Pesto Pasta With Chicken Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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.  :)

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Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage & Roasted Brussels Sprouts

This pesto pasta with chicken sausage and roasted brussels sprouts is a hearty and delicious meal, made healthier with (lighter) chicken sausage and lots of brussels sprouts.


  • 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 in generously-salted boiling water until al dente 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!

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152 comments on “Pesto Pasta With Chicken Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprouts”

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  1. 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!

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

  3. Looks amazing! Love anything with brussels sprouts!

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

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

  6. 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.

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

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

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. I made this tonight… so yummy!

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

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

  16. 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!

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

    • 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

  20. 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!

  21. 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!

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

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

  24. 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!

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

  26. 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!

  27. 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.

  28. 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!

  29. 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!

  30. 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!

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

  32. 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!

  33. 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!

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  35. 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!

  36. Pingback: Nom Nom Nom: Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage & Roasted Brussels Sprouts « The Pinterest Woman

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

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  41. 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!).

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  43. 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. :)

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

  45. 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!

  46. 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!

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

  48. 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.

  49. 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.

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