Cook Italian sausage, pasta and broccoli together in a big pot and finish it off with cheese to make a delicious creamy one pan meal. It’s a great way to get dinner on the table in a hurry with a minimum number of dirty dishes.
This post is sponsored by the Wisconsin Pork Association. As always, all opinions are honest and my own.
One pot pasta recipes are perfect busy night meals. This recipe takes the rich flavor of Italian sausage and turns it into a fabulous well rounded dinner. The broccoli and pasta cook right in the same pot you used to brown the sausage, so there’s basically no mess to clean up. Of course a sprinkling of cheese ties it all together at the end. It’s a balanced meal and there’s only one pot to clean when you’re done!
We always have a variety of pork in the freezer. I love knowing I can whip up a tasty meal the whole family is going to love without a trip to the store.
Using sausage as a building block for a recipe is such an easy way to add big flavor with almost no work. There are already layers of flavor built into the meat, so it is a great shortcut to a tasty meal.
That’s why dishes like cheesy kielbasa and pasta casserole work so well. There is already so much flavor in the kielbasa, it’s hard to go wrong from there.
If I am being honest, Italian sausage is one of my all time favorite meats. I just love the way the flavors of garlic and fennel mix with the ground pork.
Plus it is part of what makes some of our favorite recipes like lasagna and Chicago style pizza what they are. It also adds the savory balance in recipes like sausage, acorn squash and kale sheet pan dinner and summer veggie and sausage sheet pan supper.
So having a pound of sausage ready helps ensure you can have a flavorful meal ready even on the busiest night. It’s the unsung hero of the weeknight dinner menu.
Start with your Italian Sausage
This recipe puts everything you need to make a well balanced meal in one pan, making dinner prep and clean-up super simple. It really doesn’t get much easier.
Bulk Italian sausage is the easiest to use if you can find it. Our grocery store has great options they make in house, they can be found in the meat case
However, you can also generally find tubes of bulk sausage by the breakfast sausage and bacon. It’s just a matter of knowing where to look.
Buying the sausage in bulk instead of links makes it really easy to use in this meal. Just toss it in your pot and brown it up.
If you only have links, don’t despair! There are great ways to make this with links as well.
Of course one way would be to remove the casings from the sausage links, then use the inside as bulk sausage. You could also cut the links into bite sized chunks and brown them up that way, either way will be great.
Once the sausage is browned, drain off any extra grease if it’s necessary. My sausage was relatively lean, so there wasn’t much to drain.
I suppose that isn’t a huge surprise seeing as today’s pork has about 16% less fat and 27% less saturated fat as compared to 30 years ago. (Source: pork.org) That’s right, pork is getting leaner and provides several important vitamins and minerals too!
Turning that sausage into a one pot meal
Of course we are going to need more than the sausage in the pot if we are going to make a meal of it. So it’s time to add some liquid.
I like using chicken stock for an added layer of flavor. However, you can certainly use just water in a pinch. As we discussed earlier, that sausage is going to give you a big head start in the flavor department so you won’t be missing anything.
Now add your broccoli and pasta. For even more fiber, feel free to use a whole grain pasta.
Once that mixture comes to a boil, cover it and let it simmer until the liquid is mostly absorbed. The pasta should be al dente at this point.
If the pasta hasn’t reached your desired doneness when the liquid is absorbed, add a little more liquid until it’s cooked perfectly. Now stir in a little milk and Parmesan cheese and dinner is done.
It really is just that easy. By now the yummy scents will have filled the house and everyone will be ready to dig in. You might not even need to ring the dinner bell!
More easy pork recipes
There are so many ways to get a tasty meal on the table with less prep and cleanup. Here are a few more recipes that reduce the number of dirty dishes.
Pork chop and cheesy potato bake cooks your entrée and side dish together in one casserole. All you need is a vegetable and dinner is done!
Or cook a pork tenderloin, green beans and potatoes all on a sheet pan. Marinate the meat before you go to work and all you have to do when you come home is toss it on a pan and bake.
Dinner isn’t the only meal where shortcuts come in handy. How about cooking your hash browns, eggs and bacon all on a sheet pan as well? Actually, this recipe makes a hearty breakfast for dinner option too!
And you absolutely have to try my cheesy no boil Italian sausage pasta bake. It has everything you love about lasagna, with no browning or boiling!
What are your favorite busy night dinner shortcuts? Let me know about them in the comments below!
- 1 pound bulk Italian Sausage
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pound broccoli florets, fresh or frozen
- 3 ½ cups chicken stock
- 1 pound pasta
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Optional: ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- In a large skillet or dutch oven, brown Italian sausage over medium high heat. Drain any excess grease.
- Add salt, pepper, garlic powder and stock. For a little extra heat, add some red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil.
- Stir in broccoli and pasta. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- When most of the liquid is absorbed, stir in the milk and Parmesan cheese. Heat until warmed through.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 548Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 1468mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 30g
All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.