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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. Keith Watling says:

    Awesome. Thank you

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Keith! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Keith Watling says:

    Do you cook the sausage first? Because as I read this it doesn’t look like they’ll be cooked enough. Looks fantastic though.

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Smoked sausage is already fully cooked when you purchase it.

    2. Keith Watling says:

      Oh. Must have missed that. Thanks. Gonna try it tonight with Applewood smoked sausage.

      1. Kristin Maxwell says:

        I love applewood smoked sausage. Enjoy!

  3. Suzy says:

    So good and so easy! Husband loved it and the leftovers were amazing!

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thanks for stopping by Suzy.

  4. Robin Worth says:

    So yummy! This is now a staple in our house!
    Definitely use cream as opposed to milk and we use the farfalle pasta. Also like the tomatoes with Italian seasoning in them and add way more garlic!!

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Awesome feedback Robin! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Jodi Gaumer says:

    This was awesome! I added quartered zucchini slices to health it up!

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thanks for stopping Jodi.

  6. Natalie M. says:

    I’ve made this recipe many, many times. It goes into our monthly rotation of dinners. This delicious recipe is a hit both with the kids and the adults. I’ve improvised here and there, depending on what I have on hand. I do always add in some kind of veggie. Tonight I added chopped fresh asparagus, but other nights I’ve added chopped green beans, broccoli, red pepper, or shredded carrots (always trying to sneak some veggies in for the children). Thank you for posting this recipe! It is a perfect for a busy evening and I love that it is only 1 pot!

    1. Kristin says:

      Awesome feedback Natalie! Thank you so much for stopping by.

  7. Destiny listman says:

    Do you cook the pasta first?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Nope! It cooks in the liquid you’ll add to the skillet.

  8. Michelle R. says:

    I have made this recipe so many times and don’t think I’ve ever left it a review. It’s wonderful the way you gave it written but I have changed the meat, broth, and spices to work with what I have on hand and it has still never let me down. The kids always enjoy it as do my husband and I. Excellent recipe for a busy night or when the cupboards are running a little low. Thank you!

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Michelle! Awesome feedback, thanks for stopping by.

  9. Tia says:

    This recipe was awesome! I used Mexican cheese because it was all i had and it was absolutely delicious and so cheap and easy! Can this recipe be doubled?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      It would be difficult to double because it it would need a much larger pan. Deeper pots don’t always work as well. You could try it in a large, deep dutch oven, and it would probably work but might not have the same quality.

  10. Monna Lainson says:

    We were unsure at first, but we loved it Hubby gave his classic response to something he really likes: “You can fix this again sometime.” LOL Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Monna! Thanks for stopping by.

  11. marsha church says:

    great dish i added some peas carrots and green peppers

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thanks for stopping by Marsha.

  12. Doug says:

    Absolutely delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Doug! Thanks for stopping by.

  13. Caro says:

    Cheers for the recipe. I was stuck for ideas for dinner as I only had odds and ends in my cupboards, but I had all of these ingredients except instead of turkey sausage I had smoked pork sausage, and I only had plain cheddar cheese, but it still turned out awesome. I added a little paprika and chilli flakes to give it a Spanish paella feel, worked a treat!

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thank you Caro for the awesome feedback.

  14. Ann says:

    My husband found this recipe a couple years ago. We love it. The sauce is so good when you cook the pasta in it. We use 4-pepper Ekrich sausage and hot Rotel tomatoes to give it extra spice. Very good.
    Thanks

    1. Kristin says:

      Awesome feedback Ann! Thank you so much for stopping by.

  15. Tiffany says:

    What an easy, fantastic recipe!! It was definitely a hit in my house! The only change I made was I used fire roasted, crushed tomatoes instead of the rotel (we have some picky eaters that don’t like tomatoes or spicy things). I will make this again and try adding mushrooms to it.

    1. Kristin says:

      Hi Tiffany, awesome feedback. Thank you so much for stopping by.

  16. Becca says:

    So simple and can be turned into an Italian inspired dish easily (because my children won’t eat most “spicy” things). I subbed tomatoes with basil and garlic for the Rotel and used mozzarella cheese. It was gone in one sitting and they asked if it could go in the rotation! That’s a winner!

    1. Kristin says:

      Awesome feedback Becca! Thank you so much for stopping.

  17. Rachael Isaacson says:

    This recipe is delicious. With the onion, I added fresh mushrooms and green bell peppers. I used cheddar and pepper jack cheese. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

    1. Kristin says:

      Awesome feedback Rachael! Thanks for stopping by.

  18. Nikki says:

    Tasty and easy so a perfect addition to our weeknight rotation. I used smoked sausage, heavy cream, mild rotel & farmhouse style mexican blend cheese. Everyone enjoyed it, kids included. Next time I’ll try out some veggies in it! I’m eating leftovers right now for lunch and it’s still yummy.

    1. Kristin says:

      Awesome feedback Nikki! Thanks for stopping by.

  19. Christine @ myblissfulmess says:

    The kids and I enjoyed this cheesy sausage pasta dish. I used turkey kielbasa, 1% milk and reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese to make it healthier. It came out so yummy! What little leftovers there were reheated perfectly for lunch the next day.

    1. Kristin says:

      Hi Christine, Thank you so much for the awesome feedback.

  20. Susan says:

    Sorry, didn’t see the stars. Here you go!

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Thanks!