Friday, April 20, 2012

Spicy Three Pepper Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli

Spicy Three Pepper Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli Remember when we pretended how crazy life was?  How about when I told you about my Israeli Couscous obsession?  Chicken sausage to the rescue my friends!

Well my days are still packed and I’m still stuck on couscous.  But I’m also stuck on something else: chicken sausage.  It is all over the place, in a billion different varieties and it doesn’t completely burst your diet.

I have fallen in love with Trader Joe’s chicken sausage, and particularly the spicy jalapeno variety.  It’s spicy (duh) but still a little sweet and I can’t. get. enough.

I had some leftover peppers so I decided to throw it all together for a fast, no-fuss, fresh spring-inspired pasta dish.  The bell peppers even out the spice a bit but use any sausage variety you like if you are worried about the heat level.  I am fairly certain that this one will become a weekly staple for the remainder of spring!

Spicy Three Pepper Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli

PrintPrint Recipe

Spicy Three Pepper Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli Recipe

Yield: 3-4

Cook Time: 20 minutes

A simple weeknight pasta dish with a spicy, creamy, and healthy flair.


2 tsp. olive oil, divided
3 links chicken sausage, cut into half-moons
1 medium shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups fresh broccoli
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
2 Tbs. cream
1/2 cup pasta cooking water
2 cups uncooked pasta
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated


Prepare pasta according to package directions, reserving a half-cup of pasta cooking water before draining.

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the chicken sausage to the pan and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Heat the remaining olive oil. Add the shallot, garlic, and salt to the pan, stir, and sauté until softened and fragrant. Add the bell peppers and broccoli, along with the cayenne, crushed red pepper, black pepper, and paprika. Cook for 8-9 minutes until the red pepper and broccoli are tender. Add the sausage back in, along with the cream and the half-cup pasta cooking water and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Remove from heat, stir in the pasta and parmesan cheese, and serve.

Cassie's Notes
I have found that Trader Joe's chicken sausage is our favorite but it is widely available in lots of different flavors and varieties. I used a jalapeno flavor for this dish.

To make this as a side dish, simply omit the chicken sausage.

If you don't have any broccoli, substitute fresh green beans, asparagus or Brussels sprouts.

Spicy Three Pepper Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli


81 Responses to “Spicy Three Pepper Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli”

  1. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — April 20, 2012 @ 7:02 am

    I so wish we had Trader Joe’s – jalapeno chicken sausage sounds so good, especially in this!

    • Cassie replied: — April 23rd, 2012 @ 4:10 pm

      I buy chicken sausage at other stores too, it’s definitely a good buy!

  2. #
    Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama — April 20, 2012 @ 7:03 am

    I so wish we had a Trader Joe’s near us. This pasta dish looks like the perfect weeknight meal, yum!

    • Cassie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 9:48 am

      It is great for a weeknight meal. I buy chicken sausage at many other stores too. Al Fresco Natural has lots of different varieties!

  3. #
    Kathryn — April 20, 2012 @ 7:08 am

    This looks like my kind of pasta dish – fresh and spicy and full of flavour!

    • Cassie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 9:48 am

      Very much! Have a great weekend, Kathryn!

  4. #
    Erin — April 20, 2012 @ 8:20 am

    I wish I had a Trader Joes too, I bet I could find something similar to that chicken sausage though.

    • Cassie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 9:47 am

      Yes, I buy it at lots of other stores. Al Fresco Naturals is a great brand and they have a ton of varieties!

  5. #
    amy @ fearless homemaker — April 20, 2012 @ 8:23 am

    oh my goodness, i am sooo obsessed with chicken sausage, too! i’ve been working it into lots of dinners + lunches – so much healthier than traditional sausage, but so tasty. this looks great!

    • Cassie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 9:46 am

      Do you have any posted? I am always looking for new dishes using it. It’s just so simple!

  6. #
    Deborah — April 20, 2012 @ 8:25 am

    I can always use some spicy in my life! Now only if I had a TJs so I could find that same chicken sausage…

    • Cassie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 9:46 am

      I hate it that so many people don’t have a TJ’s. I buy it at many other stores too. Al Fresco is a great brand!

  7. #
    Cookin' Cowgirl — April 20, 2012 @ 8:36 am

    Oooo, this stuff sounds GOOOOOOD! I really like spicy food and I love all the fun peppers you put in here!

    • Cassie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 9:45 am

      It’s definitely spicy!!

  8. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — April 20, 2012 @ 9:01 am

    The day when I run out of chicken sausage options in my freezer, panic ensues. Those packages are a life saver for busy weeks b/c they go from frozen to plate in like 5 minutes. Love this spicy combination!

    • Cassie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 9:44 am

      I know the feeling. We keep it stocked too!

  9. #
    Katie {Epicurean Mom Blog} — April 20, 2012 @ 9:02 am

    I just live meals that use up leftovers! I haven’t had the chicken sausage from TJ’s but I think I’ll be stopping by there today to try it. You have me sold! Have a great weekend Cassie!!

    • Cassie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 9:41 am

      You too, Katie! 🙂

  10. #
    Nicole {Sweet Peony} — April 20, 2012 @ 9:33 am

    Ooooh I do love that TJ’s chicken sausage! I need to try using it in more things like this yummy pasta! Happy Friday, lovely! xo

    • Cassie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 9:40 am

      Happy Friday to you, my sweet friend. I hope you enjoy the weekend!

  11. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — April 20, 2012 @ 9:34 am

    This pasta looks so good, Cassie! I have a hard time getting chicken sausage at our store. I can’t wait to move to a bigger city, lol.

    • Cassie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 9:39 am

      I can understand that. I am able to buy it at Wal Mart if that helps.

  12. #
    Captain Micah — April 20, 2012 @ 10:03 am

    Just found your blog, and it is stunning! I shouldn’t read before breakfast because I want some of everything! Beautiful pictures, well-written, and gorgeous design. I’m glad I found your site!

    • Cassie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 10:10 am

      Oh my goodness, your comment just made my week. Thank you for stopping by!

  13. #
    amy @ fearless homemaker — April 20, 2012 @ 10:52 am

    Cassie, to answer your question, I don’t have any posted – i should! i normally just wing it – i slice the chicken sausage into half moons, saute it with whatever fresh veggies are in the house (usually zucchini, squash, asparagus, and/or spinach), throw in some spices, then eat it as is, or toss it with a bit of pasta/marinara, couscous, or quinoa. quick, easy + healthy = win!

    • Cassie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

      That’s exactly what I usually do too. It works for “fridge clean out” meals. Thanks for sharing!

  14. #
    ATasteOfMadness — April 20, 2012 @ 11:04 am

    I went to the states one time, and stumbled upon trader joes, and it was great! I wanted to buy everything! If only we had them in Canada..
    This looks fantastic!

    • Cassie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

      Thanks, I sure love TJ’s!

  15. #
    Julia {The Roasted Root} — April 20, 2012 @ 11:36 am

    Spicy Jalapeno sausage sounds awesome! Your pasta dish looks delicious and well balanced! I only recently discovered baby red bell peppers at the store – they’re adorable and super sweet with awesome flavor – I’m going to use these to make your recipe! Have a great weekend!

    • Cassie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

      Thank you Julia, hope you have a great weekend too!

  16. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — April 20, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

    Oooh… chicken sausage. I’ve got to get my hands on some of that. I’ve had a Johnsonville variety before that knocked my socks off. This looks so delicious, Cassie! We eat a lot of chicken around here, but definitely not in this way. Time to change it up!

    • Cassie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

      Thanks Georgia, I hope you enjoy it, it’s been a nice change-up for us!

  17. #
    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — April 20, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

    Yum!! Great weeknight dinner. 🙂

    • Cassie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

      Thanks Tara!

  18. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — April 20, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

    this looks AWESOME Cassie! i, too, LOVE TJ’s chicken sausage. come to think of it.. i love pretty much anything from TJs lol. TGIF!

    • Cassie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

      Haha, I haven’t found anything there that I do not like. Happy weekend!

  19. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — April 20, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

    I love the Trader Joe’s chicken sausage too. My obsession is with the smoked andouille one. I throw that in everything, including my latest concoction of kimchi fried rice. I know it sounds weird but it actually worked out pretty well!

    As for your pasta, I love it! It’s so great to just throw some ingredients that you have on hand to create such an easy, tasty dish. Well done!

    • Cassie replied: — April 20th, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

      Thanks, Chung-Ah, I will have to try the smoked andouille variety, I love them!

  20. #
    Jen @ The Scrumptious Pumpkin — April 20, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

    I rarely cook with sausage, but I can’t wait to try this spicy chicken sausage. This sounds like a dish my husband and I would both love! 🙂

    • Cassie replied: — April 23rd, 2012 @ 4:06 pm

      Thanks, Jen, I hope you enjoy it!

  21. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — April 20, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

    I love using chicken sausage. Wish there was a TJ’s near me, so I could try theirs. I think our state is getting it’s first one next year, unfortunately it will still be an hour a way.

    • Cassie replied: — April 23rd, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

      The unfortunate part is that they are not everywhere. Al Fresco is a great brand of sausage too!

  22. #
    Bev Weidner — April 20, 2012 @ 4:36 pm


  23. #
    Ramona — April 20, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

    I love chicken sausage and this pasta looks great!! Have a wonderful weekend!!

    • Cassie replied: — April 23rd, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

      Thanks Ramona, I hope your weekend was wonderful!

  24. #
    Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef — April 20, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

    Great pasta! I want some.

    • Cassie replied: — April 23rd, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

      Thanks so much, Maureen!

  25. #
    Reem | Simply Reem — April 20, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

    This looks perfect Cassie!!!
    I too love traders joe Sausages, have u tried their apple chicken one… Oh it heaven…
    This dish looks so beautiful and summery!!!
    Have a great weekend..

    • Cassie replied: — April 23rd, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

      I haven’t tried the apple chicken sausage yet, I will definitely be adding that one to my list though!

  26. #
    Catalina @ Cake with Love — April 20, 2012 @ 7:35 pm

    Sounds like a good dinner!! Love all that pepper!!

    • Cassie replied: — April 23rd, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

      We do too! Thanks, Catalina!

  27. #
    Jennifer | Mother Thyme — April 20, 2012 @ 7:56 pm

    There is a TJ’s opening about an hour for me sometime this summer, I can’t wait! I haven’t been to a TJ’s since we lived in Virigina. In the meantime I’ve been enjoying chicken sausage from the market and I can’t seem to get enough of it. This will definitely be a great addition to my dinner menu with my chicken sausage. Look delish!

    • Cassie replied: — April 23rd, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

      That’s so awesome. I would be devastated if I moved away from a close one!

  28. #
    Ann — April 20, 2012 @ 8:34 pm

    Oh, Cassie…this is perfect! We don’t have a Trader Joes anywhere near us, but i can make do….

    • Cassie replied: — April 23rd, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

      Yes, lots of other brands to choose from. I hope you like it!

  29. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — April 20, 2012 @ 9:25 pm

    this looks absolutely delicious and i love how simple it is to make. i’ve never had TJ’s chicken sausage and I probably should go get some. I hate how far TJ’s is from me, it’s about 20 minutes but the traffic in the area that it’s in makes me avoid it like the plague. but i want to try your dish so that’s enough convincing for me to make the drive 🙂

    • Cassie replied: — April 23rd, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

      I understand that thinking completely. There is one down the road from my office and one on my way home so I do the majority of my shopping there, I don’t know what I would do if I moved away from one!

  30. #
    Aylin @ Glow Kitchen — April 21, 2012 @ 2:04 am

    You had me at sausage…I adore this flavor combination.

    • Cassie replied: — April 23rd, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

      We do too, thanks, Aylin!

  31. #
    Ryan — April 21, 2012 @ 8:39 am

    YUMMY! This sounds so good and I’ definitely picking up some jalapeno chicken sausage the next time I go to TJ’s! Thanks for the tip!! Whole Foods has buffalo chicken sausage with bits of blue cheese and it’s SO good on the grill in the summer!

    • Cassie replied: — April 23rd, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

      Thanks for that tip, Ryan! I can’t wait to try the buffalo version. I already know we’d love it!

  32. #
    sarah — April 21, 2012 @ 10:44 am

    Sounds fantastic! We’ll be making a trader joes run this evening and I think I know what I’m adding to the list!

    • Cassie replied: — April 23rd, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

      I hope you got some and enjoyed it!

  33. #
    Krissy's Creations — April 21, 2012 @ 11:17 am

    Love this recipe! Simple, fast, and with great flavors!

    • Cassie replied: — April 23rd, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

      Thanks Krissy, it’s one that we love!

  34. #
    Angie@Angie's Recipes — April 21, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

    A simple but very flavourful pasta dish.

    • Cassie replied: — April 23rd, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

      Thanks Angie!

  35. #
    Liz — April 21, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

    Uh, oh…I think I’ve found a new TJ’s item to try! This dish looks as tasty as it is beautiful!

    • Cassie replied: — April 23rd, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

      Thank you so much, Liz, it has become a favorite for us!

  36. #
    Purabi Naha — April 22, 2012 @ 9:15 am

    TJ’s chicken sounds great and I’ll definitely try when I go there. The dish is so tempting that I am already very hungry!! Wonderful post!

    • Cassie replied: — April 23rd, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

      Thanks so much Purabi!

  37. #
    Gerry @ Foodness Gracious — April 23, 2012 @ 12:23 am

    Yup TJ’s does have some awesome sausages. I love them as a quick saute and like you throw them in some pasta..sometimes I’ll dump in a jar of their artichoke spread or sun dried tomato spread as a pasta sauce 🙂

    • Cassie replied: — April 23rd, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

      I will definitely be trying that soon, Gerry! I have looked at that sun-dried tomato spread time and time again but never tried it. Now I’m looking forward to it!

  38. #
    myfudo — April 23, 2012 @ 2:10 am

    I love sausages too…especially in pasta dishes. They give out a really flavorful addition that is perfect with pasta. This is gonna be a spring staple, indeed! Thanks for sharing!

    • Cassie replied: — April 23rd, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

      Doesn’t it just work well? It’s been a go-to for us recently!

  39. #
    Alyssa — April 23, 2012 @ 10:53 am

    Why didn’t I see this when you first posted it??? I spent over a week trying to figure out what to do with bell peppers. And I have every one of those ingredients in my kitchen-except Trader Joe’s brand sausage…oh how I miss Trader Joe’s!!! This looks great! I think I still have a pepper left, I am totally making this tomorrow for lunch!

    • Cassie replied: — April 23rd, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

      I buy chicken sausage at a lot of different stores, it’s definitely one of our favorites!

  40. #
    Nami | Just One Cookbook — April 24, 2012 @ 12:23 pm

    I’m going to shop at Trader Joe’s later on today. I will check out this chicken sausage. I need good pasta one of these days and this looks like a very delicious one!

    • Cassie replied: — April 24th, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

      Thanks, Nami, it is a good one. I hope you like it!

  41. #
    Meghan — April 26, 2012 @ 1:20 pm

    I always have chicken sausage on hand & am obsessed with broccoli so this sounds awesome! I must check out the one from Trader Joe’s!


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