Chicken Sausage and Peppers Macaroni Casserole

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Chicken sausage, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms simmered in a marinara sauce then baked in the casserole with whole wheat macaroni topped with mozzarella.

Chicken sausage, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms simmered in a marinara sauce then baked in the casserole with whole wheat macaroni topped with mozzarella.Chicken Sausage and Peppers Macaroni Casserole

I love a baked pasta dish that doesn’t require having to cook the pasta, why dirty an extra pot? Instead, you pour the sauce over the macaroni and the pasta cooks in the sauce, right in the oven. Although this takes about 55 minutes to bake after you assemble, it’s unassisted cook time so you can go about relaxing while dinner’s in the oven.

Chicken sausage, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms simmered in a marinara sauce then baked in the casserole with whole wheat macaroni topped with mozzarella.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know I swear by DeLallo’s whole wheat pasta, it’s the only whole wheat pasta I like and you can’t even tell it’s whole wheat in this dish (I swear). This dish was inspired by the Easy Macaroni Casserole I shared with turkey and veggies. Every time I make it I think, I bet this would be great with sausage and peppers and I was right!

You could easily halve this recipe in a 9 x 9 baking dish to serve four. Leftovers can also be frozen.

Chicken sausage, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms simmered in a marinara sauce then baked in the casserole with whole wheat macaroni topped with mozzarella.
Chicken sausage, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms simmered in a marinara sauce then baked in the casserole with whole wheat macaroni topped with mozzarella.
Chicken sausage, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms simmered in a marinara sauce then baked in the casserole with whole wheat macaroni topped with mozzarella.
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5 from 7 votes
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Chicken Sausage and Peppers Macaroni Casserole

8
8
9
SP
326 Cals 19 Protein 32 Carbs 13 Fats
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 45 mins
Yield: 8
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: American
Chicken sausage, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms simmered in a marinara sauce then baked in the casserole with whole wheat macaroni topped with mozzarella.

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces chicken sausage, casings removed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups marinara sauce, I used my own homemade
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning or dried thyme
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz uncooked DeLallo whole wheat or gluten free elbows

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a large deep non-stick skillet, brown the sausage over high heat until cooked through, seasoning with a pinch of salt and breaking it up into smaller pieces as it cooks. Set aside on a dish.
  • Add olive oil to the skillet, reduce heat to medium and add the onions,
  • garlic and peppers; sauté until the vegetables soft, about 6 to 7
  • minutes.
  • Return the sausage to the skillet along with the remaining ingredients except for the pasta and cheese.
  • Bring to a boil and then lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
  • Spoon just enough of the sausage/vegetable mixture to cover the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
  • Cover with uncooked pasta. Spoon remaining sauce mixture evenly over the top and sprinkle with cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake 50-55 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes.
  • Divide into 8 servings.

Nutrition

Serving: 11/4 cups, Calories: 326kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 574mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 2g
Blue Smart Points: 8
Green Smart Points: 8
Purple Smart Points: 9
Points +: 8
Keywords: chicken sausage casserole, gluten free casserole, healthy casseroles, pasta bake recipe, sausage and peppers pasta
Chicken sausage, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms simmered in a marinara sauce then baked in the casserole with whole wheat macaroni topped with mozzarella.
Chicken sausage, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms simmered in a marinara sauce then baked in the casserole with whole wheat macaroni topped with mozzarella.
Chicken sausage, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms simmered in a marinara sauce then baked in the casserole with whole wheat macaroni topped with mozzarella.
Chicken sausage, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms simmered in a marinara sauce then baked in the casserole with whole wheat macaroni topped with mozzarella.
Chicken sausage, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms simmered in a marinara sauce then baked in the casserole with whole wheat macaroni topped with mozzarella.
Chicken sausage, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms simmered in a marinara sauce then baked in the casserole with whole wheat macaroni topped with mozzarella.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by DeLallo. I only share products I use in my own kitchen. I created this recipe and received compensation to do so.

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122 comments

  1. This was delicious and came out perfect! I used Italian sausage, regular elbow pasta, and added chicken bouillon to make it more flavourful. I will definitely make this again. 

    • Did you reduce the time any for the regular macaroni ?

      • The flavors are excellent . I have made this twice, the first time with regular elbows and the second time with while whole wheat elbows . Both times I baked for 50 minutes . The regular pasta salad as slightly overcooked and the whole wheat pasta was perfectly cooked.  

  2. How would you adjust this recipe if using egg noodles?

  3. So this is delish! The only thing I did different was use regular pasta and jarred (drained well) mushrooms. This was so good my family was ARGUING over who got the leftovers for lunch the next day. I stuck to the serving and had a side salad and was STUFFED.

  4. Think I can cockpot this?

  5. This is Fantastic! Once again, this gal proves she knows what she is doing. 

  6. You made me crossover!!! Was not a big fan of chicken sausage but when Gina puts in a recipe she can make anything tasty. This was D E L I S H! Has this last night and the hubby said please make me container to take to work for lunch!! He’s not a big mushroom fan but I chopped them up to hide them. This is on the keeper list. I bought leftovers for lunch today also! 🙂

  7. This is SO good. It is also very, very, filling! I’m looking forward to eating it all week! I forget to get mushrooms, and I had to use turkey sausage. It was delicious.

  8. Can I substitute Delallo whole wheat fusilli pasta instead of maceroni noodles or will that affect the recipe/cooking process? I can find whole wheat maceroni noodles at my store. 

  9. Pingback: How I meal plan | Adventures of Alex & Emily

  10. We tried this last night and my husband said it was amazing! It is probably going to go into a monthly rotation, especially now that it’s getting cold outside.

  11. I used DeLallo gluten free spiral pasta. The flavors were great but the pasta was pretty mushy and overall it was more like a soup because of all the liquid. I checked it at 30 min and the pasta seemed cooked so I figured it would just get more mushy if I left it in for the full 50 min but maybe that was my mistake.  Def will try again and see if I can get the time right. 

  12. Pingback: 100 Weight Watcher Casserole Recipes with Smart Points – Recipe Diaries

  13. Pingback: Baked pasta with mushrooms and peppers | Piwo z Lody

  14. The serving size is 1 & 1/4 cups correct? I made this tonight and we got 6 servings out of it at 1 & 1/4 cups each.

  15. This is DELICIOUS! I used turkey sausage because it was easier to find. I made it to freeze portions for lunches. So yummy!

  16. Am I the only one who ended up with way over-cooked pasta and a runny sauce? I cooked it according to the recipe… I like pasta cooked al dente – thoughts on how to make that happen?

  17. Just made this tonight for dinner…it was so good! The only change I made was to use oregano as the spice and added extra as that’s how I make my sausage and peppers. Gina, thank you so much for all you do! I use your recipes 4-5 nights a week (we have pizza night and leftover night(s) on the other days!) Keep posting your wonderful recipes! Cooking is fun and healthy again!

  18. I made this for my family last night! Everyone loved it!All 5 kids & my notoriously “I hate healthy food” husband! Will def make this again! I doubled the recipe & left out the mushrooms – we are not big mushroom eaters. I also only did one can of diced tomato. It was PERFECT! Well done! And only 8 SP!

  19. Has anyone assembled this a day ahead of time (minus the cheese) and baked the next day? Does it still have the right texture? Trying to make this as fool-proof as possible for my husband. 

    • I have not tried that yet but I think it would be okay. It is fabulous leftover if you just want to bake it ahead of time however. My husband asks me to make this if I don’t make it frequently enough! Lol

  20. I made this recipe tonight for my “picky-eater” husband.  I didn’t have time to make my own marinara sauce, so I used store-bought.  I also used turkey Italian sausage rather than chicken because that’s what was in my local grocery.  I kept all the measurements the same as the recipe calls for.  Phenomenal!!  I almost halved the recipe in case my husband didn’t like it.  Good thing I didn’t!  Plenty of leftovers for tomorrow night, and then some to freeze.  I was shocked at how well the pasta turned out.  I have never put uncooked pasta in a casserole before.  I have been on weight watchers for a couple of months and this was my first venture with a pasta dish since I started.  The instructions were great and so were the results!  Will be making this again.

  21. Hi Gina. This was so very good! I gather WW recipes from many sites.  On one of them the blogger does not include the calories from the veggies.  Seems to help with all the “my calculator says  it’s more points” drama. Lol  I’m  a long time user of your site and may I say you rock! Regards, Kay

    • Thank you Kay! People who count calories I am sure want the calories including the veggies, which is why I do points in recipe builder… perhaps I need to add a disclaimer on each recipe for those who don’t understand.

  22. Could I cook this like your cheeseburger macaroni casserole instead? I would probably have to reduce the water right?

  23. Would you be able to cook this in a metal tin instead of glass dish? I want to make small portions to freeze and then give to my grandpa who lives alone. Thanks!

  24. Just made this tonight and everyone gobbled it up! Even the picky 3 and 6 year olds! I substituted plain ground chicken instead of  sausage. I also added fresh chopped spinach and 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes. I’m in Canada so I used Catelli Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat macaroni, which is readily available in our grocery stores. It’s also an excellent brand and you can’t tell its whole wheat. Thanks for all your great recipes! 

  25. This looks amazing. Just wondering would you adjust the time for a buckwheat pasta that roughly takes 13 minutes to cook? Or do you think the same cooking time would apply?

  26. Just made this for the first time and really liked it!!

  27. how do you use the ground chicken? Brown it and add it when?

  28. LOVE this! SO filling without being over the top.

  29. Added red pepper flakes for some kick, but otherwise followed the recipe. It was great comfort food! Even better the next day. Thanks Gina!

  30. Hi Gina – This looks delicious. I can't wait to try it out. I'll probably use gluten-free pasta. Do you think it'll be okay to skip out on the mushrooms?

  31. This was GREAT!! Very flavorful and filling. Even my somewhat picky 3 year old gobbled it up happily and asked for it for lunch the next day again!

  32. Do you really only use 8oz uncooked pasta? That doesn't seem like enough for a whole tray…

  33. This recipe was a hit with my family and friend although I made mine with ground beef as I did not have chicken sausage on hand. I also included sliced string beans as additional veggie as I did not want my string beans to spoil having had them in the fridge for a couple days. Next time I will use the chicken sausage alone with ground chicken meat

  34. This is really good! I made only minor changes, and my family loved it. For instance, I used 8.25oz pasta, only slightly less cheese, and subbed zucchini for the mushrooms, which I sauteed with the bell pepper. Yum!!!

  35. Dumb question but when do we add the water? it looks like its added after you add the veggies and the sausage together to the pot but I'm not sure. Anyone?

  36. Could you make this in crock pot?

  37. Could I make this and freeze to bake later? Would I bake it once and then rebake at time of serving? Thanks!! Love your site!

  38. Hi Gina! This was amazing and so easy for a weeknight dinner! Used spicy Italian chicken sausage, extra garlic, and added a small can of diced green chilies – we like extra kick in meals and it turned out perfect! Definitely making this again! Thanks so much Gina for all your recipes they have made me love to cook!!

  39. Hi Gina!
    I made this last night and it was SO amazing! It was so easy and the flavors came together incredibly well. It was even better the next day for lunch! My husband, a long time whole wheat pasta hater, even commented on how great the macaroni noodles were! We both agreed this was our favorite Skinnytaste recipe of all time! Thanks!

  40. Hi Gina! I'm 8.5 mos preggo and wanted to make this as a 'freezer meal.' Would I need to bake everything first, cool and then pop it in the freezer or can I prep the ingredients and have that go directly into the freezer until I'm ready to heat and eat? Thanks in advance, love your recipes! 🙂

  41. Weight Watcher does not count vegetables for points in recipes. She provides the actual calories as well but if you go by that you will not get an accurate points value because the calorie count includes the calories of the vegetables. Again veggies don't count in WW. I am surprised that so many WW followers don't know this??

  42. This was delicious, but using the WW calculator I also got 11 pts

    • The only accurate way to get smart points is via Weight Watchers recipe builder which is how I calculate since they do not count fruits and vegetables in recipes.

  43. Just made this tonight. I used sweet and hot turkey sausage and it was DIVINE!!!!! Everyone loved it. Yum yum.

  44. Made this last night minus the mushrooms. I'm the only one in the family that likes them so I omitted. It what so delicious.

  45. This recipe is amazing!!!! I made it tonight for my whole family. Especially for those of us searching for ww smartpoints friendly meals that are also filling and delicious, this one will be at the top of my list from now on. I felt like I was breaking my diet eating it. I love this blog!

  46. This is is to die for! OMG! I made mine with crazy winter-shaped pasta I had left over from another dish and I used seasoned diced tomatoes for added flavor. It is PERFECT!! Just added it to my recipe book. My son is going to LOVE it! Thank you!!

  47. When I try to pin this it only connects to the photo not the recipe, frustrated with Pinterest!

  48. This was crazy delicious. I added three cups of marina instead of diced tomatoes, 2 cups of chicken broth and half a cup of water, and 1.5 cups of pasta. Also removed the foil halfway through baking. Thanks for a great recipe Gina!

  49. I made this today with Turkey Italian Sausage and it is to die for! Just what I've been craving! Perfect for lunches this week!

  50. I can't buy raw chicken sausage where we live, only the precooked packaged ones. If I use ground chicken, what spices would you recommend adding?

  51. This looks yummy! Looks like something my family would really dig.

  52. I believe the explanation for the points difference is that the nutritional facts listed include all the veggies and smartpoints counts the veggies as 0.

  53. Gina, I made this tonight with Barilla whole wheat pasta since the DeLallo wasn't available in the store. I also used some local Fra Diavlo sauce and was afraid it would be too runny but it was great with some spice! This is a keeper!! To all figuring points, I'd recommend putting your actual ingredients into the recipe builder WW provides. My ingredients yielded a 9 points per serving. We'll have this again for sure!

    • Awesome! That's because of the sauce you used, if you use my homemade marinara with crushed red pepper flakes it would be 8 smart points via WW recipe builder.

  54. I experienced the same thing with this recipe and one other. It keeps me from being able to use the "quick add" feature, so I enter the information into the calculator before I head to the grocery store in case the points are too high. I love Gina's recipes, so it's worth the extra effort.

  55. I got 11 SP as well, based on the nutrition information provided.

    • The only accurate way to get smart points is via Weight Watchers recipe builder which is how I calculate since they do not count fruits and vegetables in recipes.

  56. Hi Gina! My first post EVER on a website. Luv your recipes THAT much! Stupid q, grocery mozz cheese is 8oz but measures 2 cups. I used the whole package tonight & it was amazing… But did I ruin the 'skinny' element?! Thanks for your response. Love your cookbook… Use website/ book every night!!
    Kirsten.

  57. Just made this in my pressure cooker, one pot cleanup. Delicious as always!!! Thank you Gina!

  58. Did you use pasta, too, or did the squash replace the pasta?

  59. I make a similar dish and I use roasted zucchini and yellow squash it
    's delish 🙂

    • Thank you for posting this! I’m not a fan of mushrooms and wanted to make sure if I substituted squash it would hold up being baked that long. Can’t wait to try this slightly modified recipe!

  60. I used the weight watchers calculator and It comes up as 11 smart points. Can you explain the discrepancy with the points? I love Skinny Taste recipes but the difference in the points concerns me.

    • I really wish WW would post something this, you should ask you leader. The only accurate way to get points is via Weight Watchers recipe builder which is how I calculate ALL my recipes since they do not count fruits and vegetables in recipes. If you use their new calculator many recipes will be higher than they should be because vegetables have calories!

  61. That' what I came with. I would skip on the salt, use low fat mozzarella cheese, and low fat chicken sausage. ully that would lower it a point or 2. Serve with a salad

  62. I used my WW hand held calculator and it came up 11SP.

    • The only accurate way to get points is via Weight Watchers recipe builder which is how I calculate since they do not count fruits and vegetables in recipes. If you use their new calculator many recipes will be higher than they should be if you calculate it yourself on the Weight Watchers site.

    • I built it in the recipe builder and have come up with 10 pts consistently. Even using different brands of pasta and marinara. I'd err on the side of caution when using someone else's points.

  63. Oh yummy, this looks so great!

    Katie
    www.lamiabellavita.com

  64. This looks great but when I plug the nutritional information into my WW smart phone app, it comes up with 11 smart points value.

    • I was just going to ask the same thing. I got 11 smart points. Why the discrepancy?

    • Same here. But when I put the entire recipe into recipe builder it came up as 7 SP.

    • Yes, thank you Shi!! The only accurate way to get smart points is via Weight Watchers recipe builder which is how I calculate since they do not count fruits and vegetables in recipes.

  65. Bless you, Gina! I'm adjusting to the new WW program, and a dish like this with Smart Points calculated (and a reasonable number!) that looks so delicious and freezes well for leftovers is just what I need! I'll be making this over the weekend. Thank you!

  66. This seems similar to the Macaroni Casserole which is a family favorite! Is the taste different?

  67. Do you think "noodles" can be used in place of pasta or would it be too mushy? Thank you.

  68. yummy!! Cant't wait to eat it.

  69. Made this for dinner tonight and it was amazing! I used one sweet Italian chicken sausage and one hot Italian chicken sausage and it was just the right amount of heat. I had very happy bellies all around the table tonight. Thanks!

  70. Can I use lean ground beef instead of the sausage? 🙂

  71. If you cook this with gluten free pasta will it still work to bake it dry? Will gluten free pasta get mushy?

    • I made this with gluten free organic lentil quinoa pasta. It came out great. Also used shitake mushrooms and added fresh grape tomatos. Delish. 

  72. Made this today. I only had hot italian sausage which I cooked, drained and rinsed to remove the fat. I used low fat italian blend cheese. Turned out pretty good. I think I would add some crushed red pepper flakes next time for a little kick.

  73. What could I substitute in place of the mushrooms?

    • If u like texture, believe it or not squash or zucchini

      • I doubled this recipe(we love leftovers and I have a dairy free kiddo so I left cheese off his pan). But I didn’t double the mushrooms, I used the same amount of zucchini so we had both in it. Kids requested it once a week, so I’ll second the zucchini trade 🙂

  74. You can use just plain ground chicken and add your own spices to it.

  75. Is chicken sausage required or could I use regular sausage?

  76. Can't wait to make this!!! You had me drooling over your snapchat yesterday.

  77. What chicken sausage do you use? I've seen that ingredient in several recipes of yours but can never seem to find it at the store. I've used the turkey sausage which works just fine but would love to try it with the chicken sausage. Thanks!

  78. Hi Gina! I would love to make this and was wondering if it would be possible to make the sauce a day ahead, keep; in the fridge overnight and cook it with the pasta the next day for dinner? Thanks for all of your wonderful recipes-I haven't found one that I don't like! Kelly

    • Kelly…I am not Gina, but I would say "sure, why not". I always do this with my lasagna sauce. It saves time the day of putting it together. I have even frozen it if made way ahead. I am goin to make this but a half recipe…so will freeze the other half of the sauce for another time 🙂 ((Gina's Chicken Taco Chili is one of my all time favorite recipes if you have not tried it))