This easy sausage rigatoni recipe is made with everyday ingredients. Plenty of Italian sausage simmered in a garlicky tomato sauce makes the best easy dinner!
Rigatoni with sausage is always a good idea! Ahh I love simple pasta recipes like this one. I made this a spicy sausage rigatoni recipe, but you can definitely stick to mild Italian sausage if you prefer.
This one's great for busy weeknights. You can throw it together pretty fast, and most of the cooking is fairly hands-off.
- The two types of canned tomatoes I suggest really determine how the sauce turns out. One needs to be much thicker than the other, so substitute with caution.
- I always get people asking if they can substitute the heavy cream with something lighter. I don't recommend it in this recipe. The acidity of the tomatoes is likely to break the sauce if you don't use heavy cream. You can leave the cream out if you absolutely have to, but I love how cream takes the acidic edge off tomatoes and imparts a richness without having to add too much.
- If your tomatoes are a bit sour, you can add it a little sugar (start with 1/2 teaspoon or so).
- If you want to add a little heat, sprinkle in some red pepper flakes or use hot Italian sausage.
- Want to add a bit of wine to the sauce? No problem. I would simmer it a little longer, but the flavor would be amazing.
- You may sub the rigatoni with another kind of pasta.
This recipe is straight outta the quick and easy sausage pasta recipes section of the Salt & Lavender playbook... 😉
More pasta with sausage recipes you'll love:
- Spicy Italian Sausage Pasta
- Tuscan Sausage Pasta
- Simple Sausage and Broccoli Pasta
- Cajun Sausage Pasta
- One Pan Tortellini with Sausage
- Healthy Chicken Sausage Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes
- One Pan Creamy Gnocchi with Sausage
Questions about this Italian sausage rigatoni recipe? Talk to me in the comments below!
Easy Sausage Rigatoni
- 8 ounces uncooked rigatoni
- 16 ounces Italian sausage (spicy or mild) see note
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 (14 fluid ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
- 1 (14 fluid ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream
- Fresh basil, torn to taste (optional)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese to taste
- Boil a salted pot of water for the pasta. Cook the rigatoni al dente according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, sauté the sausage meat and onion over medium-high heat in a skillet until browned (about 8-10 minutes), stirring it occasionally.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Drain a bit of the fat from the pan (I just spoon it out). Don't worry about getting it all.
- Add the canned tomatoes to the pan. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes (you may need to turn the heat down a bit if it starts bubbling too furiously).
- Stir in the cream, basil (if using), and season the sauce with salt & pepper as needed. Cook for another minute or two and then toss with the drained pasta.
- For the sausages, anything around the 16 ounce/1 pound ballpark is fine - it doesn't need to be exact. Here in Canada I buy a 500g 5-pack of Johnsonville mild Italian sausages and take them out of the casings.
- To get the consistency of the sauce just right, I suggest using the style of tomatoes I recommend (diced and crushed). I'd also be cautious about subbing the cream for anything else (e.g. milk or half-and-half) because the acidity of the tomatoes is likely to curdle it.
- 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.
Hi Nathasha I will be trying a few of these recipes over Christmas, I do have a question I can purchase all mutti products here in Ireland , however I wonder when you say diced would they chopped can suffice ( I’m assuming it’s the same , also crushed , I can only get peeled in the mutti can so will I just crush myself , the peeled can looks like thicker consistency. Just want to get it right so apologies for the long message. Thank you in advance. Siobhàn
Hi! Yes, this recipe is quite flexible, so you should be fine. Chopped will work instead of diced. The crushed tomatoes here in North America are generally fairly thick. Yes, I would try the peeled and perhaps drain a bit of the liquid and then crush them yourself. Hope you enjoy the recipe, Siobhàn.
Thank you for your reply . I know we will enjoy , will report back . Take Care
Just made this. Only had half and half but still delious!
I really loved this recipe. I was kind of unsure about the heavy cream, but did everything per your recipe and it came out great. I might throw some add ins the next time, just to put my own spin on it, but the recipe is yum worthy as written - thanks so much for sharing!
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
You're welcome, Cheryl!! We're so happy you enjoyed it!
I love this recipe! I make it fairly often with any sturdy pasta as it is quick and oh, so good. I leave out the cream as we prefer it. I often use both sweet Italian sausage, crumbled, and a few slices of spicy Italian sausage or a pinch of red pepper flakes. It’s a great way to use up the remainder of red and yellow bell peppers or the last couple of mushrooms, a handful of peas. Very versatile. Thanks for sharing the secret to the sauce; the 2 types if tomato really are the key.
I'm so glad it's a hit! 🙂
I used four links (15 oz.) rather than the whole package (19 oz.) and it seemed the perfect amount. The end result was very saucy so I think next time I might use a little more rigatoni. Will definitely be making this on a regular basis because of how easy, delicious and non-time consuming this was to prepare.
Fantastic. Everyone loved it.
I'm glad it was a hit!! Yup, you can definitely tweak the ingredients a little bit. Here in Canada the sausage size varies a bit... I recently realized the US packs are slightly larger (19 oz.) vs. the 500g (17.6 oz) we get. I think using a pound of sausage meat is probably the easiest way to do it for my US readers (I believe most US grocery stores sell just sausage meat in convenient 16 oz packs).. I am slowly going through my older recipes and updating them to say that since it's easier now that I'm aware USA sizes are different. But yeah, a little more or little less sausage won't typically break a recipe.
Love love love this! Wanted to try something new. Tried to stick with the recipe but only using what I already had! I substituted the tomatoes for basil tomato sauce, skipped the onion and added the suggested crushed red pepper! My toddler and picky husband even loved it! Can’t wait to make again.
I'm so glad it worked out!! That's great to hear... appreciate you taking the time to write me a review. 🙂
I LOVE this recipe! I make it exactly as follows, except I add a pinch of sugar and a little onion powder. I sent this to my mother and she makes it bi-weekly (I am NOT kidding!) 🤤
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
Thrilled to hear that! And that's so nice of you for sending it along to your mother!
Thanks for sharing, I followed the recipe exactly and thought this recipe was delish! My family loved it too!
You're very welcome, Krissy!! So glad to hear it!
Adults, teens, and kids in our house all loved it!
Fantastic!! 🙂 Sounds like a win to me! Love when that happens haha.
My kids love it!!! Thanks for sharing your recipes
Excellent! You are welcome!
Erin Matthews says
Can I make this sauce a day ahead of making the noodles/eating the dish? (Refrigerate sauce once it cools, then next day warm it and add to cooked noodles)
Yes that will be fine! 🙂
Delicious and my kids loved it as well!
Susan Lembo says
I'm lactose intolerant. Can I substitute something else for the heavy cream?
Silk brand makes a dairy-free whipping cream you could try. I do also have some other pasta recipes on here with sausage and without cream. Just type "sausage pasta" into the search bar and see what pops up. 🙂
Nancy Machcinski says
Can I make this without the cream?
Sure. You may want to add a pinch of sugar if the tomatoes are too acidic for your tastes, though.
This recipe made me a weeknight hero with my picky kids. Wonderful!
That's what I like to hear!! Thank you. 🙂
LaDonna Wilson says
Since we are on the farm I make this even easier by using spaghetti sauce, pasta, ground sausage and mozzarella cheese. My family loves it.
Jennifer Tisa says
Wait what? Spaghetti sauce and none of the ingredients why are you posting here?
Maryanne Buckley says
Very Delicious! Thank you for sharing
You're welcome! 🙂
Great recipe! Easy to make and well explained steps. I added a little spice to it with the introduction of red pepper flakes. I replaced the canned diced tomatoes with Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilis. Will make again.
I'm so happy you enjoyed it and found it easy to follow, Eric!
Nita Rush says
Forgot the 5 stars!!!
Thank you so much! 🙂
Nita Rush says
This was awesome. Had my grandson for dinner and he's used to his Italian mother and grandmothers cooking. He loved this dish, so hats off to you for an easy, simple and delicious meal. Will definitely repeat!!
Aww I'm so glad to hear that!!
Sheila Lindhorst says
Tell ya what... this recipe was GREAT!! WOW! What a great share..thank you:) I did sub the heavy cream with cream cheese, only because I forgot to pick up whipping cream at the store....but dang it was very very good!! 5 stars!;
I am so pleased it was a hit, Sheila! Thanks for letting me know!
This recipe was overall good. I’m not too into tomatoes so I only used half a can of petite diced and drained all the juice from it I could. So then I used a cup of heavy cream with shredded/grated Parmesan to thicken. Used mild Italian and added red pepper flakes.
Sally Miceli says
Have you tried it with a good jar marinara sauce like Rao’s ?
I have not, but that sounds like a tasty shortcut! Let me know if you try.
Wow! This is sooo delicious! Super easy and packed with so much flavor with just a few ingredients! Will repeat this for sure.
Excellent! So happy to hear it, Janel. Thanks for letting me know! 🙂
This is so easy and so DELISH! I added a few red pepper flakes for some heat! YUM!
So happy you liked it!! Thanks so much for leaving me a comment! 🙂
R.A. MCCLAIN says
How about a transcription using the Instant Pot?
Hi! Hmm... pasta recipes in the IP can be tricky. I would have to do some testing. This is a pretty straightforward stove-top recipe, so I am not really sure what the benefit of cooking it in the IP would be?
I make this but your recipe sounds better. I will definitely try it. The sausage I get from a real Italian market is leaner and tastier than the packaged grocery-store variety and comes in mild or hot.
Mmmm I bet it is delicious!! I love my local Italian shop... I don't get there nearly enough. Let me know if you make this recipe 🙂