One Pot Sausage + Broccoli Pasta

Broccoli has always been my favorite vegetables, but I have also been on a sausage kick lately.  I was craving those two ingredients the other night so went to my pins to find a new recipe to try.  Lucky for me I found something where I already had most of the ingredients at home!

One Pot Sausage + Broccoli Pasta


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • 1/2 lb Italian sausage
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 cups chicken stock or chicken broth
  • Half box rotini noodles
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • Optional: fresh parsley for garnish, squeeze of lemon, pinch of red pepper flakes

Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add in the Italian sausage and break it up as you cook. Stir around until completely browned and then move the sausage to the edges of the pan.

Add in the chopped broccoli and sauté a few minutes until crisp tender. Toss with the sausage and then transfer to a plate with a paper towel on top to soak up any oil.

Add one more tablespoon of olive oil and add in the dried parsley flakes, Italian seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, about 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and about 1/2 teaspoon salt and chicken stock. Pour the half box of rotini noodles on top of the stock and stir until just combined.

Set your timer to 8 minutes and allow the noodles to cook, uncovered.  After 8 minutes check on the pasta & stir.  If noodles are al dente, they’re ready! Otherwise, cook a little longer.

Add the sausage & broccoli back to the pan, top with parmesan cheese and any other garnishes like parsley, red pepper flakes or a squeeze of lemon.  Serve immediately & enjoy!

Edits: I added a little more chicken stock to the noodles and let them cook a little longer after the 8 minutes to be completely cooked through.  I also added a little bit of whipping cream to the pan before serving to make a light sauce for the noodles.

Results: The seasoning was delicious!  The dish was more flavorful than I thought it would be and I think a lot of that is letting the noodles cook in the chicken stock & seasoning.  Leftovers were easily warmed up at work and this recipe will be in our dinner rotation!


Sausage & Tomato Tortellini

I’m not gonna lie, sometimes the last thing I want to do after a long day of work and class is make dinner.  Hunter and I try to switch off, but if I’m craving something, I’m going to eat it.  Such was the case last week when I wanted tortellini.  After spin, I wandered around the grocery store picking up things I thought would taste good together, came home, and started cooking.

Sausage & Tomato Tortellinisausage tortellini 01


  • 1 large package tortellini
  • 1 lb ground sausage
  • 28 oz can crushed tomato
  • ~1/2 C whipping cream
  • 1 C broccoli
  • Handful of spinach leaves

Boil water and cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.  While the pasta is cooking, brown the sausage over medium heat and crumble it into small pieces.  When the pasta is done, drain it, then add it to the pan with the sausage.

Add the crushed tomatoes until you think there’s enough (real scientific, eh?).  Add the cream and broccoli, and stir together.  When the pasta is almost ready, add the spinach.  Top with whatever shredded cheese you have in your fridge, in my case it was gruyere.

sausage tortellini 02

Results : Considering I had no idea what I was making when I started and pieced it together, I was extremely happy with the results.  The meal was filling, and had a little bit of everything, plus the leftovers were great at work the next day.  Hunter literally cleaned his bowl and asked me to make it again, so this is why I’m writing down the steps so I won’t forget them!

Minestrone Soup

Since Hunter and I headed to Georgia for Christmas, we wanted to celebrate with his sister in Charleston before we left.  We thought about grilling out, but it was raining off and on, so I decided on some soup and cornbread.  After a search through my inbox, I found this minestrone recipe that fit the bill.  Note: I’ve never made minestrone (or probably eaten it) before, so who knows why it sounded great, but I’m glad it did.

Minestrone Soup


  • 2 t olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 t fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 2 medium yellow squash, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 15.25 oz. can whole kernel sweet white corn, drained
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  •  1 box chicken broth (~4 cups)
  • 1 c uncooked ditalini pasta
  • 15.5 oz. can Great Northern beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
  • 2 t Tabasco
  • 6 oz. bag of fresh baby spinach
  • Shredded gruyere cheese

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion to the pan and sauté about 3 minutes, until softened, stirring frequently.  Add oregano and garlic and sauté another minute, continuing to stir frequently.  Stir in the squash, zucchini, carrot, and corn.  Sauté 5 more minutes until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

Add chicken broth and crushed tomatoes to your pot.  Add in the ranch packet and hot sauce and stir.  Next add the pasta and beans to pot.  Cook 10 minutes until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in spinach, and salt and pepper to taste.  Ladle soup into bowls and top with cheese!


Edits : There were a few… for starters, I didn’t have fresh oregano, so just used the dry kind in a bottle.  I also had baby carrots on hand, so cut those up instead of buying the big guys to cut up.  I used 1/2 c more pasta than the recipe called for, because I love pasta.  I had never heard of great northern beans, but apparently they’re common enough to be with all the other beans on the aisle.  I used a little more hot sauce, and a little less spinach, plus subbed parmesan cheese for gruyere. Phew, I think that’s it!

Results : I admit, I was kinda skeptical since I’d never had minestrone soup before, and wasn’t sure if this would actually fill me up.  It totally did.  I couldn’t even finish my bowl (which was overflowing).  Samantha and Hunter ate all of theirs too, and the recipe got a raving review!  It’s a keeper 🙂

PS – This is great with cornbread!


Chicken Broccoli & Alfredo Stuffed Shells

All my friends know that stuffed shells are my jam.  I’ve been making this original recipe for years, with variations of course.  Naturally, I was excited when I saw an alfredo and broccoli version online — 2 of my favorites mixed into one.  On the lovely cold and rainy Sunday we had, I headed to the grocery store to get the ingredients and make an awesome dinner.

Chicken Broccoli & Alfredo Stuffed Shells


  • 1 jar (16 oz) alfredo sauce
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 2 cups cooked broccoli, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar (or mozzaerlla) cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan
  • 1 box jumbo pasta shells, cooked
  • ~ 2 cups spaghetti sauce (optional)
 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and start boiling water to cook the shells.  I had the chicken, broccoli and shells cooking at the same time, so I could get those done and ready for the baking.
Once those 3 items are cooked, mix the Alfredo, chicken, broccoli, and cheeses together in a bowl.  Grease a 9×13 dish, and spread the pasta sauce on the bottom.  Spoon the chicken mixture into the shells and place in the baking dish.  Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.

Edits: I attempted to half the recipe since Hunter was on a work trip, so I wouldn’t have to eat this for the next 3 days.  I also seasoned the chicken as I cooked it (duh) and added some cajun seasoning to the chicken mixture that went into the shells.  I also used a mixture of 4 cheese Mexican blend and mozzarella cheese.

Results: I’ll admit I was totally skeptical of the pasta sauce on the bottom, but actually wanted more when I was eating!  Next time I’ll add a lil more to get that tomato taste in there too.  I seriously loved this recipe, and have already told Hunter that I’ll be making it again soon.  I can’t wait to have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

Tortellini Carbonata

Back to food for a minute (can you tell I haven’t been cooking many new things lately?) — Here’s another recipe I got from Pegs.  I made this all the time after college since it’s easy, the leftovers are still good after reheating and it includes bacon.  I slightly tweaked her recipe to add tomato, and I typically just throw things in that “feel right” and don’t measure, so it can be a little different each time.

Tortellini Carbonata

  • 9 oz (1 pack) cheese filled tortellini (or proscuitto filled, your choice)
  • 4-5 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/3 c shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c whipping cream
  • 1 tsp dried parsley (or 1 tbsp minced fresh parsley)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
Cook the tortellini according to package directions (7-9 minutes), then drain and set aside.  While the pasta is boiling, cook the bacon, drain on paper towels, crumble it and set it to the side. I suggest cooking an extra piece of bacon for you to eat during this, or you’ll keep eating the bacon crumbles — or maybe that’s just me.
Leave ~1 1/2 tbsp drippings in the pan, and the pan on medium heat.  Cook the garlic in the bacon drippings for ~30 seconds, then add the tortellini to the pan.  I like to let the tortellini cook in the drippings about a minute to get a little crisp to it and some extra bacon flavor before adding other ingredients.
Add the cream, bacon, tomato, parmesan, parsley and pepper, stir well and serve!  And top with a little more parmesan 🙂