Creamy 25-Min. Pasta + Italian Sausage, Brussels Sprouts
This creamy Brussels sprouts pasta proves that nutritious comfort food is a thing! Easy, cheesy, hearty goodness.
Brussels sprouts are so often relegated to a side dish or appetizer. Today our crunchy, cruciferous friends are the star of the show in this easy, cheesy pasta recipe!
Al dente pasta with hearty chunks of Italian sausage and nutritious Brussels sprouts is served in a dreamy, creamy parmesan sauce with garlic and a hint of lemon.
All of the ingredients are cooked in the same pan (except for the pasta, boiled separately), which makes this a quick, simple meal with 4 to 5 servings, in about 25 minutes. I like to buy bagged, shredded Brussels sprouts from the store to save a few extra minutes during prep.
To really wow your family or guests, garnish this pasta with pepper, fresh parmesan — and if you can handle spice — red pepper flakes.
This creamy Brussels sprouts pasta is quick, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food packed with vitamins K and C, among other nutrients.
It’s a great meal prep option that holds up well in the fridge after a few days.
There are so many fun ways to play with this recipe. Get creative with pasta shapes, meats and cheeses! I’ve got some suggestions below.
Watch Me Make This
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Ingredients For Brussels Sprouts Pasta
Here’s what you’ll need.
- Farfalle (bow tie) pasta (or another pasta of your choice)
- Pasta water (AKA the starchy, cloudy water left after you’ve boiled your pasta)
- Italian sausage (spicy or mild)
- Brussels sprouts
- Heavy cream
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
Optional, for serving:
- Crushed red pepper flakes
Buying Shaved Brussels Sprouts Vs. Whole Sprouts For This Pasta
I typically prefer cooking with pre-shredded or shaved Brussels sprouts, which are widely available at supermarkets. It saves time and hassle. Brussels sprouts are comprised of many, many layers which can fall apart while chopping. A minor inconvenience, but we’ve got things to do and places to be, baby!
If you prefer to use fresh, whole Brussels sprouts, you can absolutely make that work. Use a sharp knife and cut the sprouts into relatively thin slivers. The stalky part of Brussels sprouts doesn’t really cook down, so you probably don’t want to be chomping on huge sprouts chunks.
Brussels Sprouts Pasta Recipe Variations
Put your own spin on this recipe! Use whatever pasta shape you like, be it an elegant, long noodle or a fun, spiral-y pasta shape. You could also consider swapping the sausage for something new.
Vegetarian: Creamy Mushroom Brussels Pasta
Tweak this recipe for vegetarian/vegan friends or meatless Monday by replacing the Italian sausage with button mushrooms or chunks of portobello mushrooms.
You may need to compensate by adding some extra oil. The Italian sausage will give off extra oil as it cooks, which helps form a base for the extra ingredients.
Creamy Bacon Brussels Sprouts Pasta
Bacon is an incredible match for Brussels sprouts! Same for pancetta, AKA bacon’s fancy cousin. Supermarkets sell bacon in slices, but pancetta often comes in pre-diced packages.
Substitute an equivalent amount of bacon or pancetta for Italian sausage. Add diced bacon/pancetta into the pan and cook until the meat starts to cook and the fat begins to sweat out. Then continue on to the next steps of the recipe!
Creamy Brussels Sprouts Pasta + Italian Sausage
- 4.5 c. farfalle (bow tie pasta) or another pasta of your choice
- 3 tbsp. to ¼ c. pasta water (water leftover after boiling pasta)
- ½ lb. Italian sausage
- 10 oz. shredded Brussels sprouts
- 1 lemon juice of
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1/3 c. heavy cream
- 1/3 c. parmesan shredded
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp. Olive oil
- Optional: red pepper chili flakes
- Boil pasta in generously salted water that tastes like the sea. Cook until al dente, according to package instructions.Do not throw out the water, but remove pasta. Set aside pasta water for later use.
- In a large pan over medium-high heat, add garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. Add Italian sausage and break up meat in pan.
- When sausage just starts to brown, add Brussels sprouts and lemon, and turn heat up to high. Sauté for about 5-7 minutes, until Brussels sprouts soften and meat has fully browned. Add more olive oil if needed.
- Reduce heat to medium-high, and stir in cream and milk. Continue stirring until cheese is dissolved.
- Add pasta and salt and pepper, to taste. Taste sauce, then add more cream and cheese if you want your dish to be saucier. Serve when hot!
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