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Spicy Sausage and Penne

“I got the inspiration for this recipe from a dish at a local restaurant. It’s a quick meal-in-one that I fix often.” You can also substitute whatever pasta or veggies you have on hand for this versatile skillet supper. Brian Albright - Seward, NE
  • Total Time
    Prep: 10 min. Cook: 25 min.
  • Makes
    4 servings


  • 1 cup uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1/2 pound smoked turkey sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/4 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


  • Cook pasta in a large saucepan according to package directions, adding the vegetables during the last 6 minutes of cooking.
  • Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, brown sausage; remove from skillet and keep warm.
  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, garlic powder, mustard and pepper flakes; gradually whisk in milk until smooth. Add milk mixture to the skillet, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
  • Drain pasta and vegetables; stir into the pan. Add cheese and reserved sausage; cook and stir until cheese is melted.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 228 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated fat), 42mg cholesterol, 650mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 3g fiber), 18g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch.
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Average Rating:
  • sunshinewonder
    Aug 14, 2017

    As others have said, it's a good base that can be taken in a lot of directions. We liked it but It needed more spices. I made it as written except I used spicy Italian turkey sausage (I booked the sausages then sliced them into 1/4" slices, treating them from that point as written in the instructions.) When I tasted it when it was done I adjusted it by adding in 1/2 diced onion (which I microwaved so it would be cooked like the other veggies, and I added in 1/4 t. of Nature's Seasons and 1/2 T. of Italian seasoning. I'm sure the extra salt I added would make some consider it less healthy, but my household is not salt restricted. I will make this again and have noted all my tweaks. The Italian sausage is especially tasty in the sauce.

  • sdipiazza
    Sep 14, 2016

    This is a versatile recipe that can be changed around and still taste great. I didn't cook the veggies in the pasta water but microwaved them. The sauce was ok but needed more flavor. I added some salt, pepper and about 1/4 tsp chicken bouillon powder and I only used 1 cup of almond milk and 1 tblsp cornstarch instead of flour. Next time I'll try Italian sausage, peppers and onion. Ham and asparagus would also work well.

  • JennatheBaker
    Aug 4, 2015

    I loved this dish, and so did my family! The sauce is so creamy I can't believe it is such a healthy dish. I used whole grain penne, and it worked well. Next time I will double the recipe for leftovers.

  • bjsilve0
    Sep 23, 2013

    Different than your regular sausage recipes. I change this up by using whatever sausage I happen to have on hand. I only gave this a 4 because of all of the pans you need to wash afterwards.

  • momio
    Aug 11, 2013

    We all loved this dish. Easy to make and a little different taste than the usual penne and sausage casserole.

  • ShawnyD
    Feb 23, 2013

    This is a great foundation recipe. Didn't have mixed veggies so did without. Sauted onions, garlic and green bell pepper then regular smoked sausage. Followed the rest of the recipe and turned out fantastic. Expected to have leftovers but had to make more the next night!

  • rec-chef
    Aug 17, 2012

    This was a wonderful surprise! I didn't have the mixed veggies so I used frozen peas and corn. Only thing I did different was to add a little shredded sharp cheddar. Now my hubby who never gives high praises went back for seconds, so in my book that is a keeper.

  • flower224
    Jun 6, 2012

    This recipe was only excellent because I read the reviews first and changed a few things. I used whole wheat pasta. I think that's very important when cooking to use things that have the most nutrients. I sauteed 1/2 onion, 1 red pepper, 1 yellow squash, and 1 small green zucchini together with salt, pepper, and a tsp of smokey sweet paprika and a bunch of garlic - but I love garlic so add as much as you like but you need some! 1/4 tsp later on in the recipe doesn't add much flavor. (I used more veg because I was doubling the recipe). Once the veg were tender crisp - about 5 minutes. I used that pan for the sausage and gave that about 5 minutes. I did the cheese sauce as said but I used 1/3 cup moz & 1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar (for more flavor). I didn't have ground mustard so once the milk had thickened I added some dijon mustard just a tiny bit (maybe 1-2 tsp) for depth of flavor. It tasted great. My kiddo ate his whole bowl. It was good, slightly spicy, slightly nutty from the pasta, slightly garlicky, cheesy, and fun to look at with the colors of the different veg.

  • mjtotch
    May 15, 2012

    This was OK....the sausage I bought was very spicy which was a good thing because the rest of the ingredients did not have much flavor.

  • Joanne Elizabeth
    Apr 8, 2012

    love love this recipe easy to make