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Creamy Chicken Sausage Pasta Recipe: Step-by-Step Guide

Chicken sausage pasta

According to Chef Giada De Laurentiis, “Chicken Sausage Pasta is a satisfying weeknight meal that comes together quickly using pantry staples.”

Through years of testing variations in my home kitchen, I learned this chicken sausage pasta requires perfecting several culinary techniques to achieve next-level flavor. 

Searing the sausage and sautéing the aromatics is key for heightened flavor. Tossing the steaming noodles in starchy pasta water helps the sauce coat each piece for irresistible flavor.

Keep reading for all the valued lessons improving results seamlessly with minimal effort, tricks guaranteed gratifying for taste buds.

Key Takeaways

Chicken sausage pasta is a quick and easy weeknight meal that comes together in just 30 minutes using simple pantry ingredients like chicken sausage, pasta, tomatoes and cream. This pasta dish can also be easily customized with different sausage flavors, vegetables or herbs to keep things interesting.

Who is this recipe for?

If you’re a time-crunched home cook looking to expand your weeknight dinner repertoire with a restaurant-worthy pasta, this chicken sausage cream sauce dish is ideal for you. 

In about 30 minutes, you can whip up a decadent meal the whole family will devour. Whether you’re a beginner cook or seasoned chef, this flexible recipe streamlines prep and leverages pantry staples.

The Basics of Chicken Sausage Pasta

Ingredients for Chicken Sausage Pasta

Here are the key ingredients you’ll need for this quick and flavorful pasta dish:

  • Chicken sausage: For this recipe I recommend using 1 pound of spicy or herb chicken sausage links. You can also use pre-cooked chicken sausage sliced into rounds.
  • Penne or rotini pasta: Any short pasta shape works great to hold onto the sauce. I usually use about 12 ounces dried pasta.
  • Cherry tomatoes: Fresh cherry tomatoes add bright flavor and pop of color to the sauce. A half pint is plenty.
  • Mushrooms: For texture and extra umami flavor, sauteed mushrooms lend fantastic depth. White, crimini or exotic blends all work nicely.
  • Baby spinach: Just a handful or two of fresh baby spinach rounds out the nutrients while blending into the sauce.
  • Heavy cream or chicken broth: A half cup or so adds richness and moistness to the sauce. Broth makes a lighter option.
  • Garlic: A couple cloves of fresh minced garlic infuse flavor throughout.
  • Parmesan cheese: A healthy sprinkle of parmesan on top takes everything over the top!

Cooking chicken sausage pasta

Once you have gathered the simple ingredients, putting this meal together is a breeze! Here are the easy steps:

  1. Cook the sausage. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the chicken sausage until fully browned and cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Remove sausage and set aside.
  2. Boil the pasta. In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions, usually 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. Saute the veggies. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the same skillet. Cook the mushrooms until softened, about 5 minutes. Then stir in the garlic for 1 minute until fragrant.
  4. Build the sauce. Pour in the cream or broth and fresh cherry tomatoes. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper (if desired) and simmer for 5 minutes to thicken slightly.
  5. Finish the pasta. Stir the pasta and cooked sausage into the warmed sauce to coat everything together. Toss in fresh baby spinach and stir until just wilted.
  6. Serve and enjoy! Dish into bowls and top with parmesan cheese. Devour while hot!

Tips for perfect chicken sausage pasta

Chicken sausage pasta

Here are some tips I’ve learned to make chicken sausage pasta really shine:

  • For even more flavor, use a mix of mushrooms like button, shiitake and oyster
  • Add a pinch of crushed red pepper for a touch of heat
  • You can substitute zucchini or broccoli in place of spinach for variation
  • Toss the pasta with olive oil before adding the cream sauce to prevent clumping
  • For leftovers, add a splash of pasta water before storing to maintain the proper texture and moisture

Variations on Chicken Sausage Pasta

Chicken pesto pasta

If you want to switch things up from a classic tomato cream sauce, pesto is one of my favorite pasta sauces. 

Simply add about 1⁄4 cup basil pesto along with the heavy cream or broth. Fresh basil really makes this dish sing. You can’t go wrong with the classic combo of basil, pine nuts and parmesan in the pesto (1). 

I like to top it with a few fresh basil leaves so the vibrant green pops on the plate. Kids especially love the bright green color and fun flavor pesto adds to this pasta.

Balsamic chicken pasta

For something a bit tangier, try swapping out part of the liquid with balsamic vinegar. I usually do about 2 tbsp of good quality balsamic added along with the cream or broth. 

The subtle sweetness and acidity bumps up the flavor profile. Arugula or fresh herbs like parsley make lovely fresh accents to scatter on top. 

The balsamic also stands up well to hearty winter greens like kale if you want to switch it up seasonally.

Sundried tomato chicken pasta

Sundried tomatoes are another classic pasta boost. Reconstitute 1⁄4 cup oil-packed sundried tomatoes before adding to the sauce for intense tomato flavor. 

Their chewiness pairs perfectly with the pasta. I like a mild creamy chèvre or goat cheese to balance the acidity and round it out. Just a sprinkle over each serving adds another layer of deliciousness.

Playing with different flavor profiles in the creamy sauce makes chicken sausage pasta exciting to revisit time and time again. 

I hope these variations provide new recipe inspirations! Let me know if you try any and which becomes a new family favorite.

YouTube video

Credit : 6 Flavours

Make-ahead tips

Making homemade pasta shouldn’t always mean last-minute preparations. 

With a little advance planning, you can have components of chicken sausage pasta already taken care of. 

Then it’s simply a matter of combining and reheating when hungry. Here are some strategies for cooking ahead:

Pre-cook chicken sausage

One way to save time during the busy week is to fully cook the chicken sausage ahead of schedule.

After browning and cooking the sausage all the way through, allow it to cool before storing in air-tight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

You can also portion sausage into freezer bags or containers and lay flat in the freezer for a couple months. 

When ready to use, just thaw in the fridge overnight or blister in a dry skillet for a few minutes to reheat. Pre-cooking in large batches means you’ll always have the base component ready when that pasta craving hits.

Freeze cream sauce

Leftover cream sauce is a shame to waste, and freezing is a smart solution (2). 

Simply portion cooled sauce into freezer-safe containers or bags, leaving 1/2 inch headroom for expansion. 

Press out air, seal and lay flat in the freezer. Labeled containers of pasta sauce tucked away means busy cooks can easily pull out a meal with just the addition of cooked pasta. 

Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat gently on the stovetop or microwave when hunger strikes.

Assemble pasta salad

For an easy warm weather pasta option, fully cook and assemble the pasta salad ahead of time. Toss hot cooked pasta with room temperature cream sauce, then transfer to a covered container. 

Let cool completely before storing in the fridge for 2-3 days. It’s also delicious served at room temperature if making for potlucks or picnics. 

The familiar creamy flavors translate perfectly for bento box lunches or easy grab and go meals too.

Advanced preparation of elements makes chicken sausage pasta stress-free to enjoy any night of the week.

 Whether batch cooking the sausage or freezing extra sauce, these tips help beat the clock on busy days.


In summary, chicken sausage pasta is truly a weeknight winner. As an experienced chef, I hope sharing proven methods inspires creative experiments. 

Variations and advance planning make this creamy comfort food an anytime enjoyment. With cooking skill and seasoning, amateur cooks can rival restaurants. 

Customize with seasonal ingredients. Try it tonight – your taste buds will thank you! Most importantly, have fun in the kitchen.

As an obsessive home chef, I am continuously experimenting with new flavor combinations. I would be absolutely delighted to hear all about your own kitchen adventures with this dish! 

Let’s exchange our favorite variations and inventive twists in the comments – it’s my favorite part of recipe sharing.


  1. https://www.themediterraneandish.com/creamy-chicken-pesto-pasta/
  2. https://onieproject.org/the-art-of-freezing-leftovers/

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