This yummy, hearty Italian sausage pasta is the perfect easy dinner recipe for cool weather and busy weeknights. It's a rich, satisfying pasta recipe that you can make with simple ingredients in just 30 minutes!
This pasta recipe has long been a family favorite – for my family, and for so many families who have tried it! In fact, this flavorful Italian sausage dish has long been one of the most popular recipes on the blog. For good reason!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
This is one of my favorite pasta dishes because it's:
- Easy to make
- Fast: Most people make this in 30 minutes, and some it takes a few minutes longer.
- A great pantry recipe, using up common ingredients you most likely have on hand.
- Versatile: you can adjust the seasonings, the heat to your family's particular taste preferences.
This is an amazing dish when you are craving the ultimate comfort food. It's one of those rich, hearty dishes with incredible flavor that fills you up with warmth from the inside out.
Pasta is versatile, and just goes with everything. Be sure to check out all of our pasta recipes on the blog for more dinner ideas!
🍝 Ingredient notes
Let's talk about what you need to make this Italian Sausage Pasta.
The ingredients are all listed with exact measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here are a few notes about some of the main ingredients.
Pasta - Rigatoni or any other cylinder-shaped pasta is best because it acts like a vessel for the rich pasta sauce and meat. I cook it until is just al dente so it doesn't become too soft.
Italian sausage - use either bulk ground Italian sausage, or Italian sausage links with the casings removed.
Garlic - I use three cloves, but you can use more or less depending on your taste preference.
Herbs - The recipe calls for dried oregano, fresh parsley, and fresh basil. But you can also use tarragon.
Ready to make this recipe? Here are the key kitchen tools and equipment you'll need:
- A large pot to cook the pasta - you'll want one big enough that the pasta doesn't stick together while cooking
- A cast-iron skillet
✅ Step-by-step instructions
Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic for a couple of minutes, just until the onions are translucent.
- Add ground sausage to skillet and stir until fully cooked, about 5 minutes.
3. Add beef broth (you can also use chicken broth if you prefer) or red wine and scrap browned sausage bits off the bottom of the skillet.
4. Add diced tomatoes (undrained, with the juices), tomato paste, and dried oregano, and stir all ingredients well. Turn heat down to low heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes.
5. Add cooked pasta and ¼ cup reserved pasta water to the skillet and stir all ingredients until the pasta is coated with the sauce. If needed, add more reserve water to create a sauce consistency to your liking.
6. Remove from heat. Sprinkle parsley, basil, and/or cheese just before serving. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
💡Cooking tips and recipe FAQs
I have found rigatoni to be the best pasta shape to hold the sauce and flavors, but you can also use penne pasta, gemeli, rotini, or even medium or large shells. Any pasta shape that acts like a vessel to hold the sauce is a great pick for this dish.
My kids like this dish mild, so that's how I've created the Italian Sausage Pasta recipe. But you can easily add more spices & herbs for a punch of flavor and a little more kick. For example, add fresh tarragon or sage for an herbaceous fall flavor or some red pepper flakes for a little spice. You can also use spicy Italian sausage if you want extra heat.
Love cheese? Sprinkle parmesan cheese or asiago cheese on the cooked dish and place it in a 400 degree oven (middle rack) for about 7-8 minutes to melt the cheese.
To make this Italian Sausage Pasta recipe dairy-free, you can use some of my favorite dairy-free food substitutions. Like this dairy-free grated parmesan alternative.
This pasta will keep for up to days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. You can either reheat it in the microwave or over medium heat in a skillet. Adding a couple of tablespoons of water to soften the pasta and heat it more evenly.
🍽 Serving ideas
This pasta dish is delicious when served with a big green salad and a side of bread. Try these Garlic Parmesan Knots, Garlic Rosemary Focaccia, or Homemade French Bread.
It's also delicious with a nutritious side of Air Fryer Broccoli or Grilled Asparagus.
🥘 More 30-minute dinner recipes
Try one of these 45 of the Best Family-Friendly 30-Minute Meals or one of these scrumptious and fast recipes:
Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to leave a 5-Star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card, and if you really loved it, please leave a comment further down on the page. Thank you!
Easy, Hearty Italian Sausage Pasta
- 12 ounces rigatoni
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ pound Italian sausage, with casing removed
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ small yellow onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup beef broth or red wine
- 1 can (14.5 ounce can) petite diced tomatoes undrained
- 1 can (8 ounce can) tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped basil
- parmesan cheese or grated non-dairy cheese optional
- salt and pepper
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add garlic and onions, and sauté for about 2 minutes, just until the onions are translucent.
- Add ground sausage to skillet and stir until fully cooked, about 5 minutes.
- Add beef broth or wine and scrap browned sausage bits off the bottom of the skillet.
- Add diced tomatoes (undrained, with the juices), tomato paste, and dried oregano, and stir all ingredients well. Turn heat down to low-medium and simmer for at least 10 minutes.
- Add cooked pasta and ¼ cup reserved pasta water to the skillet and stir all ingredients until the pasta is coated with the sauce. If needed, add more reserve water to create a sauce consistency to your liking.
- Remove from heat. Sprinkle parsley, basil, and/or cheese just before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste.
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.
Liz Rahal says
How many does this recipe serve? Looks delish!
Marlynn Jayme Schotland says
Hi Liz! This recipe serves 4-6, depending on how hungry everyone is :) Thanks!
Aida Ingram says
This looks like mouthwatering healthy treat. I just recently became acquainted with grain-free pasta so this recipe is right on time. Something I will definitely have to try. Have you ever made it with something other than sausage? .
Bobbi | Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen says
This looks soooo tasty!
Julie @ Texan New Yorker says
Oh wow, this looks incredible! I totally agree this is THE definition of great comfort food. It's raining outside where I am and I so want to faceplant into your bowl of pasta!
This sounds and looks amazing! What a lovely dinner!
Kristen Kavan says
oh my gosh, I LOVE pasta too! I love putting sausage in, I bet that tastes amazing! Pinning for later! :)
This looks delish! The perfect weeknight meal on a rainy and cold portland evening!
Oh my goodness. THANK YOU for voicing your stance on zoodles! While still delicious, they are not pasta. I like my pasta the heartier the better! This particular pasta will for the bill nicely.
Citra Kale @Citra's Home Diary says
I'm not big fan of pasta (except noodle~it's not pasta is it? :) ) but my husband is. He can ask me to make him pasta almost everyday....Almost. I always looking for variation recipe to cook with it. :)
Cait Weingartner says
This dish looks amazingly good! I love the combination of Italian sausage combined with pasta, and this looks like the perfect dinner for a Fall evening. Thanks for sharing!
Dee Dee (My Midlife Kitchen) says
I am always looking for alternatives that still allow me to dig in to luscious dishes like this one, but with less guilt! What a beautiful dish.
Jerry Russell says
Gotta love any dish I can put on the table in under 30 minutes, and this one comes packed with big flavors to boot. We'll be giving this a try soon. Thanks for sharing!
I've never tried Cappello's but it sounds awesome! So glad products like that exist for a grain-free treat! I also like zoodles and spaghetti squash noodles. =) Italian sausage is so yummy, too!
Rachel Ritlop says
Yummy! I love a good rigatoni! This looks super delicious
Rachel | http://www.theconfusedmillennial.com
Vincent Carabeo says
Definitely have to try this! Looks and sounds sooooo delicious. Thanks for sharing :)