One-Pan Pasta & Sausage Dinner

It amazes me how everything in life cycles. Kitchen cooking tools for example. It seems like I’ve spent my life collecting the perfect pots and pans, slow cookers, etc., and now, the trend is to cook one-pan meals. Whether it is on a baking sheet, or instant pot, dutch oven, or, or, or… recipes are evolving to accommodate cooking the entire meal in one device. 

A few years ago Martha Stewart came out with a one-pot pasta meal that was horrible! I’ve erased the name of the recipe from my brain so I can’t even tell you what it was to avoid it. Well, in all fairness, erasing stuff from my brain is almost automatic these days, even stuff I want to remember. 😉

Today I was trying to find a recipe that would be easy for hubby to make while I’m recovering from back surgery. This one proved to be a good choice. 

I used my homemade Italian sausage, but you can easily substitute any store brand sausage or your favorite. 

I was skeptical about adding raw pasta (not pre-cooked) to a pot with some cooked ingredients. To cook pasta well, it really needs its own large pot of heavily salted boiling water. So I wasn’t convinced this proposed cooking method would turn out well. I used “mini” pasta just in case.  To my surprise, the pasta cooked nicely in the broth, cooked vegetables, and sausage.

Adding the mozzarella and parmesan at the end when the ingredients have cooked melts into a gooey delicious yummy mess. 

One Pan Pasta & Sausage Dinner

Yields 6-8 servings

Adopted from: Two peas & Their Pod

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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound sausage links, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices (homemade, chicken, or smoked sausage)
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups chopped kale (I did not add kale - spinach would be a good option if you didn't like kale)
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth (homemade or store brand)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, for garnish


  1. Heat oiive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Add the sausage slices, onion, red pepper, and garlic.
  2. Cook, stirring often, until the onion and peppers are tender and the sausage is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and stir.
  4. Pour in diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, and fennel seed. Add kale or spinach (if using) at this stage.
  5. Penne pasta and broth are added next. Stir until combined.
  6. Cover with a lid and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until pasta is al dente. (I ended cooking mine a little longer, so check your desired doneness.)
  7. When ingredients in the pan are done, remove lid, stir, and add in the fresh mozzarella cheese. Stir and cook until cheese is melted.
  8. Top with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Serve hot.

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