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This simple orecchiette with sausage and spinach recipe has a tasty Italian sausage, spinach, garlic, and white wine sauce. It’s on your table in about 30 minutes!

Try my Spicy Italian Sausage Pasta, this Creamy Sausage and Peppers Pasta, or one pot Italian Sausage Orzo next.

orecchiette pasta with sausage and spinach close-up in a bowl

Why you’ll love it

This orecchiette pasta is an easy recipe that feels fancy but takes only half an hour to make. It’s actually kind of amazing just how much rich taste is packed into this pasta since it has very few ingredients!

Did you know that orecchiette literally translates to “little ears”? I don’t cook with it very often, but it’s definitely a fun pasta shape to keep in your pantry. I think you’ll love this orecchiette pasta recipe since it’s the ideal pasta shape to hold the tasty white wine sauce from scratch.

What you’ll need

  • Orecchiette – you can use any shape you prefer, preferably a smaller one, but it’s worth using orecchiette here if you can find it! They’re perfect little bowls for the sauce.
  • Italian sausage – I used mild, but you could use hot to kick it up a notch
  • Onion and garlic – I like using sweet (Vidalia) onions
  • Dijon mustard – it isn’t overpowering, and it’s my favorite way to infuse a fantastic savory quality
  • White wine – I recommend using a good dry white wine that you’d actually drink (not cooking wine). Try a sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio.
  • Spinach – a pop of freshness
ingredients for orecchiette and sausage pasta in prep bowls

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

  • I use this garlic press to crush the garlic. No peeling of the cloves is needed.
  • My Microplane zester is what I use to grate the parmesan.
  • Tongs are extremely useful to make tossing the spinach until it wilts easier.

How to make orecchiette with sausage

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

sauteing italian sausage in a skillet and adding garlic and white wine

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, add the crumbled sausage and onion to a skillet. Cook until nicely browned. Stir in the garlic, followed by the Dijon mustard and then the white wine.

adding in spinach and orecchiette pasta to a skillet

Let it reduce for a minute or two, then add in the spinach and toss until wilted. Add the drained pasta, toss again, and season with salt & pepper. Serve with freshly grated parmesan if using.

Substitutions and variations

  • If you want some spice, use hot Italian sausage and/or add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
  • You could swap the wine for chicken broth if you need to. In that case, you may want to double the Dijon mustard.
  • This recipe is very flexible. You could throw in mushrooms or other veggies if you happen to have some that need using up to make this sauce for orecchiette your own.
  • There is no cream in this recipe, but adding a splash towards the end of cooking would be a tasty addition.
  • You can absolutely use kale or broccoli rabe instead of the spinach!

What to serve with orecchiette pasta

Leftovers and storage

  • Leftovers of this pasta will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • If you want to freeze leftovers, keep in mind the pasta and spinach won’t be as good thawed as when freshly made, but it should be ok.
  • Reheat over a low heat in a small saucepan until warmed through.
sausage and spinach orecchiette served in two beige bowls

Hope you love this easy orecchiette pasta recipe! Questions? Did you make it? Leave me a star rating and review below! You can also find me on Instagram.

orecchiette pasta with sausage and spinach close-up in a bowl
4.98 from 39 votes

Orecchiette with Sausage and Spinach

This simple orecchiette with sausage and spinach recipe has a tasty Italian sausage, spinach, garlic, and white wine sauce. It's on your table in about 30 minutes!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 8 ounces uncooked orecchiette pasta
  • 16 ounces Italian sausage see note
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil optional
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • For serving: freshly grated parmesan cheese optional, to taste


  • Boil a large salted pot of water and cook the pasta al dente according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, add the sausage meat and onion to a skillet, and sauté over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes or until it's cooked through and nicely browned. If there's more than about 1-2 tablespoons of fat left in the skillet, spoon out the excess, but be sure to leave some since we're not adding any extra butter or oil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the garlic and Dijon mustard, and cook for about 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the wine and cook until reduced by half (about 1-2 minutes).
  • Add in the spinach and basil (if using). Toss, using tongs or two large spoons, until the spinach has wilted, then add in the drained pasta and toss again.
  • Season with salt & pepper as needed. Serve immediately with freshly grated parmesan cheese over top if desired.


  • Use either ground sausage meat or buy sausages and take the meat out of the casings. There is quite a lot of sausage in the sauce, so you could definitely get away with using a bit less than the full pound.


Calories: 643kcal, Carbohydrates: 47g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 37g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 16g, Cholesterol: 86mg, Sodium: 860mg, Potassium: 596mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 2164IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 68mg, Iron: 3mg

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. Angie says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious and so easy!!
    Loved it. Made it last week and (very much unlike me to repeat) making it again this week! A true keeper! Thank you!

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s awesome!! 😀 Thanks, Angie!!

  2. Ashley Green says:

    5 stars
    Our household loves your recipes.. and this one was definitely a fav so far. I read other comments and added heavy cream to ours too and it was so delicious!

    1. Natasha says:

      Aww thank you so much!! I’m glad this is a new fav!!

  3. Marissa says:

    5 stars
    Found this recipe before a 3 month trip to Europe. We made it probably twice a month while we were there and have made it countless times since. It is the perfect meal in my opinion. I throw in extra spinach, use hot sausage and essentially triple the recipe to make it more saucy. 2 tsp of mustard and 2 cups (and a generous pour) more of wine. So, so, so good. Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Natasha says:

      I love that!! I’m so glad it’s a favorite, and your twist sounds delicious! Appreciate your review, Marissa! 😀

  4. Ali says:

    5 stars
    This was a big hit! I added a splash of heavy cream and lil less than 1/2tsp of red pepper flakes (and ALWAYS extra garlic lol). Otherwise made it exactly by recipe and I was hoping for leftovers- nope!! Thank you for this new favorite family dinner! 😍

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m thrilled it’s a new fav, Ali!

  5. Michaela Mozley says:

    Very good and easy! I double it and added broccolini as well

    1. Natasha says:

      Wonderful!! 🙂

  6. Mindy Thuman says:

    5 stars
    Such a big hit with the fam tonight! Made it with red pepper flakes as well to spice it up but this was delicious as-is!

    1. Natasha says:

      Wonderful! 😀

  7. Lil says:

    5 stars
    Made this tonight with hot Italian turkey sausage! Excellent! Used beef bone broth and a full tsp of Dijon. Then, I just finished it of with some pepper flakes. I like it spicy. The big guy went for seconds! A keeper. For sure. Thank you!

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it!! 😀

  8. April Legge says:

    5 stars
    I loved this recipe. It looks fancy and is simple to make. My husband doesn’t like many veggies but didn’t mind the spinach since it was covered in sausage and pasta!

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s awesome!! 😀 Thanks for your review, April.

  9. Amanda says:

    5 stars
    Can’t wait to try this! If I make a pound of pasta instead of 8 oz, do I need to double the wine and the mustard to make more of a sauce so it isn’t dried out?

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi! I probably would do that, yes, or else just double everything to keep the ratios the same.

  10. Julia says:

    Tasty. Added hot pepper flakes. Used garlic and wine chicken sausage. In future will use low sodium chicken broth instead of wine