There’s something about sausage that melds so well with pasta in a creamy sauce. I prefer using sweet Italian sausage, which pairs quite nicely with the slight bitterness of the kale. So many variations are possible with this dish, from adding a little tomato (sauce or sun-dried), bell pepper or eggplant, to sprinkling in red pepper flakes for heat.

Can’t a date night be with the whole family cooking together? Get everyone involved (especially the kids) with this super-easy recipe. Add a tangy arugula salad with a lemon vinaigrette or skip a salad since there’s with plenty of kale in the pasta.

Tips for Success

  • Cooking the pasta al dente is important since we are adding it to the cream sauce to finish cooking.
  • Reserve some of the starchy pasta water and add it to the sauce if it needs more liquid.
  • Browning the sausage in the skillet is essential and will give the sauce tons of flavor from the fond (little brown bits left behind). Avoid using a nonstick skillet to optimize this flavor development.
creamy sausage and kale pasta overhead vertical

More Delicious Pasta Recipes to Try

creamy sausage and kale pasta with breadcrumbs head on

Sausage and Kale Pasta

Creamy pasta, savory sausage, hearty kale and an addicting crunch of garlic breadcrumbs to top it all off.
No ratings yet
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 877kcal


  • 12 oz. pasta (such as fusilli or orecchiette)
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 chopped garlic cloves , divided
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil
  • 2/3 lb. sweet Italian sausage , removed from casings
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale , rinsed, stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • Cook the pasta al dente in heavily salted water.
  • Make the breadcrumbs by melting the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and adding half the garlic. Cook for 1 minute, and then add panko breadcrumbs to toast, stirring frequently. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Make the dish in the same pan, by wiping it down and adding a drizzle of olive oil. Then add the sausage, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon and cooking until browned and cooked through. Transfer sausage to a plate (leaving the fat in the pan).
  • Add the remaining garlic to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Add the kale and cook for a few minutes until it starts to become tender, stirring frequently. Then add the cream. Turn down the heat, season well with salt and pepper and continue to simmer for a few minutes until sauce thickens.
  • Add the sausage back along with the cooked pasta and warm through before removing from the heat and sprinkling in the grated Parmesan. Taste for seasoning.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of garlic breadcrumbs and more Parmesan on top.


  • Lacinato kale is also called cavolo nero, Tuscan kale, Italian kale, dinosaur kale, flat kale among other names. 
  • Optional add-in ideas: a little tomato (sauce or sun-dried), bell pepper or eggplant, or sprinkle in red pepper flakes for heat. Just consider how long the add-in will take to cook and plan accordingly.


Calories: 877kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 822mg | Potassium: 490mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1345IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 201mg | Iron: 2mg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.