Have any of you tried any of those super popular “one-pot pasta” recipes? Everywhere I look I see a new recipe with it’s own fun twist. And all the recipes I’ve tried are so flavorful – and easy! The trick to all that flavor is sautéing the base ingredients (onion, garlic, bell peppers, bacon, sausage, etc.) before adding in the pasta, herbs, spices and liquid. One-pot meals are perfect for summer – you don’t even have to turn on the oven for dinner!
This recipe is “lightened-up” by using whole wheat or gluten-free pasta, chicken sausage (instead of pork), and chicken broth for the liquid. No heavy cream or half & half here! To finish the pasta, just melt in a few tablespoons of cream cheese or non-dairy alternative. It’s just the right amount of creamy and helps curb the spicy flavor just a touch.
I LOVE to use those flavorful pre-cooked chicken sausage links and you can find in pretty much every grocery store these days. I prefer the ones that are all natural – with no added preservatives (nitrates/nitrates) or artificial colors and flavors. I especially love the flavors of the ones you can find at Trader Joes and Aldi (the Never Any Brand).
You can use gluten-free pasta – it still cooks perfectly. But don’t try zucchini noodles – for obvious reasons 😉 Also, I used a salt-free cajun seasoning. Check your label and if the cajun seasoning already has salt added to it, you may not want to add all the salt I’ve suggested.
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed or olive oil
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 4 cooked chicken sausage links, sliced (I like the chipotle variety)
- 3 cups whole wheat or gluten-free penne or rotini pasta
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese or dairy-free cream cheese alternative (Trader Joe's, Daiya Foods or Follow Your Heart)
- Heat a large skillet or pot to medium high heat. Add the oil, diced pepper and onion and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Toss the peppers and onions with the cajun seasoning, salt, parsley, and chili powder then cook for just a minute more.
- Add the uncooked pasta, sliced chicken sausage, and chicken broth to the pan. Stir all the ingredients together and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Once it comes up to a boil, reduce heat to low and let cook covered for 15-20 minutes, or until pasta is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
- Remove the pasta from heat and stir in the cream cheese or non-dairy alternative.
- Sprinkle more dried parsley (or chopped fresh parsley) on top.