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Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta

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This creamy Italian sausage pasta is made with simple ingredients and incredible flavor; it may look like a simple meal, but it is one the whole family will ask for again and again.


Main image for Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta


If you are looking for a creamy Italian sausage pasta recipe, this one is it. It comes together in just 30 minutes and can be made ahead of time, making it perfect for busy weeknights.

It also has perfect flavors. This Italian sausage and pasta dish combines the richness of marinara sauce, a delicious Italian sausage mixture, and a touch of cream. 

It even has extra vegetables from the tomato sauce and baby spinach to give it extra flavors, colors, and nutrients. Each bite will leave you more and more satisfied. 

If you are looking for a hearty and delicious meal that comes together fast, this Italian sausage bow tie pasta is for you. Let’s dive into the details of this Italian sausage pasta!


diced onions in olive oil in a skillet


What Ingredients Are in Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta:

  • Olive Oil: use this to sauté the onions and meatballs, if you use pure olive oil it tastes like butter!
  • Onion: this gives a sweet and earthy base for the sauce.
  • Italian Sausage: this adds a burst of flavor to the pasta.
  • Garlic Cloves: these add a pure garlic flavor to the flavor profile of the creamy sauce.
  • Ragu Marinara Sauce: using premade tomato sauce is a shortcut to getting richer flavors.
  • Half & Half: lighter than heavy cream, but it blends perfectly with the tomato sauce to make the perfect creamy tomato base.
  • Cooked Bow Tie Pasta: this type of pasta is also known as farfalle pasta, when cooked al dente and following this recipe, it will end up as perfect tender pasta.
  • Spinach: this adds color and nutrients to the dish.
  • Chopped Parsley: this is a garnish, but it adds a fresh note to the finished pasta.

Pro Tip: Using a spicy sausage will give you a spicy dish. Using a sweet sausage will give you a sweet dish. If you prefer your ground sausage meatballs to have a specific savory sausage flavor, be sure to pick an Italian sausage that will give you those flavors.


Cooked onions in skillet with mini italian sausage meatballs added to onions.


How to Make Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta:

  1. Sauté diced onions in olive oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat until softened.
  2. Remove sausage casing and form small meatballs.
  3. Add meatballs to the large skillet, increase heat, and cook until browned.
  4. Add minced garlic, marinara sauce, Half & Half, and cooked pasta to the meat mixture.
  5. Stir everything together, scraping the bottom of the pan, cover, and cook.
  6. Add spinach, stir, and let it rest with the lid on.
  7. Serve garnished with chopped parsley or grated Parmesan cheese.

Pro Tips:

  • Adjust the cooking time for meatballs based on their size to ensure they are fully cooked.
  • Keep an eye on the onions to prevent burning if you plan to cook the meatballs longer.
  • Customize your pasta by adding herbs like Italian seasoning, fresh ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, or grated Parmesan cheese.


cooked and onions and meatballs in skillet


Can Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta Be Made Ahead of Time?

Yes this Italian sausage bow tie pasta recipe can be made ahead of time! I like to make it ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for an easy dinner on busy nights.

When I am ready to serve, I gently reheat it in a large pot dutch oven on the stove top, adding a splash of chicken broth or extra sauce if it needs help thinning the sauce to the right consistency.

How to Store Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta:

Store any leftover creamy Italian sausage pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat it in the microwave or on the stove top over low heat, remembering to add a little water, broth, or sauce to get the right consistency in the sauce.


garlic, marinara sauce, half and half and pasta all added to meatballs and onions


Can You Freeze Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta?

Yes, you can freeze this Italian sausage pasta recipe. Place individual portions in freezer-safe containers or bags, removing any excess air to prevent freezer burn.

It can freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Pro Tip: If I know I want to freeze this, I will not add the bowties to the creamy pasta sauce. Instead I will make the sauce exactly as written, then freeze it. When I want to thaw it, I will cook fresh pasta and add it to the sauce right before serving.


spinach leaves added to meatball mixture


Is Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta gluten free?

Creamy Italian sausage pasta is only gluten free if you use a gluten free pasta. The sauce is naturally gluten free, so you can add it to gluten free pasta or grains like rice or rice noodles.

Be sure to check your sausage! Most sausage is gluten free, but it’s always important to check prepackaged ingredients when serving people with gluten free needs.

What to Make with Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta:

Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta is a delicious stand alone meal, but you can elevate it by serving it with a side salad or garlic bread for a complete Italian meal.

Some of our favorite Daily Salads are: 

Additional Pasta Salad Recipes You’ll Love…


bowl full of pasta and meatballs, ready to eat


What Kind of Sausage Should I Use with Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta?

If you want an authentic Italian flavor in your creamy Italian sausage pasta, choose a mild Italian sausage. If you like spicy Italian sausage pasta, then use hot Italian sausage. However, if you prefer a milder taste, use a sweet Italian sausage.


bowl full of pasta and meatballs, ready to eat

Italian Sausage Bow Tie Pasta

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. Packed with flavor, this one pot meal is a kid favorite recipe!


  1. In a large skillet, sauté the onion on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes until it softens.
  2. While the onions are cooking, remove the casing from the sausage and form small meatballs.
  3. Add the meatballs to the onion, increase the heat to medium and cook for 5-10 minutes depending on the size of your meatballs. (The meatballs don’t need to be cooked through at this point, as they will cook further in the sauce).
  4. Add the garlic to the meatballs and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add Marinara sauce, Half andHalf and pasta.
  6. Stir everything together, cover with tight lid, reduce the heat to medium-low again and cook for 15 minutes.
  7. Add the spinach to the pasta, stir and turn off the heat.
  8. Let it rest with the lid on for 5 minutes before serving.
  9. Serve with fresh chopped parsley or Parmesan cheese.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 535Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 704mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 23g
Originally Posted: March 1, 2016

Photos & Text Updated: January 20, 2024

Jennifer C

Friday 8th of September 2023

Love this recipe so much


Wednesday 4th of October 2023

Thank you Jennifer!

Poonam Kripalani

Wednesday 18th of August 2021

It sounds very delicious, I am planning to make this week . Can I substitute half and half with regular milk?


Wednesday 4th of October 2023

I know I'm too late to respond but yes you could!

Julie Merritt

Sunday 10th of September 2017

Please can someone advise what half and half is ? Thank you :)

Michelle Nahom

Tuesday 12th of September 2017

It's a blend of equal parts whole milk and light cream, found in the dairy section.

kay kay

Wednesday 22nd of June 2016

Do you cook the noodles before adding them to the sauce or do they cook in the sauce? Because the ingredients say cooked

Michelle Nahom

Monday 27th of June 2016

The noodles need to be cooked separately. Enjoy! :)

Michelle Nahom

Monday 27th of June 2016

You need to cook the noodles separately. Enjoy! :)

Little Cooking Tips

Monday 21st of March 2016

Wow Tania, this is one of those recipes that look amazing, are very filling and delicious and you'd never guessed that they're also easy to make! Excellent recipe, kudos!

Tania Sheff

Tuesday 22nd of March 2016

Thank you so much for the kind words, Little Cooking Tips!!! Have a super day!!!

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