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Italian Sausage Kale Pasta

This Italian sausage kale pasta takes spicy Italian sausage, hearty kale, and rigatoni, and tosses it in an earthy, creamy tomato sauce.

Italian Sausage Kale Pasta served with Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper.

Do you need a quick, hearty, and satisfying weeknight dinner?

This Italian sausage kale pasta uses spicy Italian sausage, hearty kale, and rigatoni pasta, and tosses them with fresh tomatoes, earthy garlic and shallot, Italian seasoning, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese.

You get a perfect blend of savory, creamy, salty, and spicy in every bite!

Pasta is the ultimate crowd pleaser, even for the pickiest eaters, so it’s a great go-to dish any night of the week.

Trust me, when you’re hungry and in a hurry, you’re going to love reaching for this Italian sausage kale pasta!

Uncooked ingredients for Italian Sausage Kale Pasta on a table.

Ingredients for Italian sausage kale pasta

  • Spicy Italian sausage – Feel free to use sweet Italian if you’re not a fan of spicy!
  • Cherry tomatoes – These add bursts of sweetness in our sauce.
  • Shallot and garlic – Both shallot and garlic will add earthiness to the sauce. 
  • Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes – This combination of Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes will make sure our sauce is seasoned to perfection with a slightly spicy kick!
  • Parmesan cheese – The Parmesan cheese will add a salty bite.
  • Rigatoni pasta – Rigatoni is my favorite pasta for this dish, but feel free to use your favorite!
  • Kale – Kale is hearty in texture and has a slightly bitter bite. 
  • Heavy cream – The heavy cream will add a smooth and creamy texture to our sauce.
Italian Sausage Kale Pasta served with a napkin and fork.

How to make easy Italian sausage kale pasta

The thing I love most about this pasta dish is that it’s easy and packed full of fresh summer ingredients. Right down to the fresh cherry tomatoes to the chopped kale.

We all know I’m a huge fan of a 30-minute meal around here!

Especially when it comes packed with pasta.

Step one:

Brown the sausage and add the cherry tomatoes

Browned Italian sausage in a skillet.
Tomatoes in a skillet with Italian sausage.

Step Two:

Cook the tomatoes with chicken stock until they pop and become slightly saucy

Italian sausage and tomatoes in a skillet.

Step Three:

Pour in the heavy cream and add the chopped kale

Heavy cream mixed in with Italian sausage and tomatoes.
Adding kale to a skillet of creamy tomato sauce.

Step Four:

Let it simmer just to warm the sauce and help soften the kale and add the pasta

Italian Sausage Kale sauce in a skillet.
Adding pasta to a dish of creamy tomato sauce.

Step Five:

Stir in the pasta and top with more cheese and some crushed red pepper!

Italian Sausage Kale Pasta in a large skillet.

Lighten things up

If you’re looking to lighten things up, feel free to substitute the spicy Italian sausage with either ground turkey or ground chicken breast.

You can find seasoned ground turkey and ground chicken at the meat counter of most major grocery stores, and some varieties even have Italian seasonings already mixed in!

If using plain ground chicken or turkey, to help it taste similar to standard pork Italian sausage, simply add ½  tsp each of garlic powder, onion powder, and fennel seed.

Italian Sausage Kale Pasta in a bowl with a fork.

Different kinds of pasta

For this Italian sausage kale pasta, you can switch up the pasta to fit your specific dietary needs! 

Most major grocery stores have a plethora of different pasta offerings.

If you’re looking to add more fiber, try using whole-wheat pasta.

If you’re looking to boost your protein intake, try using protein-enriched pasta.

If you’re gluten-free, feel free to use your favorite gluten-free pasta!

Italian Sausage Kale Pasta served with Parmesan cheese.

Make your own Italian seasoning

If you don’t have any pre-made Italian seasoning on hand, no worries!

Italian seasoning is often an easy blend of dried basil, rosemary, oregano, parsley, and thyme.

Not a fan of kale

Not a fan of kale? That’s ok!

You can replace the kale with spinach. It won’t be as hearty, but it will still be nutritious!

Be sure to add it right at the end, because spinach doesn’t need but a minute to cook down. 

Storage and leftovers

Any leftover Italian sausage kale pasta can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

To reheat, simply place in a microwave-safe dish covered loosely with a damp paper towel and heat for 2-3 minutes or until heated thoroughly.

Italian Sausage Kale Pasta in a white bowl with a skillet of pasta in the back.

More pasta dishes

Italian Sausage and Kale Pasta

Italian Sausage and Kale Pasta

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This Italian sausage kale pasta takes spicy Italian sausage, hearty kale, and rigatoni, and tosses it in an earthy, creamy tomato sauce.


  • 1 pound medium sized pasta
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, removed from the casing
  • 1 shallot, peeled and minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups finely chopped kale
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Fill a large pot with water and set it over high heat.
  2. Once the water is boiling add a heavy pinch of kosher salt and pour in the pasta.
  3. Cook the pasta according to box directions, drain, and set aside until you add to the sauce.
  4. While the pasta cooks, in a large 12-inch high-sided skillet, add Italian sausage and shallots.
  5. Cook over medium-high heat until the sausage is fully browned and the shallots are softened.
  6. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant and golden brown.
  7. Deglaze the pan with chicken stock and add in the cherry tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper. Stir to combine.
  8. Let the sauce simmer until the tomatoes have popped and the liquid has cooked down by half.
  9. Add in the heavy cream and stir to combine.
  10. Add in the kale, stir, and simmer for 5 minutes or until the kale has started to soften.
  11. Remove from the pan and stir in the pasta and Parmesan cheese and stir to combine.
  12. Serve with extra Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes if desired.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 865Total Fat: 56gSaturated Fat: 27gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 139mgSodium: 1157mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 5gSugar: 9gProtein: 36g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

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Italian Sausage Kale Pasta pin for Pinterest.

About Brandy!

I am a food lover and recipe developer bringing you delicious recipes that taste great and are easy to make! My food is inspired by travels around the world and my love of flavorful food. A list of things that make me happy: cats, Coke Zero, houseplants, and travel. Read more...

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