This spicy sausage pasta is the perfect weeknight recipe. It's creamy, full of flavor and made with a few basic ingredients like hot Italian sausage, store-bought marinara sauce, cream cheese, and parmesan cheese. Best of all, it comes together in less than 20 minutes.
This pasta is great for busy weeknights and packs a ton of flavor with minimum effort. It's easy to double or triple for a crowd and doesn't require a ton of ingredients. If you're looking for other great weeknight pasta recipes, try our Creamy Red Pepper and Tomato Pasta or Creamy Parmesan Tortellini with Tomatoes.
- Hot Italian sausage- we used Trader Joe's hot Italian sausage. Johnsonville has a pretty good hot italian sausage that can be purchased from most major grocery stores. If your sausage is in a casing (like the TJ's version), you'll want to remove the casing before cooking.
- Short-cut pasta- we use fusilli, but this recipe would also be great with rigatoni, bowtie, penne, or whatever else you enjoy. If short-cut pasta isn't your speed, feel free to try this a long pasta like spaghetti or bucatini.
- Marinara sauce- use your favorite store-bought brand. We like Victoria or Rao's the best.
- Cream cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Minced garlic
See recipe card for amounts.
Step 1: Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
Step 2: While the pasta is cooking, cook the sausage in a large pan over medium heat until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Break it up with a wooden spoon or spatula as it cooks. If your sausage has a casing around it, remove the casing before cooking.
Step 3: Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously.
Step 4: Add the marinara sauce and cream cheese and cook until the cream cheese is melted, about 5-6 minutes. Stir occasionally to break up the cream cheese and combine it with the sauce.
Step 5: Add the parmesan and drained pasta to the sauce and stir until the pasta is coated and the cheese is melted. Top with extra parmesan and serve.
- Add a protein like chicken or shrimp
- Use long noodles like spaghetti or bucatini
- Sauté some veggies with the sausage--peppers or onions would be great!
- Add some butter to the sauce for extra creaminess
Frequently asked questions
You sure can! The sauce will be a little spicier and less creamy without the cream cheese, but it'll still be tasty! If you're just looking for an alternative to the cream cheese, try adding a couple of tablespoons of butter to the pasta sauce for a little extra creaminess.
You can! Penne, cavatappi, and bowtie come to mind as good alternatives. A long pasta like spaghetti or bugatini would work too.
Feel free to add a protein (chicken or shrimp would be great) to the top of this pasta, or serve it with a side salad or vegetables. Asparagus, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts all come to mind as great options.