Pesto Pasta With Chicken Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

December 9, 2011 by Ali

So, I’m pretty sure Trader Joe’s now carries about 43 varieties of chicken sausage. Ok, maybe just 10. But still — SO MUCH CHICKEN SAUSAGE!!!

Today felt like a good day to be a part of the fad, so I brought home some of their spicy Italian (I know – the least creative) variety and a batch of adorable little brussels sprouts to make some pasta. Between the two of those ingredients cooking, the house already smelled amazing. But then add in some garlic and fresh pesto, and then top the warm pasta with Parmesan cheese….and holy cow. This impromptu little recipe is definitely going down in the books. Easy, and très-delish!!

I’m already looking forward to the leftovers. :)

Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage & Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 1 lb fresh brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and any yellowed/browned outer leaves removed, then sliced in half
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 lb (16 oz.) orecchiette (or any pasta)
  • 4 chicken sausage links (I used spicy Italian), sliced into 1/4" thick coins
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together brussels sprouts, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Gently stir until well-combined.

Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then spread the brussels sprouts on it evenly. Roast for about 20-30 minutes, stirring once partway through, or until they are crispy on the outside and cooked on the inside. (My batch of tiny sprouts only took about 12 minutes to cook.) Remove from oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until nearly-browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the sausage is browned.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. (I begin heating my water while preparing the brussel sprouts, and added the pasta to the boiling water just after beginning to cook the sausage.) Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water (reserving 1/4 cup pasta water), and then toss together the pasta, pesto, cooked sausage and garlic, and brussels sprouts. Add in some of the reserved pasta water if needed for extra moisture.

Serve warm, and sprinkle with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

Ali’s Tip:

This would be even better sprinkled with some toasted pine nuts!

filed in Entrees, Pastas

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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104 thoughts on “Pesto Pasta With Chicken Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  1. How many servings is this?

    - HannahW

  2. This recipe is super tasty! I added onion and mushrooms to the brussels and sun dried tomatoes and a wee bit of chardonnay to the turkey sausage and it was amazing! Love the previous post about capers and balsamic vinegar. I will definitely try that next time! Thanks for the recipe and the tips too!

    - Teanna

  3. This dinner was awesome! Flavorful and delicious!!

    - Megan

  4. Hi, I found your recipe on Pinterest and made it last night and it was so delicious!!! I subbed in beer bratwurst, added balsamic vinegar to the brussel sprouts, and added in some capers to the final product and it was amazing! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, totally a keeper!

    - Ryan

  5. This looks so amazing – all my favorite things in one dish! I’m making it tomorrow, I’m going to shred the sprouts and cook them up with some bacon and add those pine nuts! :)

    - Ayla

  6. This was delicious! I’m a vegetarian, so I substituted the sausage with Field Roast vegetarian sausage. I would agree that it could have used half the amount of pasta. I’ll definitely make this again!

    - Steph

  7. This is my husband’s favorite thing I’ve made from gimmesomeoven! I followed the recipe as is – easy, tasty and definitely on the healthy(ish) side.

    - Emily

  8. I usually find that the easiest of recipes are the tastiest. I like the orecchiette in it.

    - Christine (CookTheStory)

  9. This was sooo good. Just made it for dinner and it was a huge success everyone loved it! Thank you.

    - Meagan

  10. Can you help me with the pesto? Where do you get that?

    - Cherokee

  11. this recipe was delicious and simple. I don’t eat meat so I substituted a vegan soy sausage, turned out great. thanks for sharing.

    - Tina Schantz

  12. This is Delicious! You will want to deglaze all the specialness in the bottom of the pan. I can’t wait to invite family and friends to enjoy this simple but tasty dinner. Thank you for sharing!

    - Helen

  13. The first time we tried this recipe we had an unexpected but pleasant guest, my daughter’s neighborhood friend, who happens to be a very picky eater. If its any testament to this recipe she devoured her first plate and asked for seconds, a first for her at our house. I used tortellini and added a few sun-dried tomatoes, as suggested in previous comments. It officially has made it into regular rotation of go-to meals. Thanks!!

    - Kathy

  14. This looks delicious! I will never understand why people are so afraid of brussels sprouts. They are one of my favorite veggies! I can’t wait to make this, I may add lemon zest or sundried tomatoes or both! Thanks for the great recipe!

    - Crissy

  15. I just made this for dinner tonight for a second time. This recipe is amazing! The combination of ingredients seems odd at first but it is SO good. I followed the suggestion in one of the previous comments and added sundried tomatoes both times I’ve made it. They add a really nice flavor. Thanks so much – this is definitely in my regular dinner rotation!

    - Monique

  16. OMG this was so good! My husband and his friend both LOVED it. It was also easy to prep, you could even cook the sausage ahead of time and just reheat it real quick in the pan. Will be making this again real soon!!!

    - Sarah

  17. This was wonderful… Easy, flavorful, and a crowd pleaser. We used cheese tortellini, and it was a very hearty meal. Thanks so much for sharing!

    - steph

  18. I love this dish and make it multiple times every month. I add sun dried tomatoes and it kicks it up a bit!

    - Kris

  19. How many does this serve? Thanks!

    - Kathryn

  20. I found this recipe on Pinterest last summer and every time I make it, my husband tells me how this is the best thing he’s ever eaten! I made it last night and deglazed the pan with white cooking wine and then let it reduce way down and it was delicious! Thanks so much for putting this recipe out there!

    - Laura

  21. This was SO good. I have made it several times. I double the brussel sprouts. Thanks!!

    - Emily

  22. Positively delish! :) the Brussels sprouts were sooooo good and the dish has so much flavor with the chicken sausage (I used a spinach mozzarella variety). Also I added 3 sliced up peppers, a red, yellow and orange to up the veggies, which also gave it beautiful addl. color. Thanks! I will definitely be perusing your blog for more great finds! Oh and the deglazing recommendations below, you all have changed my life :) I will become a deglazing loyalist now!

    - Jennifer

  23. Just cooked this at home and I have to say this is the first time that I have ever liked the taste of brussles sprouts. Thank you for this recipe and in effect allowing me to get more familiar with one more vegetable. As a recent vegetarian convert (I used veggie sausag, the only fake meat I’ve found tolerable so far)any vegetable I can add to my list of things to eat is a good thing.

    - Kristen Saunders

  24. I have made this recipe several times now and absolutely love it!! My whole family will eat it!! I love roasted brussel sprouts and all of the flavors in this dish go really well together! It is a super easy and quick dinner for us when we are rushing through the week!

    - amy

  25. Absolutely LOVE this recipe!!! Thanks!

    - Tee

  26. You’ve been featured on my Pinterest Props post.

    - Ginger

  27. Thank you! I found this on Pinterest a while ago and finally tried it on my roommates tonight. It was a hit! Fed all everyone, was easy enough for my lack of cooking skills, and yet had a wonderful big taste (especially with a hint of hot sauce!)

    This was also my first experience roasting vegetables and tasting brussel sprouts. For both, I have been converted.

    - Sydney

  28. I never tried Brussels sprouts until today when I made this for lunch. Amazing recipe! It was wonderful! My almost-2-year-old loved it as well. We will look forward to consuming the leftovers over the next few days.

    - Savanna

  29. Amazing! Made this tonight for dinner! I took my sausage up of the casing and browned it up. So great!

    - Traci

  30. Great recipe! Made this tonight and it was great! I was out of parmesan cheese so I added a little melted mozzarella on top – SO good!

    - Melissa

  31. This is an amazingly delicious recipe. The flavors blend perfectly and my family loved it. I used about 1/2 of a container of prepared pesto & deglazed the pan with white wine to get all those little bits of goodness on the bottom. The leftovers were fantastic too – I will be making this amazing meal regularly. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    - Linda

  32. What can you use instead of pesto? Im not a big fan of pesto but this looks awesome!

    - Susanna

  33. I just made this for dinner and it was excellent! I forgot to save pasta water so I used a couple splashes of heavy cream instead. I love healthy pasta’s like this, they are so easy to make and make me justify eating dessert afterwards. :)

    - Kimberly

  34. Wow, I can tell just from reading this recipe what an explosion of amazing flavors it is–but still simple enough for a weeknight. My idea of heaven. :)

    We’re celebrating our favorite holiday recipes on the Shine Supper Club this month. Something like this would be a perfect example of an easy weeknight December dinner. I hope you’ll contribute this recipe (or another one!).

    - Sarah | Shine Food

  35. Just made this tonight for the first time, it was so delicious! Will definitely be making it again!

    - Maryjane

  36. I made a few modifications to this for personal preference and loved it! posted on my blog with a link back here. Thanks for a great recipe! I love anything with brussels sprouts!

    - Sara

  37. This was the first recipe that came up when I googled sausage and brussels sprouts. I had all the ingredients on hand, including pine nuts, so gave it a try. Superb! I added red pepper strips when roasting the sprouts, and deglazed the pan with red wine after cooking the sausage (pork, not chicken in my case). I used whole wheat ziti for the pasta. This is the kind of recipe that lends itself to flexibility, and it’s a great seasonal autumn dish. Thanks!

    - cannir

  38. I made this last night and it was so yummy! The only thing (and it could be because I’m not used to making sausage), but I’d suggest cutting the chicken sausage first, then cooking. Also, I’d blanche the brussels sprouts before roasting in the oven. That way you can get the brown you’re looking for. Otherwise, delicious!

    - Jennifer

  39. I have made this several times and absolutely love it!

    - Alyssa

  40. Thanks for sharing this amazing dinner. I made it tonight and SWOONED! It was soooo delicious. I love brussels sprouts and I love garlic. Before this, I had never had chicken sausage. Yum!

    - Diana

  41. Tried it and it was good. First time roasting anything. My sprouts were large so they took 30 mins and could have used another 5. More than doubled the pesto. Mine came out a bit dry so definitely reserve some liquid. Will make again but will be sure to add pine nuts. Needs a crunch!

    - Hollanda77

  42. I just made this recipe and it was freaking fabulous. I think it depends a lot on the pesto that you use but I had made a few batches a while back and froze them. With having the pesto made it really didn’t take too much time. Great combination of flavors!

    - Stacey

  43. I made this last night and it turned out wonderfully! I used a steam in bag of Brussels sprouts from TJ’s, and then roasted them for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. I also halved the amount of pasta so there was a higher ratio of ‘goodies’ to pasta. It served 3 perfectly.

    - Annie

  44. This was soo good! We’re not big pesto people, so instead we used balsamic vinegar, red and green peppers, and decided to add some mushrooms. Everybody loved!

    - Jordan

  45. I love this recipe. Very easy to make.

    - ezma riley

  46. I made this last night, it was a big hit with the family! It has already made it into my recipe binder! I did add a yellow pepper and kalamata olives to your dish for some color!

    - Marci Ginger

  47. I tried this yesterday… very good, even better with a little added cayenne pepper, awesome.

    - Steve A

  48. Ha! I was just repinning this from a friend on pinterest, and realized it was from your blog–hooray! I know you :)

    - Kristen Johnson

  49. This was delicious! The perfect solution to what to do with leftover pesto– much better than just mixing with plain pasta. I’m a huge fan of brussels sprouts, so I was really glad for another recipe that includes them. Two thumbs up!

    - Marny Heit

  50. I found this recipe on Pinterest. I have made it every 1-2 weeks for the last couple of months. Everyone in my family loves it. Thanks for the recipe!

    - Lynn

  51. I made this recipe after finding it on Pinterest. My boyfriend LOVES brussels and I love pesto so I had to give it a try. I went the quick route and got the “steam-in-a-bag” brussels, steamed them in the micro, seasoned them, then roasted them for 10 minutes. Also my store was out of that type of pasta, but I used bowtie and it worked great. Thanks for a awesome recipe that I will be making many more times!

    - Shanna

  52. I made this for dinner tonight and it was very good but I would make a few changes in the future. First, based on the amount of protein/veggies I assumed it would be roughly 4-6 servings and 1 pound of pasta was wayyy too much. I would probably use a 1/2 pound next time. Second, the dish wasn’t really saucy enough, but using less pasta would fix this. Finally, I love Brussels sprouts, but they kind of fell apart in the pasta. The flavor is also a little too rich to mesh with the other flavors. Broccoli or asparagus would be a great sub! Was definitely tasty and an easy weeknight recipe.

    - Ashley

  53. Anyone tried this with something other than brussel sprouts? No one in my family is a big fan of them.

    - Meg

    • I made this in a small town with no brussels sprouts to be had in the store. I had a small container of sprouts, and I combined it with 1-inch pieces of asparagus. It tasted almost as good! But honestly, sprouts cooked this way are pretty dang awesome.

      - Abby

  54. Hi! I’m new to your site and this is the first recipe I’ve made from here. I’m a HUGE fan of this meal, it was a total crowd pleaser. Thanks and I’ll be coming back very regularly!

    - Samantha

  55. I will also be preparing this tonight. I will let you know how it turned out. :)

    - mariska

  56. Hiya! I’m planning on trying this out, but wondering if you can tell me about how many servings it is. Thanks!

    - Tabitha

  57. I made this tonight… so yummy!

    - Jess

  58. I had gotten Brussels sprouts at the
    Farmers market and found this on pinterest. Happen to have home made pesto and all the rest. I had mushrooms to use up, so I sautéed them and added to the mix. So good. Will be making this again soon. Thanks for sharing.

    - Keri

  59. I am making this tonight for the 2nd time in two weeks. It’s amazing! Will be using steam-in-bag brussel sprouts this time (nuked for 3 mins) and roasted for about 10 mins or so. Can’t wait for dinner! Thanks for the great recipe.

    - Lynn

  60. I just found this recipe on your blog and I’m making it tonight. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m a very big fan of brussels sprouts, so it really can’t go wrong as far as I’m concerned, but I have 5 picky eaters, so we’ll see what they say.

    - Susan R.

  61. I made this last night. SO GOOD! I had to keep myself from eating all the brussels while my pasta cooked. I’ll definitely put this in the rotation. Thanks for sharing!

    - Cassie

  62. I made this tonight and it was so yummy!! Thanks for sharing. :)

    - Rose

  63. I’m trying this tonight with gnocchi since that’s what I have on hand. :)

    - Renee

  64. We love every ingredient in this dish (even added the pine nuts), but when I made it we thought it was missing something. Can’t quite put my finger on it other than it needs a little acid to balance out the roundness of everything else in the recipe. It’s all sort of one note. Balsamic vinegar caramelized on the sprouts as they roast, perhaps? If I ever make it again, I’ll try that.

    - Jms Pdx

  65. We just had this for dinner and it was *epic*. Thanks for the recipe!

    - Jenifesto

  66. I’ve recently become obsessed with brussel sprouts, I love this recipe!

    - Erin

  67. Looks amazing! Love anything with brussels sprouts!

    - Blog is the New Black

  68. Looks delicious! Definitely going to give this a try!

    - Amy's Cooking Adventures

  69. This looks AMAZING! I love chicken sausage and brussel sprouts are one my hubby’s favorites. Thanks for this recipe – I’ll be trying it soon!

    - Mrs. Jansson