Spicy Sausage and Broccoli Pasta

$8.37 recipe / $1.05 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.67 from 15 votes
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Here’s to quick & delicious dinners! This Spicy Sausage and Broccoli Pasta is another dish that can be whipped up in practically the same amount of time that it takes to boil the pasta. You gotta love that!

I wanted to buy some spicy Italian sausage for this recipe, by my local grocery store only had sweet Italian sausage. Guess what? It was still delicious! And, if you’re adventurous, you could even try some smoked sausage. Yes ma’am!

I also bought some fancy-schmancy smoked gouda to go on the pasta because I thought the creamy, smokey cheese would be a nice contrast to the spicy red pepper… and it was! Because the cheese was so expensive, I decided to mix it with a less expensive blend of generic “Italian blend shredded cheese.” In the end, I didn’t end up needing much cheese at all, so I could have used straight gouda and still not broken the bank. If you don’t want to spring for the fancy smoked gouda, just the shredded Italian blend or some parmesan would have been great on here. You don’t need a lot, just a light sprinkle to balance the flavors and textures.

I chose to use frozen broccoli florets because they’re already blanched prior to freezing. This makes the cooking processes much faster. Plus, you can buy it and stash it in the freezer until you’re ready to use it without worry that it will get wilty and moldy like it does in the bottom of your refrigerator!

Spicy Sausage and Broccoli Pasta

Top view of a bowl of Spicy Sausage and Broccoli Pasta

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Spicy Sausage and Broccoli Pasta

4.67 from 15 votes
A hearty pasta dish with vegetables and flavorful sausage, Spicy Sausage and Broccoli Pasta is a weeknight dinner winner.
Servings 8
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 30 minutes


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.24)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($0.28)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper ($0.03)
  • 1/2 lb. Italian sausage ($2.75)
  • 1 lb. frozen broccoli florets ($1.63)
  • 1 lb. bow tie pasta ($1.29)
  • 2 oz. 1/2 cup smoked gouda ($1.47)
  • 2 oz. 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese ($0.63)
  • to taste salt & pepper ($0.05)


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes or until al dente). Drain in a colander.
  • While the pasta is cooking, begin the rest of the dish. Mince the garlic. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and saute for 1 minute more.
  • Squeeze the Italian sausage out of the casing into the skillet. Break it up with a spatula as it cooks. Saute until cooked through. Add the broccoli (thaw before hand) to the skillet and saute for 3-5 minutes or just until the broccoli is tender. Turn off the burner to prevent the broccoli from over cooking (it will begin to turn an olive green color if it overcooks).
  • When the pasta is cooked and drained, add it to the skillet with the sausage and broccoli. Stir to coat it in the garlic and red pepper infused oil. Sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, stir, and serve warm!

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Serving: 1ServingCalories: 403.31kcalCarbohydrates: 47.39gProtein: 17.96gFat: 15.83gSodium: 436.95mgFiber: 3.61g
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Top view of a serving bowl of Spicy Sausage and Broccoli Pasta  and a small bowl served up

Step By Step Photos

bowtie pasta in package about to be poured into boiling water in pot
Begin by boiling the water to cook the pasta. By the time the water reaches a boil and the pasta is cooked, you’ll probably have the rest of the dish ready and waiting for the pasta to be stirred in! I like bowties for this recipe because the shape adds great texture to the dish.

garlic and olive oil in pan
While you’re waiting for the water to boil and the pasta to cook, mince the garlic. Add it to a large skillet with the olive oil. Cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.

crushed red pepper flakes added to garlic and oil in pan
Add the crushed red pepper flakes and cook for about a minute more. Be careful not to burn the red pepper flakes. If they begin to brown, turn the heat down a touch. The olive oil is now getting infused with the flavors of the red pepper and garlic – yum!

package of sweet Italian sausage
This is the sausage that I used. Like I said, you could use hot Italian sausage, or even smoked sausage if you like. I only used half of this one pound package and froze the rest for another recipe later.

sausage squeezed out of casing into pan with oil, red pepper flakes and garlic
Squeeze the sausage out of the casing into the skillet (or slice it – your choice) and cook until done all the way through. The seasoning in the sausage will add further flavor to the oil in the pan, which ultimately acts as a sauce on the pasta and broccoli.

broccoli added to skillet with cooked sausage
Add the broccoli to the skillet. The broccoli should be at least half way thawed or else it will add to your cooking time. I also ended up cutting the pieces a bit smaller. Cook the broccoli just until it is fork tender and then turn the burner off.

drained and cooked pasta added to broccoli and sausage in skillet
By this time the pasta is probably cooked and drained. Add it to the skillet.

stir to coat pasta in skillet with other ingredients
Stir to coat the pasta in the flavor infused oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

package of shredded cheese and gouda cheese
These are the two cheese that I used. One inexpensive, one expensive. I originally mixed up one cup of each, but ended up only using about half of it for this dish (or one cup total). You could use just one of these cheeses and the dish would still be great.

shredded cheese in bowl
I just shredded the gouda and mixed it into the less expensive cheese.

cheese sprinkled over top of pasta in skillet
Sprinkle the cheese over top. I only used about one cup of cheese total. Because the dish uses oil as a sauce, too much cheese would make this dish really heavy.

finished pasta in skillet
Stir everything together.

Close up of a forkful of Spicy Sausage and Broccoli Pasta
…and enjoy every bite of this amazing Spicy Sausage and Broccoli Pasta!

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  1. I was actually really disappointed with this recipe. It was so so so bland! I used hot Italian sausage because that’s what I had and I doubled the amount of cheese because who doesn’t love cheese but it was still very bland. If needs something and I can’t put my finger on it.

  2. I have made this recipe several times over the past few years, I’m surprised I didn’t write a review yet because your recipe is the first time I heard of this and the one I always use, with a few minor changes. I use fresh broccoli crowns and boil them with the pasta for the last few minutes instead of sauteing frozen crowns with the sausage; and after browning the sausage, I add some butter and white wine and simmer for a few minutes to make some sauce, then combine it all together with the pasta and broccoli and shred way too much parmesan over it LOL. I omit the Gouda because I rarely have it on hand and I doubt it’s ‘ruining’ this for me. It’s an easy, dirt cheap, and absolutely delicious meal. I ate it tonight with some fresh baked garlic bread sticks. Thank you so much. This is one of my top ten favorite quick, easy, affordable and delicious dinners.

  3. Do not heat the garlic on medium or even medium low heat. It must be low or you will have burned garlic. Read the recipe through several times as I did not understand that I needed to set the oil aside so I prepared the sausage in the oil. Not to worry. It still turned out pretty good. 

  4. Found some Cajun sausage in the freezer and needed to find something to make it with. I had already had some bowtie pasta in the pantry and also frozen broccoli bits. It was as if I was meant to make this recipe!

    The husband loved it, great mix of flavors and the flavor infused oil was perfect. I did definitely add more than 4 cloves of garlic, as a garlic fanatic though.

    1. I used breakfast sausage as we had a hog butchered and the order got messed up. I have oodles of breakfast sausage to use.