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!
(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.
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
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
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.
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.
Reduce the heat to low, and then add the pasta and broccoli back to the pot.
Next, add 1 1/2 cups of 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.
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
Leave a comment
My husband had seconds. It was delicious!
Great recipe, I used to use hats pasta to make this dish. but the penne is excellent. Never put lemon in this dish, so a little was a nice touch. thank you for upgrading this great recipe. I’m not particularly eager to put the broccoli in the pasta starchy water. so
I Cook/steam the broccoli in chicken stock, low sodium, then add the rest of the ingredients. 1 can of small sliced mushrooms is what my Italian recipe also calls for.. 5 stars
Excellent meal/recipee! Thank you!
I made the Penn pasta. I loved it.
I’m a college student, and this meal was so easy to make and have leftovers. All my roommates told me how good it smelled when they walked in the kitchen, 10/10!
I’m so glad you loved it, Kris!
This dish is delicious! It came together quickly with minimal and simple ingredients. The lemon zest is genius and makes the dish bright and flavorful. Thank you Ashlea!
Great weeknight meal. I’ve made it twice and my hubby and son love it!!! Definitely a keeper
Does this recipe call for hot or mild Italian sausage? Thx!
Hi, Patti! either will work well!
Excellent, quick and easy recipe! I was unsure about using the pasta water, as I’ve never done anything like that before, but it turned out great. My husband loved it–I’ll be making this again!
So good! Made this for my husband and I. Perfect amount for some leftovers for lunch. Quick and easy! Perfect weeknight dinner!
This is the PERFECT weeknight meal! I’ve been off my cooking game lately (ah, Summer) so I was looking for something simple to get back into my routine tonight, and this was it! The lemon zest, to me, was the star of this dish – the citrusy zing compliments and highlights the other flavors so, so well. Truly delicious and I can’t wait to get into these leftovers tomorrow! Thank you Ashlea!!
Easy and delicious!
It was easy to make! It was SO delicious! I will definitely make it again.
The lemon zest sounds like a great addition, and using the pasta water is wonderful tip! Sounds very “Gourmet”, yet EASY! Can’t wait to try it!
Delicious, so easy, and love the small ingredients list!
This is SO SO good! I made it for dinner and had the leftovers for lunch the next day. Such basic ingredients with SO much flavor! This is going to be one of my go to recipes.
I made this yesterday and it was a big hit. So delicious! Thank you.
Such a great addition for week night dinner rotation! even with some frozen broccoli this dinner was delicious! who doesn’t love pasta on a tuesday?
So good. Super easy and family freindly recipe!
I”m so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Allison! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!
This was super easy to make and tasted delicious! I will definitely be adding this recipe in the rotation.
I”m so glad you liked this recipe, Alisa! Thanks for sharing!
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!
Do you have a favorite gluten free pasta? I’ve tried so many and am curious if you have a go to?
Hi Holly! Ashlea likes to use Jovial. Thanks for your question!
I’m on an ATHT tear this week – different recipe every night. This was easy and delicious. Can’t wait to have the leftovers!