Monday, September 10, 2012

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Spicy Sausage Pasta

When you were a kid, did you ever eat cut up hot dogs mixed with a box of Kraft mac & cheese? 

Me too. Actually, I may have actually eaten that concoction as recently as a few months ago, so I don't know who I'm trying to fool with the whole "when you were a kid" qualifier. 

This reminds me of a grownup version of that! However, instead of hot dogs you have delicious smoked turkey sausage, and instead of Kraft you have penne with Monterey Jack cheese and Ro-Tel. The best part? You only need one pan, and 25 minutes to make this dinner. You don't even cook the pasta in a separate pan!

On a spiciness scale of 1-10, with 1 being mild salsa, and 10 being a ghost pepper dipped in sriracha sauce, this pasta is about a 3. If you want it spicier, use the hot version of Ro-Tel, and maybe Pepper-Jack cheese instead of Monterey-Jack. Some crushed red pepper flakes would be delicious too. This is a very forgiving recipe - you really can't mess up cheesy pasta!

Spicy Sausage Pasta

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Here's what you'll need:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 14-ounce package smoked turkey sausage, sliced into rounds (I used Butterball brand)
1 1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 10-ounce can Ro-Tel Tomatoes and Green Chiles, Original Style
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Thinly sliced scallions
Salt, to taste

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet(or other oven-safe skillet) until smoking. 

Add the sausage and onion, and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add in the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the broth, Ro-Tel, heavy cream, uncooked pasta, and pepper, and give the mixture a good stir. Bring to a boil, cover the skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until the pasta is tender, about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice while cooking. Preheat the broiler while the pasta is cooking.

Remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in 1 cup of the cheese. Taste, and add salt as needed. Top with the scallions and remaining cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and lightly browned - about 3 minutes.

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Adapted from The Best Simple Recipesvia Kevin & Amanda

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95 comments:

  1. Definitely ate hot dogs in mac n cheese. This looks so yummy!!

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  2. Hi Maggie! I just love your blog and the simplicity of it all! Great recipe!! Thanx!

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    1. Thanks so much Anina! Simple recipes are great, huh?

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  3. Yep..I totally at the hot dog/mac and cheese combo.....but I actually used the hot dogs with cheese in them.
    Love this dish!

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    1. Whaaa?! I have never heard of such a thing. Hot dogs with cheese in them sounds delicious!

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    2. OMG! I am deeply saddened that you know not of cheese hot dogs! Oscar Mayer.... the B o l o g n a song was streaming in my brain as I typed that out. Please tell me you have found and tried these.

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  4. This looks really good...love the spin on an old classic. A few weeks ago, I had mac and cheese on top of my hot dog. It was so good!

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    1. I actually went to a restaurant called Cheesetique last week that had that on their menu! I didn't try it, but I was certainly curious...

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  5. Holy Mole! That looks like all kinds of scrumptious. I love your reference to a ghost pepper dipped in sriracha. Ha! Hilarious. :)

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    1. Thanks Jenny! It was the spiciest thing I could come up with haha.

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  6. This is some serious comfort food! I can't remember if I ate hot dogs with my mac and cheese, but I certainly enjoyed both separately :)

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    1. Even if you never try this recipe, you must add a hot dog the next time you make Kraft. It will change your life (that may be an overstatement)

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  7. This is soooo my type of dish! i literally just had smoked turkey sausage mixed into some homemade mac + cheese for lunch not 10 minutes ago. great minds think alike! your version looks AMAZING!

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    1. Too funny! This was my first time tasting smoked turkey sausage, and I was quite impressed!

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  8. Hot dogs in mac and cheese?! Best combo ever! I could eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! :)

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    1. If eating this for breakfast is wrong, I don't want to be right...

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  9. yum yum yum! I love sausage with pasta this one sounds great.

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  10. That looks so good.. I could probably eat that pan by myself.. My mother was the queen of hot dogs w/mac and cheese.

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  11. Hi Maggie! Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment on my chocolate chip cookies! I must say, I LOVE the title of your blog! I got a real kick out of it. :D

    Your pasta looks creamy and mouthwatering...goodness I would really love to dig into it. And though I don't usually opt for spicy, I think the added 'kick' really makes this dish.

    ~Tammy<3

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  12. I cut the pasta a bit to 1 1/2 cups and reduced the broth to 1 3/4 cup with 1/4 cream. As well as only 1/2can Rotel. Super delicious. Thank you

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  13. I am making this tonight! I am hoping the husband likes it :-)

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  14. Found this recipe on pinterest.... so dang glad I did.. DELICIOUS! This is going in our monthly rotation :) I used bowtie pasta (what i had on hand) and it turned out perfect, super jealous my hubby gets to take the leftovers to work :/

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    1. So glad to hear that Heather, and thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on it! :)

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  15. Did you use pre-cooked sausage?

    -Emily

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  16. My husband loved this- says its one of his top five I've ever made! Thank you!!

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    Replies
    1. You are very welcome! From what I've heard, this is definitely man-friendly food :)

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  17. Tried this tonight! Used garlic mozzarella chicken sausage. Was very good! I think this would work well with all kinds of sausage! Yummy! Will make again! Thanks for the new recipe!

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  18. found you and Pinterest, and just had to drop by to say thank you for such a yummy dish! I substituted half & half for the heavy cream, trying to watch the calories, and it turned out very yummy!

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    1. You are very welcome! Good to know it's still tasty with half and half!

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  19. I'm making it now, I didn't haveheavy cream, so I used cream cheese, about half. can't wait to try it, love ye blog! Christy

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  20. Super tasty. Added mushrooms and zucchini along with some extra garlic, used half and half, andouille sausage & topped it with mozzarella & gouda cheese. Thanks for a great, and super easy, week night dinner recipe!

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  21. Super tasty. Made a few changes/additions...used half and half, andouille sausage, added zucchini, mushrooms and a few extra garlic cloves. Topped it with a mix of mozzarella & gouda cheese. Thanks for a great, and super easy, week night dinner recipe!

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  22. I made this tonight and my husband and 2 y/o loved it. Best recipe I have found on Pinterest. Thank you so much for sharing! This was amazing.

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  23. I made this tonight and my husband and 2y/o loved it. Best recipe I have found on Pinterest. Thanks for sharing!

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  24. what do you mean "peppers" like, pepper flakes?

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    1. Hi Justice! Do you mean the half teaspoon pepper? It refers to black pepper - just the basic from the shaker stuff :) Hope that helps!

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    2. yes thank you for being so quick about replying!

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  25. Im making it tonight!!! Having this dish and a salad. Dessert it home made peppermint patties. Thank you Pinterest!!!

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  26. I made it! It was AWESOME!!! I changed only one thing. I didn't have a oven safe pan so I just put the Last of the cheese on left it on low and put a lid on. It melted beautifuly! My husband was super impressed too! Thank you tons! We will be making it again.

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  27. I just made this last night for supper! It absolutely exceeded my high expectations. Even my one and two year old kids enjoyed it! And,dare I say, it was just as good reheated today for lunch!

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  28. I made this over the weekend and it was soooo good. The only change I made was to add more cheese.

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  29. This was absolutely incredible - totally brought me back to my fav childhood meal. It was so good, my hubby and I couldn't even wait for the leftovers! Thank you so much for sharing! Especially love the one dish recipe which makes for such easy cleanup.

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  30. Made this for my husband one night when the kids were gone, it was great! And he usually hates pasta! Defiantly going to make this again!

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  31. I made this for dinner tonight and it was THE BOMB!
    So cheesy and deliciously creamy!
    This is a keeper recipe, though I will be using regular sausage next time cause I thought it was a little spicy(I'm a wimp when it comes to spicy foods,lol!)
    Thank for sharing this recipe, it's amazing!!

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  32. Made it for dinner tonight and the whole family loved it. I didn't have any low sodium chicken broth and it was a little salty so next time I will make sure to buy the right stuff. We will definitely be making it again. Thanks!

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    1. Glad you guys enjoyed it! Yeah, I never use regular chicken broth anymore. The low-sodium kind is plenty salty for me!

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  33. Absolutely AMAZING! I doubled the recipe and had a few friends over for dinner. I think just about everyone had THIRDS! Sooo yummy! I used regular chicken broth nut didnt add any salt. The flavor was almost addicting! :) definatley have to pass this on!

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  34. Thanks for the recipe! It was yummy just had it for dinner!

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  35. I made this tonight, and it was an overwhelming success. My husband requested that it be put "in the rotation" :-)

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  36. I have now made this recipe (minus onions, I hate onions) at least 3 times - the second time for my parents, grandmother, aunt and uncle and everyone that has tried it has LOVED it! Especially me b/c it tastes wonderful and it is so easy to make! I skip the whole cast-iron-put-it-in-the-oven thing b/c I just don't have cast iron and it is perfectly delicious made "hamburger helper"-style. :) Thanks for the recipe, it has been added to the "rotation." lol -M.

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  37. I don't think it posted my comment earlier, so sorry if this is a repeat!

    But I have made this recipe now at least 3 times (including tonight) and the 2nd time ever was for my family (parents, grandma, aunts, uncles, sister, nieces, nephew etc). Everyone that has tried it has LOVED it - esp me b/c it is delicious and so easy to make! Now, I don't have cast iron so I just make it "hamburger helper"-style and it is fab. Thank you so much for the recipe! It has definitely been added to the "rotation." :) lol

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  38. Recipe sounds great, will def. try it. The comments are great too!

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  39. Hey, I was wondering if this recipe can be achieved even if I dont have a cast iron skillet?
    -Tara

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  40. Hi Tara - It can, as long as the skillet you use is oven safe. If you're using a standard non-stick skillet it probably is NOT oven safe. Cast iron skillets are really cheap, and you'll have it your whole life. It's definitely worth picking one up!

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  41. Hey, can I substitute something else for the heavy cream if I am calorie counting? Milk or something? Thanks! It looks delicious.

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    1. Hi Karlie! I probably wouldn't substitute milk - it might make the pasta taste watery. I think a few people have successfully subbed half and half! Let me know if you try it! :)

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    2. I have used a 6 oz container of plain Greek yogurt and it was great!

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    3. I have used plain Greek yogurt as a substitute for the heavy cream, a 6oz container and it was good!

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  42. Replies
    1. Just depends on your appetite! I'd say 2 really hungry people or 4 not super hungry people.

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  43. OMG I just made this for my family tonight and it was a HUGE hit. Thank you!

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  44. This was delicious! My whole family loved it! And I found you on facebook and showed some social media love. :)

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  45. I made this and gave you a shout out on my blog http://dirtanddesserts.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/kickin-sausage-and-cheese-pasta/

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe - although I twirked it a bit. I used milk and had no problem! Looking forward to trying more from you!

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  46. Definitely a keeper, we loved it! Thanks!

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  47. Just made this tonight and it was REALLY good! I cut up 5 strips of bacon into the size of bacon bits and also a large boneless skinless chicken breast and sauteed that with the onions instead of turkey sausage. I also added some frozen peas and some cayenne pepper for a little more heat. It is definitely a must try when you're cheating on your diet!

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  48. Just made this tonight and it was REALLY good! I cut up 5 strips of bacon into the size of bacon bits and also a large boneless skinless chicken breast and sauteed that with the onions instead of turkey sausage. I also added some frozen peas and some cayenne pepper for a little more heat. It is definitely a must try when you're cheating on your diet!

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  49. This dish sounds yummy...do you think plain smoked sausage would work the same in this recipe, without changing the flavor? I'm anxious to try it!

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  50. I made this for dinner tonight and the hubby couldn't stop talking about it! He wants to try it with shrimp. We stirred in some sour cream to tone it down since I accidentally grabbed hot Rotel. Too spicy for the 3 year old. Thanks!!!!!

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  51. Is this really spicy..I have 3 kids under 4...

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  52. I made this a last week and it was a hit with the entire family. I've made it again already!

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  53. Hi There,
    Is the pasta 8 oz or 2 1/2 cups I was confused by that because it's not equal. Look delicious tho looking forward to making it.

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    1. Hi Amanda - 8 ounces of dry pasta equals 2 1/2 cups. Enjoy the recipe!

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  54. I made this the other night for my boyfriend and he said it was one of the best meals i've made for him!! i'd have to agree, it was delicious!!! he bragged to his best friend about it so much that he insisted on me making it for both of them again tonight :p

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  55. Making it right now! :-) looks delicious! My kids and husband will love this. Thank you for the recipe! Started following you on pinterest, can't wait to see your other yummy recipes!
    Laura

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  56. This dish is FANTASTIC! My husband & I loved it the first time we ate it and I have since passed this recipe on to several friends and everyone is crazy about it! This is now everyone's go- to supper when something quick, easy, & delicious is needed!

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  57. Success!! I made this tonight wit bow-tie pasta (pasta I had on and already)! It was very yummy with some crusty bread!! Definitely a keeper for the rotation.

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  58. I made this tonight with bow-tie pasta (it's what i had on hand). It was very DELICIOUS and very quick! We sliced up some crusty bread I was going to use for garlic bread....but decided the pasta was so flavorful, we could eat the warm bread plain. Will definitely keep this dish in the rotation.

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  59. This is one of our favorite dishes and so versatile! Thanks!

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  60. Thanks for sharing this recipe, we recently discovered our 3yo daughter is sensitive tomato sauce (no more spaghetti sauce) and have been looking for alternative dishes that are just as flavorful without a huge amount of tomatoes. I am looking forward to making this dish! :)

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  61. Thanks for sharing this recipe, we recently discovered our 3yo daughter is sensitive tomato sauce (no more spaghetti sauce) and have been looking for alternative dishes that are just as flavorful without a huge amount of tomatoes. I am looking forward to making this dish! :)

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  62. This was awesome! I made it with vegan sausage for a vegetarian friendly dish. I loved how easy it was and I didn't have to cook the pasta separately!

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  63. Can't even tell you how much I've loved this dish. I've shared it with probably 15 people. It's a staple in my household. Except for the fact that I just started WW, any idea the nutrition facts? I mean, it can't be good for you but...? Thanks! :) -Molly at abetterbestlife.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Molly! It's a fave over here as well. I've never calculated the nutrition facts, but if you're a paid member, WW has a recipe builder on their website where you should be able to calculate points! Also, I know some previous commenters have used half and half in lieu of heavy cream to lighten it up a bit.

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  64. I was reading through your recipe and it looked really good and really familiar to something I had pinned on Pinterest early this morning. I found an almost exact copy cat of your recipe (including the descriptions!) at a blog called Little Bits: Sausage Pasta Skillet just thought you should know.

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  65. I've made this several times and my family loves it. Delicious!

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