Nourishing Sausage and Vegetable Pasta Bake
Made with Italian sausage, whole grain pasta, spinach, and bell peppers, this Sausage & Vegetable Pasta Bake is just as nourishing as it is comforting and delicious. It’s a great meal to serve the whole family, or prep it ahead of time and keep it on hand in the freezer for busy weeknights.
About This Simple Sausage Pasta Bake:
I’m a pasta lover through and through. And as a dietitian, I love when my pasta dishes are not only tasty and satisfying, but nutritious and balanced, too. Whether it’s pasta salad, a creamy pasta dish or pesto pasta, I’m into it. And I just know you’re going to love this Italian sausage and pasta recipe.
This Italian Sausage and Vegetable Pasta Bake makes a simple and healthy main dish that the whole family can enjoy. What’s even better is that it’s adapted from a family recipe that my mom has been making for years.
Whenever I was visiting home from university, I would request that my mom make this pasta bake recipe because I loved it so much. It was balanced, comforting, and made with love. 🙂
Is This a Healthy Sausage Pasta Bake?
Sure it is!
What I consider healthy and nourishing is a balanced and satisfying meal that offers a variety of key nutrients like fibre, carbohydrates, protein, and fruits and/or vegetables. This Sausage Veggie Pasta Bake offers all of the above.
The whole grain pasta offers fibre-rich carbohydrates and nutrients like iron, folate, and magnesium. The sausage is a good source of protein as well as some fat for satiety, and the vegetables including spinach, onion, and bell peppers offer fibre and a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Sausage Vegetable Pasta Bake Ingredients & Equipment:
To make this easy sausage pasta bake recipe, you’ll need:
- Whole grain pasta
- Italian sausages
- Red & yellow bell peppers
- Baby spinach
- Canned tomato sauce
- Jarred pasta sauce
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Dried oregano
- Dried basil
As for equipment, you will need:
How to Make This Recipe:
To make this delicious pasta bake with sausages, we start by browning the sausage in the frying pan. I recommend browning the sausages whole, and slicing them into pieces once browned. Otherwise, they are more difficult to slice. Remove from the pan and add the diced onion, minced garlic, and bell peppers.
We’ll sauté these for a few minutes, then add the spices. Next up, we’ll pour in the tomato sauce and pasta sauce of your choice. Then we add back the sliced sausages and simmer everything together for approx. 15 minutes. I recommend boiling your water and cooking your pasta (only for 6 minutes – it will continue to cook in the oven!) during this time.
After 15 minutes, add the partially-cooked pasta to the frying pan followed by the baby spinach. Mix everything together until the spinach wilts.
Then, we’ll transfer the mixture to our casserole dish and mix in the mozzarella cheese. Finally, sprinkle the parmesan on top and bake in the oven at 350F for 30-45 minutes, until the top is browned and slightly crisp.
Serve it up with some fresh parsley (optional) for garnish, and you’re golden!
Can You Use Chicken or Turkey Sausage?
You can use any type of sausage in this Sausage and Vegetable Pasta Bake Recipe, including pork sausage, chicken sausage or turkey sausage. If you are vegetarian, you could totally try substituting veggie sausages. This is not something I’ve tested personally, so if you try it, let me know!
More Substitution Suggestions:
- Pasta: If you don’t have whole grain pasta, you can use regular pasta. If you’re gluten-free, you can substitute the wheat pasta for gluten-free penne noodles.
- Vegetables: Feel free to add or omit any vegetables to your liking.
Can You Freeze Sausage and Vegetable Pasta Bake?
Yes, this Sausage Vegetable Pasta Bake is freezer-friendly. I recommend freezing it in an airtight dish with a lid. It was freeze well for up to 2 months. Remove from the freezer and allow to defrost in the fridge before reheating to serve.
Leftovers of this recipe will keep well in the fridge up to 4 days.
Connect with Hannah Magee, RD!
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. If you try it, let me know what you think by leaving a rating and a review in the comments below. Oh, and be sure to take a photo and tag me on @hannahmagee_rd so I can see!
Nourishing Sausage and Vegetable Pasta Bake
- 1 1/2 lbs Italian sausage, can be pork, chicken or turkey *see notes for vegetarian
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium bell peppers (one red, one yellow), chopped
- 28 ounces pasta sauce
- 1 small jar tomato sauce (213 mL)
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 box (375g) whole grain penne pasta
- 1 package baby spinach, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarelle cheese
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Over medium-high heat, brown the sausages in the frying pan. Remove from pan and slice into rounds.
- Reduce heat to medium and add olive oil, followed by the onion, garlic, and bell peppers. Saute for 3-4 minutes, then add spices, tomato sauce and pasta sauce.
- Stir to combine, then stir in the sliced sausages. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, bring water in a large pot to a boil then cook your penne pasta for 6 minutes.
- Drain the cooked pasta and add it to the frying pan mixture, followed by the chopped baby spinach. Mix well until everything is combined.
- Transfer the pasta mixture to a large casserole dish and mix in the shredded mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle the grated parmesan on top, then bake in the oven at 350F for 30-45 minutes until the top is browned and slightly crisp. Serve and enjoy!