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What is Chicken Apple Sausage?
Chicken apple sausage is smoked sausage infused with morsels of apple and spices- the perfect combination of savory and sweet! We love Aidell's Chicken & Apple Sausage, not only because it's delicious, but also because their sausage is free of nitrates and contains no added hormones. Also, since chicken is a leaner meat, chicken sausage tends to be a healthier choice than beef or pork sausage.
What Veggies go into this dish?
While you can use whichever veggies you like for this pasta bowl, we used veggies that generally come to harvest from late summer through (early) fall, including zucchini, eggplant, and kale.
While making this dish, my kids couldn't help but be intrigued by an eggplant's appearance. They loved its shiny purple surface and were surprised by how different it looked once cut open. Because they were so intrigued, they wanted to make their own eggplants to play with (see Halloween Craft: Eggplant Witch)!
Other Belly Warming Dishes We Love
How to make this dish
Notes on Ingredients:
- Chicken & Apple Sausage- We love the flavor of Aidell's Chicken & Apple Sausage!
- Pasta- For a healthier choice, we opted for whole grain elbow macaroni, but you can choose whatever small pasta you'd like.
- Kidney beans- Be sure to rinse and drain before adding to the pot.
Step 1: Cook Veggies & Sausage
Step 2: Add Broth and Cook Macaroni
🥄Kid Step: Measure and add broth to pot. We used a 4-cup Pyrex Measuring Cup to measure/pour the broth.
Step 3: Fold in beans and kale
🥄Kid Step: Monitor kale. Kids will love seeing how the kale "shrinks" as it cooks.
*Note: For toddlers especially, these tasks require adult supervision and/or assistance, as items may be sharp, hot or otherwise dangerous.
Customize Your Chicken Apple Sausage Pasta
- Make it Vegetarian. Simply omit the chicken apple sausage. This dish is totally delicious in its meat-free form. And if you use a vegetable base instead of chicken, your pasta will be totally vegetarian.
- Make it Vegan. Eliminate the sausage, use a vegetable base (instead of chicken) and garnish the final dish with nutritional yeast instead of cheese.
- Make it Gluten-free. Swap the pasta for brown or white rice, quinoa, or polenta. And make sure your stock base and sausage do not contain traces of gluten. I'm a huge fan of the Aidells brand, and their sausage is gluten-free.
Modify for Picky Eaters
- Swap the veggies. Try exchanging some veggies in the dish for ones your kids prefer. Or increase/decrease veggies in the recipe.
- Pick another pasta. Swap the macaroni for your kids' favorite noodles, i.e. rotini or orzo. If that gets them more pumped to eat dinner, it's totally worth it.
- Add some carbs! You can have some bread, toast, or crackers with the meal. My kids are always fans of toast!
CRAFT FOR THIS RECIPE:
Eggplant Witch! Your kids will love making this Eggplant Witch while you prepare this fall pasta dish. This is an easy, different Halloween craft that uses real food! You probably already have all the supplies in your home!
One Pot Chicken Apple Sausage Pasta
- 2 Tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 small eggplant, cut into 1" pieces
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 3 roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ Tablespoon salt
- 1 Teaspoon black pepper
- 12 ounce pre-cooked chicken apple sausage, sliced
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups whole grain elbow macaroni
- 15 ounce cannellini beans, rinsed & drained (aka white kidney beans)
- 2 big handfuls baby kale, de-stemmed and cut into medium-sized pieces
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Heat cooking oil on medium-high heat in a large 5 or 6 Qt. stock pot. Add eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, onion and garlic. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Cook veggies for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add sausage and cook another 2 minutes.
- Pour broth into the pot. Bring mixture to a boil and then add macaroni. Bring back to a boil, then cover and cook on medium/low for 8-10 minutes (or until pasta is done).
- Remove lid, fold in beans and kale. Stir until kale shrinks down, and then remove from heat. Scoop into bowls or plates, and garnish with shredded parmesan cheese.
- If you don't have a 5 or 6 Qt Stock Pot, consider cooking noodles in a separate pot.
- Be sure to rinse and drain beans before adding to the pot.
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. While we are not certified nutritionists, we work with a WordPress-integrated nutrition API to calculate our recipes' ingredient values.