Creamy Spinach & Sausage Pasta

$5.91 recipe / $1.48 serving

I saw this recipe over at Kevin & Amanda the other day and immediately knew that I wanted to make it. Of course, I made some changes to fit the ingredients I had on hand and my personal preferences. The bones of the recipe, though, are perfect. It’s a one skillet meal, it cooks in about 30 minutes, and it’s got everything I want (pasta, meat, vegetables, and cheese). That’s a winner in my book.

I nixed the heavy cream in the original recipe because I figured that between the cheese and sausage, there’d be plenty of fat/creaminess going on, and I was right. The end result was rich, but not so much so that you’ll get a belly ache. I also added fresh spinach because I have a HUGE bag in my fridge just waiting to be used up. Plus, I felt that the recipe needed a little green.

Some other vegetable options for this recipe are bell peppers or broccoli. Both go great with smoked sausage. If you want to add bell peppers, cut them into thin strips and saute them with the onions in the beginning. If you want to add broccoli, cut it into very small florets and add it with the pasta so that it can simmer a little bit and soften. There are so many different ways you can take this recipe… I’m excited to hear what you come up with!

Creamy Spinach & Sausage Pasta

Creamy Spinach & Sausage Pasta

4.7 from 41 reviews
creamy spinach & sausage pasta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $5.91
Cost Per Serving: $1.48
Serves: 4
  • 6 oz. smoked sausage $1.50
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1 medium onion $0.32
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes w/chiles $0.99
  • 2 cups chicken broth $0.30
  • 8 oz. pasta $0.50
  • 3 cups fresh spinach $0.87
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded monterrey jack $1.17
  • 1 whole green onion $0.10
  1. Thinly slice the smoked sausage and add it to a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Saute the sausage over medium heat until it is nicely browned (about 5-7 minutes). Drain off the excess fat.
  2. Dice the onion and add it to the skillet. Continue to saute until the onion has softened (about 5 minutes). Add the can of diced tomatoes with chiles and the chicken broth. Stir to combine and dissolve any browned bits off of the bottom of the skillet.
  3. Add the uncooked pasta to the skillet and make sure it is all submerged under the liquid. Place a lid on the skillet and allow the mixture to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for about ten minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Stir once or twice while the pasta cooks to keep it from sticking.
  4. Stir in the fresh spinach, one cup at a time, until wilted. If you add it all at once, the skillet will be too full to stir. Keep the heat on while adding the spinach, so the liquid will continue to simmer and thicken.
  5. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top, replace the lid, and let it sit for a few minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Slice the green onions and sprinkle them over top. Serve hot!

Creamy Spinach & Sausage Pasta

Step By Step Photos

smoked sausageI like to use meat sparingly and balance it out with other ingredients, like pasta and vegetables. So, I only used half of this 13 oz. link and froze the rest. There was still plenty of meat in each serving! Grocery stores often have turkey smoked sausage, too, if you want a lower fat option.

cook sausageSlice the sausage thinly (so you get more medallions and more in every bite), then cook in the skillet with olive oil over medium heat until browned. Drain off the excess fat after it has browned.

diced onionDice the onion and add it to the skillet. Continue to saute.

cooked onionsCook until the onion has softened. As you can see, the moisture from the onion has dissolved most of the browned bits off of the bottom of the skillet. That’s a good thing. If not all of it comes off, that’s okay because it will dissolve in after we add the liquids.

tomatoes with chilesAdd the can of diced tomatoes with chiles (this is the same as Rotel tomatoes). If you can’t find these in the grocery store, you can use regular diced tomatoes and a separate 4 oz. can of diced green chiles.

chicken brothAlso add the two cups of chicken broth. That is the chicken “base” that I use to make broth for recipes. It’s usually between $4-$5 for one of those little jars, which makes 32 cups and stays good in the refrigerator for a LONG time. It also comes in many different flavors (beef, mushroom, vegetable, low sodium, organic, etc.).

pastaOnce you’ve added the tomatoes and liquid, add the dry pasta.

submerged pastaMake sure the pasta is mostly under the liquid so that it will cook. Put a lid on top and let the skillet come up to a simmer. Once it reaches a simmer, turn the heat down to low and let it continue to simmer for about ten minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Stir it once or twice while it’s cooking to make sure the pasta doesn’t stick.

cooked pastaAnd then like magic it looks like this!

spinachI bought this HUGE bag of spinach, which, believe it or not, was only 50 cents more than one of those small bags of salad spinach. It’s the exact same thing, just marketed as “spinach for cooking”. Psh. They can’t fool me.

wilt spinachStir in one cup at a time until it is wilted. Let the skillet keep simmering away as you do this so that the liquid will thicken up a bit.

cheeseSprinkle the shredded cheese over top, put the lid on the skillet, and let it melt. Monterrey jack cheese is especially creamy and helps make the whole dish creamy despite not having any cream in it. Mozzarella will not have this same effect.

green onionsWhen the cheese is melted and gooey, sprinkle the sliced green onion on top. Enjoy!

Creamy Spinach & Sausage PastaSo creeeeaaaamy.


  1. This is one of my favorite recipes to make for my family. It is so easy and tastes great. Thanks for sharing.

  2. This was an easy, colorful and tasty dinner. I used Italian sausage, and Barilla Plus pasta. Thank you

  3. MrsReese says:

    Tried this for dinner tonight and it was amazing and only $10 for everything thanks for this awesome idea

  4. I just made this for lunch (a GF version) and holy moley this is sooo good! The substitutes I used were coconut oil, quinoa pasta, 1/2 broth 1/2 water and a low fat mozzarella cheese. So delicious and easy to make!

  5. lauren de alba says:

    Cooking this as I type. It’s so incredibly yummy,and easy to cook. Thank you for sharing! :)

  6. Ashley says:

    As a 24y/o who is just learning how to cook foods other than ramen noodles I was so excited to try this. I used green bell peppers in substitution of the spinach, and oh my goodness, this did not disappoint! My entire house smelled amazing. Everyone kept saying how excellent the dish was.
    Thank you so much for sharing, this recipe will definitely be a staple in my house!!

  7. Sara says:

    What kind of noodles are these?

  8. Krista says:

    “I like to use meat sparingly and balance it out with other ingredients, like past and vegetables.”

    An unintentionally poetic typo… so deep… :)

    P.S. I cook this regularly. Love it! Thanks for the recipe and the site. I refer people here often.

    • Doh! Thanks for the heads up! ;)

      • Krista says:

        Feel free to delete my comment now that you’ve fixed it. No offense taken. The editing nerd inside me just couldn’t resist. :)

        Thanks for filling our bellies and wallets so well!

  9. This was absurdly good. Generally when I make something and have it for lunches all week, I get sick of it no matter how good it is, even with the spinach not holding up well after reheating.

    It was very easy, few ingredients, and I expect to make it again soon.

  10. I made this tonight with what was on hand… Italian sausage and cheddar cheese. so i guess i am rating the technique more than the recipe. But this was an easy 5 stars.

    I could not love this recipe more, my 2 and 4 year old girls ate seconds of spinach!

  11. Our 8-year old ate spinach and didn’t even realize it! Thank you! I was out of green onions, so I substituted fresh cilantro instead and it was very tasty. Definitely making this recipe again.

  12. Melanie says:

    I made this tonight for dinner, and it was a hit! I usually change up a recipe depending what I have on hand or to suit our preferences, but this recipe I actually followed exactly as you listed it. My family loved it, and they even went for seconds.

    I love that it is a one-skillet meal and that the cheese was added last. I have a daughter who doesn’t like cheese so any recipe that let’s me easily make a no-cheese adaptation for her is a winner in my book. I will definitely be making this again!

    Thank you for sharing!

  13. Hey! Just wondering- do you think frozen spinach leaves will do well in thisbrevipe instead of fresh ones? What about canned spinach? Thanks!

    • The only issue with frozen spinach is that it can sometimes be broken into teeny tiny bits, which won’t look too nice (but the flavor should be fine!). I’ll be honest that I’ve never used canned spinach, so I’m not sure! :)

      • Brianna says:

        The only thing I would think is that it may make it to watery. I’d strain it really well with a cheesecloth

  14. Kelsey says:

    I made this for supper tonight and I added mushrooms and a little bit of cream cheese! It was delicious!

  15. SueAnn says:

    I made this for dinner tonite and doubled it. Luckily I only added one can of tomatoes. It was just perfectly spicy! I mixed the cheese through the dish and it made the sauce thick. Delicious!!

  16. Karen says:

    Made this for dinner tonight. It was delicious and my husband had 2 helpings. We don’t have a dishwasher, so any of your Crockpot or skillet meals are the most appealing to me. Anything to keep the dishes and mess to a minimum. I only had a spicy smoked sausage, so I used that. Added a bit of garlic, and it was a nice meal. I will make this again.

  17. Tammy says:

    I may have to try this tomorrow..although I have to say the pricing is all wrong..I know that pricing may vary depending on what area you are from..but a 6 ounce package of shredded cheese in my area is about $5.99 and an 8 ounce package of smoked sausage is about $4.99. I buy fresh spinach all the time and one package that gives me about 3 and a half cups of spinach is $3.99 unless I catch it on 8 ounce box of pasta will cost me anywhere from $1.00-$1.50. This is not really a dish on a budget..but either way sounds great and I will have to try it! Thanks for posting it!

  18. arielle says:

    The liquid did not evaporate or thicken after adding pasta.. what did I do wrong

    • It sounds like you may need to turn up the heat just a tad. The heat level will depend on your particular stove top and the type of cookware used, but it needs to be simmering the whole time for the pasta to absorb the liquid. If the pasta softens up but there is still a considerable amount of liquid, let it simmer for a couple minutes without a lid for the moisture to evaporate.

  19. Brit says:

    I’m going to make this tonight for supper!! :) my family loves cheddar smokies sausages so I’ll be using those and I have cheese tortellini as the pasta! Will let you know how it turns out but I’m super excited!

  20. This is a favorite in our house. We have a new baby coming and I’m trying to make a bunch of food ahead. Do you think this would ok if I made it and froze it? I’m not great with a freezer and I don’t want to mess up the deliciousness!

    • This one will probably freeze decently. It won’t be quite as awesome as it is just after you make it, but it should still be tasty.

  21. I enjoyed it … tweaked it a little because I don’t like to use canned tomato – blanched and pealed some Roma tomatoes and roasted a jalapeno (wear gloves)

  22. Eunice says:

    Very yummy! Even better than expected. Definitely a keeper!

  23. This was amazing. I need to double it next time, my 2 teenage boys devoured it after practice. Leaving my husband and I to eat sandwiches

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