Our creamy Sausage Kale Pasta is a hearty one pot wonder that will save you both time and dirty pots and pans.

Parmesan cheese has been stirred into the kale, sausage, and spaghetti mixture. Red pepper flakes have been added to the top.

This recipe is…

You’ve probably seen this curious cooking trend: instead of cooking pasta and sauce the usual way (dropping dry pasta into a boiling pot of water — making sauce in a second), all the ingredients get thrown into one pot that simmers down into a complete dish. It saves dishes…but does it work? And most importantly: does it taste good?

Our creamy sausage kale pasta proves the answers are yes and yes. Made with a flavor-packed combo of Italian sausage, kale, lemons, garlic, and capers, this delicious one pot pasta is a crowd-pleaser that you’ll want to make again and again.

Plus, it comes together easily with just 15 minutes of prep, and 15 minutes of cook time. Like our Creamy Chicken Piccata Skillet, Homemade Ramen, and Shredded Chicken Tacos, it will help you get dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less — making it a great option for busy weeknights.

Why You’ll Love This One Pot Pasta Recipe

  • Fewer dishes to clean! Instead of two pots, a colander, and multiple utensils, you’ll only need one pot and one spoon to make this Italian sausage pasta.
  • Weeknight-friendly recipe that’s ready in 30 minutes.
  • It’s EASY to make gluten-free.

Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta Recipe Ingredients

Our spicy Italian sausage pasta comes together quickly, and without a lot of fuss. Find ingredient notes (including substitutions and swaps) below.

Ingredients for pasta with sausage and kale sit on a variety of plates and in a variety of bowls. A box of spaghetti sits close to the top.
  • Pasta – we suggest long strand pasta like spaghetti or linguine, but you could use any other shape
  • Kale – two full heads of lacinato kale give this sausage pasta a huge hit of vitamins A and C.

A full ingredient list with exact amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

Recipe Variations and Modifications

  • This recipe calls for fresh lacinato kale, which you may also see labeled as dinosaur kale, Tuscan kale, or cavolo nero. If you have trouble finding it, feel free to substitute the same amount of curly kale, Swiss chard, or spinach.
  • Up your veggie intake by adding mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, or peas.
  • Punch up the flavor of this dish even more by adding herbs like basil or parsley, or nuts like walnuts or pine nuts for crunch.

How to Make Sausage Pasta

Here’s how this recipe comes together quickly in just one pot!

Sausage has been crumbled and cooked to a light brown in a white, enameled pot.
A red sauce and halved spaghetti have been added to the white pot.

Step 1: Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large pot (large enough for the pasta to fit in also), over medium heat. Once hot, add the sausage and cook and crumble until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Step 2: Once the sausage is fully cooked, add the pasta, sliced garlic, half of the olive oil, salt, and water to the pot with the sausage. Bring the ingredients to a boil.

Thee spaghetti, sauce, and sausage have been fully cooked and stirred in a white, enameled pot.
Chopped kale has been added on top of the spaghetti, sausage mixture.

Step 3: Reduce the heat to medium and set a timer for 10 minutes. Stir the pasta occasionally as it cooks to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Step 4: After the 10 minutes is up, stir in the kale and lemon juice, and let everything cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until the pasta is al dente and a thick sauce has formed, then remove from heat.

Parmesan cheese has been stirred into the kale, sausage, and spaghetti mixture. The wooden spoon, used to stir, sits in the pot.

Step 5: Finally, add the olive oil, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and capers to the pasta and toss to combine. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Tips

  • Don’t overcook it. The biggest key to this pasta is to make sure you watch it closely and don’t let it overcook! If the pasta overcooks it will become mushy and create a gloppy, starchy sauce.
  • Prep all your ingredients in advance. It might seem like there will be plenty of time to wash and chop the kale, squeeze the lemon, and grate the cheese while the pasta is cooking. But those minutes go by quickly, and any delay can lead to mushy, overcooked pasta. For this recipe, be sure to prep all your ingredients ahead of time.
  • Stir it as it cooks. Since less water is used with this one-pot method, the pasta can easily stick to the bottom of the pot. So it’s important to give the pasta a stir every few minutes to keep it from sticking.
  • If you find it too starchy, add a bit of water or broth. If needed, add a bit of water or broth to thin out the sauce.

How to Serve

Bring this pot to the table and serve it up nice and hot! If you’d like, set out bowls of extra parmesan and red pepper flakes.

This pasta has it all – protein, carbs, and a healthy dose of green veggies, so it can totally be served all on its own for a filling, complete, and absolutely delicious meal. But if you’d like to have a side to serve alongside this one pan dish, this simple arugula salad is a nice pairing.

How to Store and Reheat

Sore any leftover pasta in an airtight container for up to three days.

Reheat in a microwave, or in a pot with a little chicken broth or water to help make up for the starchy pasta water sauce that the noodles will absorb as it’s stored.

Parmesan cheese has been stirred into the kale, sausage, and spaghetti mixture. The wooden spoon, used to stir, sits in the pot.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is a One Pot Pasta recipe different?

The one pot method takes a more streamlined approach to cooking pasta and sauce. Instead of a boiling pot of water for the sauce, another pot for simmering the sauce, a colander, and a couple utensils, all of the ingredients get combined in one cooking vessel that doesn’t need to be drained. By using less water than you would if you were boiling and then draining the pasta water, the liquid reduces, creating a starchy, creamy sauce as it cooks down.

What pasta shape is best?

For this recipe, the best pasta shape is a long strand shape like linguine, spaghetti, fettuccine, or bucatini. But shorter shapes like rigatoni, orecchiette are great options too!

Why use pasta water?

When you cook pasta, it releases starch into the water (that’s what gives pasta water that cloudy look). Known as “liquid gold,” it’s a natural thickener and emulsifier that binds all of the ingredients together to create a silky sauce.

If you tried this Sausage Kale Pasta or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below!

One Pot Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale

4.48 — Votes 23 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Our creamy Sausage Kale Pasta is a hearty one pot wonder that will save you both time and dirty pots and pans.

Ingredients  

  • 12 ounces spaghetti or linguine, this one is our favorite for gluten-free
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Zest of one lemon, about 1 teaspoon
  • Juice of two lemons, about ¼ cup
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt,
  • 2 heads lacinato kale, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, optional
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Fresh cracked black pepper, for garnish

Instructions 

  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large pot (large enough for the pasta to fit in also), over medium heat. Once hot, add the sausage and cook and crumble until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  • Once the sausage is fully cooked, add the pasta, sliced garlic, half of the olive oil, salt, and water to the pot with the sausage. Bring the ingredients to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and set a timer for 10 minutes. Stir the pasta occasionally as it cooks to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • After the 10 minutes is up, stir in the kale and lemon juice, and let everything cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until the pasta is al dente and a thick sauce has formed, then remove from heat.
  • Finally, add the olive oil, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and capers to the pasta and toss to combine. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Recipe Tips:
  • Don’t overcook it. The biggest key to this pasta is to make sure you watch it closely and don’t let it overcook! If the pasta overcooks it will become mushy and create a gloppy, starchy sauce.
  • Prep all your ingredients in advance. It might seem like there will be plenty of time to wash and chop the kale, squeeze the lemon, and grate the cheese while the pasta is cooking. But those minutes go by quickly, and any delay can lead to mushy, overcooked pasta. For this recipe, be sure to prep all your ingredients ahead of time.
  • Stir it as it cooks. Since less water is used with this one-pot method, the pasta can easily stick to the bottom of the pot. So it’s important to give the pasta a stir every few minutes to keep it from sticking.
  • If you find it too starchy, add a bit of water or broth. If needed, add a bit of water or broth to thin out the sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 583kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 1317mg | Potassium: 534mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 5247IU | Vitamin C: 56mg | Calcium: 226mg | Iron: 3mg

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 583
Keyword: kale and sausage pasta, one pot pasta

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Elizabeth Brownfield


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35 Comments

  1. Can you use regular kale if Lacinato Kale isn’t available? How would this change the taste?

  2. I don’t know why I’ve never commented because we make this recipe weekly in our house! I love that it’s one pot, SO FREAKING EASY, and gives my family a protein, a starch, and a green veggie. Truly one of my favorite recipes ever!

  3. 3 stars
    The steps at the top do not match the instructions at the bottom exactly. The bottom instructions say to add the lemon zest and olive oil in step 1, while the instructions at the top say to add the olive oil in step 4, and I don’t think it ever mentions the lemon zest.
    I tried the recipe and it didn’t come out as expected. The texture of the noodles were off…a bit gummy/sticky and the flavor was a little bland. Glad I attempted the recipe but probably won’t try again.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Lee! We’ll get to the bottom of the recipe discrepancy!

    1. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear that, Natalia! It’s hard for us to know what went wrong since we aren’t in the kitchen with you.