This Italian sausage and broccoli pasta is a hearty, satisfying dinner that you can make in under 30 minutes. It's a great quick family dinner for any busy weeknight.
There's something magical about bringing the family together around a delicious and hearty meal. But pasta night doesn't always have to include rich sauces that simmer on the stove for hours.
I love making creamy pasta recipes, like Creamy Lobster Ravioli Sauce and Rigatoni with Vodka Sauce. But I also love simple pastas with oil-based sauces that just coat the pastas with a thin yet delicious layer of flavor.
This Italian Sausage and Broccoli Pasta recipe is a flavorful dish. It's easy to make and also packs a punch of taste and nutrition. This satisfying pasta is perfect for family dinners any night of the week!
🌟 Why this recipe works
This is a classic Italian pasta dish that I think you and the whole family will love.
1. Fast - One of the best things about this pasta recipe is how fast it is. You can make this meal in under 30 minutes.
2. Versatility - One of the great things about this easy recipe is its versatility. You can use different types of Italian sausage – mild or spicy – based on your family's taste preferences. Additionally, the inclusion of broccoli not only adds a nutritional boost but also a delightful crunch, making it a well-rounded and satisfying meal.
3. Family-friendly - This recipe is designed to be family-friendly, with simple ingredients and easy-to-follow steps.
4. Nutrient-packed - Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Incorporating it into this pasta dish ensures that your family gets a dose of essential nutrients in a delicious and enjoyable way. It's a win-win for both parents and kids!
🛒 Ingredient notes
- Italian sausage - My recipe calls for mild Italian sausage, but you can use spicy Italian sausage, hot Italian sausage. In a pinch you could use sweet Italian sausage, but it will have a different flavor profile.
- Pasta - The recipe calls for ziti pasta, but you can use orecchiette pasta, penne pasta, rigatoni, fusilli. Choose a pasta shape that will hold the sausage and broccoli.
- Broccoli - Chop up fresh broccoli (or broccoli rabe) into small, even pieces so they cook evenly. You can include chopped broccoli stems to avoid waste.
- Olive oil - Use extra virgin olive oil. You can also drizzle some olive oil over the finished dish just before serving.
- White wine - Choose a white wine you enjoy drinking, such as a Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc. You can substitute chicken broth, veggie broth, or water for the wine.
- Fresh garlic - Feel free to use more or less minced garlic, depending on your taste preference.
- Lemon zest - Use a microplane to zest a lemon. This adds a nice bright flavor and acidity to the dish.
- Red pepper Flakes - A small amount of red pepper flakes adds a little kick to the pasta. If you don't want a spicy sausage pasta, you can use less than what the recipe calls for. You can also omit this ingredient completely if you want no spice at all.
- Basil - Use thinly sliced or chopepd fresh basil leaves.
- Salt and pepper - Season the dish with kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste.
✅ Step-by-step instructions
You'll find the full list of ingredients and detailed cooking instructions in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here are step-by-step photos with a quick summary to show you how to make this Italian sausage and broccoli pasta.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of hot starchy pasta water for the sauce.
2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
3. Add the Italian sausage and break up with a wooden spoon or meat chopper, stirring regularly.
4. Once the sausage is just browned (about 4-5 minutes), add the garlic. Stir and sauté all together for 1-2 minutes, just until the garlic is softened.
5. Add in the broccoli and red pepper flakes, and stir.
6. Reduce the heat to medium and pour in the white wine.
7. When the pasta is done cooking, add 1 cup of the pasta water to the sauce in the skillet with the meat and vegetables.
8. Drain pasta and add the pasta.
9. Add the lemon zest, and basil to the skillet. Toss the pasta to coat with the sauce and to evenly distribute the flavors. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Drizzle with additional olive oil just before serving.
Optional: Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, or for a dairy-free umami nutty flavor, sprinkle in nutritional yeast.
👩🏻🍳 Cooking tips and recipe FAQs
- This makes a thin olive oil sauce that just lightly coats the pasta. if you want a thicker, creamy sauce, you can add heavy cream and/or butter after allowing the wine to cook in the skillet.
- Chop the broccoli into small, evenly sized pieces so that they cook up evenly.
- You can add almost any of your favorite herbs to this pasta. We add basil, but you can add fresh mint, oregano, tarragon, rosemary, or parsley.
Absolutely! While the recipe suggests using ziti, feel free to experiment with other pasta shapes. The Italian sausage and broccoli cooks beautifully with orechiette, penne, fusilli, or rigatoni. The key is to choose a pasta that can hold the hearty sausage and broccoli.
Yes, you can! Prepare the sauce and cook the pasta and broccoli slightly al dente. When you're ready to serve, reheat the sauce and toss everything together. This dish also freezes well for future quick and delicious family dinners.
Store any leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 or 5 days.
To reheat, add a splash of water to prevent the pasta from drying out, and warm it up in the microwave or on the stove.
🍽 Serving ideas
Make a full meal with this sausage broccoli pasta dish by serving it with one or two of these delectable side dishes:
- Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread
- Air Fryer Garlic Bread
- Asian Carrot Cucumber Salad
- Instant Pot Green Beans
Looking for some delicious desserts to serve with this hearty pasta? Try one of these easy dessert recipes:
🍷 🥂 Wine pairings
Pairing the right wine with your Italian Sausage Pasta with Broccoli can elevate your dining experience. Here are a few suggestions:
- Sauvignon Blanc - If you prefer white wine, pair this pasta dish with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Sauvignon Blanc can provide a refreshing contrast to the bold flavors of the sausage and add a zesty element to the meal.
- Pinot Noir - Light-bodied Pinot Noir pairs well with the savory sausage. It allows the bright acidity to cut through the richness of the dish.
- Chianti Classico - Yes, you can pair a lighter pasta sauce with a rich red wine! The robust flavors of Chianti Classico complement the richness of the Italian sausage and the earthiness of the broccoli.
🍳 Kitchen tools and equipment
Ready to make this recipe? Here are the kitchen tools and equipment you'll need:
- Large pot - You'll need a large pot to cook the pasta in.
- Large skillet - I love making this dish in an enameled cast iron skillet.
- Meat chopper - I like to use this meat chopper to quickly break up ground meat while cooking in the skillet.
- Wooden spoon - Use a wooden spoon to stir together the ingredients.
- Microplane grater - Use a microplane zester and grater to zest the lemon.
- Handheld juicer - This is my favorite handheld citrus juicer to juice lemons.
Italian sausage and broccoli pasta
- 12 ounces pasta ziti, penne, orrechiette, or rigatoni
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1 pound mild italian sausage, bulk (removed from casings)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ pound chopped broccoli florets (about 2-3 cups)
- ⅕ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ Tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon thinly sliced basil leaves
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (optional) for serving
- In a large stockpot, cook pasta according to package directions. Toward the end of cooking time, reserve 1 cup of hot starchy pasta water for the sauce.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the Italian sausage and break up with a wooden spoon or meat chopper, stirring regularly.
- Once the sausage is just browned (about 4-5 minutes), add the garlic. Stir and sauté all together for 1-2 minutes, just until the garlic is softened.
- Add in the broccoli and red pepper flakes, and stir.
- Reduce the heat to medium and pour in the white wine. Cook at medium heat, stirring regularly, until the wine is absorbed. This can take anywhere from 1-3 minutes.
- When the pasta is done cooking, add 1 cup of the starchy pasta water to the sauce in the skillet with the meat and vegetables.
- Drain the pasta and add the pasta, lemon zest, and basil to the skillet. Toss the pasta to coat with the sauce and to evenly distribute the flavors.
- Season with kosher salt and pepper. Drizzle with additional olive oil just before serving.
- Optional: Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, or for a dairy-free umami nutty flavor, sprinkle in nutritional yeast.
- Substitute chicken broth for the white wine.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.