Orecchiette Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli

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Orecchiette Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli is one of my favorite weeknight pasta dishes, my family loves it!

Orecchiette Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli is one of my favorite weeknight pasta dishes, my family loves it!
Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli

It’s an easy pasta dish, ready in under twenty minutes and always a crowd pleaser! My husband Tommy loves it so much, he even goes back for seconds. This dish is a variation of my Pasta and Broccoli Recipe. Here I add Italian chicken sausage, you can use sweet or spicy and Orecchiette Pasta also known as “little ears” because of their shape.

Orecchiette Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli is one of my favorite weeknight pasta dishes, my family loves it!

I cook the pasta and broccoli at the same time all in the same pot, which creates a pesto-like broccoli sauce the kids can’t pick out (trust me, it’s so good!). This is the only way I can get Madison to eat broccoli cooked! If you like it hot, you can swap the sweet sausage for hot. I personally like to add some crushed red pepper flakes to my bowl, this way everyone’s happy!

But what I really love about this dish is that it’s ready in less than 20 minutes, and makes enough for leftovers which I often pack for lunch for Madison in her thermos (affil link).

Tips for Success

  1. Use quality grated cheese. My favorite cheese is Locatelli Pecorino Romano. Don’t use grated cheese from the shelves, it’s basically saw dust.
  2. Reserve some of the pasta water before you drain. Once you mix everything at the end, add some of that water back in to moisten everything without adding too much oil.
  3. Use the best quality pasta. I like to use imported Italian pasta from Delallo, their pasta is made with just two ingredients – spring water and flour. It’s not enriched like many other brands sold in stores.
  4. Cook pasta al dente. Don’t overcook the pasta, this will result in mushy pasta with an unpleasant taste.

How To Make Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli

Orecchiette Pasta

Orecchiette Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli is one of my favorite weeknight pasta dishes, my family loves it!

Orecchiette Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli is one of my favorite weeknight pasta dishes, my family loves it!
Locatelli Pecorino Romano is the best!

More Pasta Recipe You May Like:

Orecchiette Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli is one of my favorite weeknight pasta dishes, my family loves it!
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4.84 from 67 votes
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Orecchiette Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli

324 Cals 19 Protein 42 Carbs 10 Fats
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Yield: 7 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: Italian
Orecchiette Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli is one of my favorite weeknight pasta dishes, my family loves it!


  • 14 oz package Italian chicken sausage, casing removed
  • 12 oz uncooked Orecchiette pasta, or gluten-free pasta
  • 6 1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets, no stems (16 oz)
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Meanwhile heat a large nonstick skillet and brown the sausage over medium-high, breaking it up as it cooks with a wooden spoon until browned, 5 to 7 minutes; remove from heat.
  • When the water boils, add the pasta and bring back to a boil, when the water is boiling, add broccoli and cook according to pasta instructions for al dente.
  • When pasta is almost done cooking, reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water and set aside. Drain pasta and broccoli.
  • Return the pot to the stove and set heat to high; add 1 tbsp olive oil, when hot, add garlic. Cook until golden, about 1 minute, reduce flame to low and add pasta back to the pot with the sausage.
  • Mix well, add remaining olive oil, grated cheese, salt and pepper to taste mixing well and smashing any large pieces of broccoli to break up.
  • Add 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water and mix well adding more if needed.
  • Serve in pasta bowls with additional grated cheese on the side, if desired.



Makes 9 1/2 cups.


Serving: 11/3 cups, Calories: 324kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 375mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g
WW Points Plus: 9
Keywords: Kid friendly pasta recipe, Orecchiette Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli, orecchiette recipes, orecchiette with sausage and broccoli, pasta with sausage and broccoli

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  1. This was good but would be even better with spicy Italian sausage, it’s missing a bit of heat/flavor. I will try using that next time. I love this for a weeknight meal, it’s quick to throw together. 

  2. This is an amazing recipe!  Our family loved it and said it is one the best things I have cooked in 2022!  I did forge ahead and used the pork Italian spicy sausage because I was not to happy with their brand of chicken sausage and did not want to go to another store. It is such a flavorful dish.   I used a pasta garafalo pasta from Costco and it was delish.  A big Yummy from our household! 

  3. This was amazing had to use turkey sausage, couldn’t find chicken. Will definitely be making again! So delicious.

  4. Tried and true. We have been making this for Sunday supper for many years now and it’s become a staple for us. We like to use spicy Italian turkey sausage and add carmelized mushrooms for some extra protein 🙂 

  5. Delicious!

  6. Great recipe.   Easy to adapt for my 1/2 meat eating and 1/2 vegetarian family.   Thank you!! 

  7. So yummy! I added a little garlic salt and red pepper flakes. I was surprised how much the broccoli ended up tasting like pesto! 

  8. This was a great dish, I like a little more heat so next time I’ll use red pepper flakes like many are suggesting.

  9. I don’t like spicy stuff so this was perfect for me but I ended up adding red pepper flakes the second time because my husband requested. My kids also loved this!

  10. This was really good! I used pre-cooked chicken sausage (sun-dried tomato with basil and garlic). Just browned it and followed rest of the recipe exactly. Excited to have a little leftover for lunch tomorrow!  

  11. Kind of bland. 

  12. Simple, light and tasty. I used the red pepper flakes which I highly recommend adding.

  13. Can another meat be substituted instead of sausage?

    • I used Italian Seasoned Ground Turkey as my local grocery store didn’t have chicken sausage. It was still delicious 😋 

  14. Used Italian pork sausage (on hand) and orichette pasta, and fresh broccoli. Very satisfying and tasty!

  15. Recipe was very easy; however, pasta lacked flavor. If I made again I would try adding red pepper flakes and chicken broth as some suggested.

  16. OK maybe this is a dumb question but does the recipe call for six and a half cups of broccoli florets, or six half cups (or the equivalent of three full cups)?

  17. What other type of pasta can I use? I don’t have orchiette pasta handy. Thanks!

  18. Can anyone confirm what the serving is for 8points? Its not clear above

  19. I find myself sharing your recipes and it always starts with “everything this woman creates and publishes is amazing and fool proof”…well, just did that again with this fabulous recipe. OH MY GOODNESS -this is spectacular. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find the chicken sausage as I’ve never cooked with it before, but even at our small grocery store it was right in the meat section. I only had shredded parmesan (made a mistake purchasing) but it worked great. Thank you for another recipe!

  20. I made this last night for dinner and it was really good and so easy. No need to worry about overcooking your broccoli! Definitely follow Gina’s tip and use quality pasta (I like Dececco) and cheese! There’s no comparison. My three year won’t touch vegetables, so I was hopeful that he might actually eat the broccoli “hidden” in his food. That was still a no go. None the less, my husband and I loved it and there was plenty leftover for lunches. We will be adding this one to our regular rotation! YUM!

  21. My husband loved this. Definitely will be making it again.

  22. What brand of sausage do you use?  I bought some chicken sausage at Aldi’s and it was literally IMPOSSIBLE to remove the casing.

  23. Great easy dinner. My family loved it will make it again!  I used less pasta, 2 cups dry and made 4=servings but used the same amount of other ingredients. 

  24. I’ve made this several times – skinny when I can find chicken sausage and “not” when I can only find pork and both versions are amazing. I usually use a whole 20 oz family size bag of frozen broccoli and stick to the rest of recipe and instructions. It is SO good. The left overs are good too – could not be easier to scoop some out, nuke it and boom – you are having a fantastic lunch, easier and better tasting than anything else!

  25. Awesome recipe!  Great taste, easy….what more can I say?? Husband had 3 helpings….

  26. Really good!

  27. When I can get my 9 year old, picky eater to clean his plate, I know a recipe is delicious! Thank you, Gina! My son is the type of kid to look at a new dish and immediately say “I don’t like this” without even trying. He was hesitant, as usual, with this. But as soon as he tasted this, he kept saying how good it was. It will definitely be served again! I modified it slightly because the chicken sausage I bought and the pasta were both 16 ounces. So I used a little more broccoli and about 1 1/2 cups of reserved pasta water. More leftovers!

  28. Can I try making this with bowtie pasta?

  29. This is a super recipe, very flavorful and satisfying. We eat organic Applegate sausages (best I have ever eaten and not salty), and the chicken apple did not have a casing. So I used my tiny food processor and then fried up the nubbins. Perfect. Thanks for your recipes. Very much to our tastes, and we love the nutritional content, as my husband has to track his foods.  

  30. Can this be frozen?

  31. I’ve made this recipe many, many times for a quick, healthy one-dish week night meal. My kids always love it, and it makes for great left-over lunch. The recipe works well with gluten-free rotini!

  32. Wow is this good. I made half a batch as no one else will eat broccoli. It made four good sized servings so I’ll be enjoying it for lunches this week. Any suggestions on another vegetable to try? Thanks for such a great recipe.

  33. This was rather tasty. I can’t seem to find any chicken sausage in my grocery store so I just used ground chicken and added similar spices used to make italian sausage when I cooked it.

  34. I made this for dinner tonight and it was great. It’ll definitely be on our dinner rotation from now on. My grocery store didn’t have Italian chicken sausage or any chicken sausage for that matter, so I substituted with sweet Italian pork sausage. I think I’ll try to stock up on chicken sausages from another store the next time I see them so we can cut some of the fat. I did use some of the pasta water and added a little extra to the leftovers since we’re not fans of dry pasta.. we like red pepper flakes too so it had a nice kick to it as well. Delicious!

  35. Hi Gina! First off, this is delicious! But can you verify that this makes 8 1.5 cup servings? I followed the recipe exactly (even same pasta type) but it seems to just be 4 1.5 cup servings.

  36. The first time I made this, I felt there were too many noodles. This time I backed off on the noodles a bit and added a bit more chicken sausage and broccoli. Outstanding!!! BTW, I’ve using your recipes for 2years now. Thank you for the variety and selection of recipes, and for keeping us skinny Gina!!!

  37. Do you have a recommendation on the chicken sausage? Most that I find is really high in calories.

  38. Made this last night. It was amazing! Will definitely become a “staple” in my house! Like the other reviewer, I used spicy Italian chicken sausage (all I could find) and it gave it perfect heat.

  39. I have made this dish before and even my 20 year grandson loved it.
    So easy to make and very satisfying.

  40. Loved this one.  The only change up I made was to use Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage and red pepper flakes.  It was really easy and good!

  41. Love this receipe. This is my second time making it. This time  I sautéed shallots with the chicken sausage added  red pepper flakes and Heavenly Mini San Marzano tomatoes.  It was outstanding. 

  42. Delicious!! I will be making this again. I only had a small piece of broccoli left so I added a bunch of baby kale to the sausage when it had finished cooking.  I may add a little more cheese next time 🙂 

  43. I made this last night. I added bell peppers, hot pepper flakes and onions. We enjoyed it. It made a lot for the two of us.
    I will make it again. Could be served hot or cold.

  44. This was delicious. I forgot to reserve the pasta water but used broth instead. I also added some red pepper chili flakes as I add these to everything!

  45. Can this be in the instant pot?

  46. Delish!  Only change was I used half chicken broth half water to boil pasta and broccoli.  Kids even liked it!!

  47. OMG!! SOOOOO good! I added cherry tomatoes and fresh basil (just because I had it). We are all raving out how good this is! And so easy too!

  48. I would steam the broccoli and then add it to the soup when it was almost done. This way you don’t lose all the vitamins and good stuff for you. I would steam the broccoli until it was crisp tender so it doesn’t get mushy in the soup.

    • I understand where you’re coming from….but you need to get the broccoli “mushy” so it breaks down to create the “pesto.” It wasn’t overcooked in this recipe, just done enough.

  49. For the record … I despise broccoli. However, I had a small crown that needed to be used up, so I made this recipe last night. This recipe was so easy to prepare! I had some minor changes though. I used Simple Truth Chicken Sausage Links, spinach and gruyere cheese flavor, and cut them into small bits. I also used Ditalini pasta as I had it on hand and plan to make the Pasta Fagioli Soup with it. I added red pepper flakes as well. The last change was to cut the recipe from 8 servings to 2. I am looking forward the the leftovers today for lunch. Thanks, Gina, for a wonderful and delicious recipe!

  50. This was SO good! Even my daughter who claims to hate broccoli, loved it and asked to have it for lunch the next day. However there were no left overs. I did make a few changes based on what I had in the house. I used med shell pasta, pre-cooked asiago and pepper chicken sausage (casings removed and cut into 1/4″ bites), and I used chicken broth instead on pasta water. The other thing I did was make a portion with spaghetti squash (replacing pasta) since I wanted to cut carbs and calories. Pasta version was a bigger hit but squash version was pretty darn good too! Thank you!

  51. Gina – this is one of our  favorite recipes. I was recently asked to bring it to a family gathering. Any recommendations on making the dish ahead of time and best way to store/re-heat? I am unable to make the dish right before we go over to the house but can make the night before or morning of. Would it be possible to make the entire recipe then bake when we arrive to the home to reheat? I can figure this out but just wondering if anyone has done this. Thank you!!! Thanks for ALL your great recipes! 

  52. This was really tasty and satisfying , I added the red pepper flakes. Thank you.

  53. This is so easy, quick and tasty, I’ll definitely be making it again! I added red pepper and chicken broth like other reviewers suggested, sooo good!

  54. I made this tonight and it was so good.   First time cooking with Chicken Sausage.   Will definitly be making this again.  

  55. Amazing.  Simply amazing.  

  56. I’m making this tonight! Does using brown rice pasta change the WW points at all?

  57. Can you recommend a chicken sausage brand ? I have never had it and want to be sure I try a good one as the idea is a bit different for me. 

  58. Loved this and can’t wait to make again. Going to add more broccoli and maybe add in some bell peppers and onion next time but i did love it the way it was! Just want to play around with it 🙂

  59. Can this be frozen without loss of quality?  There’s too much to eat in one week and would hate to waste it!  

    • I have frozen the “Easiest Pasta and Broccoli” (which is very similar minus the chicken sausage) in the past and it didn’t hold up well for me in the freezer. I would make a half recipe instead of freezing it.

  60. Gina, is there a way to adapt this to the Instant Pot?

  61. I have been making this recipe regularly for months.  It is really simple and great and earned a quick spot on the weekly dinner rotation.  I don’t do the whole “1 cup of broccoli water” thing and instead use a cup of chicken broth.  The water is so frothy that it was more trouble than it was worth in my opinion.  But other than that I make no changes and we love this recipe.  Even my 3 year old likes it!!

  62. This was fantastic, my husband loved it too.  I even got my veggie and fish eating daughter to try chicken sausage and she gobbled it up.  Just wondering though, I followed everything to a tee measuring with my scale but after making 1 1/2 cup portions like it said, there was no where near 8 servings, wondering where I went wrong.  Perhaps next time I’ll double up the broccoli quantity so I don’t affect points.

  63. So delicious! Our second time making this for dinner – love how quick, easy and flavorful it is 🙂 Also added red pepper flakes (a staple in our house).

  64. Made this tonight! Only added ingredient was some red pepper. This was delicious and so simple. Can`t wait to eat the leftovers!

  65. I made it as is and it was delicious but when I had it for leftovers I added just a bit of basil and crushed red pepper and that just took it to a whole other level! This is going to be my new pasta dish for when company comes over.

  66. Amazing.  Had to  tweek with ground turkey and added my own Ilalian seasonings.  Delicious, everyone should try this. New favorite. 

  67. Turned out amazing. Wasn’t sure due to no sauce like us Americans are custom too. Flavors were outstanding

  68. I made this tonight for the first time after having it bookmarked for a while. It’s soooo good! I did have trouble getting eight servings from the recipe, though. I measured out 1.5 cups for meals, and got about 5.5 servings. I used all the measurements the recipe called for, so I’m stumped.

  69. This was delicious! I’ve never cooked with chicken sausage before but this recipe was amazingly easy, flavorful and dare I say even better the next day? Thank you Gina for taking the guesswork out of dinner!

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  71. Made this with pork sausage and it was AMAZING. Added some red pepper flakes because, why not? Will make again!

  72. This recipe is absolutely delicious! I love the flavors of the broccoli, cheese, and olive oil. I use the 14 oz. chicken Italian sausage from Whole Foods. What a great idea to incorporate some lemon flavors in there, too.

    I am confused about the serving size. If I measure out 1 1/2 cups, there are only about 5 or so servings. When I put it into the Weight Watchers recipe builder and used my food scale to weigh the total and a portion, it comes out to be 11 points. Any thoughts as to why this would be so off? This is starting to become a regular staple in our house and I don’t want to be too off on the points.

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  75. Never fails.. Soo good. Tastes just like spaghetti garlic and oil, which I have been craving.. Loved it.. Have to half the recipe for 1 next time.. Have to give most of it away or I will inhale it all. Says this Italian!

  76. Soooo good. We do not have broccoli lovers at this  house and it was still a hit! YUM!!

  77. Like everything I try from Skinnytaste, this was amazing! Thanks for all the inspiration! 

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  81. This is amazingly good. you won’t regret making it.

  82. This is such an amazing recipe!

  83. Love this recipe! Any way to make it in the instant pot???

    Love you, Gina!!

    • Yes I would love to see an instant pot option! I know it’s an easy recipe but I was more thinking less dishes with the instant pot!

      • So I did the Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli in my pressure cooker. I browned the sausage added garlic, then pasta, broccoli, cheese and covered with broth (I used 2 cups of broth for 8 ounces of pasta. Pressure cooked 6 minutes, quick released and stirred. It was so easy and delicious.

  84. I’m serving this for ladies next week. What would be colorful and good flavor side dish to serve with it?? 

  85. Love this recipe, it’s a regular in our monthly rotation.  Comes together quickly for weeknight cooking.

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  89. This was sooooo good and comes together in a pinch!!  Your recipes  are amazing!

  90. This one is wonderful. I’ve made with shells when I can’t find the orecchiette. I’ve also substituted sweet Italian sausage when I didn’t have chicken sausage. either way- it’s great and husband-approved. 

  91. This is the one dish my non veggie eater will eat.  I can also make it non-dairy for my daughter.  Makes excellent leftovers for lunch the next day.

  92. Definitely a winner in our house! We’re lucky that one of our favorite vendors at our local Farmers Market sells packages of chicken sausage (no casing!), making this even easier. Last night we sauteed an onion, some chopped red bell pepper, and carrots before browning the sausage to add even more veggies; it turned out delicious!

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  94. Love your recipes…but I was wondering if points have been adjusted to account for the newly added zero points foods. Or do you suggest we just plug into WW recipe creator?

  95. Made this tonight and it was quite good! Followed the recipe exactly with the exception of using turkey sausage instead of chicken, and it worked out perfectly! I love how the broccoli totally breaks-down and coats the pasta as if it were a pesto – such a great idea! Hubby approved, and it was a nice healthy change to our usual creamy sauce-laden pasta dishes. Thanks!!

  96. I fixed this fantastic recipe last night. By mistake, I had purchased Boars’s Head already cooked robust chicken sausage which I had to slice rather than breaking up. This recipe is easy preparation and excellent.  I am looking forward to purchasing the correct sausage and trying again..

  97. This was a great dish we loved it thank you for the recipe. We will definitely make it again and next time I will cut the broccoli even smaller so that the kiddos can’t pick it out

  98. I couldn’t get the sausage out of the casing so I just sliced it. And my broccoli didn’t fall apart like it was supposed to. But it was still delicious! 🙂

  99. What brand of  Italian chicken sausage do you use? Thanks!!

  100. Cheated with a spoonful of Costco pesto at the end, and threw a handful of sundried tomatoes (not marinated) in with the boiling pasta and added the broccoli half way through the the cooking time. That special cheese was worth the splurge too. Awesome! 

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  102. FOR EVERYONE READING THIS; I have made this recipe at least 8+ times and each time it has been wonderful! Definitely a recipe to keep on hand – Sooooo delicious!

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  104. Does it matter if you use hot Italian chicken sausage? Thanks!

  105. This is absolutely delicious! There is just something about orecchiette that I love!

  106. I added mushrooms to mine….favorite in my house too!

  107. This recipe has become an old friend. On the night when we moved into our new apartment and needed something hot, easy and filling. After long, sweaty days of hiking when we could barely wait to eat. The day that I didn’t get into my top choice graduate school. The time I had the flu but still needed to feed my boyfriend’s mother. I’ve made it over and over again, until I memorized the steps. Until the act of making it has become almost as therapeutic as the first delicious smells of sausage and garlic cooking.

    It comes together quickly and easily, leaves minimal mess, and tastes stupendous. Like everyone else said, it’s a fantastic way to get even the pickiest eater to down broccoli–and go back for seconds. I’m not usually sentimental about food and cooking, but this recipe can get me going. So healthy, versatile, and great.
    Thanks Gina!

  108. I made this tonight and we love it!!! I’m curious if it could be adapted to instant pot? I got my first instant pot today and I’m looking forward to trying your one pot spaghetti recipe tomorrow.

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  110. It’s witchcraft!  This is the first time in more than four years I have been able to feed my very picky kid broccoli.  Thank you!

  111. I was wondering if the leftovers for this broccoli dish can b e frozen. Loved it!grace

  112. I always check the comments on recipes before making them so I figured I should leave one! I made this last night and it was DELICIOUS! My boyfriend also really enjoyed this recipe! If you are a steamed/cooked broccoli fan like myself, I suggest using more broccoli. I used over a pound and still wanted more! Thanks for sharing!!

  113. Thisbwas delicious! So fast and easy! I’m all about 1 pot dishes eith 4 kiddos under the age of 5!!! And the kids even loved it!!

  114. This one is a keeper! Quick, easy, and makes enough for left overs! The only thing I would do differently next time is to let the pasta cook a few minutes before putting the broccoli in. By the time the pasta was done, my broccoli had turned to mush! Still tasted GREAT though!

  115. Hi Gina, I made this tonight and it was a big hit! So delicious! Any idea how much saturated fat is in the recipe per serving?

  116. I normally made this dish without meat, Mum called it ‘pasta brocolli’. Will give it away with chicken sausage, certainly sounds good!

  117. Can I use frozen broccoli florets?

  118. This looks delicious. Are there any suggestions for what I can use instead of sausage? I don’t like sausage of any kind (even turkey or chicken sausage) thanks!! 

  119. We make this frequently, ty for the share! 

  120. Just made this and was DELICIOUS!  The whole family approved.  Will make this over and over again.
    It was simple and fast!

  121. Do you have a suggestion for a broccoli substitution? I have 2 in my family that cannot eat it and we haven’t tried broccoli rabe because we are not sure if they will have the same reaction. Thanks!

  122. I know people have asked, but I too have a lot of frozen broccoli andwas wondering if I could sub for fresh. Would I let it thaw first or add from frozen? Thanks Gina, you always reply and have the best recipes!

  123. This is very yummy! My family likes it – even my 16 month old. We’ve used several different types of sausage and it comes out great every time. Thank you 

  124. Made this for the first time today and it quickly made it to the Keeper List!  From the aromas as I made it, to the first tastes from the pot, it became a favorite. The fact that my Ew-It’s-Broccoli 6 year old wanted seconds–well, Gina, my hat, once again, comes off to you. Thanks for sharing!  

  125. Any recommendations for chicken sausage brands? I don’t often see it at my very limited market and what i do see is more of a kielbasa style.

  126. Husband made this tonight. Absolutely awesome! It had so much flavor to it and so easy to make.. My husband loved it too and he is a strict “pasta must be served with sauce” kind of guy. And being a WW member I love the the entire serving as a meal is only 8 Smart Points. 5 stars!! *****

  127. So good!!!!! I used medium shell pasta instead & it was amazing-I love how the broccoli rested a “pesto” type sauce by cooking it with the pasta!!  Thanks Gina!!


  128. Could you use frozen broccoli?

  129. Anyone have a suggestion to modify for the (too much) frozen broccoli I have on hand?? 🙂

  130. Yum! This was great! Simple, healthy and delicious! My kids and husband ate it up! Thank you!!

  131. This was fantastic!  So easy and fast to prepare, and lots of leftovers for tomorrow.

  132. I cannot wait to try this. Thanks for the recipe!

  133. Made it tonight with Roma Chicken sausage from the meat counter at Central Market. It was delicious!

  134. I have to try this recipe for today toddler! Can you recommend any other veggies this might go well in this dish? I think maybe sautéed mushrooms would be great with the pasta, sausage, and broccoli! Any other ideas?

  135. Hi Gina- how many link(s) would this be?  Thanks 

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  137. This is really yummy! I have made a similar recipe, mine cherry tomatoes and small mozarekka balls

  138. What brand of Italian Chicken Sausage do you use? 

  139. This dish sounds amazing but I do not like pecorino romano or parmesan cheese. What cheese can I substitute?

  140. I’m wondering if you could skip the second tablespoon of oil.

  141. One of our favorite recipes!

  142. I make something similar, originally from the Penzeys catalog/website. It adds a little lemon flavor in there too, and it’s delicious. I’ve also used kale. Mmm!

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  144. Hello! Do you think I could use frozen broccoli and cauliflower instead?

  145. Do you think this could be made with broccoli rabe (blanched for 4 or 5 minutes and chopped fine)? I can’t get anyone in my house to eat broccoli, but they do okay with the more typically bitter type greens.

  146. Looks so good.  I will be making this very soon.  One question to Gina or anyone, can this be frozen in individual portions?  

  147. This has become a staple in our house! It is so quick and easy. I use  the Jennie-O Italian seasoned ground turkey and add a bit more seasoning then otherwise follow the recipe. Everyone loves it and can’t believe it’s healthy. The broccoli gives it a pesto-like vibe. Awesome stuff. Kid, husband, and brother approved. 🙂

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  149. Reheating tips??? Making for a new momma and want to be able to tell best way to reheat!! Thanks!

    • I just nuke it in the microwave. My husband hates the micro and reheats it in a pan with some extra olive oil. 

  150. I made it with spinach instead of broccoli and used Dreamfield low-carb rotini 

  151. Can you freeze leftovers?  

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  155. Love this dish!

  156. Very nice recipe and good suggestion to substitute broccoli for the broccoli rabe. Turned out perfect.

  157. I made this for dinner tonight. I use turkey Italian sweet sausage as that was all that was available. This is sooooo good. I’ll definitely be making it again. 

  158. Made this tonight.  So delish. Love the pesto vibe without the guilt. Also, my son loved it!  Win-Win!

  159. Made this last night and it was amazing. I don’t like meat and I even like it, the girls aren’t great veggie eaters and they gobbled it up and hubby kept picking at the pot after he was done with his plate.

    I really liked how the broccoli “melted” itself onto the pasta and sausage. Only change I made was to use ground turkey and a homemade italian sausage seasoning in place to the pre done sausage….only because I can’t stand picking the meat of the casing and it’s a totally personal issue 😐

    Thanks again!

  160. So this is one of my new favorites!  So easy and yummy!! 

  161. This is a new favorite in our home. I added extra garlic and broccoli and was able to get a full serving of vegetables in one sitting. Very easy weeknight meal that is also great the next day.

  162. Gina, how do keep Orecchiette from nesting.? Whenever I cook it I wind up with stacked piles of pasta and the ones in the center are very al dente. Thanks.

    I bought all the ingredients for this today and we’ll have it Monday or Tuesday. Yum!

  163. Sooooo good! Hearty and tasty and easy to makes. I used turkey sausage instead of chicken otherwise followed the recipe. Thank you for sharing your delicious recipes.  

  164. Made this one….very yummy!

  165. Made this a couple of times. Delish!!!!

  166. Made this last night and it was a hit!!! it replaced a recipe that I had made in the past from Emeril Lagasse. Your recipes are making a healthy difference for our family dinners. Thank You.

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  168. Just made this for dinner and family loved it!  I added more garlic and sun dried tomatoes. It was an easy weeknight meal. I also used Italian seasoned ground turkey. 

  169. Favorite go to recipe!! Tastes amazing woth Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Rice and Quinoa pasta! Always
    used broccoli, maybe try other veggies like asparagus?

  170. A delicious hit in my house that has 4 boys all with different tastes!  So easy to make too!!!

  171. Cooking the broccoli as long as the pasta isn’t a good idea.  It gets too mushy.  I loved the combination of the ingredients. But, next time I make it, I’m going to add the broccoli to the boiling pasting half way through.

  172. I made this dish last night and my family loved it!  The pasta seems to cup the broccoli and meat so every bite is perfect.  Not sure if this was supposed to happen, but when I boiled the broccoli with the pasta, the broccoli broke down so much that it was very pesto like, which was perfect.  Yum yum!  Will be making this again for sure 

  173. We loved this recipe!  And my husband was so excited to have real pasta.  (I have been doing a lot of spiralizing lately).  I used half turkey sausage and half pork sausage.  Thanks for the great recipe.  I make your recipes every week and just purchased your cookbooks.  Can’t wait to try those too.

  174. Oh my goodness, I just made this and it is OUT OF THIS WORLD!  I don’t even mean it’s delicious for a light recipe, it is delicious compared to any heavy full fat recipe! No wonder your kids will eat broccoli when cooked this way haha!   Cooking the broccoli that way till it is beyond the point where you’d normally cook it so that it makes basically a pesto without as much oil or cheese is seriously genius! I’m glad I made extra so I can eat this all week long!   Thank you for such a fantastic recipe!!! 🙂

  175. Obviously from the dates of the comments, this must be one of your older recipes. I was just wondering as I read through them if riced broccoli would work in this recipe or if it would be too small. I’m sure you would not be able to cook it very long at all and would have to adjust when you add it. This product has not been available very long, but I find it at Trader Joe’s. I personally love broccoli but my hubby sort of has an aversion to it. Hmmm, I might experiment a little with that.

  176. Delicious! But why remove the casing to the sausage? Mine was so tough to get off!

  177. Loved it, added a squeeze of lemon on top and a dash of EVOO. Thanks!

  178. Surely the broccoli would be overlooked?

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  183. I loved this recipe. Very good and everyone liked it!

  184. Looks delicious! I am not doing dairy right now, any cheese I could do instead that you redommend?

  185. Made this tonight for my family & everyone LOVED it – including picky daughter! Didn’t get 8 servings but gonna recheck pasta weight vs volume as per comment above. 
    One question: why remove the sausage casing? I used TJ’s Sweet Italian sausage & the casing was a devil to remove!

  186. Prepared this dish tonight for my family of four. Didn’t have the correct pasta so I used miniature bow ties, and I added onion to the skillet when browning my sausage. I also used red pepper flakes. We all loved it! The recipe says it feeds eight, but there wasn’t a single morsel left, and I only allowed myself one serving because I’m on WW. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

  187. I made this tonight and my family loved it!!!  My 7 year old only like hot dogs and grilled cheese and she likes it!  

  188. Do you have any suggestions on what to add instead of the Parmesan cheese? My teenager is allergic to dairy (and nuts) so I was wondering if I could use shredded Daiya (non-dairy) cheddar cheese or some other addition to give the same texture plus add flavor? Thanks!

  189. Such a big fan of your blog. I use your recipes at least 3 times a week. For someone who dislikes all forms of sausage, I’m pretty in love with this recipe! Thanks for all of the inspiration!

  190. I made this last night, and we both loved it! I used turkey italian sausage instead of chicken. My husband was afraid of the sausage being turkey, due to a past experience we had making ground turkey. But it was actually really good! He was surprised. I also added the red pepper flakes and I think it was a really good addition. There are just 2 of us, so we had plenty left afterwards. I think we can get 2-3 individual lunches out of it. I also loved how simple it was to prepare! This is going into our meal rotation, for sure.

  191. I’m a big fan of the broccoli-only version of this recipe. Going to make this one next. I love the trick of taking sausage out of the casing — it is basically pre-seasoned ground meat! The timing of the recipe looks perfect. You prep the broccoli and garlic while the water is boiling, and cook the sausage while the pasta and broccoli are cooking!

    One tip – I used the garlic press for this. It’s annoying to wash, but faster than chopping the garlic up.

  192. This was delicious!!!  Used brown rice pasta and hot chicken sausage.   Loved it, and plenty leftovers.  

  193. This orecchiette pasta dish was simple to make and a favorite with my family. I made the recipe as written except I used frozen chopped broccoli. Using frozen broccoli makes this recipe super easy. 

    My takeaway: Use the full amount of broccoli and use the spciy turkey sausage (the raw type that crumbles when you remove the casing prior to cooking).

    The leftovers are very good and make a nice lunch.

  194. So good! Just made for the second time.  I used hot chicken sausage and added some burrata cheese for the adults and then used turkey meatballs for the kids, both really good! Thanks for this easy recipe!

  195. Eating this now — so good! I has italian chicken sausage that wasn’t crumbly, so I just sliced it and browned it. Thank you for all your recipes. I’ve enjoyed everyone I’ve made so far. You and your site are a blessing.

  196. If I use whole wheat pasta does it change the points?

  197. I made this tonight and added a tablespoon of your skinny pesto, that I had just made with fresh basil from the garden. It was absolutely delicious! Thanks so much!

  198. Easy! Delicious! I used sweet italian chicken sasage w/peppers from Fresh Market. Liked the add of xtra red pepper flakes. This was a huge hit. You’ve done it again Gina!! Thank you!!

  199. I never leave reviews for recipes…but wow!!! I was surprised how flavorful this was. This will definitely become a staple in our household. Thanks for the amazing recipe!!

  200. We’ve been eating healthier in my house- LOVE your recipes. Since we stumbled upon this one, we’ve made it three times already…. This is the most broccoli my 7 year old has ever eaten! 

  201. How would you go about making this with spinach? Adding towards the end? How much spinach would you recommend using?

  202. I had a pasta dish similar to this @ the restaurant that used to be in Central Park. I believe it was made with broccoli Rabe. It was SO good. I can’t wait to try this recipe with the broccoli Rabe.

  203. Can you add a little red sauce to this dish. How will that taste. My husband only likes pasta with sauce.

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  208. I made this with Chicken Apple sausage, and it was amazing! I also heated the reserved pasta/broccoli cooking water in the sausage skillet (after I removed the sausage), mostly because I despise scrubbing burnt pans and wanted to loosen all the sausage remnants…it turns out that may add even more flavor! This is a meal that even my picky husband and 7 and 2 year old daughters loved…it’s going into my normal meal rotation! Thank you!

  209. I got six generous servings for 377 cal each! (As per MFP)

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  212. Oh. My. GOODNESS! I am not a huge fan of cooked broccoli but decided to take a risk on this recipe because all of the other ingredients were right up my alley. And the notion of this being similar to pesto was tempting. So delicious! Easy to make, easy on the wallet and so full of flavor. This will be excellent leftovers for my lunch the next few days. I highly recommend this to everyone!

  213.  I have made this and the family liked it alot. I am making it for myself for the week and am splitting the recipe in half. I think the thing that I love best about this recipe is that it can be made for fairly cheap. Always a plus in my book. 

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  215. Delicious! Although I've learned a child intent on not eating any broccoli will take each piece of pasta and wipe off every. tiny. bit. sigh.
    Will have again!

  216. made this last night and it was absolutely AWESOME – thank you so much for the recipe ! I used hot turkey sausage and scaled up the quantities to use the whole pound of pasta – was super easy. We're a houseful of foodies and everyone loved it

    I write a blog as well, though it's not WW friendly at the moment so it's been a little neglected. So glad I found yours, will definitely help with my WW journey…almost there; 86 down, 8 to go.

    Thanks again !

  217. I think people may not be yielding the full 8 servings because they are adding 12 oz of uncooked pasta by volume (1.5 C) vs. 12 oz of uncooked pasta by weight (about 3 C). That would certainly account for the difference. Just a thought anyway.

  218. Soooooo good!!!I didnt have italian sausage so i just used normal chicken sausage with a sprinking of italian seasoning.

  219. How many total carbs?

  220. Excellent! I have spent years avoiding chicken sausage – turns out I can't really tell the difference. Thanks for saving me!

  221. Very good. Thank you for the recipe.

  222. Made this tonight and it was SO delicious as-is. Thank you so much for another outstanding recipe!

  223. Going to make this again tonight–this is really good! Yummy leftovers too. Thanks Gina!

  224. I've been making and feeding my boyfriend your recipes for the past few months now. I made this last night and direct quote "this skinnytaste woman knows what's up"

    Thank you for all of the recipes!

  225. Delicious!

  226. this was really good and easy. i added a bit of lemon juice and a splash of low sodium chicken both just snazz it up a bit.

  227. I made this last night and thought it was pretty good. I used a different pasta because I couldn't find Orecchiette for the life of me in my grocery store. I added red pepper flakes to the sausage and to the pasta itself. For more flavor I'd suggest using a different flavor chicken sausage besides Italian – Al Fresco makes a jalapeno one that is really good. My store also didn't have raw chicken sausage, so I used the pre-cooked, but still removed the casings and browned it a little bit in a pan. If I made this again, I'd probably prefer the sausage cut into slices instead of crumbled. Would make it feel a little heartier to me. I thought it could've used a little more garlic. I definitely got a full 8 servings out of this recipe, so I'm not sure why other people didn't get as many. My husband and I ate at least 2 cups each and there was still a HUGE container left over.

  228. Does anyone know the points plus value if I only get 4 servings out of this; Each of them still measured 1.5 cups, but I'm worried that I ended up eating twice the points.

  229. My daughter and I loved the recipe. I used 16oz of pasta instead of 12oz since that was the size of the bag. I recalculated the points, it was 8 points plus for 8 one cup servings.

  230. I made this last night,and had to come back & thank you,and also mention how delicious it was. I made a big batch,and froze half. I was surprised how much I liked it,and 'he' had two servings! Next time I'll add more broccoli. Also I couldn't find the chicken sausage,so I bought ground chicken,and italian mild ground sausage and mixed them. Awesome. Big thank you.

  231. I love this recipe! Quick question- is the serving size and number of servings correct? I've made this 3 times now and each time I get 4 servings at 1.5 cups…. is anyone getting 8 servings at 1.5 cups??

  232. Great dish!! We all loved it!!

  233. ONgoodness so good. I used turkey sausage, GF pasta and deglazed the skillet after cooking the sausage and used some of the deglaze to deepen the flavor. Delish! Hubs loved and will do this again and again. Thanks for a twist on pasta and veggies.

  234. This was awesome and thoroughly enjoyed at my house. One daughter is vegan, so I'm always looking for recipes where I can make a vegan portion then add the meat/dairy for my other daughter and me. Delicious – thank you!

  235. I grabbed the shredded cheese vs grated – is this a major problem?

  236. Made it with hot italian turkey sausage in place of the chicken, because I couldn't find it in my store. it was a winner! and so quick on a weeknight.

  237. I have so many bags of frozen brochure (they were on sale I went over board)do you think I can use frozen instead of fresh??

  238. Love it! Thanks for recipe!

  239. Another great recipe, I think I'm going to replace the sausage with ground turkey 🙂

  240. I made this last night. I LOVE all of your recipes, but was sorry not to love this one as much. I guess I was disappointed that it didn't have a tremendous amount of flavor. I will make it again though, with more spices and definitely red pepper flakes. It was a hit with my husband and son, a win- win: )

  241. We had this last night, it was so good. We squeezed some fresh lemon on at the end which I thought was a really nice touch.

  242. This looks like something I will be making for time to come amazing !

  243. I only got 4 servings out of this. Anyone else?

    • Same! Nowhere near 8 servings of 1.5 cups each.

    • I reduced it to make three servings, but still ended up only getting 2. Each serving is probably slightly more than a cup and a half, but definitely did not have 4.5 cups worth.

    • I only got 6 and that was cutting it short as some of my servings weren't a dull cup and a half.

    • Are you using the same amount of broccoli? 12 ounces pasta alone makes about 6 cups… sausage is about 1 cup… plus all the broccoli. Perhaps different pasta shapes yield different amounts?

  244. Made tonight. Used trader joes chicken sausage. Was pretty good. Doubled the garlic and added red pepper flakes. Probably a make again because it was super quick and it makes a lot so leftovers for tomorrow's dinner and lunch the next day. Just the two of us 🙂

  245. Made this the other night and it is delicious! One of those dishes that even tastes better the next day.

  246. I made this tonight, substituting Tinkyada gluten free shells pasta for the orecchiette pasta. I thought it was really good. However, my hubby, sadly, was not a fan. I think, mostly, he was disappointed because I told him I was not grilling those sausages. Oh well. I still thought it was really good!

  247. This looks really good! I'm gonna try it this week 🙂

  248. I think this is my new go to easy weeknight dinner!

  249. Nice Pasta, Broccoli and Chicken Sausage you just do the perfect recipe for my week-end

  250. I am a working Mom of 3 (2 school aged and an infant) and nights are tough. I made this last night and everyone ate it!!!! (I have a "buttery noodle kid" so that is saying a lot). I am trying to loose weight after my last and your website is such a help. I rave about you! I just wanted to say "Thank you for all your help!"

  251. Absolutely delicious– and it actually took 20 minutes.. Gina you are amazing!

  252. Think this is freezable? Can't wait to make it this weekend

    • Usually pasta isn't freezable. But, i bet you can freeze the rest, then cook the pasta separately, when you are ready to have it for dinner.

    • I wouldn’t recommend freezing broccoli or cooked pasta.

    • I just read today that if you don’t cook the pasta all the way, you can freeze it. So maybe make a double batch, but only partially cook half the pasta, adding that last after both are cool?

      You may want to otoh just make the sausage recipe and so the pasta and broccoli when you’re ready.


  253. Great combination. Looks delicious!

  254. mmm, orecchiette is my favorite! I don't know what it is about those shapes, but I just love it! definitely making a veggie version of this!

  255. I've had great results substituting extra lean ground turkey mixed with Italian sausage seasonings and I think that would bring the points down. If I brown it slowly it stays nice and moist. What do you think?

  256. I love the flavor that chicken sausage adds to a dish. It is one of my go-to proteins for a quick dinner. Plus, you can find so many flavors these days!

  257. I made this tonight! My husband and I both loved it. Couldn't find chicken sausage with casing at my grocery store, so I just diced the chicken sausage I could find. It browned up perfectly. Thanks for this recipe! It's a make again for sure.

  258. That looks so good. It is always a great idea to get the veggies to a size where they can't be picked out. This sounds flavorful enough that they wouldn't mind some veggie anyway!

  259. I have used Italian Turkey Sausage (I think its Jennie O) and it is very good! I am sure that would be as good as the chicken sausage!

  260. Do you recommend a particular chicken sausage? I've had it in the past and didn't like it. Thank you

  261. Funny, last night I made your Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats. Because I am cooking only for 1 person, I cut the recipe in half. I came back to your site today because I still have 7oz of chicken sausage and was wondering what I could do with it. We must be on the same wavelength! This looks great and I have everything on hand! BTW – the Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats were great!

  262. Is sausage pre cooked before adding in w pasta / broccoli mixture?

  263. Making tonight! One of Dave's favorite dishes! xoxo