This simple One-Pan Sausage Pasta with Butternut Squash is packed with nutrition…but the pasta provides a nice dose of familiarity so the kids won’t be scared off! It comes together quickly, making it a great family dinner option for busy weeknights.
Quick Weeknight Pasta Dinner
I’ve decided that my girls would be so much happier if we ate dinner at 5 pm (or even 4:45pm). Unfortunately, I cannot figure out how to reliably make that happen, what with day jobs and daycare and such, so I’m trying to make sure that our weeknight dinners are fast, easy, and reliable. Because inevitably cooking dinner also requires navigating the kitchen with a toddler attached to my legs, helping my 5 year old with an art project, and attempting to say hello to my husband. This sausage pasta is exactly the type of family meal that we eat most nights.
5-Ingredient Family Dinner
While I love my pasta with all sorts of veggies and leafy greens, my girls are much more in the less-is-more camp. One love peas and the other loves butternut squash, so this sausage pasta covers all of my bases. And it’s perfect for when squash are plentiful at the market—or when you see in those handy precut bags all ready to go.
Italian Sausage Pasta Recipe
I like to use fully cooked link sausage here simply because it saves you the step of having to cook it. It’s easy to snip with a kitchen knife and it’s widely available at most grocery stores. You could of course use bulk sausage and cook it through before stirring in the pasta.
Best Pasta for Families
We eat pasta once or twice a week and change up the type often so the kids don’t get too stuck on one specific shape. Some nights it’s gluten-free (we like Barilla’s and the quinoa blend from Trader Joe’s) and we mix the shapes. Other nights we do whole wheat or traditional. Use whichever option your family likes.
To make this vegetarian, omit the sausage. To make it vegan, skip the cheese at the end. You could top with a sprinkle of nuts or just enjoy as is. Nutrition-wise, this meal has fiber from the veggies, Vitamin A from the squash, and protein from the sausage. I hope you enjoy it!
This is a simple skillet pasta dinner packed with nutrition and flavor that both toddlers and adults will enjoy.
- 16 ounces pasta
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped
- 12 ounces fully cooked Italian sausage
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain.
- Meanwhile, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the squash, toss to coat, and cover. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the cover, stir in the sausage and sprinkle with garlic powder and salt.Stir in the peas, pasta, and cheese, and serve!
Stir in 5 ounces baby spinach to wilt.
Use shredded rotisserie chicken instead of sausage.
Try edamame instead of peas.