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Creamy, cheesy, spicy and savory, this One Pot Cheesy Sausage Pasta meal has got it all!
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.Pin this recipe for later!
Table of Contents
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 Spaghetti, One 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.
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
Get a detailed list of ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below.
- 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.
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.
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.
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 mushrooms, zucchini, 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.
- 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.
More Smoked Sausage Recipes
- Sausage & Apple Sheet Pan Dinner
- One Pan Creamy Tortellini and Sausage
- White Bean, Kale & Sausage Soup
- Smoked Sausage and Potatoes Hash
- Smoked Sausage and Potato Sheet Pan Dinner
One Pan Cheesy Smoked Sausage Pasta Skillet
- 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
- 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).
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
*Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Simple Recipes Cookbook. For a complete list of recipes on the site, be sure to go here.
I made this for supper and it’s delicious. However I had to guess at how much of the ingredients to use because the recipe doesn’t say.
I just found the ingredients list with measurements.🤦
This has easily become one of our family’s favorite weeknight meals. Everyone enjoys it, plus it’s quick, easy, and has everything you need for a complete meal. I usually add more veggies than it calls for (mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, edamame, tomatoes, chopped spinach or Swiss chard are some favorites). I’ve found that in order for it to come out right, you really need to watch your ratio of liquid to pasta. Most boxes of pasta have more than 8oz.
Love the feedback Laura! Thanks for stopping by.
We’re based in the UK and not sure if the measurements are the same, but this was amazing! I had to add extra liquid but again that might be a UK measurements difference. It will definitely be a constant in our household. Even my picky eater smashed it, she loves it and asked for seconds (that doesn’t happen often!) Honestly so good, thank you x
You are so welcome Courtney! Love the feedback, thanks for stopping by
This was so quick, creamy, and delicious! I used rotini, cheesy sausage, added a chopped pepper, and about a tablespoon of Tony’s Cajun seasoning. It was a bit spicy for me, so I cut that with sour cream. Next time I’ll do half a tablespoon of Tony’s and some extra veggies. Even my picky eater enjoyed it. 🙂
Nice! Awesome feedback Rose! Thanks for stopping by.
This was absolutely AMAZING!! I made it tonight and followed directions to a T, and it was sooo good! I love that it’s a one pot meal! Super easy and plenty of leftovers! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe! 😁🏼
You are so welcome Stewart! Awesome feedback, thanks for stopping by.
Great flavor so easy!! And you can add other veggies you like. I will be sharing this recipe.
Love your feedback, Libby! Thank you so much for stopping by and for sharing the love.
We all love this recipe in my family, and I extra love it because it’s a great recipe to use up the deer sausage & my kid loves it. Tonight though, after getting back in from out of town, I was really scrounging for something to make and used the Mac & Cheese elbow noodles & even some of the cheese powder & it was honestly so good lol
Thanks for a true quick & easy dinner recipe.
Sometimes I throw in corn or even garbanzo beans, bc why not, & found out you can literally put any vegetable in this dish & your kids will still eat it up without really noticing! 😆
You are so welcome Mollie! Thank you for the awesome feedback.
Sooooo good!!. I used cherry tomatoes cut in half and 3 jalapeños sliced and added 1 cup more broth and another cup of headbutt cream. Only because I didn’t have canned tomatoes. Thank you!!
You are so welcome Sandy! Thanks for stopping by.
This recipe is fabulous! One our favorites to make. Not only is it easy but delicious. I add red,green, and yellow bell peppers to add a vegetable. It goes really well with it. Thank you for this wonderful and delicious recipe!
You are so welcome Kelli! Awesome feedback, Thanks for stopping by.
This recipe is a family favorite! I usually use some type of smoked sausage (applewood chicken, beef kielbasa,etc) but I recently used 4 left over grilled beer brats and it turned out soo good I had to share!
Nice! That’s awesome Kara, thanks for stopping by.
I made this tonight to use up some items in my fridge and what a banger!! I took some advice from other comments and added some cornstarch/water slurry, added some Cajun seasoning and stirred in all the cheese. 13/10 will make again, maybe with different meat!
Nice! Awesome feedback Alexa. Thanks for stopping by.
Made as written and it was easy to put together and so yummy!
Nice! Thanks for stopping by Susan.
I love this dish. It’s very easy to make, and is super delicious. My only question is, how thick/thin is the sauce supposed to be? Each time I’ve made it, the sauce has been very thin. I’ve added more cheese to try and thicken it up a bit, but it didn’t help much. Would it be helpful to make a rue while sauteing the sausage and onion? Or would you recommend adding a small amount of cornstarch and water to thicken it up?
Cornstarch and water would be the best solution if you’ve got too much liquid. The other option would be to spoon some liquid out before adding the cheese.
This is one of our regular recipes. We use Velveeta instead of shredded cheese sometimes and is Soo good
Nice! Thanks for stopping by Kate!
Delicious! My entire family loved this, it was fast and super tasty.
Nice! Thanks for stopping by Cath. (Love the feedback)
Made this tonight and it is SO GOOD! I love how easy it was and only 1 pan! Thank you for this recipe! Will absolutely make again
Nice! Thank you for the feedback Ashley.
Love this recipe, simple yet great flavors.
Thank you Sharon!
This was awesome, I added sauteed chicken and about 2 oz. of cream cheese for a thicker sauce. My husband loved it. Thank you for sharing.
You are so welcome Sheila! Thank you for your feedback.
This was AWESOME!! My whole family, especially my husband loves it. I didn’t have Rotel, so I used a can of chopped green chiles with a little extra broth and it turned out great. Thank you so much for the recipe!!!!
You are so welcome Shay! Love the feedback, thanks for stopping by.
As other reviewers have said, I was a little skeptical about the cream with the tomatoes in the recipe. But I gave it a try and it was a delicious surprise. The only thing I changed was to Lactaid whole milk with a little cornstarch instead of heavy cream and my smoked sausage was turkey. I’ll definitely be keeping this recipe.
Awesome feedback C Arbon! Thanks for stopping by.