On busy nights, we love one-pot recipes! Not only do these recipes generally require less time; there is also much less clean-up. We were in the mood for pasta today, so we decided to craft a new one-pot pasta dish featuring one of our favorite go-to proteins: chicken sausage.
Why we like al Fresco Chicken Sausage
When it comes to sausage or processed meats, we are big on moderation. As much as we love the savory taste of grilled pork or beef sausage, we know it’s not the best thing for us!
We feel pretty great about having Al Fresco Chicken Sausage because these sausages contains no artificial ingredients and are minimally processed. They are also significantly lower in fat and carbs than most other brands of sausage and are gluten-free! For all these reasons, we feel pretty good about giving this sausage to our family.
Three main steps
This recipe is really comprised of three main steps:
- Cooking the sausage. While this chicken sausage is fully cooked, we wanted to sear it for a few minutes with some garlic and onion to give it a nice flavor. So, we cooked it for a few minutes in our stock pot until lightly browned, and set it aside.
- Making the sauce. Using the same stock pot, we simply combined our sauce ingredients and spices and brought this mixture to a boil. We added the noodles and waited for them to cook.
- Stirring in the sausage and cheese. Once our noodles were cooked, we simply stirred in our sausage and cheese and let everything blend together over medium heat for a few minutes. And voila! A creamy, cheesy sausage pasta was ready to be devoured!
whole grain rotini is perfect for this dish
My husband and I prefer to stick with whole grain pasta because of the dietary fiber and nutritional benefits it provides. In fact, our kids are so used to it they hardly notice when their pasta is brown instead of white.
We choose whole grain rotini for this meal not only for its health benefits, but also because this pasta’s twisted shape holds the dish’s sauce so well, which means there’s more flavor with each bite!
How kids can help make this dish
This dish involves many kid-friendly tasks, like measuring, cutting and combining ingredients. Here’s are some ways for your lil’ sous chefs to help out:
- Paint the stock pot with butter, using a basting brush
- Slice the sausage using Curious Chef Children’s Knives
Pasta Sauce & Pasta
- Measure all seasonings together, using Curious Chef teaspoons and 1/2 teaspoons (we love this brand!)
- Set the timer for pasta. This is a great chance for kids to learn about cooking times. Taste the pasta intermittently so they can see the difference over time.
- Stir in cheese and watch it melt!
kidify the meal:
Have picky eaters? Check out these tips:
🍅Sausage on the side. If kids don’t like their protein and sauces to mix, consider setting some sausage aside before combining it with the pasta sauce.
🍅Kids pick the pasta. Many different kinds of pasta will work great in this dish. Let kids choose their favorite
Mimi’s Cooking Tips:
- To thicken your sauce, add cornstarch mixed with water and slowly pour it into sauce.
- While we love whole wheat rotini, other short pastas like fusilli or rigatoni would be great as well.
- To lighten the meal, limit cheese or use low-fat cream cheese.
You Might Also Like:
- One Pot Easy-Pea-sy Cheese Tortellini
- One pot Fall Pasta with Veggies & Apple Chicken Sausage
- Bow Tie Pasta Salad
SEE HOW TO MAKE one pot chicken sausage pasta
- 1-2 T butter
- 1/2 onion (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 11 oz Sweet Italian Style Chicken Sausage Links (sliced)
- 3 1/2 cups chicken broth or stock
- 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 T tomato paste
- 1 t Italian seasoning
- 1 t dried oregano
- 1 t basil
- 1/2 t black pepper
- 1/2 t sea salt
- 2 cups rotini or penne pasta (uncooked)
- 1 1/2 - 2 oz cream cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/2 t red pepper flakes (optional)
Melt butter in large stock pot. Add chopped onion, garlic and sliced sausage. Cook, stirring frequently, for 1-2 mins. Remove pot contents and set aside.
Add broth, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings to stock pot and stir together. Bring liquid to a boil, add pasta and cook according to pasta box instructions.
When pasta is fully cooked, stir in cream cheese and sausage/onion/garlic. Cook another 1-2 mins until cheese is melted. Top with parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes (optional).
Serve pasta alone or with a veggie of choice.
We recommend that all meals for children be served with milk.