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

4.6 from 36 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 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.


  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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! :)

  6. Kelsey says:

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

  7. 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!!

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

  14. Eunice says:

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

  15. 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

  16. leeann says:

    I had to come back and review this because it was excellent. I used rotels for the tomatoes and that made it a little spicy. Not kid friendly unless your child likes that sort of thing so to appease the 6 year old next time I would use just diced tomatoes and I am sure it would come out just as good. I was suprised the noodles came out so well it what seemed like just a little bit of liquid. This recipe is tasty, budget friendly, quick and has spinach so I just love it.. Thanks!

  17. Jessica says:

    made this for dinner tonight, the ingredients i didnt have in my cupboard/freezer cost me about $13
    i used the full $3 bag of spinach, for 12oz of noodles and the full pack of sausages. i could have saved with buying a different type of canned tomatoes, but i love the way it turned out. my only issue is something that was my fault, i added too much liquid and by the time it simmered out my noodles were done, but they overcooked once i added the spinach/extras :( oh well. now i know for next time :)

  18. Charleen says:

    Wow this was a hit. I was thoroughly impressed and will make again and again. Next time I’ll try turkey sausage instead of smoked sausage because smoked sausage can be overwhelming imo. And when it comes to making a first time meal for my partner, I’ll whip this up. Thanks for posting.

  19. Molly says:

    For anyone doing Weight Watchers I calculated this at 9 P+ per serving with just a few modifications. I used turkey sausage and fat free cheese. It was a really good size serving for 9 points. Thanks for the great recipe!

  20. Appreciating the persistence you put into your blog and detailed information you offer. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed material. Great read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  21. Leah says:

    Found your recipe on Pinterest and I made it tonight; followed your recipe (except substituted turkey sausage for beef sausage) and it was delicious! Thank you for posting this!

  22. Katherine says:

    I made this tonight. I doubled all the ingredients and used mozzarella and some cream cheese because I didn’t have monterey jack. It was good but very soupy! What did I do wrong?

    • Katherine says:

      I forgot to say that I used stewed tomatoes instead of diced tomatoes and I used rotini noodles.

    • You can let it simmer for a couple of minutes without the lid if it’s too liquidy. That will help some of it evaporate. Also, unfortunately mozzarella doesn’t melt into the liquid in the same way that the Monterey Jack will, so it won’t quite have the same texture.

  23. This was good and really creamy even though it’s doesn’t use that much cheese. I used penne and Italian sausage.

  24. Made this for dinner last night and it was delicious! My boyfriend couldn’t get enough of this stuff. I modified the recipe a bit… I didn’t use spinach but I added mushrooms, a scoop of cream cheese along with the Monterey jack cheese and it came out really creamy. I was worried it was going to turn out a little soupy as I read some of the previous comments but as soon as I added the cheese and the cream cheese it turned out perfectly. I also used Italian hot and sweet sausage which gave a really nice kick to it.
    Great recipe and two thumbs up!

  25. Shayla says:

    Made this earlier this week and my boyfriend and I loved it! Going grocery shopping today to make it again this weekend.

  26. i made this tonight and I loved it. My mother who does not like pasta ate a full plate and called her sister to brag about how delicious her dinner was. I will be making more of this very soon.

  27. Kelly says:

    I just made this and it was just SO good! Especially for a cool fall night. My 3 yr old and my husband both loved it. It turned out exactly right – not soupy, not dry. Added mushrooms for fun and a tbsp of cream cheese because I didn’t have enough cheddar jack. So easy and so delicious, thank you!!!

  28. Rochelle says:

    Made this twice. Best sausage pasta ever. Neice asked if I bought it from a restaurant.
    Making again for tonight dinner. Thank you so much for the blog.

  29. Trisha says:

    This looks wonderful, a dish I am sure my husband will love. I want to make this next week but I have to ask, what kind of pasta did you use in this dish? Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  30. Rachelle says:

    This was delicious! And we got WAY more than four servings out of it.

  31. I cannot get enough of this pasta. I couldn’t really find monterrey jack for a reasonable price, so I stirred a bit of cream cheese into the pasta and topped it with some other cheese. My brother and boyfriend absolutely loved it!

  32. Heather Terry says:

    Well I’m only 21 and I love on my own in NM (my mom is THE BEST cook but she’s all the way in OH) so I’ve been trying to cook at home more instead of eating out all the time. I made this today for me and my boyfriend and we both ate 2 helpings to ourselves, very, very, good! Even though it was my first time ever cooking something like this it came out perfect, not too soupy! Thanks so much for this!

  33. 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.

  34. Erin says:

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

  35. 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!

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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!

  39. 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!

  40. 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!

  41. Meredith says:

    This was a great easy dinner for our active on the go family. I did change out and use the Butterball Smoked Turkey Sausage (we don’t eat much beef in our house) there was no grease to drain off and I think the flavor was still great. I couldn’t find a 14.5 ounce can of tomatoes so I ended up using half of a 28 oz can (the other half we used for chili yesterday).
    Bottom line…this is a “Do Over” in our house. LOVED IT

  42. Jamie Lynn says:

    this was even better than I thought it would be!!! I had to have a second helping. Absolutely delish and I can’t wait to make it again!! Thanks so much for this awesome recipe!!

  43. Jamie Lynn says:

    I’m going to make this for dinner tonight – looks absolutely delish!! I am going to use chicken sausage and add some bell peppers and broccoli. I’ll report back but I know it will be super yummy!!

  44. APowers says:

    I thought this was great! Will definitely be putting this in my regular recipes. Thanks!

  45. Kirsti says:

    This recipe was disappointing. It wasn’t creamy at all and the chicken broth as a substitute for the heavy cream made it taste disgusting. It was like pasta that was trying to be soup. Crappy soup. The though of this recipe makes me want to vomit. I will never eat it again.

  46. Megan says:

    Thanks for posting. I love that this recipe is so easy to customize. I 1 1/2’d it for my family of 6 and there will be leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I followed the directions and used Andouille smoked sausage (got it on sale this week) and it was good. After I finished though I realized it was a bit too spicy for my young children and knew they wouldn’t eat it so I mixed half a block of cream cheese in there to tone down the spiciness and it worked wonderfully. I also nixed the spinach in the pasta because my 4 year old would have a fit unless I picked it all out, so I served a nice salad on the side. Everybody ate it so I guess it’s a keeper :)

  47. Debbie says:

    Just made this for dinner. Very good, only problem was I had a lot of liquid left in the pan. Maybe I need to add more spinach? Will def make again!

  48. Kayla says:

    I made this the other night and it’s delicious and easy! I did however add lots of spices to it to give it more flavour. Thanks for the recipe! My boyfriend and I loved it!

  49. I’ve made the original and it’s always a crowd pleaser.

  50. Jessi says:

    This was absolutely Delish! My 6 year old even gobbled it up:)

  51. Kellie says:

    Could you substitute feta for the Monterey Jack?

    • You could, but it wouldn’t be quite as creamy and probably much saltier. The way that Monterrey melts is what makes it so deliciously creamy. :)

  52. Shae says:

    I happened upon this website today. I was inspired to make this dish. WE LOVE IT!! I especially like how pretty it turned out. I enjoyed taking a pic and tooting my own horn on fb! I will definitely make this again and I’ll be trying other recipes as well.

  53. Kelly Anne says:

    I have made this dish at least once to twice a month in the past year. Each time, I am reminded how ridiculously good it is. It is a good way to use up vegetables, too, so mine often turns into a pasta primavera/sausage dish. Thanks!

  54. Tabitha says:

    I made this tonight, following the recipe completely as directed with no substitutions or alterations. I have to say this was so good. I loved how creamy the shredded monterrey jack cheese made it and how the chilies in the tomatoes gave it just a little kick without overpowering it with too much spice. My seven year old son even loved it and he can be a little picky. This is a keeper and I will definitely be making it again!

  55. Just finished making this and it’s absolutely delicious! I followed the recipe almost to T, only thing I didn’t do was add green onion because I didn’t have any on hand, but it tastes great even without it. Adding this to my weekly meal lineup! Thanks so much for sharing!

  56. Abby says:

    Just got done eating this! It was very delicious and easy! My boyfriend loved it and will be making it for his coworkers at the firehouse next time he cooks! Thanks for sharing!

  57. Stephanie says:

    I am SO inspired! Cooking has been a chore for me for a long time. I am determined to find simple, basic cooking methods and recipes. Thank you for showing how fun and easy cooking can be, even on a budget!

  58. Carolann says:

    I LOVE this recipe. It’s so easy to make and it’s really delicious. Plus, it’s really versatile and works with whatever you have in the kitchen.

    Thanks for posting!

  59. Angel says:

    AWESOME! I cooked this tonight, and it was spectacular. I doubled the recipe (I had a sneaking suspicion that it would be good), and added in mushrooms.
    My husband and I was talking, and next time I think we’ll try prosciutto & chicken in it.

  60. crys says:

    Amazing even my kids liked it very yummy

  61. Brianna says:

    Just made this. Very successful. All i had to add was 2 spices, creole seasoning, and italian seasoning. It was also inexpensive as promised! PEOPLE IF YOU ARE READING THIS, GIVE IT A TRY! You did a wonderful Job girl!

  62. Erica says:

    Just read that someone named coma commented and the dish and made it with the turkey kielbasa so I’m sure it will be fine…

  63. Erica says:

    So excited to make this recipe tonight and just headedout to the store and couldn’t find any all beef smoked sausage, so They sold me smoked turkey kielbasa, do u think the flavor of this meat will suit the dish?

  64. Thanks for the awesome recipe; it was quite easy to make a double batch in a larger pot! Since I’m on an even tighter budget/abroad where there is no such thing as smoked sausage, I just used cheap hot dogs, but you could barely even tell. And since cheese is likewise crazy here, I used a package of cream cheese. Let me tell you: amazing.

  65. OKGirl says:

    I think I’ll try this using rice instead of noodles (had pasta last night). Has anyone tried that with this recipe?

  66. This is soooo good, I could hardly keep from eating it all in one day!
    I feel so efficient cooking your recipes, I’m saving a ton of money and I’ve only just started!
    Thanks for setting the example.


  67. Marine wifey says:

    Just made this recipe for dinner tonight and it was delicious!! I added a couple cloves of garlic cloves with the onion, and a few shakes of ground red pepper and Italian seasoning. It added a good kick! My hubby loved it and had two helpings!! I did have to cook it for another 5 minutes with out the lid so the broth could cook down a little more. Will be making this again!! :)

  68. I just got a new croc pot and I am excited to use it. Do you think if I added more broth and tomatoes I could do it in the croc pot? Just put it on low and let it simmer?

    • Well, it definitely won’t be the same because you won’t get the browning of the meat the way you do in the skillet, which is responsible for a lot of the flavor. Also, pasta in the crock pot tends to have a much softer texture. BUT, that aside, you might still really like it? I’ve never tried a dish like this in the slow cooker, though, so those are just my speculations.

  69. I made this recipe (but spicier) last night. Thanks for sharing it. Delish!

    I substituted the sausage for a spicy one that wasn’t precooked (surprise!) so I had to cook it first. I also subbed the cheese for a Monterey with Jalapenos. What a kick –

    One question, how exactly do I freeze individual portions? Any rules or tips? Is it too late to do it tonight with what I’ve got left?

    • For dishes like this, you can simply portion them out into resealable, freezer-safe containers (I just use those Glad or Ziploc containers) and freeze them. I like to refrigerate them first, then transfer to the freezer once cold. So, I often don’t freeze them until a day or so later.

  70. Ciam says:

    So I made this, and I can’t stop eating it. I found it three weeks ago, and it’s been requested every week.
    I do use kielbasa or turkey sausage instead of regular sausage, and also like to substitute kale as well!
    So simple, and delicious.

    OH! And one last change, I add some Tony Chacher’s cajun seasoning, because I pretty much don’t eat anything without it! :)
    Thanks for the great recipe!

  71. Megan says:

    I made this last night…delicious! I would almost do it without cheese next time…I used colby jack since I had it on hand and I don’t know if it was the flavor of the particular cheese, but it tasted better without it! I used mini farfalle pasta…very cute looking and cooked up quickly!

  72. I just made that pasta dish from the Kevin and Amanda site last week! How funny that I should end up on ur site THIS week. At any rate, I can’t wait to try ur version with spinach cuz the other version was yummy and I just know this one will be equally yummy too! Thanks for posting this!

  73. Jamila says:

    Tried this last night…absolutely delicious! Thank you so much, Beth! You have changed my world :-)

  74. Anonymous says:

    Delicious and easy! Added even more spinach.

  75. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, the first time I tried this one I forgot to drain the sausage fat and it ended up very greasy. The second attempt was much better, this one is a keeper!

  76. Live in CT and I shop at Aldi. Cost me about $7.

  77. Loved this dinner! I made it tonight,my hubby and I loved it! Raved about it on Instagram! Gave your amazing blog!
    xoxo Carly

  78. Anonymous says:

    i made this wednesday night for dinner. i had a 12oz bag of noodles so i “eyeballed” what i thought would be 8oz. i clearly over-shot it so i added a 1 more cup of broth and it was perfect. thanks for the recipe!! my husband went on and on about it :-)

  79. Anonymous says:

    Made this tonight for dinner. It was absolutely delicious!! Zero changes. Thanks for sharing!

  80. oh my goodness, this pasta dish is amazing. I’ve shared it with everyone who will listen. I’ve just recently been getting into cooking, and I love how easy you make the recipes. This was soooooo delicious, and not a lot of trouble (or money) either! Thanks!

  81. Anonymous says:

    Made this tonight and it was delicious! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  82. Anonymous says:

    I made this last week and it was delicious. I am making it again tonight. I used turkey sausage by ekrich with half the fat. And it was so good. There was no taste difference and i added extra cheese for extra creaminess.

  83. Anonymous says:

    Loved this one-dish stovetop “casserole”–fast, easy and tasty. This family of four had NO leftovers. Made it with turkey kielbasa, penne pasta, fresh cherry tomatoes (left over from something else) and a TB of canned green chilies (also left over from another recipe). Used about 2 1/2 cups broth because I wasn’t using canned tomatoes. When I make it again, I am going to try to find smoked Monterey Jack for a bit more flavor. Anonymous, where do you live that this cost $17?! Clare

  84. Since we had sausage earlier this week, I subsituted chicken. The dish was very creamy, as stated, however, it was VERY spicy. I would recommend NOT using the tomatoes with chilis and just use plain diced or fresh tomatoes. We ate as a family and even my 2yr old said “Spicy Mommy.” I will definitely do this dish again with a few minor adjustments.

  85. Loved it! We used turkey sausage, and next time I may sub one of the cups of broth for water-even with reduced sodium broth, there’s a lot of sodium. I added too much pasta the first time so I had to add a little water.

  86. Loved it! We used turkey sausage, and next time I may sub one of the cups of broth for water-even with reduced sodium broth, there’s a lot of sodium. I added too much pasta the first time so I had to add a little water.

  87. Anonymous says:

    I made this recipe exactly as is. The total price for me was $17. Not bad but it didn’t have any flavor so it was hard to eat without getting bored of it quickly. Needs more spices.

  88. Anonymous says:

    Wow! This was great and so easy! I followed the recipe exactly, only substituting minced onion for fresh because my husband has a weird thing about onion texture. I also used egg noodles because I thought that’s what was in the picture. They turned out really well and helped soaked up all the delicious broth. I will definitely be making this one again! Love your budget friendly recipes!

  89. My dad recently got a sausage maker and he had lots of fun with it…he ended up with 45 sausages or something, so he gave me a big bag to keep in my freezer at school! Can’t wait to use them for this yummy-looking recipe :)

  90. Tonight was my first night cooking in a kitchen that we’ve been remodeling since beginning of December (SO SICK of microwaveable dinners, ramen, and takeout!, and I’ve had this on my mind since you posted the recipe. It was SO good and totally lived up to my expectations. What a great way to break in my new kitchen! I just love your blog, it’s my go to when I’m meal planning!

  91. Brittany says:

    We made this and it was a huge hit. I was massively surprised that I had everything I needed (within reason) in my pantry. I subbed andouille sausage for smoked and used elbow noodles (since I have many boxes of it) but it was massively popular. And that is saying something, considering my picky 3 and 5 year old kids!

  92. Delish! It was way spicier than expected, but in a good way! Made it for friends and they all flipped!

  93. Holy crapoly this was delicious! I did use egg noodles, and it was fine.

  94. Mandy – Yep, pepper jack is just monterrey jack with hot peppers added, so that will still work fine. :)

    Emile – It’s actually regular pasta (not egg pasta), but it’s these cool shapes called flowers (or the Italian word for flowers, anyway). I bet egg noodles would work well too, though!

  95. Beth, can I ask what kind of pasta you used in this recipe? It looks like plain ol’ egg noodles, but I didn’t want to make assumptions, especially if that’s not the case!

  96. mandy g says:

    this looks absolutely fabulous. might have to give it a try (using a veg sausage instead…lightlife makes a smoked sausage variety!). do you think pepperjack would melt the same? i love a lot of eat in my food! ;)

  97. I used this recipe as a starting point to create a yummy dish using items that I bought with doubled coupons. Sometimes I get new products for free after coupons, not always sure how to use it. I used half a pack of chipotle chicken sausage (entire package $1.49 after coupons), penne (25¢ for one pound box), and Campbell’s Skillet Sauce Fire Roasted Tomato (free) with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese on top ($2 for one pound bag). It was easy, yummy, fast and very cheap.. thank you!

  98. Made this tonight and it was very tasty! I substituted a different type of pasta (only one I had in house), some Italian sausage from local market and used colby-jack cheese. I’ll definitely add this to the recipe box.

  99. The canned tomatoes come with quite a bit of juice!

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  100. Oh and I used whole wheat pasta and it turned out just fine.

  101. This was wonderful! I made it for my family of five. Everyone loved it, including my extremely picky 4 year old. I used elbow noodles so I could convince him it was “just like” mac and cheese :)

  102. Mike says:

    this was bomb-tastic. i went a little crazy on the cheese and spinach, but worth it.

  103. Anonymous – Not a silly question at all! I think it will pretty much work the same. Like you said, it may take a couple extra minutes of simmering, but not a huge difference. Also, just keep an eye on it and add a little extra water if it gets dry. You should stir a few times while it simmers anyway, so if it starts to dry up just add a little water.

  104. Anonymous says:

    This may sound silly, but will whole wheat pasta work the same way as far as liquid ingredients go? I’m assuming it may cook a bit longer than with regular pasta. I have tons of whole wheat penne and I’m looking for creative ways to use it! This recipe looks delicious!

  105. GET IN MY BELLY!!!! Making this tonight! :)

  106. Goethe Girl – I actually just cook for myself. :) I eat the leftovers throughout the week, and sometimes freeze about half as individual portions. That way, I have a freezer full of different single serving portions of recipes, so if I get sick of whatever I’m eating that week, I can just grab something different out of the freezer. In general my portions are pretty small, so keep that in mind when I list servings per recipe. Although, for this one I found that I actually got closer to six servings than the four that I originally anticipated.

  107. I am a novice cook and have been reading your blog for about a month now. I am now ready to jump in and try this recipe. It is hard for me to tell from your recipes, however, whether you are making meals for one person, with leftovers, or would you say that your recipes are for more than one person? The commenters suggest the recipe is good for a family dinner, but I am recently widowed and cooking, for the most part, for myself.

  108. I love you, I love you, I love you!
    Thanks for this blog. It helps me make family-friendly, budget-friendly meals all the time. You’re awesome!

  109. I will make this tonight and I’m replacing the fresh spinach by frozen spinach leaves, plus I’ll be adding carrots and frozen peas for some veggies!
    This looks sooo great! Yum

  110. This looks sooo delish!

    STH – Thanks for how you modified that! I am going to have to try that with this recipe!

  111. Made this last night with a few modifications to fit better into our diabetic diet–used about 3/4 of a turkey kielbasa, added a chopped green pepper and about 2 cups of chopped eggplant, and used whole wheat egg noodles for the pasta. I didn’t have Monterey Jack, so I used half Mozzarella and half low-fat cheddar. We really liked it; my SO had two servings and asked me if he could take the leftovers for lunch Monday, so I’d call that a hit! Thanks for this–I really appreciated how quick it was as I’d just taken an exam that afternoon and needed something easy to whip up fast.

  112. Katie says:

    Made this with Tofurky Italian sausage and frozen spinach and it was awesome. Added another 1/2 cup of water at the end because the pasta hadn’t cooked all the way.

  113. Good idea for a recipe! I have some sausages in the fridge I need to use up so will probably make this tomorrow!

  114. Anonymous says:

    Hi Beth! THANK YOU for this recipe! We just finished dinner, and WOW was this dish awesome! LOVED by adults and young children. This is going into my dinner rotation. The only change I made was I used 12 oz of an all natural chicken sausage (I was concerned about nitrites and msg). It was also really PRETTY!–my husband said that it looked just like your pictures. We generally eat clean, and this qualified as a clean meal! Beth, I have a ton of cookbooks, but I really enjoy your recipes and find myself inspired by blogs like yours. Also, I love your step-by-step photos! Great blog and yummy recipes!

  115. Thanks for answering and I agree! 1.5-2 cups of chopped tomatoes. The canned tomatoes come with quite a bit of juice, though, so you may want to add a half cup of water or so to make up for the lost moisture… but that might not be needed. Just see if the pasta cooks through without the skillet drying up first.

  116. Anonymous says:


    A can of tomatoes is about 1.5 cups, so either one big tomato or two medium should do it. Use the chillies to taste, I’d say 3-4.

  117. Tiff L says:

    I’d like to make this with fresh tomatoes and green chilies – how many would I need to use? (I don’t know what 14.5 oz translates to :P)

    PS I love you Beth. Never having cooked before in my life, I was dying as a new college graduate until I ran across your blog!

  118. I’ve adjusted this for vegetarians, used some soy sausage and vegetable broth. For some reason mine didn’t simmer down incredibly well so next time I’d use one cup of broth instead of two. I’m also not the biggest onion fan in the world so I used half an onion. Also used cheddar instead of monterey jack and mixed greens instead of spinach (it’s what I had!). Still delicious!! Thanks for the recipe :)

  119. Kess – Yes, frozen spinach would work, although if it’s chopped frozen spinach it will be in tiny bits instead of nice big leaves. It will taste just fine, though.

    Goethe Girl – Cheddar would be best. Parmesan won’t melt in as nicely, although it would probably still taste great!

  120. Made this last night! I used raw deli sausage and fresh tomatoes, spinach, and bell peppers, and it was very good! I used twice the amount of pasta, and therefore twice the amount of cheese, and it ended up being extremely cheesy, probably too much. I think in the future I would maybe add cream and use much less cheese.

    Love your blog! I’ve made ~15 recipes of yours so far!

  121. I just freakin love one pots recipes!

  122. Anonymous says:

    Spinach cooks down to next to nothing. Don’t worry the big bag will reduce in volume 90%.

    Jack is just young cheddar

  123. This looks sooo goood!!!

  124. Can you do Parmesan or Cheddar instead of Monterey Jack?

  125. Kess says:

    Do you think you could use frozen spinach if you thawed it a bit first? I’ve got this huge bag of frozen spinach that I’m not quite sure what to do with (bought it on a whim as I’m trying to get more veggies into my diet).

  126. Anonymous says:

    Made this last night and it was quite a hit! Added garbanzo beans just before adding the pasta and they absorbed all the tomatoey sausagey yummyness! So good!

  127. Same thing as Dunja here, glad to know I can use cheddar! This recipe looks too delicious not to give it a try! =]

    PS.: I’ve been following your blog for a while now, through Bloglovin’. Couldn’t help leaving a comment on this post!

  128. Dunja – Yes, cheddar melts in a similar way to monterrey jack and the flavor goes well with the other ingredients. I hope you like it!

  129. I’ve never heard of Monterrey Jack cheese before and doubt it will be obtainable here in Food Desert Germany. Is Cheddar a good substitute? That would mean I could make this recipe tomorrow! So excited!

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  131. Anonymous says:

    Geesh this recipe will kill you? Dramatic much?

  132. It looks delicious! I am going to but this dish on next weeks dinner menu! I use lots of caned foods including tomatoes and so have my past generations! Were pretty healthy! Thanks for sharing all your amazing recipes!
    Xoxo Carly

  133. Cassi says:

    I tried this recipe tonight and it was great! We did diced tomatoes with chipotle peppers and in really gave the dish a nice kick! I also was lucky enough to get some local smoked sausage which was excellent. The only cheese I had in the house was cheddar, but it was still great.

  134. I love the addition of spinach for color!

  135. Isn’t Better than Bouillon great!?

    • Sammylyn says:

      YES! It’s the best, I use the reduced sodium, will never buy broth from the can or bullion again.

  136. I am just loving your recipes! I have made dragon noodles twice in a week! This looks AMAZING and delicious! New fav. food blog. EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!

  137. @Jacob – It’s very difficult to find tomatoes in glass containers in my area, namely a suburb in the southeast United States. That said, several organic canned food providers do have BPA-free can liners in their tomatoes so it may be worth taking a look in the organic aisle if you’re in my situation and don’t mind a non-budget byte now and then. ;)

  138. Anonymous says:

    Mmm, I never know what to do with that sausage when I get it. I usually cook it in the skillet with potatoes and it is so heavy and salty. I can’t wait to try this!!

  139. Looks yummy!

  140. Jacob says:

    As delicious as that looks, this recipe as is will kill you. Cans are lined with dangerous chemicals such as bisphenol-A, which causes heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and can also alter your sperm and eggs. The acidity of tomatoes causes this chemical to leech into the tomatoes themselves, which you then ingest. Spend a little bit extra to get tomatoes in glass containers. You’ll save hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses and invaluable time of prolonged life. Other than that, can’t wait to try the recipe!

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