This creamy sausage and peppers pasta recipe takes a classic combo and elevates it into a restaurant-worthy meal! It's a quick and easy pasta you'll find yourself craving.
Love this combo of ingredients? Try my Sausage and Peppers Skillet next.
Why you'll love it
Sausage and peppers is one of those already delicious combinations that just tastes so good, and I'm upgrading it in this creamy pasta recipe that's rich and decadent. I wouldn't consider this one totally extravagant or anything like that, but it might be something you save as a creative Friday night treat. It's also great for company since it's so pretty and colorful on your table!
If you're a regular reader here, you already know that one of my passions is creating something special out of everyday ingredients that's as good as you'd get at a restaurant. This easy Italian sausage pasta has ordinary grocery store ingredients like bell peppers, garlic, and spinach, so there's no need to shop around to make a fancy-tasting meal at home.
What you'll need
- Pasta - I used bucatini, which is a thin tube-shaped pasta that looks like spaghetti. You can use any variety, but I like longer pasta for the sauce in this one.
- Italian sausage - you can use ground sausage meat or buy a pack of mild Italian sausages and take the meat out of the casings then crumble it into the skillet
- Olive oil and butter - for sautéing
- Onion and garlic - tasty aromatics in any good recipe! I like to use sweet (Vidalia) onions, and I mince the garlic with this press so no peeling or chopping is needed.
- Bell peppers - I picked yellow and red for their bright color and natural sweetness, but use your favorite colors
- Flour - it thickens up the sauce
- Heavy cream - for the luscious creamy quality
- Dijon mustard - it's a trick I use to enhance flavor. It's not overpowering and definitely worth using.
- Spinach - baby spinach adds a pop of freshness
- Make sure to give the onions and peppers enough time to cook. I don't like to rush this process. They get nice and soft and sweet and flavorful (almost caramelized) as they cook.
How to make sausage and peppers pasta
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Cook the pasta al dente. Meanwhile, brown the sausage in a skillet, and transfer it to a paper towel lined plate once done. Sauté the onion and bell peppers in olive oil until the peppers have softened up and the onion is gently browned.
Melt in the butter, and add the garlic. Add the flour and cook for a minute while stirring well. Pour in the cream and stir in the Dijon mustard. Let it cook just for a minute so it thickens up a touch.
Return the cooked Italian sausage to the skillet, and toss along with the fresh spinach. Drain the pasta, reserving a little bit of hot starchy water to add to the skillet, and toss it with the sauce until the spinach wilts. Season with salt & pepper and serve right away!
Substitutions and variations
- Add in some crushed red pepper flakes for heat, or use spicy Italian sausage instead.
- You could get away without using flour if you need to, but the sauce will take a bit longer to thicken up. I'd also probably leave out the butter as well if not using the flour.
- We haven't tested substituting the heavy cream for anything with a lower fat content, but if you do, the sauce won't be as rich and may not thicken up the same way.
Leftovers and storage
- Keep any leftovers of this Italian sausage pasta for a few days in the fridge in an airtight container.
- Reheat slowly over low heat. You might need to add a splash more cream or chicken broth to revive the sauce as creamy sauces can dry out in the fridge.
- I don't recommend freezing this one due to the dairy content.
What to serve with this pasta
- It's optional, but a generous dusting of freshly grated parmesan cheese is highly recommended to top this one off.
- Since it's fairly rich, the best pairing I can think of is a big green salad. Dress it up with my Italian Dressing from Scratch. This Super Simple Parmesan Arugula Salad is another great choice.
- A dinner roll, breadsticks, or a big slice of Cheesy Garlic Bread is the perfect complement if you're looking to go all out for pasta night!
If the post didn't answer all your questions, talk to me in the comments below. I'd love it if you left me a review of this simple sausage and peppers pasta! You can also find me on Instagram.
Creamy Sausage and Peppers Pasta
- 8 ounces uncooked pasta I used bucatini
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper chopped
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon flour
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese optional, to taste
- Boil a large, salted pot of pasta and cook it al dente according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, brown the sausage meat in a skillet over medium-high heat, breaking it up as you go along (about 8-10 minutes). Once it's cooked through, transfer it to a paper towel lined plate.
- Add the oil to the skillet, along with the onion and chopped bell peppers. Cook until the onion is lightly browned and the peppers have softened up (about 7-8 minutes).
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the butter and garlic to the skillet, and once the butter melts, sprinkle in the flour and cook for about a minute, stirring well.
- Stir in the cream and Dijon mustard (ensure there's no lumps from the flour). The sauce should thicken quite quickly, so don't let it cook for more than a minute or so before moving onto the next step.
- Add the cooked sausage and spinach to the skillet and stir/toss.
- Before draining the pasta, add in a splash (a couple tablespoons or so) of the hot pasta water to the skillet, then drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Toss until the spinach has wilted and the pasta is coated with the sauce. Serve immediately with extra salt & pepper as needed and some freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- 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.