WFD (What’s For Dinner)?

I don’t consider myself a creative cook.  I like to cook, and I’m not bad at it, but I like to follow recipes.  Unlike my very creative husband, I have a hard time opening the pantry and coming up with something on the spot using a handful of random ingredients.  I do often put my own twists on recipes that others have already established, though.  So here’s one from last night’s dinner, which was my take on something we found on

Sweet Chicken Sausage Pasta


1lb. sweet chicken sausage
1 tbsp. olive oil
half a red onion or sweet white onion
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced (or two heaping tablespoons if it’s already from the jar)
2 cups chopped broccoli florets
about 14oz chicken broth
a handful of basil, chopped
about 2 cups of chopped tomatoes (fresh or from a can; I used a can of crushed tomatoes because I was out of fresh)
a pinch of salt
any pasta of your choice
grated parmesan cheese for topping


Boil water and cook pasta according to package instructions.  Drain and set aside.  Pour olive oil in a skillet and cook chicken sausage until it is browned and you can’t see any pink (about 10 minutes on low).  If sausage is still encased, remove it from the skillet just before it is finished and slice into discs on a cutting board, then return it to the skillet to finish cooking.  For the last 4-5 minutes that sausage is cooking, add in diced onions and garlic.  Lower the heat if necessary so the garlic and onions don’t burn.

When garlic and onions appear soft and sausage is cooked through, add chicken broth and tomatoes.  Let simmer for a few minutes.  Add basil and stir, throwing in broccoli last.  If the broccoli is already cooked, cover the skillet for a few minutes and turn off the jet, letting the skillet sit on the heat for a few minutes.  If the broccoli is raw, cover and leave the jet on for about 5 more minutes until it is soft.  Toss in cooked pasta of your choice to combine,  cover with grated parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Sweet Chicken Sausage Pasta


What I liked about this recipe was that I had everything I needed already.  There was nothing special about the ingredient list that required a trip to the grocery store, and it was easy.  I also like that I can alter it to our tastes; the original recipe called for an entire onion and less garlic.  My husband isn’t a big fan of onions, and I could eat garlic raw for the rest of my life and be a happy girl, so I adjusted the quantities to suit our tastes without ruining the meal.  It’s also a great base that can handle additional mix-ins depending on your preferences.  You could easily substitute the chicken sausage for other meats, too, but the sweetness of it really changed up a typical pasta recipe and give it a nice flavor.  Give it a try and tell me how it worked for your family!


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa
    Jul 17, 2012 @ 10:47:29

    Sounds delicious. I’m going to the store today & chicken sausage is now on the list – thanks!!


  2. Lisa
    Jul 19, 2012 @ 08:49:49

    It turned out great. I used pre-cooked smoked chicken sausage & bow tie noodles, delicious! Now I only wish I had made a bigger portion so we’d have more left overs 🙂


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