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 20 reviews
creamy spinach & sausage pasta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Total Cost: $5.91
Cost Per Serving: $1.48
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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 past 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.

119 Comments

  1. I made this because it looked really easy and it was extemely simple. My kids ate it up I didn’t even get to eat it.

  2. Erin says:

    This dish is fabulous! My husband went back for 3rds….he’s never had thirds before! So happy I found your blog :)

  3. Shayna says:

    Def ate more of this than I needed to! It was so good! Probably the best sausage pasta Iv’e ever made. I made some changes to the recipe. I used hot italian sausage because my boyfriend really like that and I doubled up on the chicken broth and pasta. I was making it for the 2 of us using rigatoni and i thought that the 8 oz of pasta wouldn’t be enough so i doubled up on the liquid but still used one can of the chili tomatoes. Also the spinach I bough in the beginning of the week was bad now (Fri) lol. So there was no spinach but the meal turned out fantastic. I also added a splash of milk for some richness but would have been just as good without it. My boyfriend love 3 things in a pasta dish; sausage, spicy sauce and cheese. This was the perfect combo of all 3. Also i used cheddar cheese instead of the jack.. Thx Beth!

  4. Kendra malone says:

    This is tasty :) Ours was a tad bit soupy too but I enjoyed that aspect of it, actually. Well it was probably because I added another 1/2 cup of water to make sure all of my pasta was covered. We used farfalle pasta. Hubbs said to keep this one on our rotation.

  5. Joyce says:

    I loved this! I used turkey smoked sausage and since I didn’t have a can of Rotel tomatoes, I used a can for diced tomatoes and a can of chopped green chiles. I also didn’t have any spinach so, I omitted it. Also, instead of monteray cheese, I used a block do cream cheese. I know… Lots of calories and fat but, the sausage was turkey :). This is definitely a keeper in my recipe box.

  6. Julia says:

    Hi Beth! Just made this, eating it now. It’s great! The only problem is that I have a lot of liquid left in the pot, which has made the whole meal a little soupy. Any thoughts on what I did wrong?

    • I would try simmering it a bit longer, and if needed simmer for a minute or two without the lid. Hopefully that helps!

  7. Anna V says:

    I absolutely loved this recipe! Although I substituted the smoked sausage for italian sausage (after making it with the smoked sausage first) and liked it with the italian sausage so much better! Excellent recipe overall though!

  8. I accidentally bought a bag of spinach/kale mix instead of spinach. Having never had kale before I was kinda worried, but it turned out amazing. My autistic son (who has a list of acceptable foods you can count on both hands, generally) liked the smell, and wanted to try it. He ate it all up! I never in a million years thought I’d get spinach into that boy, thanks Beth!

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