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Spicy Sausage Kale Pasta

Quit walking around the kitchen confused and make this Sausage Kale Pasta for dinner tonight. It features spicy ground sausage, garlic sauteed kale, and ripe tomatoes tossed in a creamy Parmesan sauce with linguine pasta that is ready in under 30 minutes.

If you are all about the quick and easy dinner options, this easy pasta dinner is one that was made for you and your family! 

cast iron skillet of tossed ground sausage, kale and linguine pasta sprinkled with Parmesan cheese in a light wine cream sauce

Why you need this pasta dish

  • You can whip it up in under 30 minutes, perfect for busy weeknights 
  • It’s an easy one-skillet meal that requires minimal prep and cleanup
  • Combines savory Italian sausage, garlicky sautéed kale, and tomatoes with a creamy Parmesan sauce - all the flavors you want in one dish!
  • Perfect comfort food that will satisfy everyone at the dinner table 

Ingredients Needed

Get all the info on these simple ingredients in the recipe card below.

  • hot Italian ground sausage
  • linguine pasta - cooked according to package directions for al dente and save some pasta water for later
  • fresh kale 
  • minced cloves garlic
  • medium tomatoes 
  • dry white wine
  • chicken stock
  • heavy cream
  • Parmesan cheese freshly
  • salt and black pepper 
skillet of linguine, kale and sausage to be tossed with cream and Parmesan wine sauce

How to Make Sausage Kale Pasta

  1. Cook pasta to al dente (a minute or two under tender) in a large pot of salted water. Drain pasta, reserving a cup of the pasta water (you may or may not use this at the end, if you prefer a thinner or thicker sauce).
  2. Remove kale from ribs (woody stems and veins), rinse clean and rough chop.
  3. In a heavy skillet cook sausage until crispy; set aside. Make sure to get all the brown bits from the bottom of skillet as they have extra flavor. 
  4. Drain grease but reserve a couple of tablespoons in the hot pan.
  5. On medium high heat, add minced cloves of garlic and tomato to the pan; saute until garlic becomes fragrant and tomatoes become soft.
  6. Add white wine and stock to pan; simmer for about 5 minutes until reduced.
  7. Add chopped kale to the pan and saute until leaves turn dark green and become soft. Reduce heat to low.
  8. Add the cooked pasta and fried sausage back to the pan, and toss to combine.
  9. Reduce heat to low. Add heavy cream and Parmesan; toss to coat pasta. Remove this easy meal from heat and serve.


For best results, creamy sausage pasta can be stored for up to 4 days. Allow the pasta to cool down completely before transferring it to an airtight container. 

Place the container in the refrigerator and store until ready to be reheated and enjoyed. 

Be sure to reheat the pasta fully before consuming it, as undercooked leftovers may cause foodborne illness. 

large ceramic bowl filled with chopped, raw kale for cooking into a pasta dish

Tips and Recipe Variations

  • Instead of hot Italian pork sausage, you could try sweet Italian sausage, chicken sausage or turkey sausage. 
  • Feel free to switch up the type of cheese as well. Parmesan works well with this recipe, but you can use other fresh grated cheese that you prefer. 
  • Try grated Romano or Asiago, for a sharp and nutty flavor. Adding other vegetables like bell peppers or mushrooms is also an option. Lastly, if desired, garnish this dish with fresh parsley for extra flavor and crunch. Enjoy! 
  • I recommend using quality sausage when you can afford it. We like to get some from our local butcher, but a local grocery store will work just fine. 

How do you remove kale from the ribs? 

To remove kale from the ribs, start by removing any stems or tough parts of the leaves. Then, using your fingers, carefully separate each rib from the bunch. This can be done by gently pulling them apart. 

You may find it helpful to use a knife to cut away some of the thickest ribs. Once all of the kale is separated, discard any remaining stems or hard sections. 

Finally, wash and dry the kale thoroughly before using it in your recipe.

Should I use regular kale or baby kale? 

Both regular kale and baby kale can be used in this pasta recipe, but regular kale will give you a heartier flavor and crunch. 

It's best to use baby kale if you want something more tender. Baby kale tends to be more delicate so it doesn't need as much cooking time and won't get soggy or overcooked. 

If you're looking for a crunchy texture, opt for the regular version.

bowl of fried crispy ground sausage set aside next to chopped kale to be used in a pasta dish

What other pasta shapes can I use in this sausage kale pasta recipe?  

This pasta recipe is very versatile and can be used with most shapes of pasta. Longer noodles such as spaghetti, thin spaghetti, or linguine work well, as do short shapes like penne or macaroni. 

You can also use alternative types of pastas such as gluten-free varieties if needed. No matter which type you choose, make sure to follow the cooking instructions on the package for best results. 

If you want something a bit more creative, try using shapes like bowties, shells, or even fusilli! You can also create your own pasta mixes by combining different types of noodles.

The possibilities are endless! This is a great way to use up extra boxes of pasta that have some left in them.

Do I have to use kale? 

If you don't want to use kale, you could use fresh spinach in its place. You may need more spinach to get a similar consistency. You won't have to remove spinach leaves from the ribs like you do raw kale. 

What else can I add? 

Feel free to use other flavorful ingredients in your pasta dish. Try adding some vegetables like mushrooms or bell peppers for crunch, or throw in some herbs and spices for extra flavor.

And of course, don't forget the cheese! Grated parmesan cheese is always a classic choice, but you can get creative by trying different types of cheeses like goat cheese or gorgonzola.

Don't forget to add some fresh lemon juice for a little tang or some red pepper flakes if you like a little heat. Whatever you decide to do, you're sure to have a delicious pasta dish that is sure to impress.

So, what are you waiting for? Get in the kitchen and make some Sausage Kale Pasta!

6 step info graphic with caption for making sausage kale linguine

📖 Recipe

skillet of spicy sausage and kale linguine tossed with wine cream sauce and Parmesan cheese

Spicy Sausage and Kale Pasta

Spicy ground sausage, kale, and tomato tossed with linguine pasta in a creamy garlic and Parmesan wine sauce.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: one pan, pasta, quick and easy, weeknight
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 784kcal
Author: Erin
Cost: $3.10


  • 1 lb hot Italian ground sausage
  • 1 lb linguine pasta-cooked to al dente set aside a cup of pasta cooking water
  • 1 head kale chopped and rinsed
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1-2 medium tomatoes diced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cups chicken stock
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook pasta to al dente (a minute or two under tender). Drain pasta, reserving a cup of pasta water (you may or may not use this at the end, if you prefer a thinner or thicker sauce).
  • Remove kale from ribs (woody stems and veins), rinse clean and rough chop
  • In a heavy skillet fry sausage until crispy; set aside.
  • Drain grease but reserve a couple tablespoons in the pan.
  • On medium high heat add minced garlic and tomato to pan; saute until garlic becomes fragrant and tomatoes become soft.
  • Add white wine and stock to pan; simmer about 5 minutes until reduced.
  • Add kale to pan and saute until leaves turn dark green and become soft. Reduce heat to low.
  • Add the cooked pasta and fried sausage back to pan, toss to combine.
  • Reduce heat to low. Add heavy cream and Parmesan; toss to coat pasta. Remove from heat and serve.


Al dente means the pasta has a slight chew to it. If you are using packaged pasta, refer to the cooking instructions and cook about two minutes SHORT of full cooking time. (Some packages will note what the al dente cooking time is.
When the sausage is done frying, you can drain it and set it aside and either reserve a bit of the grease in the pan for the garlic and tomato, or use a couple of tablespoons of butter instead of the grease.
If you want to "loosen" or thin the sauce out at the end, just add a bit of the starchy cooking water with the heavy cream for a lighter, thinner sauce. You'll scoop that out right before you drain the pasta and set it aside for the end when you can see how the sauce looks.
The tomatoes cook down to virtually nothing, and sort of become part of the sauce. If you prefer a chunkier tomato, add more diced tomatoes at the end when you add the sausage and pasta back to the pan.
Shred the Parmesan off the wedge, rather than pre-shredded Parmesan as it melts better.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 784kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 983mg | Potassium: 651mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1743IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 300mg | Iron: 3mg
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