Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage

Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage

Another winning recipe from mykitchencafe. This is everything you could want in a baked pasta dish. It’s warm, cheesy, full of wonderful tomato flavor, and just the slightest bit creamy. We loved it. Mike originally rated it a 4, but as I heated up leftovers the next night, he changed his rating to a 4.5, saying “I seriously think I could eat this almost every day.” If you’ve been reading for any length of time, you’ll know that this is high praise indeed from my husband, who takes great pride in his rating scale. This dish deserves it, however. It looks elegant enough to serve for company, and tastes like it came from an Italian restaurant. This is definitely on our “to make again soon” list.

Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage

Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage

Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage

Yield: *Makes a heaping full 9X13 pan


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 9-oz. bag fresh baby spinach
  • 12 ounces precooked smoked chicken sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic. Cook for another minute. Stir in tomatoes, oregano and basil; simmer for 8-10 minutes. Add cream; cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Add spinach to the pot of boiling pasta right at the end and cook until wilted. Drain, and return contents to pot. Add tomato sauce, sausage, and half of mozzarella to the pot; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Scoop pasta into lightly greased 9X13-inch pan (or divide evenly between two 8X8-inch pans). Top with rest of mozzarella and grated Parmesan. Bake until browned and edges are crisp, 20 to 30 minutes.

*To Freeze: Prepare recipe up until the baking step and then cover with a double layer of aluminum foil. Freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. To bake, increase baking time to 1 to 1 1/4 hours. If baking from frozen, bake covered for 1 hour and 15 minutes, uncover and bake 30 minutes longer.

adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

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  1. Whew! I'm thankful this dish made it high on your husband's rating scale! That's high praise. I'm so glad you both liked it!

  2. Ooo, this looks fabulous. Will definitely have to try it!

  3. Yummie, like the way you prepared it…and look so creamy and tasty. have to try it someitme soon 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I'm so glad you brought me, in turn, to your beautiful blog! 🙂

    Your baked pasta looks SO scrumptious!! YUM!!! Thank you for the fabulous recipe! (I love your husband's rating scale… 🙂

  5. Hi, I'm from She Runs, She Eats! You left a comment about sticky rice in fried rice. If you're not using day old rice, the rice will have a stickier texture due to excess moisture. The day old rice re-steams upon cooking and gets back to that perfect texture, which is why one day, two day, and beyond rice works better.

    It could also be how you're making the rice and if you use too much liquid. For regular white rice, long grain and jasmine, etc., I use about 1 1/2 cups water per 1 cup of rice. I tried using a 1:1 ratio, but the 1 1/2 cups yielded more consistent results for me. If you get rice from an Asian market and it's labeled as "new crop", I decrease the water to 1 1/4.

    I cook my rice by letting it boil until craters form just under the rice surface, then I lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and let steam for about 15 minutes.

    I've also had wonderful results making microwave rice, and it clears up burner space on the stove, too. I decreased the water (she uses stock, which I do not, and I omit the butter, salt, and pepper) to 3 1/4-1/3 cup. More liquid overall than when I make it on the stove, but the results are great.

    Really though, the key is to using at least day old rice. Hope this helps!

  6. i haven't commented in a while, but you've gotten me on a cooking spree….

    between your blog and the blogs that you've mentioned (mykitchencafe and tastykitchen)i've been cooking up a storm!

    can't wait to try the pumpkin scones. that's on the menu next:)

    thanks for all of the recipes! now if i can only please rather particular husband:)

    hope this finds you and mike well!

  7. Oh how funny that you went from Pittsburgh to Michigan, because I grew up in Michigan! Your pasta sounds fantastic. Unfortunately, I'm allergic to tomatoes, but the rest of it would be so good! I may have to file this one away!

  8. Hi Megan, Saw your name at Zesty's and had to stop by and say hello. This dish looks like something my hubs would like too. Bookmarked for a rainy day! :)Now I'll just go snoop around a bit!

  9. Kristin – Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I'd love to hear what you're cooking, and whether Paul likes it or not. 🙂 Hopefully I'll see you in a few weeks at Thanksgiving!

    KellyDiane I miss Pittsburgh! And if you're allergic to tomatoes, this probably isn't the recipe for you. 🙂

    Megan – Thanks for stopping by. This dish seems to be a hit with husbands, so I hope your husband likes it too. 🙂

  10. Yum – I love chicken sausage! Sounds delicious.

  11. I tried this recipe with freshly cooked shrimp instead of chicken sausage. It tasted delicious!!!

  12. Anonymous – I'm so glad you liked it! Thanks for stopping back to let me know. Shrimp sounds absolutely wonderful in this dish. 🙂

  13. Just catching up on some of your old posts. I have a question; where (or what brand) do I find smoked chicken sausage for this dish? I see some one used shrimp, and that would appeal to family also.

  14. JoAnn – I get the chicken sausage from sam's club. I'm not sure of the brand name, but it comes in 3 packages of 6 large sausages. They're really good, but I'm sure you could use turkey sausage. I've seen it in the sausage aisle of my supermarket. It should be pre-cooked as well. Or, I'm sure you could use regular chicken, or just leave it out. My husband loves the chicken sausage from sam's club though.

  15. HI Megan ,

    Thanks again for the recipe and for the help on the apple cakes. Just curious- making this on Friday and wanted to know if I could use beef sausage. I like chicken sausage, but have been on hand. Do you think that's okay?

  16. Sarah and Terrell – I'm sure beef sausage would be fine. The only thing I would warn you about is that this recipe calls for pre-cooked chicken sausage. So I'd either use pre-cooked beef sausage, or cook it first before adding it in. (I'm not a sausage expert in case you can't tell). 🙂 I know someone who used shrimp and it was wonderful, so I'm guessing beef sausage will be delicious as well. Good luck, I hope you like it!

  17. Hi Megan,
    Just wanted to drop a quick note to let you know that I made this baked pasta dish for dinner tonight and it did not disappoint. The smoked chicken sausage gave it a great flavor. Thanks for the recipe!

  18. Jessica B. – I'm so glad you liked this! Thanks for taking the time to stop back and comment 🙂

  19. Hey Megan! Just wanted to let you know that I've added your recipe to my online recipe box! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    Living A Bona Fide Life: Recipe Box #4

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