Italian Sausage Pasta

Everyone loves this Italian Sausage Pasta recipe! Not only is it easy, cheesy, and delicious, but it is a hit with the entire family and can be made mild or spicy depending on your preferences.

Italian sausage adds the perfect flavor to any pasta dish. We like this recipe so much, we’ve tried it with penne pasta, and even with tortellini in a soup!

Italian Sausage Pasta on a white plate

Sausage pasta is delish!

This next recipe is one I have loved for a loooong time. It was made by one of my best friends, Desiree. She had made it for us just after I had my first baby. It was so delicious and the exact comfort food I needed!

I LOVED this Italian Sausage Pasta so much and was so excited to give it a try myself.

We have been long-time fans of pasta, as well as long-time fans of sausage. Not sure why we didn’t think of combining the two for some dinner ideas, but love that this simple recipe incorporates two of our favorite ingredients. We also love that it is really simple and doesn’t require a ton of work, which is perfect for busy families.

We are usually making some sort of Pasta dish each week, so we’ve added this into the rotation and it’s one the whole family will eat! 😀

Sausage pasta recipe

Ready in 20 minutes

Like I said – this recipe is SO EASY!! If you cook the pasta and the sausage at the same time, it really only takes about 20 minutes to throw everything together. Perfect for busy weeknights!

PASTA. Cook pasta according to package directions.

SAUSAGE. In a separate pan, cook the sausage, garlic, onion, and pepper flakes over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until meat is no longer pink; drain.

REMAINING INGREDIENTS. Stir in the tomatoes, cream, salt, basil and ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

SIMMER & MIX. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 6-8 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta; toss with sausage mixture. Garnish with parmesan cheese. And ENJOY!

We have never tried this without the sausage, but we think it would be great on its own without the meat. Here are some more variations.

italian sausage pasta Variations and Additions:

  • Instead of using mild Italian sausage you can use ground sausage, chicken sausage, turkey sausage, spicy sausage
  • Add veggies such as Zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach
  • Substitute the Parmesan with Mozzarella, or a blend of provolone, fontina, romano, and asiago
  • Substitute pasta with white rice, cauliflower rice, mashed potatoes or baked 
  • Add cubed potatoes

Italian sausage with bowtie pasta

Storage tips + side ideas

How do I store and reheat leftovers? Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave, oven or in a skillet on the stove. The pasta may have absorbed some of the liquid leaving it dried out. Feel free to add a bit more cream before heating. 

Can I freeze Italian Sausage Pasta? I would recommend freezing the sauce without the pasta. Once the sauce has thickened allow it to cool before pouring it in an airtight freezer safe container. Freeze for up to 4 months.

Thaw and heat on the stove top over LOW heat stirring constantly. Add a small amount of cream as needed to revitalize the sauce. Cook noodles and serve.

What to serve with your pasta? So many options, but here are some of our favs…

Sausage Pasta topped with shredded parmesan cheese on a white plate

For more pasta dishes, check out:

Italian Sausage Pasta Recipe

4.92 from 49 votes
Everyone loves this Italian Sausage Pasta recipe! Not only is it easy, cheesy, and delicious, but it is a hit with the entire family and can be made mild or spicy depending on your preferences.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 991 kcal
Author Lil' Luna


  • 16 oz bow tie pasta
  • 1 lb milk bulk italian sausage
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2-2 cans Italian stewed tomatoes drained and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (optional)


  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • In a separate pan, cook the sausage, garlic, onion, and pepper flakes over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until meat is no longer pink; drain.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, cream, salt, basil and ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 6-8 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta; toss with sausage mixture.
  • Garnish with parmesan cheese.


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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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    1. If you put the curser over the pic, the PIN IT button should appear or you could right click & PIN that way. Hope that helps!

  1. Second time ive made this recipe everyone loves it even my two little. Makes ALOT but it tastes even better the next day 🙂 Thank you!

  2. I made this for my dad tonight for Fathers Day dinner. It was a huge hit! So yummy and so easy to make! A perfect blend of flavors. Will definitely be making this again! Thank you!

  3. Made this twice and it’s delicious! Super easy! Did it with fresh basil at the end the first time, dried the second time, and definitely prefer the fresh garnish at the end. Great recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    This was delicious and super easy! I think it would be even easier putting the pasta in when you add the liquid and make it a one pot meal! I used Italian chicken sausage and will probably add zucchini next time. Even my 8 month old loved it!

    1. Those are great ideas!! It’s an easy recipe to change up 🙂 Thanks for sharing and so happy that you guys liked it!

  5. 5 stars
    Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow! Where has this recipe been all my life recipe and how come I never knew about it?! It was insanely good! Added mushrooms and kept everything else as stated. The sauce is so good I could just dip crusted bread in it and be happy 🙂 Next time I will double it!

  6. 5 stars
    This recipe was amazing! Only thing I adjusted was the dried basil to fresh. Delicious! I doubled the recipe so me and my family of 5 will get to enjoy this dish for at least 4 more days haha! It makes a ton! Yum yum yum and so super easy! Thank you!!!

  7. Absolutely delish! I make a pretty good pasta sauce, but this is so light and tasty. Thank you for sharing.

  8. 5 stars
    This recipe was delicious!! Thanx for sharing. The only problem that I had was that adding the Parmesan cheese to the cream sauce and boiling it, caused it to clump up badly and stick to the bottom of the pan and the spatula. Is it better to stir in the Parmesan once the sauce has been off the burner for a few minutes and cooled slightly?

    1. If you want, you could. I didn’t have an issue with it clumping, as long as you stir it in & the heat isn’t boiling at that point. I’m glad you liked it though! Thanks & I hope that helps!

  9. How do you think this recipe would turn out if I used crushed tomatoes instead of diced? My husband hates chunks of tomatoes. This recipie looks delicious!!

    1. You could just use regular canned tomatoes or even fresh tomatoes, chopped. Really whatever you like 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    One of my new favorite dinner dishes! It was easy and delicious. I have plenty to pack for my lunch tomorrow.

    1. I haven’t tried, I know the heavy whipping cream thickens it & makes it more creamy. You could try a light version? I’m not quite sure if milk will do that.

  11. I made this today but used Italian sausage links grilled then added to skillet with the other ingredients for that step. I also didn’t have grated Parmesan so used grated mozzarella instead. It turned out great… restaurant quality. I may try with ground Italian sausage next time but I do like the slices of sausage with the bow tie pasta.

  12. 5 stars
    Instead of bowtie pasta i used tri-coloured rotini. It tasted great used spicy italian sasuage for extra heat and kept them whole and cut them in circles. Can’t wait to make this again.

  13. 4 stars
    very tasty! Next time I will use the italian blend of DICED tomatoes… the stewed tomatoes were just too big and chunky for my liking

  14. 5 stars
    This recipe was AMAZING, I’ll definitely be adding it to my book of recipes. My only issue is…it wasn’t enough (Family of 5)!! LOL, I will for sure be doubling the recipe next time.

  15. 5 stars
    Kristyn, my husband and i had the italian sasusage pasta and it was awesome! My husband really did like he had three helpings. Thank you so for a great meal that was easy to make after a long day at work.

  16. 5 stars
    This looked so delicious, i almost doubled the recipe, for leftovers. ThaNk good ess i didnt. This made so much, and was so delicious. I put it into our “definitely make again” dinner rotation.

  17. 5 stars
    I Made this for the family, while cooking I tASTED IT AND I loved it, I know they will. Thanks for sharing!

  18. 5 stars
    This is such an easy And deliCious meal for any day of the week! Plus you will have a yummy lunch for the next day as well!

  19. Just had it this evening. We loved it! Definitely a keeper! Thank you for sharing. P.S. Only confusion was with what size canned tomatoes your recipe called for. I used a 26.5 oz. box of Italian tomatoes and it was perfect.

  20. 5 stars
    My family loved this dish! We love sausage & it was a nice change from using chicken. It was super tasty & easy to make.

  21. 5 stars
    This recipe was DElicious! I loved the flavor with the sausage in it. My daughter said she could have this for every meal- hahaha

  22. 5 stars
    Italian sausage pasta is one of the quickest penne pasta recipes that you’ll find. You mix it, cook it, and serve it in less than 20 minutes.

  23. 4 stars
    This has a nice flavor but if I make it again I will reduce the pasta by about half. There wasn’t nearly enough sauce for that much pasta! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  24. 5 stars
    This was really good! i used canned diced tomatoes, undrained, and just cooked off most of the liquid with the herbs in before i added the cream (I used half and half) I also added 5 oz package of fresh baby spinach, chopped, at the end and let it cook in. I did miss the richness of the full cream, but it was an outstanding dish even without it. thanks so much for sharing.

  25. Whats milk bulk italian sausage? And is the heavy whipping cream a necessary? Can I sub Reg milk or half and half? Just because we don’t use it enough so i hate that it goes bad for 1 recipe

    1. Milk bulk Italian sausage is a combination of chicken & pork meats & bulk is the meat without the casing. I have only used the heavy whipping cream, but you can sub whatever you like. It might change it a little, with consistency. Hope you like it!

  26. 5 stars
    This meal was delicious and so easy to make. My whole family loved it! This has been added to the rotation.

  27. 5 stars
    Wow this was such a winner in my house! Truly so comforting, DELICIOUS, and best of all soooo easy! My only chanGe was that I used one can of tomatoes and about 3 or 4 tablespoons of tomato Paste. The sauce was perfectly thick And coated the noodles beaUtifully. A hungry husband, and my 4 and 2 year old boys all loved it. Thank you for a new recipe to add to the rotation 🙂

  28. 5 stars
    If I want to add a layer of cheese on top and bake this, would it need extra sauce or pasta water added? How, if at all would you modify this? I’ve made a few times as directed and it’s delicious! Thank you.

    1. Glad you like it! I have not added a layer of cheese on top, but I would maybe add just a little more pasta water & stick under the broiler until cheese is nice & melted.

  29. 5 stars
    Seriously so delicious!!! My mouth waters just thinking about it. Can’t wait to make it again.

  30. 5 stars
    I absolutely love this recipe. it is easy, delicious, and very filling… I have a very picky teenager and a four year old. they both thoroughly enjoy it!

  31. 5 stars
    This is quick and easy and delicious. I use fire roasted tomatoes and spicy Italian sausage and add hot pepper flakes. We have this at least once a week.

  32. 5 stars
    This is amazing and also kid friendly. It was so good and easy to make. We had this two times in a week we enjoyed it so much.

  33. 5 stars
    Kristen, I make this about once a month for me and the hubby. It’s quick, easy, and delicious. I think anyone could make any small alterations or additions and it would still be delicious! We are loving your site!

    1. Sure! Just substitute the chicken for the Italian sausage. You can use chicken sausage as well. Let me know how it turns out!

    1. That makes me so happy to hear! Easy and excellent are some of my favorite words. Thanks so much for trying it!

  34. I can’t wait to try this! Question – what is milk bulk sausage exactly? Would jimmy deans regular sausage work? Thanks!

    1. That’s a typo! Thanks for catching that. It’s supposed to be MILD bulk Italian sausage. The bulk just means it’s not in the links/casings. And yes, the Jimmy Dean’s regular sausage would also work for this recipe.

      1. 5 stars
        You are the SWEETEST for taking the time to reply back to me. I made this over the weekend and I can’t tell you how obsessed my family is!! You nailed it! My sister, mom and I are so excited to try your other recipes! Thank you 🙂

  35. 5 stars
    We LOVED this recipe! (All except my very picky 10 year old…but he doesn’t like much of anything.) So simple and so delicious!