Turkey Sausage & Veggie Penne Pasta (Alex's Pasta)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Alex's pasta?? Huh? Who is Alex?? Glad you asked! ;) Alex is my BFF and roomie from college (GO PACK) who just so happened to be a very picky eater as a child (and an adult until I force fed her into liking new foods hehe). When we met in college she literally ate baked potatoes for dinner hahaha ya girl loves potatoes! Anyways, this recipe is adapted from one that her mom wrote when Alex was a little girl and hated red sauce. I love it because it is SO simple, uses minimal dishes and easily adaptable to what you have in your kitchen! 

I didn't change much from the original recipe, just swapped turkey sausage for pork and added different/more veggies and seasonings! 

All the colors! Green, red, orange and yellow peppers, garlic, yellow onion, Brussel sprouts and broccoli
You can use whatever veggies you like, but I definitely recommend peppers. The pepper and sausage combination is like no other! Some other veggies I have tried with this recipe that aren't pictured: asparagus (cut into 1 inch pieces), red onion, spinach, cherry tomatoes. 

I love this turkey sausage! Make sure you get smoked or Italian seasoned.
One of my goals with every new client is to teach them that eating healthy doesn't mean eating boring foods! One of the ways I add flavor to my plate is by browning. Brown= flavor = YUM! Browning the turkey sausage first, and then cooking the veggies in the same pan is a necessity to this recipe. Cut the sausage into bite-size pieces, put into large non-stick pan and let brown (don't stir!) for 2-3 minutes and then mix around to get the other side. Then remove from the pan and add a leeeetle bit of water (like 1/4 cup) and then the broccoli. Put a lid on the pan and let the broccoli soak up that goodness and brown for a couple minutes (more detailed instructions below) before adding the other veggies. Trust me, you don't want to skip this part! I also threw my Brussel sprouts in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes to brown those before adding to the pan with the rest of the veggies (don't cook them all the way!) 

Just look at that beautiful browning! *drool I can taste the extra flavor from here! 
Y'all may have noticed that since I moved to Texas my spicy tolerance has gone WAY up and I love to add Sriracha, red pepper flakes or jalapeños to just about everything. So I added Sriracha and red pepper flakes to this recipe to spice it up a bit and I ain't ever going back! However, if you're not a "spicy" person, simply leave them out :) 

I'm not going to post the macros for this one, because there are so many changing variables (type of pasta, veggies, meat). Just make sure you are only getting about 1 cup of cooked pasta!
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins

1/2 box whole wheat penne pasta
2 lbs smoked turkey sausage (pre-cooked)
1 head broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
1 bunch (bag) brussel sprouts, cut in halves
1 green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces 
1 yellow pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 orange pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1-inch pieces 5-8 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Red pepper flakes
1 tbsp (or to taste) Sriracha


  1. Cook pasta as directed, drain and set aside. 
  2. Cut turkey sausage into bite-size pieces and put into heated non-stick skillet. Let brown (don't stir/move sausages!) for about 3 minutes, then flip and brown on the other side (you don't have to tediously flip each sausage, just move 'em around) and then remove from skillet. DON'T WIPE OFF SKILLET!
  3. Add about 3 tbsp - 1/4 cup water to skillet and add broccoli and about 2 tbsp olive oil. Cover and let steam/brown for about 3 minutes. (Optional: pre-heat oven to 400 and roast brussel sprouts in olive oil for 10 minutes) Stir and then add brussel sprouts if you did not roast them first. Let cook for about 5 minutes and then add remaining veggies about about 2 tbsp olive oil. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and Sriracha and cook until veggies are tender. 
  4. Stir in cooked noodles and sausage. May need to add more olive oil at this point. Stir to coat and serve! 

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