs or cheese on top and melt under a hot grill before serving. (If you plan to do this, you will need to add all of the stock, and possibly a little more, as all of it will be absorbed by the extra heat.)
Cheesy Sausage Pasta Bake – Add plenty of grated cheese on top and melt under a hot grill before serving. (If you plan to do this, you will need to add all of the stock, and possibly a little more, as all of it will be absorbed by the extra heat.)
Spicy Sausage Pasta – Increase the chilli flakes in the recipe to your taste.
Healthy Sausage Pasta – Remove the cream cheese from the recipe and use lower fat sausages, or even just pork mince.
Tips for making the Italian Sausage Pasta recipe:
Leftovers/Meal Prep – If you don’t serve this as soon as it’s cooked, you’ll find that the sauce absorbs into the pasta and there’s not a lot left. It won’t affect the taste, you may just want to add a splash more stock or some cream cheese when you warm it through.
When is the pasta cooked? It’s important to add the cream cheese etc JUST before the pasta is cooked, so when it is still ‘al dente‘ (has some ‘bite’ to it) as the pasta will continue to cook in the heat of the sauce and pan and you do not want it to be stodgy.
The Fennel Seeds – Please do try the fennel seeds in this – they really make the dish!
Fancy some other one pan meal ideas?
- One Pan Baked Salmon (garlic deliciousness)
- Pesto Chicken (kids favourite)
- Honey & Mustard Chicken One Pan (the BEST sticky sauce)
Hope you enjoy this recipe. I’d love to know how you got on and what you thought of it if you make this recipe.
Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below!
Also, if you fancy showing me a photo by tagging me on Instagram (@tamingtwins) I LOVE to see your creations and try and share as many of them as I can.
Creamy Sausage Pasta
- 1 tsp Olive oil
- 1 Large Onion Peeled and chopped
- 3 Cloves Garlic Peeled and crushed
- 400 g Good quality pork sausages
- 2 Large Red peppers Deseeded and sliced
- 250 g Dry pasta
- 400 g Tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp Fennel seeds
- 2 tsp Italian herbs
- 0.5 tsp Dried chilli flakes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 750 ml Vegetable stock See notes
- 250 g Cream cheese
- 100 g Parmesan cheese Grated
- 25 g Fresh basil Chopped, optional
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or frying pan (one which has a lid) over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and fry gently until softened (about 4 - 5 minutes).
- Remove the sausages from their skins and plop into the pan in small chunks, add the pepper slices, turn up the heat and let everything fry for 5 minutes until the sausage chunks are golden and the peppers are just starting to blacken at the edges.
- Add the dry pasta, chopped tomatoes, fennel seeds, Italian herbs, chilli flakes, salt and pepper and about 500ml of the stock. Give everything a good stir, pop the lid on and cook for 13 - 15 minutes until the pasta is ALMOST cooked through and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- * Note! I always make up 750ml of stock and then check on the pasta as it cooks and add more if needed, if it's looking dry. If you like very 'wet' saucy pasta, go ahead and add it all at the start.
- When the pasta is JUST ALMOST cooked, add the cream cheese, parmesan cheese and fresh basil (if using). Give everything a good stir and leave on the heat for a minute or two just to warm through.
- Serve immediately.