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Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli

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This orecchiette with sausage and broccoli pasta has all of the components you need for a quick and easy meal, and it comes together in 30 minutes – perfect for weeknight dinners. And you might even have everything you need to make this Italian sausage pasta in your kitchen already – it’s made with just 5 simple ingredients.

I also use this same method and ingredients in my kale and sausage pasta. And if you like simple pastas that can come together in a skillet (without any baking), try my scallop linguine, chicken broccoli ziti, 10-minute pesto tortellini!or skillet gnocchi next time.

Bowl of orecchiette with sausage and broccoli

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

What You’ll Love About Sausage and Broccoli Pasta

  • Easy dinner that’s ready in 30 minutes
  • Made with just 5 simple ingredients
  • Cozy and comforting meal
  • Family friendly dinner

Sausage and Broccoli Pasta Video

Orecchiette with Sausage Ingredients

You’ll need just a few ingredients (staples, really!) to make this Italian sausage and broccoli pasta:

  • Broccoli – You can buy broccoli florets to save some time, but you’ll still need to trim them to make sure they are small and a similar size. Be sure to cut them into small pieces, so they are easy to eat.
  • Pasta – I’ve use orecchiette here, but you can use any shorter pasta like penne, farfalle, fusilli, rotini, or medium shells.
  • Olive oil – Use a high quality olive oil for best flavor.
  • Italian sausage – If you can find it, look for Italian sausage that is not in casings. You can use hot, mild, or sweet sausage. (More options below.)
  • Garlic – Use fresh garlic for best flavor.
  • Toppings – Grated parmesan cheese, olive oil, and red pepper flakes
Ingredients to make Italian sausage pasta

How to Make Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli

One of the reasons I love this orecchiette sausage broccoli pasta is that it’s so easy to make:

  • Prep broccoli. Clean and trim broccoli, trimming florets to be a similar size.
  • Make pasta. Cook pasta according to package instructions, but take off heat 2 minutes early and reserve pasta water.
  • Cook sausage. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add sausage to pan. Cook, breaking up with a spoon or spatula and cook until browned.
Sauteeing Italian sausage in a skillet
  • Cook broccoli. Add chopped broccoli and garlic to pan, tossing everything together. Cook until broccoli has softened.

TIP: You can also add a few tablespoons of water to the skillet and cover to help steam broccoli if you like it softer.

Sausage and broccoli in skillet for pasta
  • Toss pasta. Add drained pasta to skillet, along with some of the reserved pasta water. Toss everything together, adding more pasta water if it seems dry.
  • Serve. Top with a drizzle of olive oil, flaky sea salt, red pepper flakes, and grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best sausage for pasta?

You have a few different options! If you like a little heat, look for a hot Italian sausage. If you or your family doesn’t like spice, try a mild or sweet version. You can use turkey Italian sausage instead of a pork variety, but because it’s a little leaner, you may need an extra drizzle of olive oil while cooking the sausage and right before serving.

Look for Italian sausage that doesn’t have casing (so it isn’t in links) as it’s easy and ready-to-use. If you can’t find it, just slice open the casing with a sharp knife, and remove the sausage and discard the casing.

What kind of pasta can I use?

This recipe calls for orecchiette which means little ears, and is pronounced “oh-reck-ee-ET-tay.” I just discovered that I’ve been saying it wrong all along, but I’ll say it like an Italian from here on out! You should be able to find orecchiette at any grocery store, or you can order it from amazon. You can also use a medium size pasta like penne, farfalle, fusilli, rotini, or medium shells.

Skillet of sausage and broccoli pasta

Storage Instructions

Store leftover pasta in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

How to reheat

Reheat sausage pasta dish in a hot skillet or in the microwave, until heated through.

Can you freeze pasta?

Yes, you can freeze the pasta in an airtight container for 2-3 months.

How to Serve Sausage and Broccoli Pasta to the Whole Family

I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in. 😉

A lot of kids like pasta, but sometimes they don’t like new shapes. If you’re introducing some other new items in this dish, you may want to stick with a pasta shape they like. And as always, serve it with a few other sides that you know they will eat: milk, bread, fruit, etc. and then let them decide what to eat.

All of my articles on feeding kids can be found here and if you want a FULL list of all of the videos I have with hacks, tips, scripts, and ideas for feeding kids, check out my instagram or tiktok page.

Bowl of Italian sausage pasta

Substitutes + Nutrition

If you want to swap out any of the ingredients and toppings, here are a few ways you can add even more nutrition into this meal:

  • Gluten-free – Use your favorite gluten-free pasta to make this a gluten-free meal.
  • Vegetarian – You can swap out the Italian sausage for your favorite plant-based sausage. I haven’t personally tested this but it should work!

What to Serve with Italian Sausage Orecchiette

This orecchiette pasta broccoli sausage dish is sort of a meal in a bowl, but if you’d like to add a side, try one of these veggie side dishes:

Bowl of orecchiette with sausage and broccoli

More Easy Pasta Recipes

If you like sausage and pasta recipes like this one, you might like these other easy pasta recipes:

It’s 5pm. Are you still wondering what’s for dinner?

Menu Plans by My Everyday Table can help you out.

The plan addresses three major issues when it comes to weeknight dinners: having a plan, time, and one family meal

You’ll save time, save money, waste less food, and feel calm when 5pm hits because your dinner is already planned.

Helpful Tools to Make Italian Sausage Pasta

  • 12″ Nonstick Frying Pan – Use the largest skillet you have for this Italian sausage pasta so that you can toss it all together.
  • Flaky Sea Salt – Using a nice salt totally finishes and elevates this orecchiette with sausage and broccoli.
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Bowl of orecchiette with sausage and broccoli

Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli

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EASY orecchiette with sausage and broccoli is a great weeknight dinner. Ready in 30 min + family friendly. Made with 5 simple ingredients.


Units Scale
  • 16 oz. broccoli florets (about 2 small crowns)
  • 3/4 lb. orecchiette pasta
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 16 oz. raw Italian sausage
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • topping: grated parmesan cheese, olive oil, red pepper flakes, freshly cracked pepper, flaky sea salt


  1. Prep broccoli: clean and trim broccoli. Chop florets into small pieces.
  2. Cook pasta as directed on package, but take off heat 2 minutes early. BE SURE TO RESERVE 1/2 CUP PASTA WATER.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil to large skillet. When it’s hot, add sausage to pan, breaking up with the back of a spatula or spoon. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, until browned.
  4. Add chopped broccoli and garlic to pan, tossing everything together. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, until broccoli has softened.
  5. When pasta is finished cooking, add drained pasta to pan, along with 1/4 of the pasta water.
  6. Toss everything together and add extra pasta water if mixture seems dry.
  7. Serve with desired toppings: parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, flaky sea salt, red pepper flakes, and freshly cracked pepper to taste.


  • Other pasta alternatives: See above, you don’t have to use orecchiette. 

Keywords: orecchiette with sausage and broccoli, sausage and broccoli pasta, Italian sausage pasta

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Photo Credit: All photos in this post were take by Loren at Sweet Rustic Bakes

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  1. Sarah

    My entire family loves this dish! By request, it’s in our meal rotation at least every other week. Thank you for this quick, easy and healthy weeknight dinner for busy families!