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This smoked sausage pasta recipe is quick, uses a handful of everyday ingredients, and it’ll hit the spot on busy weeknights! 

close-up of balsamic smoked sausage pasta in a white bowl

This is one of those super simple recipes that hopefully you will love and make again and again. The balsamic vinegar mellows out a bit as it cooks, but I definitely recommend making this only if you do like the taste of balsamic vinegar since it is the primary flavor here. 

What kind of sausage to use?

  • I bought a Ukrainian smoked sausage for this recipe (the kind that comes in plastic packaging in a coil shape). I think most grocery stores sell them or something similar. It’s already cooked, and it slices easily, so that’s the type of sausage I recommend for this recipe (does not have to be Ukrainian). 
  • The sausage I bought wasn’t particularly fatty, but use your best judgement and drain some of the fat out if needed. 
  • If you use raw sausages, you will need to cook them for longer and likely drain some of the fat out before continuing on with the rest of the recipe.

close-up of balsamic smoked sausage pasta

Recipe notes & tips:

  • You can skip the bell pepper if you want, but I like to add it for a little bit of extra freshness and flavor. 
  • Feel free to swap the penne with whatever pasta you have on-hand.

What to serve with this pasta?

You can eat this balsamic sausage pasta by itself or serve it with a side salad or garlic bread/breadsticks if you prefer.

Other sausage recipes to try:

smoked sausage pasta (with penne) in a white bowl

Let me know if you’ve made this balsamic smoked sausage pasta recipe!

Questions? Leave me a comment below.

close-up of balsamic smoked sausage pasta in a white bowl
4.75 from 12 votes

Balsamic Smoked Sausage Pasta

This smoked sausage pasta recipe is quick, uses a handful of everyday ingredients, and it'll hit the spot on busy weeknights! 
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 8 ounces uncooked pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 pound smoked sausage cut into rounds or smaller
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Boil a salted pot of water for your pasta. Cook it al dente according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the sausage pieces and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally so all sides get a chance to start browning.
  • Add in the onions. Continue cooking (stirring occasionally) until the onions have started to lightly brown and the sausage gets some nice color. You may need to turn the heat down once it gets going so nothing burns.
  • Stir in the red peppers and garlic. Cook for a minute or so (I like the red pepper to still have some crunch).
  • Remove everything from the pan and set it aside, then pour the balsamic vinegar into the pan. Cook until it's reduced by half (about 1 minute or so), and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Take the pan off the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and then add the sausage mixture back in. Give it a good stir.
  • Add a splash (a couple tablespoons or so) of the pasta water to the skillet prior to draining the pasta. Add the drained pasta to the pan and toss. Season with extra salt & pepper as needed. Serve immediately.


  • I used a Ukrainian smoked sausage coil for this recipe. Any smoked sausage will work, or something like kielbasa would work too. I buy the kind that's already fully cooked. This type of sausage is not very greasy at all. If you use a sausage that's raw, you will have to cook it for longer and probably drain some of the fat depending on what kind of sausage you buy.
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information. Calories will vary depending on what sausage you use. Some are leaner than the one in my nutrition calculator.


Calories: 643kcal, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 38g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 81mg, Sodium: 971mg, Potassium: 441mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 931IU, Vitamin C: 39mg, Calcium: 27mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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  1. 4 stars
    I added canned fire roasted garlic diced tomatoes, sautéed asparagus and red pepper flakes. I also served it with angel hair low carb good pasta. It was delicious!

  2. I made this recipe and I didn’t taste the balsamic as I was really hoping I would. My husband loved it, which is good, however, he isn’t a big balsamic fan, so I know the balsamic flavor was missing or very weak. Not sure what would have weakened it. Any ideas?

    1. I find that cooking balsamic vinegar does mellow it out a bit. You could always add in a bit more next time perhaps? In any case, I’m glad your husband enjoyed it at least. Let me know if you try adding some more next time… I think that ought to do the trick.