Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings

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This deliciously creamy and hearty One Pot Orecchiette with Sausage dish is perfect for a quick weeknight meal for the whole family! Made with Italian sausage and orecchiette pasta, it’s a hearty meal that’s great for so many occasions.

Close up of orecchiette pasta and sausage on a grey plate.

One Pot pastas are my favorite easy dinner recipes during a busy week!

This One Pot Orecchiette pasta recipe is super easy to make, and it’s ready in just 30 minutes.

Made with simple ingredients, it’s perfect for busy weeknight dinners or for hearty lunches to keep the cold at bay.

This creamy, comforting dish is packed with so much flavor, with Italian sausage, chicken broth, spinach, and fragrant parmesan cheese — serve it with Cheesy Garlic Bread for the ultimate comfort food dinner!

If you love this one-pot meal and want some other ideas, then check out this Italian Sausage Gnocchi Skillet, this hearty Italian Sausage Soup, and my One-Pot Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage recipe too!

Ingredients Needed:

overhead shot of orecchiette pasta with sausage ingredients on grey surface.
  • Onion: onion adds a great savory flavor, and they’re a bit sweet too once they have been sautéed as they caramelize slightly.
  • Italian Sausage: I tend to use mild Italian sausage as my family likes less heat, but you can use hot Italian sausage if you prefer.
  • Seasonings: Italian seasoning, freshly minced garlic, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper work together well to pack in tons of flavor!
  • Broth: use a low-sodium chicken broth as it will allow you to better control the salt level of the dish.
  • Cream: heavy whipping cream will give you the creamiest results and holds up well in the heat, but whole milk or a lighter cream will also work.
  • Pasta: use uncooked Orecchiette pasta. Any short pasta will do!
  • Spinach: fresh spinach leaves will add a pop of color and more nutrients to this dish.
  • Cheese: fragrant salty and cheesy parmesan complements the Italian flavors so well.
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How to Make Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage

Full instructions are included in the recipe card below.

  1. Sauté: Sauté the sausage and onion until browned.
  2. Add seasonings: Add garlic, salt, and Italian seasoning and cook.
  3. Add broth: Add the chicken broth.
  4. Mix in cream: Add the cream and stir until combined.
  5. Add pasta: Add in the pasta, stir, and cook just until al dente.
  6. Garnish: Add in the spinach and parmesan cheese and stir.

Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage FAQs

Is orecchiette a type of pasta?

Orecchiette means “little ears” in Italian, referring to the small, ridged pasta that originated in southern Italy that looks like little ears!

How do I store this orecchiette with sausage?

Store this recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Allow it to cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge.

Can I freeze this one-pot pasta dish?

If you are going to freeze pasta, you should allow it to cool completely, then store in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
Thaw completely before reheating on the stove top with a splash of broth or cream for best results.

overhead view of orecchiette pasta and sausage in white pot.

Tips and Notes

  • Fresh ingredients. Pre-chopped vegetables tend to get dry, so using fresh vegetables that you’ve chopped yourself will give you the best set of flavors. Similarly, using freshly minced garlic will give the freshest, most potent garlic flavor here.
  • Salt. You may want to use less salt if you are not using low sodium broth.
  • Cream. You can use a lighter cream or even milk, but the flavor will not be as rich.

Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage Variations

  • Mix up the veggies. Seasonal vegetables like carrots would taste great in this dish. Also try zucchini, mushroom, or red peppers.
  • Swap the meat: it won’t be Orecchiette with sausage, but this recipe is perfect for using up what you have on hand! Leftover Crockpot Shredded Chicken or Baked Chicken Breast, crispy Bacon or leftover Spiral Ham work just as well!
  • Add some heat. Add some red pepper flakes or some chili powder to the dish for a bit of extra heat.
  • Cheese. Serve topped with some parmesan or mozzarella cheese.
side view of pan of cooked orecchiette pasta and sausage.

Serving Suggestions

While this one-pot orecchiette with sausage dish is hearty and filling, it would also go well with some sides to make it a fuller meal, or help it go further to feed more people. Bread is always a great accompaniment for dinner.

Try my Classic Crescent Rolls, my Garlic Bread, this Garlic & Herb Dinner Rolls, or these Homemade Breadsticks.

More One-Pot Recipes to Try

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Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage

5 from 38 votes
This deliciously creamy and hearty One Pot Orecchiette with Sausage dish is perfect for a quick weeknight meal for the whole family! Made with Italian sausage and orecchiette pasta, it’s such a filling meal that’s great for so many occasions.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 6 servings
Calories 648cal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground Italian sausage (Or links, casings removed)
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt*
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream**
  • 340 grams of uncooked Orecchiette pasta ¾ lb
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated

Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage and onion and cook until sausage is browned and onion is softened about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, salt, and Italian seasoning and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add broth and scrape the bottom of the pan if there are any stuck bits, then add the cream. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  • Add uncooked pasta, stir, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring often, until al dente (about 10-15 minutes).
  • Stir in spinach and Parmesan and serve.

Notes

Ingredient substitutions:
Sausage: you can use mild or spicy sausage, or swap for cooked chicken, crumbled bacon, leftover chopped ham or turkey. 
Pasta: obviously I use orecchiette in this recipe, but any short pasta will work!
Cream: heavy cream gives the richest flavor and thickest sauce. You can swap for a lighter cream or whole milk, but the sauce will be slightly thinner.
Vegetarian: make this recipe vegetarian by using vegetable broth, swapping the sausage for white beans, and using a vegetarian cheese.
Storage:
  • Store: Store this recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Allow it to cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge.
  • Freezer: If you are going to freeze pasta, you should allow it to cool completely, then store in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
    Thaw completely before reheating on the stove top with a splash of broth or cream for best results.
 
 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 648cal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 1060mg | Potassium: 519mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1560IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 2mg
Keywords orecchiette pasta

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. Gina says

    This was delicious! My husband loved it and had two helpings. He asked that we keep it in the rotation which is fine by me since it’s SO easy and is actually quick and all in one pot. Yumm, thank you!

  2. Justine says

    How much of these ingredients would I use if I wanted to make one pound of pasta? Love your recipes!! I have a large family, it would be helpful for you to write ingredients under your recipes for large families. 😊

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Justine! For any recipe you could easily double it or triple it to fit your needs. They are written based on my family’s needs. If you are adding 1/4 more of pasta you might need to add a 1/4 more of each ingredient. Hope this helps!

  3. Linda says

    Instead of sausage how many cans of cannelloni beans should I use. Also, instead of heavy cream I was going to use coconut cream because my daughter is vegan. What do you think.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Linda! I’ve only tested the recipe as written and haven’t tested it with all of the substitutions you are asking about. If you decide to experiment with them, I’d love to know how it goes!

  4. Brooke Beideck says

    Attention busy moms toddlers: make this immediately. Followed the recipe exactly and everyone LOVED it. The best part is following the steps allow you to step away from the stovetop as needed. Also worth mentioning. I made this from 3-3:30. Left it on the stovetop and went out to the playground till 530. just nuked it back on low on the stove. Truly a perfect recipe for busy moms.

  5. Yashira Rodriguez says

    Soooo good! I was a little worried about the pasta not cooking but it turned out even better than I expected.Just trust the process.This dish is always a winner in my house.

  6. Kaylee says

    I made this last night and it was a winner! One pot recipe that didn’t break the bank. To make it even easier, next time I’ll chop the onions and spinach, peel the garlic, and grate the parm in advance to make it even easier. I paired it with some cheesy texas toast from the freezer section. Leftovers reheated well too.

  7. Gabrielle says

    OMG! This recipe is SO yummy. We made it last night and my husband and I both loved it. We used bow tie pasta because that is what we had and didn’t use any parmesan since I didn’t have any and it was still DELICIOUS! We will for sure be making this again.

  8. Darrin V Gulla says

    This is a lovely recipe and super easy to make!

    I’m going to scale things up for dinner at my Freemasons Lodge at our next meeting. I haven’t done a pasta dish in w year or so as the Brothers grew tired of my go to things – pasta is easy to feed 40-50 grown men!

    This one is a bit different, and I’m excited about it. Would sun dried tomatoes be a good addition?

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Darrin! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review! Sounds like a tasty addition!

      • Darrin Gulla says

        Made this again last night for myself and realized I hadn’t given an update from the Lodge dinner. The guys loved it! The sun dried tomatoes were a nice addition

  9. Frank's mom says

    So good! I couldn’t find oricchiette pasta so used small shells instead, but other than that followed the recipe exactly. Fantastic flavor, and super easy to make. My bf loved it as well. Definitely a keeper.

  10. Deb says

    I need to make the pasta separately bc the gluten free type I use doesn’t work well one pan. Can you tell me how to adjust the measurements of the cream and broth?

    • Amelie says

      All the family loved it, even my picky eater of 3! Thanks for a great recipe that is simple and easy to make.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Deb! I’m sorry, I’ve only tested the recipe as is. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to know how it goes!

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