Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe.
  2. Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.
  3. Here’s how to make this recipe.
  4. These pro tips will make this recipe a success.
  5. Frequently asked questions about this recipe.
  6. You'll love these other pasta recipes.
  7. Watch how to make this recipe.
  8. Have I convinced you to make this recipe?
  9. Weeknight Spinach & Sausage Pasta Recipe

A delicious combination of protein-packed ingredients, this weeknight meal is straightforward and quick to create. Ground sausage and pasta serve as an anchor for the dish, providing heartiness. Spinach adds great flavor, while beans add a creamy texture. Topping it off, lemon zest and Parmesan cheese add the final finishing flavors. Allowing for ingredient flexibility, this recipe is the perfect addition to your cooking arsenal.

Why I love this recipe.

A weeknight meal can be easy to leave to a drive-thru or take-out. After working all day, hauling kids around, and running errands, cooking a meal may be the last thing we want to do. We all know homemade food will be healthier, cheaper, and usually taste better, but we need the right recipe so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. Welcome to my weeknight spinach and sausage pasta. The work weeknight is strategically part of the title to show that this can be made quickly with minimal ingredients, many of which you may have on hand. The key is to keep it simple. Italian sausage takes a lot of work to create a quick, full flavor and protein. White beans add a creamy heartiness and extra protein. A bit of cream and cheese create the sauce for a perfect pasta that is a meal in a matter of minutes.

Marble surface with brown bowl filled with weeknight sausage pasta with herbs and lemon to the side along with plates for serving.

Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.

  • Pasta can be any form you happen to have on hand. If possible, choose something with nooks and crannies to hold onto the cheese and trap flavor.
  • Spinach adds a quick green full of nutrients that cooks down and almost melts into the finished pasta.
  • Italian sausage can be either hot, sweet, or mild. If it has casings, remove them to make ground sausage.
  • White beans are a pantry staple, and add a filling ingredient to pasta that easily absorbs all the flavor.
Marble surface filled with all ingredients needed to make spinach & sausage pasta including pasta, spinach, sausage, lemon, and spices.

Here’s how to make this recipe.

  1. Cook the pasta. Bring the water to a boil and season with salt. Add in the pasta and cook according to package instructions.
  1. Cook the sausage. Place a skillet over medium heat and add the sausage. Cook until browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain the grease, leaving about 1 tbsp to allow the sausage to continue to cook. Place back over medium heat.
  1. Add additional ingredients and assemble. Dice the garlic cloves and add to the sausage. Add the spinach. Cook until wilted, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add in the beans and heavy cream. Bring to a simmer. Using a spider, add the pasta to the skillet with the sausage.
  1. Final garnishes. Add in lemon zest and Parmesan cheese. Mix together and serve warm.

These pro tips will make this recipe a success.

  • Cook the pasta al dente. This means it is not quite completely cooked. It will finish cooking with the sausage, giving it the perfect texture. Otherwise, fully cooking the pasta from the beginning will leave it mushy by the end of cooking.
  • Smash your garlic before chopping it. This makes it flatter, allowing for it to be chopped more easily and safely. You can even do it before removing it from the husk, making it pop out easier.
  • Drain the grease from the sausage. Otherwise, the pasta will soak up the excess, making the overall dish extra oily.
  • Allowing a small amount of water to be added to the dish with the pasta fortifies the sauce. It helps the sauce cling to the pasta, unifying it as a full dish.
Brown bowl on marble surface packed with cooked twirls of pasta topped with Parmesan cheese, spinach, and cooked sausage for a weeknight meal.

Frequently asked questions about this recipe.

Can sausage links work for this?

Yes, if the sausage has casings, just remove them to create ground sausage. Do not use breakfast sausage. Use Italian sausage.

Will both frozen and fresh spinach work in this recipe?

Yes, both work well. Slightly thaw the frozen spinach before adding it. But otherwise, follow the instructions as written.

Can this be made vegetarian?

Technically, yes. The Italian sausage could be substituted with an alternative meat solution, but leaving it out completely will remove much of the flavor. To supplement, add Italian seasoning, ground fennel, and extra kosher salt.

How long does this recipe last once prepared?

The leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and will last 7 to 10 days.

Brown bowl filled with cooked mixture of pasta with spinach and sausage and white beans with lemon in the background.

Watch how to make this recipe.

More weeknight dinner ideas

Have I convinced you to make this recipe?

I hope you make this recipe and put some food on your table. Leave a comment and share a star rating so you can let others know how much you love this recipe. This helps show others that this is a recipe they, too, can make, enjoy, and love!

Brown bowl on marble surface with striped cloth filled with cooked pasta mixed with spinach and sausage mixture.

Weeknight Spinach & Sausage Pasta

5 from 3 votes
A delicious combination of protein-packed ingredients, this weeknight meal is straightforward and quick to create. Ground sausage and pasta serve as an anchor for the dish, providing heartiness. Spinach adds great flavor, while beans add a creamy texture. Topping it off, lemon zest and Parmesan cheese add the final finishing flavors. Allowing for ingredient flexibility, this recipe is the perfect addition to your cooking arsenal.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 12 oz pasta (fusilli was used in this recipe)
  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage (sweet, mild, or hot)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 5 oz spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 15-oz can white beans rinsed & drained
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the package instructions for al dente.
    12 oz pasta (fusilli was used in this recipe)
  • In a large 12-inch skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat. Break the sausage into small bite-size pieces until it is fully browned and cooked, 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and spinach. Sauté until the spinach is wilted with excess moisture mostly cooked off, 3-4 minutes.
    1 lb ground Italian sausage (sweet, mild, or hot), 3 cloves garlic, 5 oz spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • Add the white beans and heavy cream. Bring the cream to a simmer and add the cooked pasta. Turn the heat to low and stir the pasta into the sausage mixture.
    1 15-oz can white beans, ½ cup heavy cream
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and lemon zest.
    ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, 2 tsp lemon zest

Notes

Cook the pasta al dente. This means it is not quite completely cooked. It will finish cooking with the sausage, giving it the perfect texture. Otherwise, fully cooking the pasta from the beginning will leave it mushy by the end of cooking.
Smash your garlic before chopping it. This makes it flatter, allowing for it to be chopped more easily and safely. You can even do it before removing it from the husk, making it pop out easier.
Drain the grease from the sausage. Otherwise, the pasta will soak up the excess, making the overall dish extra oily.
Allowing a small amount of water to be added to the dish with the pasta fortifies the sauce. It helps the sauce cling to the pasta, unifying it as a full dish.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 701kcal
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Difficulty Easy
Method Cooking

You May Also Like

Never miss a post by signing up for my newsletter.
Avatar for Kaleb

Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

Learn more about me

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating:




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight with chickpea pasta and added mushrooms. It was absolutely delicious! Thanks again for another wonderful recipe

  2. 5 stars
    This dish was a winner. I used turkey sweet Italian sausage, less fat but the flavor was there. The lemon zest made a tasteful addition. This recipe will be a go to. It was easy and quick to prepare we loved it!

  3. 5 stars
    This was a delicious, easy recipe. I used spicy Italian sausage. Can’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.