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Sausage Broccoli Pasta in a large white pot with grated parmesan cheese on the side.

Sausage Broccoli Pasta

  • Author: Kari Peters
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Full of comfort food flavor yet simple to make, this Sausage Broccoli Pasta is the perfect weeknight dinner. Or you can dress it up with my Citrus Feta Spinach Salad for a weekend dinner. It’s gluten free and stands alone as a one pot meal. The Italian sausage combined with the Parmesan cheese adds plenty of savory flavor. And the broccoli makes a tasty combination, and adds plenty of veggies to the mix.



12 ounces gluten free penne, I use 100% brown rice pasta

8 ounces ground Italian sausage, see notes

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Optional: 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Optional: 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

6 cups broccoli florets, about 1 pound broccoli

1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, or pecorino romano

2 cups reserved water from cooking the pasta

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste

Extra grated parmesan cheese for serving


Start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

While the water heats up, cup up the broccoli and mince the garlic.

In a large skillet, (I use a 10 or 12″ cast iron skillet) brown the sausage over medium high heat. Remove the sausage from the pan when it’s no longer pink, and set it aside. You should have about 2 tablespoons of leftover grease in the pan.

Salt the pasta cooking water with 1 tablespoon sea salt and start cooking the pasta. Stir the pasta occasionally to keep it from sticking together. Cook according to the package instructions.

Meanwhile in the skillet you cooked the sausage in, add the olive oil along with the garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and broccoli florets.

Sauté the broccoli over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Then add 1/4 cup cup of water and continue to cook until the broccoli is crisp tender.

Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan and add more water if necessary to keep it from sticking.

When the pasta is al dente, or just tender, scoop out and reserve 2 cups of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.

Add the pasta back to the pot you cooked it in, then add the broccoli and sausage and mix to combine. Add the parmesan cheese and 1 cup of the reserved pasta water.

Toss to combine again, then season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Add the remaining reserved pasta cooking water little by little, just enough to create a light ‘sauce’.

Serve immediately with extra grated parmesan to sprinkle on top.


I cook a 1 pound package of Italian sausage and then freeze half to make this recipe again another time. You can also use spicy Italian sausage as well and omit or keep the red pepper flakes for extra spice.

The Italian seasoning isn’t traditional to this dish, but it’s a new variation we’ve been loving. And you can omit or reduce the red pepper flakes if you don’t like spice.

For dairy free, omit the parmesan and use your favorite dairy free parmesan. Also be sure to carefully check the sausage labels because sometimes there’s dairy hiding in there.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Gluten Free Sausage Broccoli Pasta, Sausage Broccoli Penne, Best Sausage Broccoli Pasta