July 12, 2021

Sausage and Broccoli Pasta

This Sausage and Broccoli Pasta is the perfect weeknight dinner. A light, flavorful sauce, Italian sausage, gluten-free pasta, fresh broccoli, and plenty of Pecorino Romano cheese to  finish everything off. This yummy pasta is so easy to make and is something the whole family is sure to enjoy!

The Best Sausage and Broccoli Pasta

We are big fans of pasta dishes in this house. They are hearty, comforting, and such an easy option for a quick dinner when you need something filling but don’t have a ton of time.

This sausage and broccoli pasta with Italian sausage is a classic staple that is perfect for feeding a large crowd or providing you with a few extra leftovers throughout the week. To keep it on the healthy side, I use gluten-free penne noodles, fresh broccoli, and pasta water combined with Pecorino Romano cheese to make a light yet creamy sauce.

Everyone will love this simple and delicious recipe. Keep reading to learn how to make it!

Ingredients You’ll Need

(Full list of ingredients and instructions in the recipe card, below.)

Pasta: I used gluten-free penne pasta to keep this entire recipe gluten-free but feel free to use your favorite pasta of choice. I recommend using one that is shorter cut like penne or farfalle for this recipe.

Broccoli florets: Fresh broccoli works best in this dish as it will hold up to the cooking and be tender but still a bit crisp.

Garlic: Be sure to use freshly minced garlic in this recipe for the best flavor.

Ground Italian Pork Sausage: This recipe uses ground Italian sausage. If you prefer a little heat, you can use a hot Italian sausage or use a mild Italian sausage and add a bit of extra red pepper flakes.

Pecorino Romano Cheese: I love the flavor of Pecorino Romano in this dish. If you prefer, you could use parmesan cheese instead of pecorino. Both will work very well.

Red Pepper Flakes: These add a bit of extra heat to the pasta and work very well with the flavor of the ingredients in the dish.

Lemon Zest: This may seem a little unorthodox but trust me. It adds the best flavor to the dish.

How To Make Sausage and Broccoli Pasta From Scratch

(Full list of ingredients and instructions in the recipe card, below.)

Step One: First start by heating a large pot of water to boiling. Once the water is boiling, liberally salt the water (I use at least two teaspoons of salt) and then add the pasta.

Cook the pasta to al dente (according to the package instructions). During the last two minutes of cooking, add the broccoli florets. Before draining, reserve two cups of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and broccoli and then set aside.

Step Two: Now it’s time to cook the sausage and make the sauce. Return the pot to the stove and bring the heat to medium-high. Once the pot is hot, add in the olive oil. Next, add the Italian sausage and break it up as it begins to cook. When the sausage is no longer pink, add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until the sausage is browned.

Step Three: Now, reduce the heat to low. Add the pasta and broccoli back to the pot and give everything a stir.

Step Four: Next, add one cup of pasta water, grated Pecorino Romano cheese, and fresh lemon zest to the pot and stir gently until everything is well combined. The pasta water will help to create a thin, light sauce that coats the pasta. If you need to, feel free to add the additional half cup of pasta water to create more sauce. If you still need a bit more sauce, you can add additional pasta water.

Step Five: Serve the pasta with additional grated cheese, red pepper flakes, and fresh lemon zest on top.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to use Italian pork sausage?

No! Feel free to use Italian chicken sausage instead. It will be equally as delicious! The most important thing is to use a ground sausage that you can either by bulk or remove the casing.

Can I use frozen broccoli?

While I prefer to use fresh broccoli in this dish, you could also us frozen. Just know that it might be a little more tender and less crisp than you would like.

What if I run out of pasta water for the sauce?

You can use chicken broth, veggie broth, or a little extra water if needed.

Tips and Tricks for the Best Sausage and Broccoli Pasta

  • Cut the broccoli into roughly the same size. This will ensure that it cooks evenly.
  • Don’t overcook your pasta. Cook the pasta al dente so that it still has a bit of bite.
  • Salt your water while cooking the pasta to ensure that it has plenty of flavor.
  • Don’t skip using fresh garlic. It really makes such a difference.

More Delicious Recipes You’ll Love

Italian Baked Penne Pasta Casserole (Gluten-Free)

Italian Pasta Salad

Greek Pasta Salad

Pesto Turkey Meatballs

Grilled Shrimp and Orzo Salad

I  hope you give this Sausage and Broccoli Pasta a try! It is so easy to make and absolutely delicious!

If you do give this recipe a try, I want to know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings / #allthehealthythings on INSTAGRAM. Your reviews help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you know and love.

Recipe by: Ashlea Carver / All the Healthy Things | Photography by: Casey Colodny / THE MINDFUL HAPA

Print

Sausage and Broccoli Pasta

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free
/
Scale:
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 16 oz broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground Italian pork sausage
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (plus more to taste)
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano (plus more for serving)
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest

Method

  1. Heat a large pot of water to boiling. Once boiling liberally salt the water and then add the pasta—Cook the pasta to al dente (according to the package instructions). During the last two minutes of cooking, add the broccoli florets before draining, reserve 2 cups of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and broccoli, and then set aside.
  2. Return the pot to the stove and bring the heat to medium-high. Next, add the olive oil. Once hot, add the Italian sausage and break it up as it begins to cook. When the sausage is no longer pink, add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until the sausage is browned.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, and then add the pasta and broccoli back to the pot.
  4. Next, add the pasta water, grated cheese, and fresh lemon zest to the pot and stir until everything is well combined. The pasta water will help to create a thin sauce that coats the pasta. If you need to, feel free to add the additional half cup of pasta water to create more sauce.
  5. Serve the pasta with additional grated cheese, red pepper flakes, and fresh lemon zest on top.

Keywords: sausage and broccoli pasta, sausage broccoli pasta, sausage and broccoli pasta recipe

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Recipe rating

    4 comments
  1. This was super easy to make and tasted delicious! I will definitely be adding this recipe in the rotation.

  2. This was an easy meal to make and a hit with my family. Will definitely be making again!

    • Yay! I’m so happy to hear that, Stacy! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!

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