Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage, Peppers and Escarole

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Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage, Peppers, and Escarole is a colorful, flavorful dish your whole family is sure to enjoy.

A bowl of Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage, Peppers and EscaroleChicken Sausage Peppers and Escarole Pasta

I was so excited when a former coworker shared this escarole pasta dish with me because I’m a huge fan of escarole! If you’ve never cooked with escarole, you definitely need to try it. This recipe cooks in about 20 minutes, so it’s perfect for a busy weeknight. You can even do all the vegetable prep earlier in the day, so everything’s ready to go at dinnertime. Some other favorite Italian escarole recipes are my Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage, Escarole, and Beans and Escarole Soup with Turkey Meatballs.

What is escarole? 

Escarole is a mildly bitter, leafy green that looks like lettuce. It’s part of the chicory family, which also includes endive and radicchio. If you can’t find escarole in your grocery store, you can use spinach or Swiss chard.

Where to Buy Italian Chicken Sausage

Not all chicken sausages are alike, so it’s a good idea to know your butcher or the person making the sausage if possible. I sampled a few Italian chicken sausages from different stores before I found a favorite made with all white meat at a nearby Italian specialty store. Living in New York, I’m fortunate to have some great Italian resources nearby. If you can’t find chicken sausage, turkey sausage would also work. 

Italian Chicken Sausage Pasta Variations:

  • Use spinach, kale, Swiss chard, or another leafy green as an escarole substitute. 
  • Swap turkey sausage for the chicken sausage. If you can’t find uncooked sausage, use cooked chicken sausage and thinly slice it.
  • Sub the red bell pepper for yellow or green ones or use a mix of colors.
  • Add sliced mushrooms if you’d like more veggies.
  • Skip the red pepper flakes if you’re not a fan of spicy foods.
  • Make this dish gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta.

A bowl of escarole.

Chopped veggies on a cutting board.

Uncooked Italian chicken sausage.

chicken sausage chunks and veggies satueed in a pan.

Escarole on a plate

More Pasta Recipes You’ll Love:

A bowl of Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage, Peppers and Escarole
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Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage, Peppers and Escarole

Yield: 6 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: Italian


  • 12 oz Ronzoni Smart taste pasta, or whole wheat or low carb
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 lb Italian chicken sausage, removed from casing
  • 1 medium head escarole, rinsed and torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste


  • Rinse escarole and tear into bite sized pieces.
  • Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water.
  • Reserve 1 cup water before draining.
  • While pasta water boils, heat a large non-stick skillet on medium heat.
  • Add olive oil; when hot add onions, peppers, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon and cook until golden, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Add escarole, cover and cook 2 minutes; remove the cover, stir and cook about 3 more minutes or until wilted.
  • Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add cooked pasta, red pepper flakes, reserved water and Parmigiano Reggiano, toss well and transfer to a large serving bowl.
  • Serve immediately.


Serving: 1-1/2 cups, Calories: 297.7kcal, Carbohydrates: 47.2g, Protein: 20.6g, Fat: 5.5g, Fiber: 7.5g, Sugar: 1.1g
Blue Smart Points: 8
Green Smart Points: 9
Purple Smart Points: 8
Points +: 8
Keywords: 20-Minute Teriyaki Salmon and Vegetables, Kid Friendly