Behold: the miracle that is one-pot pasta. Specifically, this luxuriously creamy one-pot pasta with sausage and spinach. This 30-minute meal is a cinch to make and tastes AMAZING, and is packed with a whole POUND of good-for-you spinach!
Honestly, I’m not sure how I’ve gone so long as a food blogger without posting a one-pot pasta recipe. In case you haven’t heard of it, it’s a pasta dish that cooks in- you guessed it!- one pot.
The pasta cooks to perfection directly in the sauce, so you’re left with the creamiest, most flavorful sauce ever as the starch from the pasta helps it cling to every bite, and the pasta absorbs the flavors as it cooks.
Seriously, I may never cook pasta the traditional way (separately, then adding it to the sauce, like in this five-ingredient pasta with bolognese sauce) again! (although, that bolognese recipe IS pretty yummy…)
This recipe features smoked sausage (any kind, but I used a super yummy chicken andouille sausage to make it a bit lighter), frozen chopped spinach, and farfalle pasta, with parmesan cheese and heavy cream stirred in at the very end to make a creamy, luxurious sauce that melts into every bite.
I figure the pound of spinach and using chicken sausage instead of pork compensated for the use of heavy cream. That basically makes this a health food, right?
First, you’ll cook the sausage in some olive oil in a large pot. I love using a dutch oven for things like this. It gets super hot, which helps give the sausage some good browned color.
Then, add some onions. The onions will sweat out liquid, which will help you dislodge any stuck-on bits from the bottom of the pot from cooking the sausage.
The garlic should be added only after the onions are completely done cooking, as you only need to sauté them for about 30 seconds, or until it becomes fragrant. Time and again, I see recipes that require the onions and garlic to be sautéed together. This often results in burnt garlic, since it burns much faster than onions.
Do yourself a favor and get in the habit of adding garlic to almost anything you’re sautéing at the very end, before adding any liquid.
Which brings me to the next part.
After you’re done sautéing the sausage, onions, and garlic, add some chicken stock (or vegetable stock, or even water- this recipe is so flavorful it’s OK if you don’t use stock) to the pot, along with the frozen spinach.
You don’t even need to defrost the spinach! Just toss it in. Easy peasy.
After the liquid comes to a boil, add the pasta, turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 11 minutes.
The pasta will absorb all the yummy liquid and flavors from the sausage, onions, and garlic. You may need to stir it occasionally so it doesn’t stick together, but I had to deal with a meltdown from my 8-month-old while this was cooking and didn’t stir it, and it was fine.
After the pasta is done cooking, you’ll stir in the parmesan cheese and heavy cream and cook only for another minute or so, until the cheese is melted and the sauce turns thick and creamy.
Good LORD. You’re going to want to eat this every day!
Quick side story: I had to photograph this in the afternoon since it’s winter and the sun sets early. Then, I had to LEAVE IT IN THE POT and wait for dinnertime. It took every ounce of self control. And actually I didn’t do very well, since I went back to the pot every 10 minutes to sneak a bite or two.
I like this served with some more parmesan cheese (because, yum) and a little fresh cracked black pepper.
Speaking of pepper- you won’t need to add much salt and pepper to this, since the sausage and cheese are already salty. After you’re done stirring in the cream and cheese, give it a taste (or five) and see if you even need any more salt and pepper. I added just a little bit of salt to mine.
If you like this Creamy One-Pot Pasta with Sausage and Spinach, you’ll love this One-Pot Orzo with Mushrooms, Browned Butter, and Thyme, this One-Pot Greek Pasta, and this One-Pot Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta.
ONE MORE THING. In case you’re wondering, this is super kid friendly. My toddler Zoey, who is starting to go through a picky eating phase, ate TWO BOWLS!
Here’s the printable recipe :-)
Creamy One-Pot Pasta with Sausage and Spinach
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 oz. smoked sausage sliced into 1/4" pieces (any brand is fine; I used a chicken andouille sausage)
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 16 oz. frozen chopped spinach
- 3 cups chicken stock/broth vegetable stock or water can also be used
- 8 oz. farfalle pasta
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- kosher salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil (2 tablespoons) in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook for about 5 minutes, until heated through and browned.
- Add the onion; cook until softened and starting to brown, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the chicken stock (3 cups) and the frozen spinach (no need to defrost it). Bring to a boil.
- Add the farfalle pasta to the pot and stir. Turn the heat to low and cover, simmering for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick together, or until pasta is cooked al dente.
- Uncover and stir in the grated parmesan cheese (1/2 cup) and heavy cream (1/2 cup). Continue stirring until the cheese has melted and the sauce is thickened. Turn off heat.
- Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. Serve topped with more parmesan cheese and fresh cracked pepper, if desired.
- Money saving tip: If you don't have heavy cream and don't want to buy it, milk can be used as a substitute.
- While I haven't tried this with any other pasta shape, I do think you can substitute rotini, penne, or a pasta shape of a similar size and density for the farfalle. Something like spaghetti might not do as well with this timing and liquid amounts, since it's smaller and may require less liquid.
- I recommend using chopped frozen spinach, since there's a LOT in there and you can add it directly to the water in the beginning, and it's cheap! However, if you want to use fresh spinach, I recommend using baby spinach and adding two large handfuls to the pot right before you add the cream and cheese, to allow the leaves to wilt. You won't need to cook it for very long!
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.