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Spaghetti with Kale & Sausage

With this Sausage & Kale Pasta recipe, you only need 5 ingredients and you’ll have a hot and hearty dinner on the table in under 25 minutes! That means fewer dishes, less cleanup, and more time enjoying a home-cooked meal with your family.

This Sausage & Kale Pasta recipe is easy to make and can be on the table in less time than it takes for pizza delivery. It’s a go-to weeknight dinner that the whole family will love!

It’s a versatile and completely customizable dinner as well. You can swap out the base ingredients for ones that will please even the pickiest of eaters.
You can even make your own Homemade Pasta to transform this quick and easy recipe into something decadent and worthy of any occasion.

Why This Recipe Works

This Sausage & Kale Pasta is a crowd-pleasing, healthy, and simple meal that will have everyone asking for seconds. You can make a big batch and use the leftovers for lunch or meal prep during the week.

  • A budget-friendly recipe that’s tasty and filling.
  • The whole meal comes together in no time and makes serving a home-cooked meal effortless.
  • Besides the pot you use to boil the pasta, this is basically a one-pan meal, which means minimal cleanup.
  • Sausage & Kale Pasta is a hot and healthy meal perfect for any day of the week.

What You’ll Need

  • Pasta – Any long, thin noodles are best for this recipe. Spaghetti, linguine, or fettucini will hold the parmesan coating perfectly. 
  • Italian Sausage – I used Hot sausage for this recipe, but you can get creative with the flavors here. Mild or sweet Italian sausage would be delicious, or you can try turkey or chicken sausage instead.
  • Heavy Cream – Don’t use less-fat dairy in this recipe, or the sauce won’t be thick and rich.
  • Water – Use reserved pasta water for even more luscious parmesan sauce. The starch from the pasta will help create a decadent texture worthy of a professional kitchen.
  • Kale – If you’re not a fan of kale, try using spinach instead.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Opt for shredded parmesan or a block of cheese that you grate yourself. The pre-grated shakers of parmesan are coated in preservatives and will affect the texture of your sauce, so go for the good stuff.
spaghetti with kale and sausage on a plate

How /to Make Sausage & Kale Pasta

  1. Cook Pasta – In a salted pot of water, cook pasta according to package instructions. You can undercook the pasta by a minute or two to allow it to finish cooking and soak up some of the parmesan sauce in the last step.
  2. Brown the Sausage – In a large skillet, brown and fully cook the sausage meat over medium heat. If you’re using sausage links, remove the casing and crumble the meat into the pan.
  3. Start the Sauce – Add water and cream into the sausage skillet and simmer until reduced by half. Keep an eye on the skillet since dairy is quick to bubble over. Stir the contents of the skillet occasionally to prevent the cream from sticking to the pan and scorching .
  4. Wilt Kale – Once the sauce is thick and bubbly, toss in your shredded kale. Mix until the kale is soft and wilted.
  5. Combine with Pasta and Serve – Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir to combine. Let the pasta simmer in the sauce for a minute or two so all the flavors can meld together.

PRO-TIP: Use a pasta ladle to scoop the pasta from the cooking water and put it directly into the skillet. This way, you won’t have to wash a strainer, and the pasta water that clings to the noodles will thicken and enrich the sauce further.

Recipe Tips

  • For a healthier or gluten-free alternative to this recipe, swap the pasta for spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini noodles.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • The best way to reheat this pasta is to add it to a pan on the stovetop with a few tablespoons of water to reconstitute the rich, cheesy coating.
spaghetti with kale and sausage on a plate
Do I have to use pasta water for the sauce to come together?

If you’re using heavy cream you can use regular water instead of pasta water for the sauce. But if you’re using a dairy alternative with less fat, the pasta water is key to a nice and thick sauce.

Can I prepare Sausage & Kale Pasta in advance?

This recipe is best served immediately after it comes together. That’s when the sauce is at its best consistency, and the meal is tastiest. I advise making your side dish, like a salad or dinner rolls, ahead of time and serving this pasta from stove to table.

Can I scale up this recipe?

This recipe is easily scalable. You can double the measurements and proceed as instructed for an effortless meal that can serve a crowd.

pasta with kale and sausage close up on a white plate

What Goes With Sausage & Kale Pasta

  • Easy Parmesan Garlic Knots – The buttery garlic flavor of these knots pairs perfectly with the salty parmesan in the pasta. 
  • Simple Tossed Salad – You don’t want to serve a heavy side with this filling pasta recipe, so a simple tossed salad is a perfect side. Load the salad with veggies and a light dressing to round out the meal.
  • French Bread Rolls – These rolls deliver warm and fluffy perfection and are so easy to whip up.
  • Tomato Mozzarella Salad – Fresh and juicy, this Caprese salad will brighten up the hearty sausage & kale pasta.

More Easy Dinner Recipes

Yield: 6

Spaghetti with Kale and Sausage

spaghetti with kale and sausage on a plate

With this Sausage & Kale Pasta recipe, you only need 5 ingredients and you’ll have a hot and hearty dinner on the table in under 25 minutes! That means fewer dishes, less cleanup, and more time enjoying a home-cooked meal with your family.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 12 oz bulk Italian Sausage, (I used Hot)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 large bunch kale, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook pasta according to the package directions.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the sausage until fully cooked, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add water and cream, simmer until it is reduced by half (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add the kale, and toss until it is wilted.
  5. Add the pasta, and toss to combine.
  6. Sprinkle with cheese to serve.


Adapted from Everyday With Rachael Ray Oct 2012

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 417Total Fat 26gSaturated Fat 12gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 62mgSodium 586mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 1gSugar 3gProtein 18g

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.

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Friday 11th of November 2022

So the parm doesn’t go in the sauce but instead is sprinkled over? I’m use to adding it to the sauce while it’s simmering just wanna make sure. Thx!

Erin S

Friday 11th of November 2022

For this recipe, I had it just served on top. Originally it was designed to be a little bit lighter dish, so I skipped the cheese in the sauce. But you can definitely stir it in like you often would if you want a thicker and richer sauce.


Tuesday 18th of December 2012

Oh my goodness Erin! I just tried this recipe last night and I have to say, wow! I have been wanting to use Kale in my cooking but I am often way to scared to mess up a whole creation with missuse of a new ingredient that I hardly ever try new things. But I have to say, my husband and I LOVED THIS! It was really out of this world. I can't wait to try more recipies with Kale, so post some more!! :) PS-I LOVE your blog!!!!!


Tuesday 18th of December 2012

Thanks Amanda!! It means so much that you liked it, thanks for coming to let me know! I need to try more kale recipes, hopefully after Christmas I will try and post more!


Thursday 4th of October 2012

Oh how yummy!!! Hadn't thought of kale in pasta but will be trying it now for sure!

Jennie @themessybakerblog

Wednesday 3rd of October 2012

This dish looks delicious, and what beautiful photography. I love the sausage and kale combo.

Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

Tuesday 2nd of October 2012

Love this!!! I absolutely LOVE pasta and would eat pasta everyday if I could! great recipe!!

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