Orecchiette Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli is one of my favorite weeknight pasta dishes, a real crowd-pleaser, and my husband even goes back for seconds. This is the only way I can get Madison to eat broccoli, 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!).
Yield: 8 servings
4.96 from 44 votes

Orecchiette Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Orecchiette Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli is one of my favorite weeknight pasta dishes, a real crowd-pleaser, and my husband even goes back for seconds. This is the only way I can get Madison to eat broccoli, 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!).

Ingredients

  • 14 oz package Italian chicken sausage (casing removed)
  • 12 oz uncooked pasta (or brown rice or quinoa pasta for gluten-free)
  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 11/2 cups, Calories: 284kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 321mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 2g
Freestyle Points: 8
Points +: 8