Cajun Smoked Sausage Pasta Recipe

There's something so satisfying about enjoying your main course in one dish. When all of the food groups make it into a recipe, take it as a sign that your meal will hit the spot. Christina Musgrave from Tasting with Tina is a food blogger, recipe developer, and food photographer. You can bet that everything she creates is packed with gourmet flavors, yet simple enough to whip up on a weeknight. Take this tasty Cajun smoked sausage pasta recipe as an example – it's brimming with intense taste and ready in under an hour. 

Musgrave loves that the dish is simple and delicious, and adds that "This would be a great one for meal prepping." Everything you need to fill up with is contained in one serving of this pasta. Those are definitely the kind of leftovers we're eager to have! Alternatively, the dazzling colors and complex flavors make this Cajun smoked sausage pasta excellent to serve to guests. 

Gather the ingredients

Start off by setting out the ingredients you'll need for this Cajun smoked sausage pasta. You'll need some dry pasta for this dish – Musgrave opts for penne pasta, remarking that "Shorter shapes will work best, but you can use any pasta you have on hand." Next, the ingredient responsible for the dish's name is Cajun smoked sausage. It's fundamental to the dish but if you can't find sausages to those exact specifications, aim for something smoked. 

White onion, red and orange peppers, and garlic add some vegetable matter and color to the dish. Musgrave isn't too fussy about the vegetables and suggests, "You could add in zucchini, broccoli, or any other type of pepper." If you like it in pasta, it's fair game! Red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper are used to season the sautéed vegetables. Finally, cream cheese turns this pasta into a rich and delicious dish. If you can't get enough cheese, Musgrave recommends, "You could also add Parmesan at the end of the recipe if you desire." Top the dish with fresh basil to add some herbal aromas.

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions

Start off by cooking the pasta so that it is ready by the time you need to add it in with the other ingredients. Different pasta shapes and sizes require variable cooking times, so for accuracy, follow the recommended cooking time on your package of pasta. Once the pasta has finished cooking, drain the water with a colander and set the pasta aside.

Cook the sliced Cajun smoked sausage

Next, set a large skillet on the stovetop on medium heat. Musgrave warns, "It's important to cook this recipe in a very large skillet because you'll be adding the pasta to the pan." Add the sliced sausages to the pan and cook them for 4 minutes on one side. Then, flip all of the slices and cook them for an additional 4 minutes on the other side. Once both sides are cooked, transfer the sliced sausage to a plate without discarding the oil in the pan. Musgrave tells us the oil "needs to be kept in the pan since there is not any additional oil in the recipe."

Sauté the onion and peppers in a pan

Toss the sliced white onion and red and orange pepper strips into the same skillet, and sauté on medium-low heat for 5 minutes. If the vegetables are not sufficiently cooked to your liking, continue cooking them until you are satisfied. Keep in mind that they will continue to cook in the pan once the seasoning and other ingredients are added.

Add the red pepper flakes, the minced garlic, and sprinkle salt and pepper

Sprinkle on some red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and add the minced garlic to the skillet with the vegetables. Continue to sauté the contents of the pan for another 3 minutes, decreasing the heat to low. Be sure to stir the vegetables and seasonings frequently during this time. This will help the vegetables properly absorb all of the flavors.

Add the sausage and pasta to the pan, then mix in the cream cheese

Once the vegetables are finished, add the sliced sausage and the pasta to the pan. Keep the heat on low, and then add the cream cheese to the pan. Stir it in thoroughly so that all of the ingredients are well combined and coated with cream cheese. Musgrave advises, "If things start to get a little dry while the cheese is melting, adding water, pasta water, or broth will all help moisten the dish up." For richer flavors, a splash of olive oil will also do the trick.

Serve this tasty pasta topped with fresh basil

It's time to serve up this delicious Cajun smoked sausage pasta dish. Make sure that each serving dish has a good amount of pasta, vegetables, and sausage so that you can enjoy all of the flavors in each bite. As well, add some fresh basil leaves to each serving dish for a refreshing herbal touch.

Musgrave notes, "Leftovers will keep for about 5 days." As she points out, this makes this Cajun smoked sausage pasta dish ideal for meal prep. You'll definitely be the one with a lunch to envy!

Cajun Smoked Sausage Pasta Recipe
4.9 from 21 ratings
This colorful one-pot dish hits all the food groups, complete with protein, veggies, and cheese. Plus, it's ready in no time and delicious to boot!
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
25
minutes
Servings
8
servings
serving bowl of Cajun smoked sausage pasta
Total time: 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 13 ounces Cajun smoked sausage, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • fresh basil, for serving
Directions
  1. Cook the penne according to the package directions.
  2. When the pasta is cooked, drain the water and set the pasta aside.
  3. In a large skillet, add the Cajun smoked sausage slices over medium heat.
  4. Cook the sausage slices for 4 minutes on each side.
  5. Remove the sausage slices from the pan and set them aside. Do not drain the oil from the pan.
  6. Add the onion, red bell pepper, and orange bell pepper to the pan.
  7. Sauté the vegetables on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, or until the veggies are fully cooked.
  8. Add the red pepper flakes, minced garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the pan.
  9. Continue to sauté on low heat for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  10. Add the sausage and pasta to the pan of vegetables, keeping the heat at low.
  11. Add the cream cheese to the pan and stir until everything is well mixed and the consistency of the pasta dish is creamy. If the pasta seems dry, add a bit of water, broth, or olive oil to the pan.
  12. Top with fresh basil and serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 409
Total Fat 17.2 g
Saturated Fat 6.4 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 47.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 47.1 g
Dietary Fiber 2.8 g
Total Sugars 4.4 g
Sodium 398.2 mg
Protein 15.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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