Whole wheat pasta paired with flavorful Italian sausage, spinach, and mushrooms makes for a delicious, filling meal, and even tastier leftovers.
As a working mom to two active, young boys, our days can be pretty hectic. I love a good one-pan or one-pot meal for those crazy weeknights, where we still get a delicious, nutritious dinner, and don’t have to worry about a sink-full of dishes. My One-Pan Italian Sausage Pasta ticks all the boxes – loaded with lean protein, fresh veggies, and plenty of fresh herbs. This dish also makes fabulous leftovers the next day, and may even taste better. Feel free to change up the veggies – let the farmers market and season guide your choice.
- Fettuccini: Use whole wheat, gluten-free, or white pasta, but I love the way fettuccini’s thicker noodle marinades in the flavors. You could also use penne pasta or spaghetti noodles.
- Onion: White onion caramelizes quickly and deliciously, while being mostly mild in flavor and pairs well with most veggies and proteins.
- Garlic: Nutty, earthy, and somewhat spicy raw, it sweetens as it cooks.
- Italian sausage: Sweet, mild, or spicy will work in this dish, so pick what will work best for your family.
- Red pepper: Red bell peppers are bright and slightly acidic, and they sweeten as they cook.
- Mushrooms: Meaty and full of nutrients, mushrooms are great at soaking up the flavors around them.
- Spinach: A mostly mild-flavored green that is packed full of vitamins and nutrients.
- Parmesan cheese: An Italian hard cheese that is often used in pasta dishes, it is salty, buttery, and nutty in flavor.
- Basil: A perfect balance between sweet and savory, with slight hints of mint and pepper.
- Parsley: Clean, peppery, and earthy in flavor, it’s one of my favorite herbs to top off dishes.
How to Make One-Pan Italian Sausage Pasta
In a large pot of boiling water, cook your pasta according to package instructions. Once it’s finished, reserve 1/2 cup of the water, drain, and set pasta aside.
While pasta is cooking, prepare your produce by washing everything, then slicing the bell pepper and mushrooms, and removing any excessively long stems on the spinach.
In the bottom of the same pot you used to cook the pasta, or in a large skillet, sauté onions and freshly grated garlic over medium-high heat.
Once onions have softened, add in the Italian sausage, making sure you break it up as it browns.
Once sausage is browned, use the reserved pasta water to deglaze the pan. You could also use chicken broth, or some wine.
Then you’ll add in the mushrooms and red peppers and sauté for 4 minutes.
Next add the spinach and sauté for an additional 4-5 minutes.
Add back in the cooked pasta.
Finish by adding freshly grated parmesan cheese and stir it all in.
Serve topped with freshly chopped basil and parsley, and more parmesan cheese. Enjoy your delicious One-Pan Italian Sausage Pasta!
Switch Things Up
- Change out the veggies. You could add sun-dried tomatoes, swap the spinach for kale, add in broccoli or zucchini. Your options are endless.
- Swap the dairy. Want more cheese? Throw in mozzarella cheese as well as the parmesan. Can’t do dairy at all? Just skip it or use a soy or rice alternative.
- Switch the protein. Use sweet, mild, or spicy sausage for a different taste, or use grilled chicken. Or make it vegetarian/vegan and don’t use any meat, and up the veggie count instead.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I have to use fresh herbs?
You could get away with using jarred garlic and pre-grated parmesan cheese, but using dried basil and parsley just won’t add the flavor punch like fresh will in this dish.
How do I know my spinach isn’t overcooked?
You want to cook the spinach just long enough for the leaves to wilt and for the color to become a rich, bright green. That’s when you know to remove from the heat.
How long do the leftovers last?
Kept in the fridge in an airtight container, leftovers will be good for up to 4 days.
More Pasta Dishes
- Pesto Chicken Pasta with Swiss Chard
- 5 Step Crab Linguine in White Wine Sauce
- Fire Roasted Sausage and Kale Pasta
- Sausage Pesto Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Peas
- Cajun Shrimp Pasta
Did you try this dish and love it? The next time you make it, snap a picture and share it to your socials! Tag @thelemonbowl and #thelemonbowl so we can admire and share your meal.
My One-Pan Italian Sausage Pasta will make your evening dinner plans easier, and please the whole family.
Your fork is waiting.
One-Pan Italian Sausage Pasta
- 8 ounces whole wheat fettuccini (or any type of wheat pasta fresh or dry)
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (grated)
- 1 pound Italian turkey sausage (hot or sweet – removed from casings)
- 1 red pepper (thinly sliced)
- 14 ounces mushrooms (sliced)
- 1 bag spinach
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup basil (chopped)
- ¼ cup parsley (chopped)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta noodles according to package directions and set aside, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking pasta water.
- Meanwhile, sauté onions in a large pan until tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and sauté additional 30 seconds. Add sausage and cook until browned, about 10 minutes.
- Once browned, add reserved pasta cooking water and use a wooden spoon to break up the tasty bits from the bottom of the pan. Add pepper and sauté another 4-5 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and spinach then cook another 4 minutes or until tender. Toss in parmesan cheese and the cooked pasta, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with fresh basil and parsley before serving.