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4-Ingredient Sausage Broccoli Pasta

Just a heads up that you'll need to reserve a little of the pasta cooking water, so keep that in mind BEFORE you drain the pasta. Chicken sausage is usually leaner than pork, so when making this with chicken sausage, I like to add butter or olive oil before serving.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 9
Calories 224kcal


  • 16 ounces pasta
  • 1 pound bulk ground Italian sausage (chicken, turkey, or pork)
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil (optional)
  • Salt, ground black pepper, additional Parmesan cheese, optional


  • Prepare pasta according to package directions. Add the broccoli for the last 4 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water in a cup, then drain the pasta and broccoli.
  • Meanwhile, warm a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage, break up with a wooden spoon, and cook until fully cooked, about 8-10 minutes. If there seems to be more than about 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan, you can drain some off.
  • Stir the broccoli and pasta into the pan with the sausage. Stir in the 1/2 cup pasta water and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Add the butter or olive oil if desired.
  • Serve warm with salt, pepper, and additional Parmesan to taste as desired.


  • Grated Parmesan tends to have way more flavor than shredded, so get grated if you can.
  • Wash, dry, and chop your broccoli into florets and store it in an airtight container such as a quart-size mason jar up to 3 days ahead. Or, use precut broccoli florets from the produce aisle.
  • Use whichever shape of pasta your kids prefer, such as shells, rotini, farfalle, ziti, or elbows.
  • For older babies who are eating finger foods, make sure that the pasta is a shape they can handle or cut it into smaller pieces.
  • Serve the meal separated with components side-by-side if your child prefers their food deconstructed.
  • Add more flavor by adding 1 tablespoon tomato paste to the sausage in Step 2.  You can also top with olives, feta cheese, or fresh basil or parsley.
  • Dairy-free: Omit the Parmesan.
  • Gluten-free: Use your favorite GF pasta.


Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 731mg | Potassium: 429mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 518IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 1mg