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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


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

Pan filled with Pasta and Sausage

One Pan Cheesy Smoked Sausage Pasta Skillet

4.82 from 190 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


  • 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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  • 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).


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


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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4.82 from 190 votes (112 ratings without comment)

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  1. Amber says:

    Tried this first with sausage and felt like it overpowered all the other flavors. I tried shrimp the next time and ? much better! I only use shrimp with this recipe now!

    1. Kristin says:

      Hi Amber, Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

  2. Bonnie says:

    I made this for my Mom and me and we loved it. I foresee making it again and again.

    1. Kristin says:

      That’s so awesome Bonnie! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Kodi says:

    AMAZING! New family favorite! Added some green bell pepper, zucchini & used spicy sausage for a kick & turned out fantastic!

    1. Kristin says:

      That’s awesome Kodi! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience.

  4. Isabella says:

    The rice I used was instant rice. I should’ve use white rice. The rice was too soggy by time frozen broccoli was heated. Or use thawed broccoli.

    1. Kristin says:

      Hi Isabella, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your experience.

  5. Jeb says:

    Came across this a while ago. It’s been a hit every time! I tend to make my sauce a bit thicker than most, and lots and lots of cheese! I also experimented with seasoning, and basil, oregano, and a good dose of mixed Italian seasoning with garlic salt really makes the meal!

    1. Kristin says:

      Thanks Jeb! Sound Delicious.

  6. Hettie says:

    Stumbled upon this off Google after looking for a sausage pasta dish and omg! This was delicious! I added some celery after the onion/garlic/sausage had browned a bit and cooked it a bit more. Oh and I added some herbes de provence (about a tablespoon maybe) and basil oil when I added the water and pasta. And added the cream (we only have skim milk) with the cheese stage (also shoved some mozzarella in!). The fresh spring onion at the end was *Italian chefs kiss*. Thanks!

    1. Kristin says:

      You’re so welcome Hettie! Great idea, love that you made it your own. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  7. Joy says:

    My family loves this! I used fire roasted tomatoes and add some Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning. When I make a double recipe I use 1lb of chicken breasts and 1lb of sausage. Soooo good!!!

    1. Kristin says:

      So happy that you and your family loved this recipe!

  8. Emily says:

    Is this able to be frozen? If so, would you pass on instructions for that please? Thank u! My family loves this dish but i want to be able to make and freeze it if possible

    1. Kristin says:

      I’m not big on freezing dishes with cheese sauces, but if you let it cool and then freeze it, thaw it overnight in the fridge and heat it on the stove with a little added cream you will probably be good.

  9. Susan says:

    Made it last night and it was very yummy and the perfect amount of heat for us. I have since put the recipe in my cute little recipe crate. My hubby says it’s a keeper! Thank you for sharing.

  10. Scott says:

    I have lived this recipe for a couple of years… we always double it so we have leftovers! It’s a great base for me to jump off from and get creative! That’s what I love about recipes…. you can go whatever way you want to make them more your own. I need a little color and variety so I add a couple of red bell peppers cut into hunks and a bad of frozen peas…. and depending on my mood a little chili powder or paprika for a kick.

    1. Kristin says:

      Great idea, love that you made it your own Scott!

  11. Heidi says:

    Do you happen to have the Nutrition info on this meal? I make this dish all the time and I love it. Dieting with my mom now and we have to enter it into my fitness pal! Thanks!

    1. Kristin says:

      We are slowly adding nutritional information to our recipes, and eventually they all will, but at the moment my fitness pal is the best recommendation.

  12. Lori Belicek says:

    I put a Cajun twist on this dish, I used 1/2 Andouille Sausage 1/2 hillshire smoked sausage and and pound of crawfish, seasoned with Slap ya mama. Delicious ?

  13. K McDonald says:

    I made it! I tweaked recipe a bit, I only used 1 cup of chicken broth, and I used rotel original (drained) in place of tomatoes. I prefer sauce to be a little thick not runny. We absolutely love it!

    1. Kristin says:

      Great idea K, love that you made it your own!

  14. Susan Powell says:

    This recipe was delicious and simple to make. I only had Rotelle with chilies and my husband doesn’t like things spicy, so I added about 3 tablespoons of cream cheese to balance the chilies. Fantastic. Next time I think I will add some spinach or peas to get a veggie in our meal.

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Susan!

  15. Charlene says:

    Made this last night and it was a big hit! Even my non pasta loving husband went back for seconds! I did tweak it a little, but I think the dish is one of those that can be a little different every time depending on what you have on hand. I added chopped celery and used jalapeno-jack cheese. For the diabetic at the table I had to up the veggy content so I through in some sliced carrots and a can of peas. And a high fibre pasta.It was really good! Thank you, this is now one of those dishes that I will be able to throw together in a hurry and know everyone will be happy!

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Charlene!

  16. Callie Peterson says:

    Hi! The ingredient list calls for diced tomatoes (which I bought) and as I’m reading the directions I see it should be rotel?

    1. Kristin says:

      As long as it’s a 10 ounce can, Rotel or plain tomatoes will be fine. Rotel just adds a spicy element.

  17. Alicia says:

    I added basil, oregano, parsley, red pepper and spinach at the end to add greens. Awesome!

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Alicia!

  18. Susan J says:

    Kristin. My husband and I really enjoyed this skillet dish. I have a question about the diced tomatoes. You didn’t say whether or not to drain them. I didn’t and thought the sauce was a little thin. Which is right?

    1. Kristin says:

      I don’t usually drain them but depending on the brand you use I suppose there could be more liquid. The recipe should specify that I use Rotel brand because they do come in the 10-ounce size. Not all brands do.

  19. Allison says:

    I’ve had this pinned for a while now, and finally made it tonight in my new Instant Pot! I didn’t even saute anything, just dumped it all in, and it was great!! I used 8 oz of farfalle pasta, cream, and added a couple dashes of cajun seasoning and red pepper flakes. 4 minutes on high pressure, then manual pressure release. There was a fair amount of liquid in the finished priduct, but it did thicken with the addition of the cheese and after cooling down for a couple of minutes. I think it would be good with mushrooms, and some spinach stirred in at the end. Thanks for the recipe, I will definitely make it again!!

    1. Kristin says:

      Yay! So glad you enjoyed the recipe, and glad you tried out the Instant Pot!

  20. Babs and Mark says:

    I used sharp cheddar and pepper jack in place of the cheddar jack cheese. I to have a picky hubby when I do internet recipes and while we were eating he says, instead of canned tomatoes you should have used salsa! Great idea for next time ???.

    1. Kristin says:

      Yes salsa would be a great swap!