This original recipe for Spicy Sausage Pasta is one of our most popular Pinterest recipes! It’s easily one of the best pasta recipes on our entire site, and you HAVE to try it.

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Spicy Sausage Pasta

My absolute favorite dinners are the easy weeknight kind. The kind that can be whipped up in thirty minutes or less from start to finish and only mess up one dish. And of course, they need to knock-my-socks-off with flavor as well! I am so in love with this spicy, creamy, cheesy pasta for all of those reasons. It is just packed with so many incredible flavors. It’s one of our new favorites — I make it all the time because it’s so yummy and easy!

Spicy Sausage Pasta - The Best Simple Recipes Cookbook

This amazing Spicy Sausage Pasta dish is one of my favorite recipes from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Best Simple Recipes from America’s Test Kitchens. It’s filled with over 200 recipes for quick and easy dinners that can be ready in thirty minutes or less. Perfect. I’ve gotten so many new dinner recipes for us from this cookbook. And since it’s from America’s Test Kitchens, you know that every single recipe is tried, true, and to-die-for. They even conduct blind taste-testings and tell you what brand of whatever ingredient they’re using is the best. I love stuff like that.

Ingredients for Spicy Sausage Pasta — Best Pinterest Recipes!

Spicy Sausage Pasta Ingredients

So let me tell you about this Spicy Sausage Pasta. It basically completes me. Take a look at all these yummy ingredients. Nothing too out of the ordinary here.

Best sausage for Spicy Sausage Pasta — Best Pinterest Recipes!


First things first — the sausage. I am a huge fan of smoked sausage, and I am completely, head over heels, bowled over by this Butterball Turkey Sausage. The first time we tried it I thought, there’s no way that this is turkey sausage. There’s no way it has half the calories and fat of regular smoked sausage. There’s no way. Because it tastes just like regular smoked sausage — the full-fat, full-calorie kind that I used to buy all the time. I just don’t see how it’s possible that this sausage can have all the yummy, juicy flavors of regular smoked sausage with only half the fat and calories. But it only took one bite to convince me.  We’ve been buying this turkey sausage exclusively for a few months now, and I will never go back to regular smoked sausage again. You guys know since I tend to go a little crazy when I’m traveling, I like to cut back on the fat and calories when I’m home! But flavor absolutely comes first. I love that I can have both with this sausage.

Spicy Sausage Pasta — Best Pinterest Recipes!

How To Make Spicy Sausage Pasta

So first, add a little olive oil to an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.

Spicy Sausage Pasta — Best Pinterest Recipes!

Add the sausage.

Spicy Sausage Pasta — Best Pinterest Recipes!

And the onions.

Frozen onions for Spicy Sausage Pasta — Best Pinterest Recipes!

Frozen Diced Onions

Here’s my little secret. I buy frozen, diced onions by the bag and add them to whatever I’m cooking that calls for diced onions — I don’t even thaw them first. It’s such a huge time saver for me, and I always know I have onions on hand.

Spicy Sausage Pasta — Best Pinterest Recipes!

Oh my gosh. Nothing smells more fabulous that this right here. Cook the sausage and onion until lightly browned. Then we’ll add some garlic and cook until fragrant, about thirty seconds.

Spicy Sausage Pasta — Best Pinterest Recipes!

No Need to Boil the Pasta!

Next add the dried pasta — this is so easy! — I love that I don’t have to boil the pasta in a separate pan. I normally use penne pasta for this dish, but this fun campanelle pasta was all I had on hand at the moment, so I used it.

Dump in some Ro-Tel, you don’t even have to drain it first.

And the chicken broth.

Chicken broth for Spicy Sausage Pasta — Best Pinterest Recipes!

Our Favorite Chicken Broth

This is another brand that I love. We use chicken broth so often that I always have a few boxes on hand — an open one in the fridge and a few in the pantry. I about fainted when I tried this one for the first time. It smells so amazing! I stumbled upon this organic brand because, well, in an effort to cut back on my sugar intake, I discovered that the brand I was previously using was full of sugar! Sugar!! Like, it was the second ingredient. In my chicken broth! Now I love sugar, but it has no place in chicken broth. It’s funny how much sugar is hidden in foods that aren’t sweet, especially when I went looking for it. Yikes! Anyway, as much as I loved my old brand of chicken broth, I can honestly say I love this new one so much more. It’s nothing but pure, natural flavors — exactly how chicken broth is supposed to be. I get this in the organic section of Kroger.

Spicy Sausage Pasta — Best Pinterest Recipes!

Add the cream and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Stir everything together and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and and simmer for 15 minutes.

Spicy Sausage Pasta — Best Pinterest Recipes!

Now for the finishing, cheesy touch. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

Spicy Sausage Pasta — Best Pinterest Recipes!

Top with a little more cheese to cover, sprinkle with sliced scallions, and broil in the oven until cheese is golden and bubbly, about 3 minutes.

Spicy Sausage Pasta — Best Pinterest Recipes!

Like this.

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Oh my gosh you guys, this is so fabulous. Ultra cheesy — Ultra gooey — Ultra yummy.

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Watch the video to see how easy it is to make Spicy Sausage Pasta!

Image of Spicy Sausage Pasta

Spicy Sausage Pasta

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: American


This original recipe for Spicy Sausage Pasta is one of our most popular Pinterest recipes! It’s easily one of the best pasta recipes on our entire site, and you HAVE to try it.



  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb smoked sausage
  • 1.5 cups diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (10 oz) can Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles, Mild
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz penne pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions



  1. Add olive oil to an oven-safe skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Add sausage and onions and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add broth, tomatoes, cream, pasta, salt and pepper and stir. Bring to a boil, cover skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Top with remaining cheese and sprinkle with scallions. Broil until cheese is melted, spotty brown, and bubbly.

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658 Responses
  1. Heidimarie

    This is a good recipe, but your site is a nightmare due to all of the ads. The constant pop-ups, ads with sounds the hijack my phone, the frequent re-setting of the web page. I’m taking a screenshot of the recipe and hope to never visit this site again.

  2. Nikki

    I can’t believe I have never reviewed this recipe, because over the years we have made this recipe SO many times! It’s my teen boys favorite recipe, to the point where I’m almost having to double the recipe for them! I always just brown up a pound of Italian sausage, because that’s all I had when I originally made it but it’s soooo good! Great quick, easy weeknight dinner! 10/10!

    1. Lindsay

      Same here! I’ve been making it since my kids were babies, they’re almost 10 now! It’s one of our favorite recipes. It was actually the meal that made me realize I loved turkey sausage, I never really cared for pork sausage so I wrote it off completely until I tried this. They have so many amazing recipes but this is hands down the best!

  3. Lori

    I’ve made this dozens of times -so good. First of all, no way does this make 4 servings. You eat 1/2 while it’s in the pan. I always just use a Dutch oven and double the recipe. Most of the time I double everything but the sausage part. As for the cheese, I don’t bother with the broiler. I just dump it in the pan after the noodles are cooked and mix it in. While Rotel is a little spicy, using the mild isn’t overly so. And I don’t like anything too hot. I’ve tried it with just diced tomatoes but it was missing the chili flavoring of Rotel. It was good but not like using the Rotel.

  4. Kathryn

    This was straight up ? BOMB!!!! I used fresh tomatoes instead of Canned and slap ya mama Kasian seasoning and I added a slice of butter! This meal was off the hook!

  5. Janice

    I substituted mild Italian sausage for the smoked sausage since that’s what I had on hand. I don’t know how it tastes with smoked sausage, but the flavor with the Italian sausage is excellent. Other than that substitution, followed the recipe. So simple and so flavorful. Made it for guests and now it’s one of their favorite recipes too.

  6. Lexine Ross

    This is one of the very first recipes that got my interested in cooking. It was simple, easy delicious, and got my parents who dislike pasta to eat it up! I used to make this all the time during my early 20s. Thanks to metabolism slowing down six years later I took a break from my pasta dishes. Can’t wait to make this again this weekend. Always a hit!! I had some additional seasoning/aromatics with whatever I got on hand.

  7. Jessica

    Used to make this recipe all the time! I started doing keto a couple years ago and was missing this dish! Used frozen cauliflower florets as a sub for the pasta and it’s utterly amazing!!!!

  8. Barb McLeod

    I’ve been making this special recipe for many years now. My family absolutely LOVES it. It has so many flavors in it. Serve with a salad and you’re done. One pot, easy to make, easy clean up. Unfortunately we never have any leftovers. I do have a couple picky eaters who don’t care for chunks of tomatoes so I use a small blender and blend the tomatoes and chilies before adding. I’ve given this recipe to so many people and they also give rave reviews to me.

  9. Brianna

    I rarely write recipe reviews (even though I heavily rely on them to decide if a recipe is worth making ?). I discovered this recipe on Pinterest well over 5 years ago and it is STILL a family favorite I make 2+ times a month. I have two picky boys (5 & 10) who would solely survive on pizza, chicken nuggets, burgers and mac and cheese if I let them that will DEVOUR this meal every time I make it! 10/10 in our book for sure!!

  10. MJ

    I didn’t have Monterrey jack so I mixed ricotta and cayenne and ancho pepper into sauce Used 1/2 c broth and 1/2 c spaghetti sauce

  11. Melissa F Campos

    I’ve been making this dish for years, per the recipe specifications, & it’s always a hit. Creamy, rich, decadent, smokey, cheesy, spicy. It’s got it all!
    Pair it with some crusty garlic bread & a side salad for a totally WOW meal. This is definitely one of my go-to knock-your-socks off recipes to impress family & guests. Great for potlucks too if you keep it warm & gooey.

  12. Lesley

    Love this dish! I make it almost once a week. The only things I change are using 1/2c onions and Turkey smoked sausage, because I am not a huge fan of onions. Otherwise I make it as listed. So tasty!

  13. fantazc

    My family LOVES this recipe and I would like to make it for a friend. Any tips on making it ahead of time? I was going to do everything but put it under the broiler but I didn’t know if you, or anyone here, had a suggestion on how to reheat it in the oven without drying it out?
    Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
    Thank you SO MUCH for sharing what is now my family’s favorite meal!

  14. Jessica Castles

    I’ve made this many many times with sausage (always a family favorite)! I’m looking to use chicken this time around. Any thoughts on how to prepare?

    1. Stephanie M Holts

      cut up a pound to pound of a half of chicken and shake with your seasoning choices (cajun for instance 1 tablespoon) in a big baggie with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and shake. Then pour in your “one pan” and cook on medium about 10 minutes flipping. then add other ingredients.

  15. Renee

    This is my second recipe review EVER and I am 56yrs. old. This was a VERY tasty quick, one pot meal that I made today. I followed this recipe exactly as written and it turned out mighty tasty for sure. My only problem with the whole thing was that it wasn’t spicy enough for me. However, this is SO versatile and excellent as a base recipe . After my first bowl I sprinkled some Tony Chachere’s Original Creole seasoning on my second bowl and it was even better. Of course I will be making this again but I will add peas, broccoli or green peppers to it for a veggie flair as well as my Tony C . for an added kick. My friend suggested adding shrimp to the combo for a little Cajun twist which sounds great. Overall I gave this 4 stars because it truly is good as is and it is a great starting point for anything you might want to add in.

    1. Stephanie M Holts

      you can always add tons of cayenne pepper as opposed to tony c for instance, because those other creole spices have so much salt too. Try your favorite spice with a tons of cayenne and add seasoned pepper too! the one with the blue lid at walmart! it has bigger pepper flakes so its a great spice to add.

    2. Jenny

      I decreased the liquid to one cup and didn’t add any salt since it was already salty from the sausage, broth (even though it’s low-sodium), and the cheese. Tastes so good!!

  16. Heidi Frady

    I found this on pinterest a few years ago and it easily became a favorite meal in our family. Its quick to make I love it is a one pot wonder. I always have to make a double batch bc it is that popular and just that good. Its what’s for dinner tonight and I always suggest it when people say they are in a rut and need something new. Thanks for sharing this.

  17. Kynan

    Made today and I only had macaroni. My family has texture issues so I blended the tomatoes. It’s the best meal I’ve made in a long time!!

  18. Amber

    This is my favorite! Love this recipe I have to stop myself from eating it. Favorite recipe I ever found pinterest ?

  19. Silvia

    Hi! I found this recipe back in 2012, made it and loved it!
    Is it the same recipe? I can’t fully remember?
    My brain is telling me it’s diff because the cover picture to me looks diff. My memory is horrible! The other part of my brain is saying that it’s ALL the same. ?
    Going to make it again since I have found it again!!

  20. Jenne

    I discovered this recipe a few years ago, and I’ve made it countless times! It is an absolutely delicious combination of ingredients, and smells heavenly while it’s cooking. I always use Campanelle pasta in favor of any other kind, and it always turns out wonderfully. I increase the liquids just a bit because I prefer a saucier dish. This recipe is so well-loved, that I have a pan that I use JUST to make this in! It was a gift, and is the perfect fit for all of the ingredients for this recipe. I’ve used this turkey sausage since I found your recipe, and I’ve never looked back either! The fresh green onions seem optional, but they really add a fresh, light pop of flavor and I highly recommend not skipping them. 10-Star recipe! Thank you for the many tasty dinners you’ve helped me create over the years. :)

  21. Julie

    I’ve made this countless times including many variations of it. It is a great recipe as is or as a base for measurements using different Rotel, veggie, and sausage varieties. Thank you :). 

  22. Christel

    I’ve made this recipe dozens of times and have shared it a lot too. It’s our favourite family recipe. I used to to have to travel to the states to get Rotel as Canada didn’t carry it, but thank goodness that changed this year. I never seem to have cream around so use milk and it works perfectly.

    1. Amanda

      Yes, it’s the Rotel! You can buy mild Rotel (which is still a little spicy) or you can use petite diced tomatoes for no spice at all.

    2. Jenne

      Try using Mild rotel, and a splash more cream—I have to take a specific medication that frequently makes my mouth super sensitive to heat/spice, and this does the trick every time! You could also use mild rotel, and add a small can of fire roasted tomates with garlic (plus a tiny bit more heavy cream). It will up the mild tomato content, offsetting the spicy nature of the dish. I SO understand! I love the dish as written, but I too sometimes need to cut the spice. Those two methods work for me, and I hope they work for you, too!
      Let us know if you make any other successful adjustments—And Happy Thanksgiving 2020 (in advance)!

  23. Kathy

    My husband has been hog hunting, which means we have more smoked sausage than I know what to do with. Thank God for this recipe! My whole family loves it!

  24. Kathleen

    I’ve made this many, many times.  But now that my husband and I are trying to reduce calorie consumption at dinner to less than 550, I tried a couple of changes.  First, I used hillshire farms turkey kielbasa instead of regular and switched to half and half instead of cream.  That cuts each serving down to 424.  And it still tastes great!  Serves with a salad and your dinner is less than 500 calories!

  25. Allison

    I’ve made this countless times so I want to thank you so much for providing a hit recipe for my family!! It’s so easy and delicious!

  26. Shyla Khatiwala

    My kids beg me to make this! This is so yummy and easy! I add spinach too to make it just a smidge healthy!! A definite keeper!


    Omg!!!! This was so yummy and so easy! Had a package of plant based hot Italian sausage I needed to use (I am a Brooklyn Italian meat loving girl – a new Whole Foods opened by me and they sampled these… Texture is perfect! #seriously Why not?) Fantastic recipe amazing fkavors and really that easy!!! The only thing I did different was add a little bit of fennel seed… I love that flavor … And some baby spinach (just cuz I had it laying around and it eas about to go bad) This would make a great tail gating or camper recipe too! Thank you so much!

  28. Anne

    Can I make this as a casserole? I feel like the cream might not work in it that way. I wanted to give it to a neighbor to heat and eat when she wants.

    1. Amanda

      I’ve never done it, but I think I would do everything up until step 3: “Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese.” Then I would pour everything into a casserole dish, then “Top with remaining cheese and sprinkle with scallions.” Cover with foil and give to neighbor, and she would bake until heated through, probably 30 minutes at 350. Hope this helps!

  29. Caly

    I just made this and it was amazing! We love spicy so I added a tablespoon of cayenne pepper but this was so easy to make! I wish I could upload a picture to show off how great of a recipe it was. Thanks Amanda and Kyle for the idea. 

  30. Melody Rakestraw

    I made this for tonight’s super with some garlic bread in the side, It was a Hot! Thanks for the recipe, it’s Very good!!

  31. Diane

    This is one of our favorite recipes, I make it at least twice a month! It’s always a hit when family comes over for dinner too. Although your italian sausage tortellini has also stolen our hearts…. it gave the spicy sausage pasta a run for it’s money :)

  32. Julia

    I made this the other night and it was delicious! I’m a full time college student, so I’m always looking for cheap, easy weeknight dinners. This was very affordable and very quick, plus I’ll actually be looking forward to eating leftovers all week because this was just so yummy. I’ll definitely be making this again, thank you for sharing!

  33. Lauren

    Just wanted to say that after making this recipe countless times.. my boyfriend and I still looove this recipe and it is one of his all time favorite meals. We usually use regular rotel for a little more heat, and more garlic (always lol). This ones a keeper!

  34. Eric and Autumn

    Just made this minus the onions and it was so fast,easy and delicious. Thanks for writing it up. We will be making it again and visiting your site

  35. Christy

    2018 and I’m trying this out. I noticed the ingredients call for Penne pasta but the picture has a different pasta. Hopefully It’ll turn out with penne!

  36. Sandra Freeman

    This is a favorite for my family. I tend to like things very spicy, but they can’t take as much as me. I use spicy andoulle sausage. I had to dial it back when I used the Rotel with habeneros and pepper jack cheese instead of Montery Jack cheese. Anyway, the andoulle sausage and everything else exactly as the recipe calls for is perfect for us.

    1. Wani

      I’ve done that before and it was great! I’ve used this as a base recipe to do it all different ways. Italian (with sausage, mozz, diced tomatoes with garlic, basil and oregano), Greek (ground beef with Dill and feta), Mexican (chorizo, cilantro, and queso fresco), etc.

  37. Sydney

    If I wanted to add broccoli into this, where would I put it in to begin the cooking process? :) I’d like to try it out this weekend!!

  38. Sydney

    Can I substitute heavy cream for 2% milk by chance? :-) I would love to make this for my boyfriend and his family when I visit them!!

  39. Sharon

    Looks great. Thanks for the chicken stock tip, never occurred to me it might contain sugar. Will be checking that out. Two questions: 1) you use just regular dry pasta? And 2) boiling the cream doesn’t create a curdling problem? Thanks so much!

  40. Caitlyn

    Since finding this recipe I’ve made this dish a million times, and I love it more every time I make it! So quick, easy, and seriously delicious. Thank you!

  41. Karen

    This has become my signature dish for friends. I use jalapeño flavored sausage. Add cubes  chicken breast. Pepper jack cheese. Everyone loves it

  42. Melanie Dolamore

    AMAZING!  We had this for dinner last night and it was so quick and easy to make.  Even better was how amazingly delicious it was.  Restaurant quality is what my husband said and for a guy who adds sriracha to everything, the bottle never left the fridge.  Thank you for a definite new favourite in our house.  

  43. Lateisha T

    I made this tonight it was so delicious omg. I followed the recipe exactly and added a half of cup of 6 Italian cheese blend along with the Monterey Jack this will be a staple for sure thanks a lot 

  44. Sandra Freeman

    I have been using this recipe for over a year now. I have made this exactly by the recipe and using the hot Rotel tomatoes and pepper jack cheese in place of the milder original version. Either way, it is a total hit in my house. This is great when you have a house full of people because it makes so much.

  45. Ms. Ainee C. Beland

    Your recipes all seem so very simple to make and looks to be delicious. I can’t wait to give them a try; thank you for sharing.

  46. Agness of Run Agness Run

    I have never thought that I can prepare pasta with sausages, Amanda! This post was a real eye-opener! I love trying out new tastes!

  47. Amberly

    I like things unnecessarily spicy so I used linguine with Jennie-O lean hot italian turkey sausage and Kraft shredded hot habanero monterey jack cheese. It was super spicy and yummy. :)

  48. Brent @ Cookapalooza

    This is my kind of pasta dish…looks delicious! Can’t wait to try this one! Found your site through Pinterest and love the looks of the recipes you have posted here. Definitely coming back for seconds ; ). Cheers!

  49. Linda

    I just made this for my son(15).  He went back not just for seconds but a third time.  I had to scoop some into a container for lunch or he would have ate everything!  Great recipe.  It’s on my favorite board.

  50. Megan

    I’ve tried to make this twice now and each time it hasn’t been thick but more like soup. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong except the penne pasta I use is flat  and smooth. I’ve double checked and all my measurements are correct and all the items I use are the same ingredients(different brand of whipping cream) but all else is the same.

  51. Shelly

    I made this last night and it was EXCELLENT! I immediately wrote out a recipe card out for my recipe box in my kitchen (which means it’s a good staple, go-to dish). Fantastic flavor with just the right amount of spicy – Thank you for sharing!

  52. dina mallon

    Made this last night. It was so good. Already had spicy Italian sausage so I used that instead of smoked and added regular chopped tomatoes instead of rotel. I was afraid it would be too spicy. It was amazing. Ill definitely make again

  53. Jessica Callaham

    This dish is AMAZING!! I made it 100% true to the recipe and loved the flavor, I mean LOVED IT…It’s a great dish and I was looking forward to making it all the time, even for company! The issue was after I served it to my family, it was apparently too spicy for my kids even though I used the mild Rotel and simple smoked sausage! You know, they can down a bowl of spicy salsa and chips at the Mexican restaurant down the street, yet love to complain when I cook a slightly spicy dish. But this recipe was too easy and awesome to pass up so I made it again and this time subbed the sausage with a pack of diced chicken tenderloins (sautéed it with the onions, garlic and seasoned only with salt and pepper) and just a can a diced petite cut tomatoes and it came out just as awesome! Clean plates, no complaints! I think the green onions are a must and they really add color and a savory layer of flavor to this dish.

  54. Sandra Freeman

    This is one of my favorite meals to cook. I love the fact that you use some shortcuts like frozen onions. This became one of my go to meals when my son and his family lived with us. It easily serves 4 to 5 people. Now that they are on their own, I have enough for one meal at home and 2 days for lunch at work. FYI, for those who like spicy foods, you can use the hot Ro-Tel tomatoes and pepper jack cheese. Even going by the recipe as is, it is quite spicy. I love this meal!

  55. ashleigh noonan

    This was so easy and so yummy! Thanks for a great weeknight meal. Perfect for fall too. I did make a couple adjustments just based on what I had on hand. I used the precooked garlic basil chicken sausages (3 links, cut thinly), then added chopped red bell pepper to the onion mixture. I did not have a can of chopped tomatoes, so I just used about 1-1/4 cup of jarred tomato sauce (it happened to be spicy). Lastly, after boiling the pasta mixture for the 15 minutes, I added chopped fresh spinach and grated parmesan, served immediately. No broiling. This is exactly the recipe I needed. Thanks for sharing.

  56. erin luther

    hi!! i know this is an older post, but my family loves this and we make it every other week.  i want to make it for a family expecting a baby. do you have any freezing tips?

  57. Connie

    First recipe I’ve tried from this site and it was delicious. I used plain greek yogurt instead of heavy cream, added mushrooms, stirred in spinach at the end right before broiling, added some frozen corn I wanted to use up, used mild Italian sausage instead of smoked sausage, used original Rotel because I couldn’t find mild, and added a can of Hunt’s petite diced tomatoes for even more tomatoes. It was freaking delicious. I just had the leftovers and they were also really good. I ate mine with the chopped green onions, avocado slices, and an extra dollop of greek yogurt. The only issue I had was that my Italian sausage came in a casing and I couldn’t slice them until they had cooked through enough to be firm enough, so cooking the sausage took a lot longer than I had anticipated because they were in big links for most of the cooking. Also, I think next time I’ll use fresh onions–I couldn’t really see/taste the onion chunks in my pasta.

  58. Lori

    Turned out fantastic! Not sure why some people are finding this too spicy lol? I have made this twice, both times using regular smoked sausage and ro-tel original, and added pepper the second time. Even my father, who has no gall bladder, tolerated the flavor and spices just fine. Also be sure to cover the pot to allow the noodles to cook properly, and if you do that like the recipe says, you won’t have to add more liquid. The second time I made this I didn’t broil it in the oven, I just uncovered the pan, cooked a couple minutes longer and just threw some shredded cheese in there and stirred, and repeated until I liked the consistency :) thanks so much, new rotation dinner!

  59. Lisa

    This is for dinner tonight!!!!   Omg that cookbook though, those many markings for me is the sign of a good cookbook…buying it too!

  60. Julie

    I followed all the instructions and mine did not come out as cheesy and gooey as the picture looked and recipe was was on the watery side. I even added extra cheese so see if that would thicken it up and not so much :(

  61. Charley

    We made your Spicy Sausage Pasta tonight. Soooooo Gooood! Yummy, gooey, cheesy, loved the browned bits from the broiler. Easy to make, filling, tastes like it came from the finest Italian Restaurant. You are so good to us.

    Last night we made the Lemon Chicken and it was also to die for. Two perfect & very differenct, easy to make (due to your great pix/tips) meals in a row. Maybe, I’ll never eat out again!

    I’m dieing to make the pulled pork. Tomorrow night will be the ham/cheese swirls for caz Friday.

  62. royh

    Made this today.

    I used andouille, San Giorgio oven ready pasta, and unsalted chicken broth.

    This was excellent! Thank you!

  63. al

    Excellent! Made this following the recipe and it turned out well. We made it again and added red and green peppers, mushrooms, and a few spices to kick up the heat and healthiness, and it turned out excellent as well!

  64. Sarah

    I have made this several times and LOVED it. I substituted for a healthy version with Smoked Turkey Sausage, 1% Milk, Reduced Fat Mexican cheese mix and it is AMAZING! Healthy and tastes great! Thank you!

  65. Jennifer

    This may actually be the BEST thing we ever cooked! Everyone from our picky teenager to my elderly parents RAVED over this! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes. War Eagle!

  66. Karen

    This was delicious. I mean really really good. I substituted sour cream for the cream since that’s what I had. Thanks for sharing this recipe and war eagle!

  67. Kylie

    Thank you so much! This is one of our favourite recipes, I make it at least once a week and it’s always a hit with whoever happens to be visiting our house that day! The only change I have to make is using chopped tomatoes and adding my own green chillies as we don’t have Ro-tel in this part of the world.

    So simple and delicious and particularly awesome this time of year when it’s freezing out!

  68. Regina

    I dont know if this site is still active, but I’m making this now. I have never cooked penne pasta. It’s the only think I am nervous about liking. I can’t wait to try it!

  69. Anna

    Made this the other night and it was delicious. The only change I made was using a little more cheese. Before we were even finished dinner my son asked me to make it again soon. So guess what’s for dinner tonight!!

  70. Cathy Clark

    I just made this for lunch and it is rather soupy! Taste is still great, but next time will add more pasta or use less chicken broth.

  71. Jessica

    We make this for dinner at least twice a month. We omit the oil but everything else is kept the same. Sure, sometimes we use whatever cheese we have on hand and I even use skim milk as opposed to heavy cream a lot of time, but it always turns out delicious! Awesome recipe, I have shared it with many friends!

  72. SA Matthews

    Made this a couple weeks ago. Delicious! I used a 12oz box of Penne and increased the liquid slightly and used a little more cheese. We loved it!

  73. SA Matthews

    Made this a couple days ago. FABULOUS and so EASY! Shared with several people and 2 of them have already made it and loved it! Thanks, keep em coming!

  74. Isabella

    Made this the other night and it was delicious! Added a bit more cheese… just because why not? ;) And it is amazing as a leftover as well. Does not dry up! My boyfriend loved it. Definteley keeping this as a favorite.

  75. Jennifer

    I just made this & it is yummy. I added some celery & carrots & used petite diced tomatoes & low fat smoked sausage. It is so good & I will definitely put this in to regular rotation. Thanks for the recipe!

  76. JOE

    This was a wonderful hit for lunch with kids and when it was my turn to cook at work, I made it and after the first bite, I had people requesting the recipe. Very delicious meal. I am cooking it today for family lunch. Simple and delicious

  77. Amber Leigh

    My fiance and I love this so much, but each time I make it, it turns out incredibly liquidy. The pasta is cooked through, but there’s just a ton of liquid at the bottom. I’m using a dutch oven, maybe that’s my problem? I’ll try using a skillet next time. Any other suggestions?

    1. Michael

      I’ve made this several times first time had a lot of liquid in mine aswell I ended up changing out some of the broth for more cream honestly it came out better. I use 1 cup of cream and about 3/4th broth. sometimes while cooking I have to add alittle more liquid before the baking phase due to the pasta is still tough but it comes out creamy like a perfect cheese sauce not too thick or too thin.

  78. Carolyn

    I just finished making this dish. Very good. I must have had too much broth for the pasta that I used because it was a lot saucier than I expected but none the less it was good. I’ll have to back off a bit of the broth for next time. I also used habanero cheese instead because that’s what I on hand. It’s a keeper.

  79. Angie

    I, like dozens of others, just want to let you know that I have made this a COUNTLESS number of times over the past couple years! I absolutely love it. It is my favorite pasta. I make it for company quite a bit and for new mom friends when I drop off a warm meal after they’ve had their little one. Thank you!! :)

  80. Sara

    Very delicious and very easy!!! My boyfriend loves this and requests it often! I’m not a big fan of smoked sausage but the flavor of just the sauce is good, so I just eat the pasta and leave the sausage for him. I don’t have a cast iron skillet, so I skip the last broiling step – still turns out amazing!

  81. Alice

    I have just cooked this for my husband, and it was incredibly easy and extremely yummy. Thanks for a great recipe!

  82. kenny

    This dish is delicious. My wife says I could easily charge $15 a plate at Olive Garden. My family requests this at least once a week

  83. Sharon

    I have used frozen chopped onions for years. They certainly save time. This recipe is now on my “must try” list. I also use frozen chopped green pepper when I can find them. When I am not feeling lazy, I chop green peppers and also celery and freeze them. Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe.

  84. Jessica Young

    This is one of my family’s favorite meals. Have made it several times and enjoyed each time. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe!

  85. Stacy @Stacy Makes Cents

    No wonder this keeps getting pinned! It’s soooooooo good it’ll make your nose run – that’s a good indicator that a dish is spicy enough. ;-) I used chicken sausage and half-and-half. Can’t wait to make it again!

  86. Erica Denzau

    This looked so delish I just had to make it tonight. But I must have screwed something up because it came out like a soup. A delicious soup, but soup nonetheless. Any ideas how I screwed it up? Help :(

  87. Sam

    Hi there!
    Pinned this ages ago and I’ve made this SEVERAL times since. I LOVE THIS RECIPE. SO EASY. SO TASTY. Tonight, I’m kicking things up a notch by adding Cholula Hot sauce, my new favorite ingredient Chipoltle, crushed red pepper and extra cheese. I also got these Kayem Atesian Sausages with peppers and provolone. My boyfriend LOVES this dish. Can’t wait to see how it turns out tonight with the tweaks. <3

  88. Teehan

    This recipe is in regular rotation at my house. Easy, delicious, and ONE PAN!
    It’s funny though, I was never aware of the frozen diced onions until I read this recipe a few years ago. I was ridiculously excited because I am not a fan of stinging eyes while cutting onions. :-)

  89. Michelle Fretz

    I loved this! popped some garlic bread in the oven while this was simmering and it was perfect with this! Next time, ill add mushrooms and corn, just to get some veggies in there. LOVE that its a one-pot dinner! Thank you for posting this!

  90. Brittany

    I’ve made this dish for months now and it is and will always be one of our favorites. Even my children love it :D

  91. Bethany

    I am not one to cut corners to speed up a meal while sacrificing flavor. I am not really interested in 3-ingredient crockpot recipes. I am mentioning this because I was somewhat skeptical about this recipe as I was putting it together, and when I say that we loved this recipe, I want to be sure the full weight of the compliment is conveyed. Don’t let the ease of this dish trick you into thinking you compromise on flavor, because it doesn’t!

  92. Megan

    This is super yummy and so easy! I used cheddar instead (personal preference) and browned the sausage a bit before adding the onion and it was perfect. I will definitely be making this often. Thank you!

  93. Holly K

    This is my oldest daughters FAVORITE meal. The whole family loves this! We use a can of petite diced tomatoes because my littlest doesn’t like spice. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  94. Jaimie

    I made this recipe tonight. I added extra pasta, and just upped the chicken broth by maybe a third of a cup, and a splash more cream. Super easy to make, and quite tasty. Thanks for the recipe!

  95. Pamela

    Made this today! Added some peas and bell pepper, didn’t add the extra salt as cheddar was all I had. Still turned out fantastic.

  96. Laurin

    I just tried this recipe and it was great! My boyfriend even went back for seconds, which is the sure-tell sign that it was delicious! I added some home-grown pepper flakes to the olive oil to give the dish some heat. Awesome and easy dinner!!!

  97. Emily

    Hi! My husband said this was amazing about 12 times while he was eating it! So I went to triple the recipe to freeze in single servings for him to take to work, I planned to leave out the pasta till we are ready to eat it! (pasta doesn’t freeze nicely). I never really considered how much the pasta absorbs the liquid! Do you think I ruined the recipe or do you think I can freeze it a little watery and it will all work out after I reheat it and add the pasta?

  98. Teresa

    Wonderful! I used Costco Italian sausage, regular canned tomatoes, a little hot chili flakes and a little fennel that is so nice with sausage, and all this with gluten free corn and rice penne. Worked like a charm. Thank you so much for this dish. I will make this again and again.

  99. Colette

    I have made this dish at least a half dozen times now, and every time i make it, I forget just how good it is!
    The only thing ive done different that my family prefers, is taking the sausage out of the casing (depending on what kind im using) and frying it up like a ground sausage. So yummy!! This recipe is on my list for top 10 all time fav’s. Thanks so much for sharing.

  100. Carol Dicus

    Wonderful recipe ! I make this all the time now. I add fresh sliced mushrooms and some frozen corn to it and it is a wonderful complete meal for my family. Thank you !

  101. Michelle

    I’ve made this several times and it is a favorite in our house. I follow the directions as is. So easy to make and so delicious. Thanks for sharing!

  102. Marsha

    I’m making this right now for at least the tenth time. It’s a great dish for leftovers, the flavors are even better. Easy to take for lunch and warm up. I use sharp cheddar-a little cheezier flavor. Family loves it, and the co-workers always want the recipe. Taking it for our Xmas eve pot luck lunch at work-Thanks for a great and easy recipe.

  103. samantha mcknight

    I thought this was delicious. It was a lil spicy for my husbands taste but he still loved it. Im going to make it again and just change up the tomatos, I thought I would try, basil garlic and oregeno flavored and see how it turned out! It was delicious, I just thought I would mess around with it some too.

  104. amber

    Made this for dinner last night and my boyfriend said it’s the best thing I’ve ever made!! Excellent recipe! We added a jalapeno for extra spice and it was perfect! I think next time I’ll try it with chicken and see how that works out.

  105. Fedeles

    I think food is about culture and tradition so I love hearing about the background and history of a simple Italian dish and how strongly a culture feels about the way it “should” be made. I think it adds character to a dish. Also, really good cooking is all about nuances and subtle differences (otherwise we’d all be amazing cooks)! What has always amazed me about Italian cooking is the simplicity of it. But really excellent Italian cooking is the sum of excellent ingredients. A Caprese salad (only 4 simple ingredients) in America is nothing compared to a Caprese salad in Italy if the cook doesn’t appreciate the importance of the quality and freshness of the individual ingredients. Thanks for the post!

  106. Chelsea Tagg

    This was so delicious and easy! I have picky toddlers in the house and they loved this as much as I did. Thank you so much for the quick and easy weeknight recipes, they make life so much easier for busy moms.
    I also substituted the heavy cream with sour cream, since that was what was available, and it,turned out delicious! A new fav in my house

  107. Jennie Kind

    I make this all the time. The first time I made it…I had dreams about it. It is that dreamy. I usually keep all the ingredients on hand for just in case days. It is also a favorite to take to people who need a meal, new babies and such. Great recipe!

  108. Daphne Wimpey

    I am planning a dinner party and wanted something I could prepare ahead of time. Is it possible to prepare the sauce the day before and then follow the steps? I also wanted to know if I could use spaghetti pasta instead of the pasta called for in the recipe. If so how much. Does this make a large amount, trying to decide if I need to double the recipe. I will have 8 people at my party. Thanks so much.

  109. Mikayla

    I dont have any chicken broth at home right now, is there anything I can substitute? The recipe looks so good, I dont want to wait to make it haha :)

  110. Susan

    Made this for dinner tonight. I used a can of regular diced tomatoes ( instead of the rotelle) and used a Mexican blend package of cheese. It was delicious! Thank -you for sharing this recipe. It was awesome!!

  111. Melissa

    My husband loves this recipe! In fact I need to double it so my whole family can get enough. Would you recommend I double every ingredient? Or what proportions should I use for double the dish?

    1. Amanda

      I would just double everything! :) If you feel like you want to use less of something next time, then you can go from there. :) Hope this helps!

  112. Kim

    OMG!! This is so delicious!! And easy!!! This is a keeper at my house. Love recipes that are easy and so great tasting. Thank you for sharing.

  113. Teryn Brafford

    I made this to your exact specifications….down to the brand, and to me it kind of tastes like macaroni and cheese and hot dogs lol. Not that I don’t like mac and cheese and hot dogs, but I think I am going to try a different sausage next time.

  114. Julie

    I made this last night and we LOVED it. I followed your recipe to the letter, which is not normal for me, and I’m glad I did! I just bought “The Beat Simple Recipies” by Americas Test Kitchen on Amazon for only $18 (paperback) and I can’t wait to dive in! Thank you!

  115. taylor

    hello, I made this for dinner last night to your exact directions, and the sauce was very “liquidy” not thick and creamy like the pictures looked. Do you recommend cutting down the amount of broth? I am not quite sure what I messed up on :) !

  116. Marlene

    As others have said, this is easy and very good. My extra-fussy husband raved about it. I used spicy chicken Italian sausage, which added just the right “kick,” and chopped tomatoes with basil, garlic, oregano as that is what I had. Thanks! Kevin and Amanda.

  117. Amanda

    I pinned this recipe a while back and made it today for the first time. I substituted half and half for heavy cream, colby jack chest, and whole wheat pasta. I made a separate meal for our 11mo old and he tried our dinner and preferred it over the baby food–he reached out and cried out for it. Well done!

  118. leann

    I made this today. It turned out very good. I made it with gluten free rotiti.
    I will use the mild rotel next time. It was a little too spicy.
    Thanks for the recipe. I will definitely make it again. :)

  119. Olivia

    I love this recipe, I discovered it a little over a year ago and my husband request it weekly, I am not exaggerating, it is on our meal plan board every week!

  120. Millie Rocheleau

    Made this and it was delicious. Two of us and we had lots of left overs. I would like to serve this to guests this week-end-a total of 8 of us. Don’t you think with appetizers ahead of time, your recipe with salad, green been bundles, bread and dessert at the end I could get 8 servings or do I need to do 1 and 1/2 times the recipe? Don’t want to run out. Thanks!

  121. lisa

    Made this a few weeks ago & it has now become the new house favorite.
    I’ve even made a vegetarian version with beans and veg broth.
    I ‘hide’ kale, spinach and soybeans in a lot of dishes…this one is no exception. Many thanks for this!!

  122. Chris

    This is GREAT!! So easy. Such a uniquely tasting dish. We LOVE it! Don’t just read it, make it. You won’t be sorry :) Thank you!!

  123. Alexis

    Huge hit! My boyfriend kept going back for more. I had to warn him to take a break or he would need an Antacid! It was a little runny, as most comments state. I left the lid off for an extra 5 minutes…..oh, and doubled the cheese. :) Hey, you only live once! Turned out to be a dynamic spicy cheesy delicious dish!

  124. laura flintom

    Holy Moly!!!!!! This was delish. Hubby called it “man food” and wants to know when we’re having it again. Terrific weeknight meal

    1. laura flintom

      I used homemade chicken stock and a can of Hunts spicy red pepper tomatoes because I didn’t have Ro-Tel. It was amazing

  125. Erika Conner

    Would I be able to replace the heavy cream with half n’ half. I still want the creamy consistency, but not all of the calories.

    1. Amanda

      Yes, you can, I’ve done it many times, but it’s not as creamy. I wouldn’t do it if I were making it for company, or if I were making it for my family for the first time, because it doesn’t *look* as pretty (it’s more liquidy) but it still tastes just as good. Hope this helps. Good luck with your decision!

  126. Angie @Angela's Anxious Life

    This was delicious!! I loved it and my family loved it. Very good. Too bad the sodium is so high.

  127. Mel Kinnel (@TizMellyMel)

    OMG! Made this for dinner tonight and it was a total hit with my family. My husband kept saying how creamy it was. The only thing that I would change next time is to use fresh onions instead of the frozen. My frozen onions were really “wet” and seemed to get a little mushy when I was sauteing them. I did double the recipe so I’m not sure if was just too much to get them caramelized or what but the taste was still awesome! Thanks for posting! Pinned!

  128. Pattie

    Just made this for dinner and the 12 year old is still raving about it. Will surely make again. The one minor change I made was to slightly purée the Rotel before adding it since neither my hubby or my kiddo like chunks of tomatoes in things. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. Thanks for the great dinner.

  129. Michele

    My husband and I eat this once a week almost and we love it. We are huge foodies, so it isn’t easy to please us when it comes to simple recipes. So yummy!!!! We use 1/2 a cup less chicken broth, but that’s the only thing I’ve done to the recipe. That only really matters depending on how thick or thin you like it. Great job!

  130. angela

    Any suggestions on how to adjust this recipe for a LARGE crowd (approx 25 ppl) ? And any suggestions on making it ahead??? Thanks!

    1. Michele

      I have to adjust this recipe all the time to make it for myself and my boys. We love it, so we eat a lot of it. As someone who cooks a lot, I would say you should experiment with doubling it at first. I’ve done that and it turns out fine. One of the reasons it’s a one pan dish is the fact that you can cook the pasta with a lid on. Normal pasta is cooked with a lid off. The mixture of steam and simmer is what makes this work, so when you are talking about cooking a “pot” of it, I’m not sure that the consistency would be correct. You could however cook a couple of batches and put it in two casserole dishes to finish off in the oven.

    1. Michele

      Only 1 to 1/2 cups of chicken broth and take the lid off for the last five minutes. It should thicken like that. I make it all the time and this has worked for me.

  131. Rosemarie

    Finally got around to trying this recipe – big hit with the family. I smiled and said “Kevin & Amanda – can’t go wrong!” We used Chipotle Sausage & Pepper Jack cheese- it was awesome!

  132. EmilyE

    I’m actually in the process of cooking this right now. It smells amazing – quick question. I’m newly married and am teaching myself to cook so I thought this would be a great recipe to try. I omitted the onions since my hubby doesn’t like them… if you do this should you use less broth? I added two cups as the recipe said and it seems pretty liquid-y. Yes, I know that’s not a word. Lol.

  133. Kate

    I can’t even count the number of times I have made this recipe since stumbling upon it on Pinterest! The only change I make is to add in a bunch of frozen broccoli when I add the pasta and stock/broth so that there’s a bit more veggie content. It makes it last a little longer, too ;)

  134. Terry

    This stuff is amazing. My whole family loves it! Love that it is a one pot meal that goes together in no time at all!

  135. Kelli

    Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe, I personally am not a huge fan of smoked sausage but the flavoring in this dish made it totally worth it. I will definitely be making again!

    I froze the extra’s, into individual servings for some lunches or when I don’t want to cook dinner :-)

  136. Alicia

    This was pretty yummy! I used 1/2 and 1/2 instead of heavy whipping cream to save on fat and calories. It worked great! I actually might try milk or a mixture next time. I also had some italian cheese blend, so I threw some of that in there along with the colby jack (there goes the extra fat and calories I saved from using 1/2 & 1/2!). We had this for dinner last night, and my husband already wants to make it again today!

  137. Brandi

    I made this last night, it was soo good everyone dove in for seconds. I made two pans one with mild rotelle and the other with plain diced tomatoes, for my mother in law who cannot eat spicy foods. For the people questioning the rotelle mild is the way to go the original is very spicy. This is a great recipe I have to get that cook book.

  138. Tammy

    this looks sooooo good and I want to make it but what can I use in place of heavy cream since my son is allergic to milk?

  139. Robert Mathenge Mwangi

    I just made this for lunch and it tastes great! I just messed up on the spice measurements and made it a little bit too spicy but I love it anyway.

  140. Michelle Martinez

    I made a couple changes to this recipe- I used chorizo instead of the sausage up top and I only used the tomatoes and not the chiles because I can’t eat spicy foods but even with those changes I must say this was absolutely delicious!! My fiancé had a couple bites and asked me to “put it on the list” hahahha it’s delicious! Thank you for sharing!!

  141. jessrich

    So glad I found your site and this recipe. Every time I make it, there’s barely any leftover. I like to add a small can of corn with everything else.

  142. cathy

    Also use a Dutch oven pot and add a hand full of diced green pepper. Always buy two sausage and two cans of tomatoes so you can make it two times.

  143. cathy

    Modify – use botie noodles half of the box, double the heavy cream, use del monte tomatoes with green chilies & Sargento 4 state cheese. Cook additional 10 mins and then add cheese and green onion and put in oven at 350 for 25 mins then turn on broiler for 1 min. Way better!

  144. Renee

    This looks so yummy and easy. I’ve had it pinned on my “To Try” Pinterest board for awhile now. Adding to this week’s meal plan. Thank you for sharing this lovely looking dish!

  145. Kirsty

    Hello all the way from New Zealand! Thank you for this recipe, we made it tonight and it is so super easy and the whole family loved it! We will be adding this to our “favourite meals” recipe book. :)

  146. Jody

    My family loved this!! Even my carnivore hubby ,who thought that the smoked turkey sausage was Keilbasa!! Will definitely be making this again and again!!

  147. Guadalupe Angulo

    I made this today for the 2nd time….this is one of my favorite recipes! For the record, for us non cooks always wondering what something looks like when described in recipe your step by step pictures come in sooo handy!!! Love your recipes!!

  148. Susan

    This will be the second time I have made this easy and very tasty dinner. My husband is hard to please and kind of a hamburger/hot dog type person but he really liked this dinner. Thanks for sharing with us.

  149. Joann hughes

    Thanks for this recipe!! I’m making it right now and so far it tastes delish!! And I haven’t even added the cheese in yet. :)
    The only changes I made was using whole wheat pasta, which adds a little extra cooking time, and a few red pepper flakes. Probably could have left them out, but we love spicy!!

  150. Janet

    I used evaporated milk instead of heavy cream and it tastes just fine! And I also used penne pasta. Best thing, it freezes great too!

    1. </