This Healthy Sausage Pasta with Vegetables is a recipe I have been making for years, since the early 90’s in fact. By packing the pasta with tons of veggies and lean protein, it’s the perfect way to indulge in pasta without getting off track.
Pasta is one of my favorite things to eat and I honestly can’t imagine life without a bowl of delicious pasta now and then. I love it. Luckily, there are lots of ways to make pasta dishes light and healthy and something that can fit into any diet. Let’s take this dish for example. It’s inspired by a Jacques Pepin recipe that originally called for Italian pork sausage and a hefty dose of olive oil. To lighten things up, all I had to do was substitute in a lean turkey sausage and use less olive oil. Since the original recipe called for lots of veggies, I didn’t even have to think about ways to add more.
Let’s dig into this recipe more. First let’s talk about this killer combination of veggies. The pasta uses fresh broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and corn. So good. If you can find fresh corn, I highly recommend using it but if not, canned or frozen will work as well. Same goes for the cherry tomatoes. Fresh will taste the best, but if you can’t find any flavorful tomatoes, then you can substitute canned diced tomatoes instead. Always think about what will give you the best flavor. Sometimes in the winter months, veggies can lack flavor and it makes sense to go with canned or frozen instead.
The “sauce” for this pasta is a simple combination of olive oil with the flavors of the cooked sausage, veggies, and then a touch of pasta water to thicken things up. You will be amazed that the dish feels flavorful and moist without ever creating an official sauce. Then top with some Parmesan cheese and dinner is ready.
Variations and Substitutions for this Healthy Sausage Pasta with Vegetables
- Vegetarian: To make this dish vegetarian, you have a few different options. Option one, you can simply leave out the sausage. However if you want some protein, you could substitute vegetarian crumbles, tempeh, white beans, or garbanzo beans.
- More spicy: Add more red pepper flakes or chop up a spicy pepper like a poblano or jalapeno and add it to the sauteed veggies.
- Switch out the veggies: Although I love this combination, you can use any veggies you like. Zucchini, spinach, mushrooms, onion, green beans, the options are endless.
- Different protein: If turkey sausage isn’t your thing, add a protein that you enjoy. You could use chicken breast, ground chicken, or a different type of sausage. If you do opt for a plai protein, I would recommend seasoning it with grill seasoning or Italian seasoning to make sure it is nice and flavorful.