Kale and Sausage Pasta

Kale & Sausage Pasta

This Kale and Sausage Pasta is one of those super satisfying pasta dishes. It feels rustic and homey. The spice from the sausage is deliciously offset by the earthiness of kale and mushrooms. And of course, there’s perfectly cooked al dente pasta, and a dusting of cheese to make this a hearty and delicious meal, any time of year, but especially when it’s cold and dark outside.

Kale and Sausage Pasta with Mushrooms

What’s Cavatappi?

Pasta is the ultimate carb craving satisfaction, in my books. You can use any pasta shape for this kale & sausage pasta. I’m using one of my favourites, cavatappi, a spiral-shaped, ridged macaroni. Cavatappi is the Italian word for a corkscrew, which perfectly describes the spiral shape of these noodles. Besides being a fun shape, this pasta, with its hollows and ridges, it good for holding onto sauces. I love to use it for making Creamy Stove Top Mac & Cheese, but it also works well for this kale and sausage pasta recipe.

Kale & Sausage Pasta

Measuring Pasta

Speaking of pasta, do you always cook too much? It’s hard to gauge how much dried pasta to cook, and I find it better to cook more so that there’s enough. Usually, that means more than enough. But, rest assured, I have a solution to this pasta problem. I found this very handy guide on She Knows, which I thought I would share with you: A Simple Guide for Measuring Pasta Serving Sizes.

Nutritious Kale; A Perfect Add-In

I’m discovering a new love of kale in recipes other than salads and smoothies. Raw kale has an in your face, grassy bitterness. This means that it’s perfect in salads with a sweet component, like this Strawberry Kale Salad. But when it’s lightly cooked, kale becomes sweeter and much more mellow. Its dense leaves stand up really well to cooking. Unlike, spinach, which is great for “sneaking in veggies” to almost any dish, because it all but disappears, kale is a feature in recipes. Add to that, the fact that kale is a nutrition powerhouse, and you can’t go wrong.

For more ways to enjoy kale, check out Strawberry Kale Salad, or Kale Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes

Kale & Sausage Pasta

Which Italian Sausage to Use For Kale & Sausage Pasta

Kale and sausage come together, along with mushrooms, in a tomato basil sauce, to make this delicious and hearty pasta dish. I’m using hot Italian Sausage, which gives the dish a bit of heat. You can use mild or sweet Italian sausage instead if you don’t want any heat, and it will still be good.

Kale & Sausage Pasta-


Kale & Sausage Pasta

Kale and Sausage Pasta with Mushrooms

This easy Pasta with Kale and Sausage is a hearty and delicious weeknight dinner.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 671 kcal


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 cup chopped cremini mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage casings removed
  • 1 796 ml can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 400 ml can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 3 tbsp fresh basil chopped
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound cavatappi pasta
  • 4 cups kale leaves torn from stems and ribs


  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat
  • Add onion, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook until onion is soft and mushrooms are brown, about 5 minutes
  • Add sausage to skillet and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes
  • Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes with juice, basil, salt and pepper to skillet
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook pasta until al dente, about 8-10 minutes
  • During the last minute of pasta cooking time, add kale to the pot to blanch
  • Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, and drain pasta and kale
  • Add the pasta and kale to the sauce, and toss to combine
  • Thin sauce with reserved pasta water, if needed
  • Remove from heat and serve hot, garnished with Parmesan cheese


This recipe freezes well. Allow to cool, and pack into an airtight container before freezing.
You can reduce the fat in this recipe by first piercing the casings, and boiling the sausage, then discarding the boiling water before removing the casings.
You can also substitute turkey or chicken sausage and some hot chili flakes to reduce fat and calories.
Use no salt added canned tomatoes to reduce sodium.


Calories: 671kcalCarbohydrates: 75gProtein: 25gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 846mgPotassium: 1174mgFiber: 6gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 4895IUVitamin C: 75.5mgCalcium: 173mgIron: 5mg
Keyword pasta recipes, sausage pasta, weeknight dinners
Tried this recipe? What changes did you make?Let us know how it was!

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Kale & Sausage Pasta


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18 thoughts on “Kale and Sausage Pasta

  1. Hi!
    I made this for dinner tonight and lunch this week using some Barilla protein plus (yellow box) rotini.
    It’s a delicious and warming fall meal; thanks for posting the recipe.
    Next time, I’ll likely add more kale and mushrooms OR actually measure some of the ingredients.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Hi Art, I’m so happy to hear that you liked this pasta dish as much as we did. It really is a warm comfort fall meal. (Measuring can sometimes be a little overrated, put in as much as you like!) ? Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment, and Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  2. I LOVE cavatappi! I used to work at a restaurant where they used it for their Mac &a Cheese and it’s the ultimate comfort food noodle to me! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  3. I always have the same issue with cooking pasta. I never know how much is the right amount! My hubby has the knack for it so it had become one of his few kitchen duties. ?

  4. This looks absolutely divine! I love the addition of the bright kale – this is sure going onto my meal planning list this month!

  5. Looks delicious and and tasty…
    Nice combination of kale with pasta sounds really awesome
    My relatives will love this pasta dish …
    Im making this for sure
    Thanks for such a lovely recipe

  6. I just got individual size cast iron pans!!!!! Yay! I love the rustic look and feel of this dish! Can’t wait to use my new pans and try it!

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