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Creamy, cheesy, spicy and savory, this One Pot Cheesy Sausage Pasta meal has got it all!

Pan filled with Pasta and Sausage

This cheesy smoked sausage pasta skillet recipe is one of our favorite One Pot Meals. Savory smoked sausage, creamy melted cheese, fragrant garlic, onions, and tomatoes all come together in a one skillet meal that is sure to please everyone in the family.

Love meals with smoked sausage? Be sure to try our Instant Pot Jambalaya with Shrimp and Sausage or Smoked Sausage and Potato Sheet Pan Dinner.

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Cheesy Sausage Pasta Recipe 

One Pot Meals are the best for busy families like mine because they are simple, come together in a flash and require minimal equipment and clean up. Some of our favorite one pot meals are One Pot Chicken SpaghettiOne Pot Creamy Chicken and Noodles and this One Pot Cheesy Smoked Sausage Pasta.

The best part is it takes only about 20 minutes from start to finish. These one pot meals have become my go-to weeknight dinners. Pair with a garden salad and you’re good to go!

I love smoked sausage, and it was perfectly paired with the other flavors in this recipe.

sausage, butterfly pasta, cheese sauce and tomatoes

Ingredients for Smoked Sausage Pasta

  • Smoked Turkey Sausage – Any smoked sausage will work, like beef or pork or a kielbasa. 
  • Diced Onion – To add flavor with the sausage.
  • Minced Garlic – Fresh garlic is best, but you can also use jarred minced garlic. 
  • Chicken Broth – I always buy the low sodium broth so I can control the salt. 
  • Rotel – Tomatoes with green chiles to add some heat. You can use just regular tomatoes if you want to keep it mild and more kid friendly. 
  • Heavy Cream – For the sauce. 
  • Small Pasta – Like rotini, penne, or farfalle. 
  • Cheddar-Jack Cheese – I like to use the mixture of jack and cheddar, but either will work. 
  • Green Onions – for garnish.

How to Make One Pot Cheesy Smoked Sausage Pasta

See the recipe card below for full, detailed instructions

collage of images showing how to make cheesy sausage pasta
  • The steps for this recipe are quick and easy so you can bring it to your dinner table fast. Saute your Hillshire Farm Smoked Turkey Sausage (or any brand will do) with some onion and garlic, then add a can of Rotel diced tomatoes, pasta, cream, chicken broth, and seasons. It only takes about 15 minutes to cook – add some cheese and you’re good to go!
  • Cook onions, garlic and smoked sausage in a large, deep saute pan and cook until lightly browned. 
  • Add chicken broth, Rotel tomatoes (or plain tomatoes, with or without chiles is your call), milk, pasta, and seasonings. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover it with the lid and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened and the pasta is tender. 
  • Turn off the heat and stir in ½ cup of sharp cheddar cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cover for about five minutes to allow cheese to melt. Feel free to use your favorite melty cheese, like Mozzarella or Jack. Pepper Jack would add even more heat so that’s another great option. 
smoked sausage and pasta in a creamy cheesy sauace

FAQs

What is the best way to reheat pasta? 

Reheating pasta with a cheesy sauce in the microwave can be tricky. Add a couple of splashes of milk or cream per serving, then heat at 50% power for several minutes, stirring at one minute intervals. This will keep the sauce nice and creamy. There’s nothing worse than a cheese sauce that has become curdled and separated. If your pasta was not stored with a sauce, drizzle on a little olive oil before heating.

Does Smoked Sausage need to be cooked? 

This type of sausage has been smoked, which means it’s fully cooked in the process. There is no need to cook it again, but you may want to heat it up. 

What is the best way to cook smoked sausage? 

Smoked sausage is already fully cooked, so you aren’t really cooking it, but warming it up. The best way to do this is in a skillet so you can get some char and caramelization on the sides of the sausage. It adds a ton of flavor and really brings out the juiciness of the smoked sausage.

How To Serve and Variations

We love to serve this sausage pasta with a copycat Olive Garden Salad and maybe some fresh bread on the side. 

You could add your favorite veggies to the mix, like mushroomszucchini, bell peppers, or broccoli. Just saute with the onions and let cook fully with the pasta and sausage. 

Bring the heat even more by adding some red pepper flakes. Or, use a spicy andouille sausage instead.  

Storage and Reheating

Storage – Place leftovers in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. 

Freezing – You can freeze this dish, but the cream might break down upon reheating so I don’t really recommend it.

Reheating – Thaw first if frozen. Reheat in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until hot. 

Helpful Tips

  • If there is still a lot of thin liquid, you can spoon some of that out before adding the cheese. You do need some liquid to create the sauce though, so keep that in mind. 
  • Green onions are a great garnish, but you could also use fresh parsley. 
  • Feel free to use whatever pastas you might have on hand, and don’t be afraid to mix and match. 
  • For an extra savory, salty component, add some bacon. 
One Pan Cheesy Sausage Pasta recipe has smoked sausage and pasta in a spicy, creamy sauce cooked in one pan for a quick weeknight meal.

More Smoked Sausage Recipes

Recipe
Pan filled with Pasta and Sausage

One Pan Cheesy Smoked Sausage Pasta Skillet

4.81 from 188 votes
One Pan Cheesy Smoked Sausage Pasta recipe has smoked sausage and pasta in a spicy, creamy sauce that’s all cooked in one pan for a quick weeknight meal.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 5 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound Smoked Turkey Sausage sliced
  • 1 cup diced onion about 1 medium onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic about 2-3 fresh cloves
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes (with or without chiles) (like rotel)
  • 1/2 cup milk or heavy cream
  • 8 ounces dry pasta like rotini, penne or farfalle
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar-Jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup sliced scallions for garnish
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Instructions
 

  • Add olive oil to a 5 quart saute pan over medium high heat. Add onions and sausage and cook until lightly browned. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  • Add chicken broth, tomatoes (undrained), milk, pasta, and seasonings. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until pasta is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in ½ cup of cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cover for about five minutes to allow cheese to melt. Top with sliced scallions and serve. (You could also broil for a couple of minutes to melt the cheese).

Notes

This recipe will serve 4-6 people.
If there is still a lot of thin liquid, you can spoon some of that out before adding the cheese. You do need some liquid to create the sauce. 
Storage – Place leftovers in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
Freezing – You can freeze this dish, but the cream might break down upon reheating so I don’t really recommend it.
Reheating – Thaw first if frozen. Reheat in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until hot.
Keyword sausage pasta

Nutrition

Calories: 526kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 27gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 1350mgPotassium: 277mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 590IUVitamin C: 10.7mgCalcium: 251mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

*Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Simple Recipes Cookbook. For a complete list of recipes on the site, be sure to go here.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. Natalie says:

    This recipe is awesome! I’m not the best cook so whenever I try a new recipe it doesn’t always turn out good. I followed it exactly. It was easy and smelled good while I was cooking and it tastes great. Definitely will be making again.

  2. MitchellsOnTheRoad says:

    We first made this one pot meal 4 years ago while traveling the US via RV- it was a huge hit with both the kids and adults! 4 Years later it’s still on regular rotation, and every family we’ve introduced it to on the road has loved it.

    1. Kristin says:

      That’s awesome Mitchells! Awesome feedback, thanks for stopping by.

  3. Miriam Jones says:

    Creamy cheese smoked sausage dinner looks good. And quick. Just what I need

  4. Jayme Morton says:

    Made this for my family tonight. My kids will not eat anything if they see a tomato so I ran the tomatoes through a food processor first. I think it added extra liquid so I’d cut back on the chicken broth a bit next time. Sadly, my kids still didn’t eat it. My husband and I enjoyed it but felt it needed a bit more seasoning. A sprinkle of Cajun seasoning on the top really took it to the next level!!

    1. Shelene Boehm says:

      Very tasty! Easy to make!

  5. Peggy says:

    This recipe is easy and really adaptable to add-ins. I roasted a sheet pan-full of chopped brocolli, chopped cauliflower, sliced carrots and green peppers and added it with the pasta for a more-balanced meal. The pan was pretty crowded, but it still came out great.

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thanks for stopping by Peggy.

    2. Angie says:

      Could I cook the pasta separately and then mix all together at the end?

      1. Kristin Maxwell says:

        Not with this specific recipe because the liquid cooks the pasta.

  6. Beverly says:

    Love this making it right now

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thanks for stopping by Beverly.

  7. Ian says:

    I was just in the mood for pasta tonight, and I knew there was a smoked sausage link in the fridge. Found this recipe and I was sold at RoTel. Plus, I realized I had everything I needed in the pantry already!

    I substituted sour cream for the heavy cream, and I didn’t have any scallions, but otherwise I just followed the recipe. The wife and I decided this is definitely a recipe to make again. Next time I will add some more vegetables.

    1. Kristin says:

      Love the feedback Ian! Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Lisa says:

    I was trying to find something to do with a box of mac and cheese & smoked sausage…used your recipe, added some Velveeta and Colby cheese with the cheese sauce. I used rotel and the rest of your ingredients, added broccoli…yum yum!

    1. Kristin says:

      Awesome feedback Lisa! Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Jill bonilla says:

    Ok, so I had everything but the tomatoes. I had pato sauce so I used 1/2 cup of that instead. I added 1 cup heavy cream to make the sauce a little milder, and a little more bow ties.. I will follow the recipe to tee next time.. This was so amazingly good that my son ran to the store to get more kielbasa because the kids (teenagers) polished it off before I could even get it to the table.. absolutely delish!

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Awesome feedback Jill, thanks for stopping by.

  10. Michelle says:

    OMG this recipe is absolutely amazing. My family loves it. I wish I can give more than 5 stars. Only thing I’ve added was Cajun Seasoning to give it a more more kick. What can I say we a spicy kinda family 😊

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Love to hear it Michelle!

  11. Elizabeth Burke says:

    It’s very tasty – needs some flavor kick. Maybe some fire roasted tomatoes instead of plain? Or some hot sauce in the final steps?

    Also, my sauce is very….saucy. But that’s not a complaint. Just an observation.

    My kid lived it so that’s a win for me! I’ll definitely save this recipe and play with the flavor for next time.

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Hi Elizabeth, so glad you liked it! Yes as I stated you could use Rotel tomatoes instead, that’s very good too. And you could cut back the chicken broth a little if it’s too saucy.

  12. Kayla Bernard says:

    How much seasoning do you use? I don’t want it to be too salty.

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Hi Kayla, Since saltiness can be relative, I tend to let people choose for themselves. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and then taste and add more if needed after it’s cooked.

  13. Derek V says:

    Awesome flavor! I seasoned with Slap Your Mama instead of salt and pepper, and used bow tie pasta ‘cause that’s all I had. Next time I’ll use a Cajun sausage instead of smoked. All that said, it’s awesome as is tho!!

    1. Kristin says:

      Love your feedback Derek! Thanks for stopping by.

    2. Kayla says:

      How much seasoning did you use?

  14. Veronica Long says:

    So very good! Really enjoyed this recipe🙂

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Veronica!

  15. calilawprof says:

    Absolutely amazing. Looks like an ordinary skillet dinner but it has a depth of flavor that is a terrific surprise. It is an easy dish to make because most of the items are in my kitchen all the time and some easily substitute — like beef stock with a little red wine instead of chicken stock.

    1. Kristin says:

      Awesome Feedback calilawprof! Thanks so much for stopping by.

  16. Candace says:

    Really good…made it exactly as called for. I did garnish with tortilla strips like the ones they sell next to the croutons (favorite Italian restaurant does this to a similar dish). Definitely going on the meal plan rotation.

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thanks for stopping by Candace!

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