A healthy one-pot dinner that the whole family will love. Perfect as a carb-loading meal the night before a race, heavy training, or a long run and ready in under 40 minutes!
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Endurance sports have many perks, one of which is enjoying wonderfully carb-rich meals with not only a lack of guilt, but an embracing of the food. With that blessing though, comes a drawback, however: not eating the same exact meal every Saturday night. With this One Pot Orecchiette & Sausage and other recipes, however, that's about to change.
After all, complaining about not having enough new carb recipes to eat is lame and might have our keto friends not talking to us for a few weeks.
I know we're not supposed to change up our diets too much before endurance workouts -- after all, it's nice to plan at least a few runs each week without any consideration of the nearest porta potties or toilets -- but still, it's refreshing to have new interpretations on current classics that keep our diets interesting and delicious.
This is such a meal that I came up with this past weekend. Needing a carb loading meal for my Sunday long run, I had pasta on hand and wanted flavor, but not a sink of dishes to do. Inspired by Half Baked Harvest's one pan pasta, I got to work.
After sauteing the sausage, I simmered the pasta alongside it in a bath of chicken broth and tomatoes, infusing it with flavor, but not with fuss. Finishing the pasta off with veggies, parmesan cheese, and a splash of vinegar balances both the nutrition and the flavor profile, making it one I'll gladly work into my carb loading rotation again.
Five reasons you should make this one pot pasta recipe:
- Clean up is a breeze!
- It's a complete meal.
- The pasta is extra flavorful from simmering in tomatoes & chicken broth.
- It's perfect for an everyday weeknight or a dinner party with friends.
- It tastes like a gourmet pasta recipe, but only takes 40 minutes to prepare!
I don't know if it's because life is busy or I'm just boring, but whenever I can get flavor, ease, and a complete meal in 40 minutes or less I have a recipe to write home about, I mean to you. And with that, I hope that you and your family enjoy it at your home tonight.
What kind of pasta is orecchiette?
Orecchiette means "small ears" in Italian, so it is a smaller disc-shaped pasta that looks almost like a flat, smaller ear.
What is a good substitute for orecchiette?
Any smaller pasta that has the same cooking time as typical orecchiette (i.e. 9-10 minutes) and can "hold" the sauce similar to how the orecchiette holds it. For example, mini farfalle or medium pasta shells would be great picks.
How do you trim broccoli rabe?
This recipe calls for either green beans, broccoli, or broccoli rabe. To trim broccoli rabe, just pull the lighter green leaves off the side of the stalk. Any other firmer "branches" off the main stalk can stay. Trim the bottom ⅛-1/4 inch or so off the main stalk (sometimes it can brown or oxidize) and then you're ready to cut it into pieces to saute!
How to make One Pot Orecchiette with Sausage-- a quick overview:
- Saute the veggies in half of the oil until the onion is getting translucent, starting with the onion and red pepper and then adding in the green beans, broccoli, or broccolini. Then remove the veggies to a separate bowl or dish.
- Saute the sausage in the second half of the oil and cook until it is no longer pink. Add in the garlic and saute for about a minute and a half, or until it is getting nice and fragrant. Add in chicken broth, a can of diced tomatoes, the orecchiette pasta, and dried basil and stir.
- Increase the heat to high the liquids come to a boil, stirring as it heats up. Reduce the heat to medium high and then cook for 11 minutes as it simmers, stirring frequently.
- Add veggies back into the pan and cook for 2 minutes, or until almost all the liquid at the bottom of the pan has evaporated.
- Then, add in the spinach, white wine vinegar, and cheese and stir until pasta until the spinach is wilted.
- Remove from heat and serve this healthy pasta dinner recipe piping hot with some extra grated or shaved parmesan to pass!
To make this recipe gluten-free, just sub in a gluten-free noodle with a recommended cooking time of 9-10 minutes.
To keep this recipe lower in saturated fats, use a chicken sausage instead of pork sausage.
Like this recipe? Check out these other easy and healthy main dish recipes you might like:
- Easy Homemade Pasta Sauce - an easy, 2-step recipe that is ultra-flavorful and lower in sodium and sugar than store-bought varieties!
- Creamy Honey BBQ Crockpot Chicken Sandwiches - juicy and spicy pulled chicken cooks when you're away for an easy dinner on even your busiest days.
- Creamy Chimichurri Pasta with Steak - vibrant chimichurri & creme fraiche pasta sauce is tossed with al dente noodles and served with tender grilled zucchini and garlicky grilled steak. Unbeatable!
- Oven-Fried Lemon Panko Breaded Chicken Tenders - crunchy and healthier chicken tenders that the whole family will love.
- Citrus Dijon Pork Tenderloin - the most succulent pork tenderloin you'll ever make! The pork marinates in a delicious and easy orange dijon sauce that makes it perfect for entertaining but easy enough for a weeknight.
- Healthy Vegetarian Orecchiette Pasta Bake - a quick and cheesy pasta bake with a super easy, spicy-sweet pasta sauce.
- Slow Cooker Turkey Carnitas Recipe - succulent and tender turkey roasts all day in a slow cooker and can be served on burrito bowl or in tacos.
- Italian Beef Ragu - This Italian Beef Ragu Recipe is the perfect family dinner recipe. It cooks up in under 50 minutes, making it the perfect quick, yet satisfying dinner for a crowd.
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An easy one pot sausage and pasta dish that the whole family will love! Make sure to purchase raw or bulk sausage and add extra salt at the end if using low sodium chicken broth.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ white or yellow onion, cut to a medium dice
- 1 red pepper, cut to a medium dice
- 2 ½ cups green beans, broccoli, or broccolini, cut into 1-1.5 inch pieces
Sausage & Pasta
- 1 lb raw chicken or pork sausage; bulk or links that are decased
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can unsalted diced tomatoes, undrained
- 4 cups chicken broth (see notes below if using low sodium)
- 12 oz., or 3 cups, orecchiette pasta
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 ½ tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ½ cup grated or shaved parmesan cheese + any additional to garnish
- Cracked black pepper
- Preheat first tablespoon oil in a large, deep saute pan over medium until sizzling when sprinkled with water.
- Add onion and pepper to the oil and saute for 1.5-2 minutes and the onion is getting fragrant. Add in the beans or broccoli and saute for 5-6 more minutes, or until the onion is translucent and green veggies are turning bright green. Move the veggies from the pan to an uncovered dish and set aside.
- Wipe out the pan with a damp paper towel if there are any burnt bits in the bottom and return to the heat. Add the second tablespoon oil and heat up until sizzling and add the ground sausage and cook, crumbling as you stir, for 4-5 minutes, or until no more pink spots remain.
- Add in garlic cloves and saute for 1- 1.5 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant and just starting to look translucent. Add in tomatoes, chicken broth, pasta and basil and stir until everything is combined.
- Turn the heat up to high until the liquids come to a boil, stirring frequently as it heats up. Reduce heat to medium high and then cook, uncovered and continuing to stir pretty frequently (so the pasta doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan) for 11-12 minutes or until about only ½-3/4 cup of the liquid remains in the bottom of the pan.
- Add in the veggies and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently, or until until the pasta is close to or at al dente consistency -- done, but a slight bit of chew left to the pasta -- and there's no liquid left in the bottom of the pan.
- Turn heat to medium and stir in the spinach, vinegar, cheese, black pepper for 1.5-2 minutes, ot until the spinach has wilted and there is no liquid left at the bottom of the pan.
- Serve hot with extra grated or shredded cheese on top to garnish and enjoy!
- Use a smaller shaped gluten-free pasta like elbows or farfalle to make this gluten free. See my notes above for my gluten-free preparation notes and particular pasta brand recommendations.
- If using low sodium chicken broth, add an extra ½-1 teaspoon salt to season (to taste) when adding in the spinach and vinegar.
- Either pork sausage or chicken sausage will work, but just make sure the sausage is raw and isn't cooked through. Bulk sausage is ideal, but you can also use cased sausages and squeeze the sausage into the pan.
- Use hot italian sausage if you prefer. I personally like sweet italian sausage better, however. Your call!
- I used green beans for these recipe photos, but broccoli or broccolini are also great (it not better) than green beans. The recipe works with any of them so just use what you have on hand.
- Leftovers last covered in the fridge for 4-5 days or covered in the freezer for 2-3 months. If freezing, store in individual portions for easiest defrosting and reheating.
Amount Per Serving Calories 405Total Fat 20gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 82mgSodium 909mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 6gSugar 7gProtein 24g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dieticians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.