Corn And Sausage Pasta

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Vibrant Corn and Sausage Pasta packs your plate with smoked sausage, crisp corn, saucy tomatoes, and tender spaghetti!

Try some of our other favorite corn-filled pasta dishes like this Vegetable PastaHealthy Pasta Bake, or this simple Corn Pasta.

Overhead view of Corn and Sausage Pasta

Corn And Sausage Pasta

This saucy pasta with corn and tomatoes is a summer dream! It’s rich and indulgent tasting, while still remaining light and fresh. Perfect for those summer days when you’re craving more than a salad, but don’t want something too heavy.

To keep this dish on the lighter side, we use smoked turkey sausage along with incorporating a myriad of veggies. While there is some cream in the dish, overall it’s fairly minimal. Instead, we use tomatoes to form the bulk of the creamy sauce.

QUICK TIP

Love corn and sausage recipes? You’ve got to try this Smoked Sausage, Potatoes, and Corn that is prepared in one skillet! Two other favorites combining sausage and corn: Shrimp and Sausage Recipe and Sausage and Rice.

Process shots: brown sausage; add butter and garlic; then add corn, tomatoes and seasonings

Corn And Sausage Pasta Ingredients

There are a few key ingredients in this Corn and Sausage Pasta worth going into detail on:

  • We recommend using a fully cooked smoked sausage for this recipe. We love using smoked turkey sausage (to keep this dish on the lighter side). You could also use chicken sausage for another light option. If you’d rather use ground sausage, brown it first, then pull it out and set aside (on a paper-towel-lined plate) while preparing the rest of the dish. Add the cooked sausage back in with the cooked pasta.
  • Cherry tomatoes. We love the sweetness and juiciness of cherry tomatoes — they add so much to this dish (serious bonus points for garden-fresh cherry tomatoes!). For especially large cherry tomatoes, quarter them. Otherwise, cutting these tomatoes in half yields the perfect size.

Process shots: sauté ingredients; add stock, cream and Parmesan; simmer to thicken; stir in spinach

Ingredients Continued

  • Spinach: We recommend giving the spinach a coarse chop. While the spinach doesn’t have to be chopped, it does integrate better when chopped in this recipe.
  • Parmesan cheese: For the perfect melt and to ensure the measurement is accurate (so the dish isn’t too salty), use a block of Parmesan cheese and grate it on the small holes of your cheese grater. Measure and add!
  • Basil. While optional, the basil at the end adds an immense flavor and freshness to this dish.
  • Corn. We tested Corn and Sausage Pasta with both frozen and fresh sweet corn — either works great. The cream sauce is a bit thinner with the frozen corn because of the evaporated liquid. For fresh corn, you can boil or grill it before cutting off the kernels if preferred. We like the corn to retain more crispness, so we just cut it off and add it in!

Process shots: cook and drain spaghetti; add to pot and toss to emulsify; add more cheese and basil

How To Make Corn And Sausage Pasta

Here are our top tips for this recipe:

  • Salt the pasta water: Make sure the pasta is well salted as it cooks, since salting the water is the only chance you have to season the actual pasta. Add the salt when the water is boiling and then wait until the water returns to a full boil before adding in the spaghetti pasta. (Read more on how to properly salt your pasta water here.)
  • Emulsify: The final step of vigorously tossing the cream sauce, hot pasta, and reserved pasta water is one of the secrets to Italian pasta. It’s called emulsifying and that’s how you get a luxuriously smooth and incredibly flavorful sauce.
  • Increase the sauce as desired: Sometimes the pasta absorbs more sauce or you just want an extra saucy meal, so don’t be afraid to add in a few splashes of the reserved pasta water until the sauce is exactly how you like it!
  • It’s easy to go on autopilot and dump in the whole package of spaghetti, but this Corn and Sausage Pasta is perfect with 8 ounces (there won’t be enough sauce to cover 16 ounces). Many packages contain 16 ounces, so save the other half to make this dish again some other time!

Closeup view of the recipe, fully prepared

STORAGE

Corn and Sausage Pasta Storage

This recipe is best enjoyed the minute the sauce is emulsified. In fact, this is when all Italian-type pasta dishes taste their best!

You can certainly store leftovers, but you’ll likely need to add some more heavy cream to loosen the sauce again as you reheat the pasta. Leftover pasta will be softer, but still plenty flavorful. Because of the pasta and dairy in this dish, it isn’t a great candidate for freezing and thawing.

Corn and Sausage Pasta in the cooking pan

QUICK TIP

Do you struggle to remember to pull out pasta water before draining the pasta? I know I do! Here’s a trick: Place the colander in the sink with a mug or heat-safe measuring cup in the center. When you go to drain the pasta, you’ll be reminded to pull out some water first!

More Easy Pasta Recipes:

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Corn and Sausage Pasta

5 from 2 votes
Corn and Sausage Pasta packs in the flavor with smoked sausage, crisp corn, saucy tomatoes, and tender spaghetti!
Print Recipe

Corn and Sausage Pasta

5 from 2 votes
Corn and Sausage Pasta packs in the flavor with smoked sausage, crisp corn, saucy tomatoes, and tender spaghetti!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Corn and Sausage Pasta
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pkg (13 oz.) smoked sausage (Note 1)
  • 8 oz. spaghetti (Note 2)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 container (10.5 oz.) cherry tomatoes (~2 cups)
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2-1/2 cups frozen (or fresh) corn (Note 3)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan, separated (Note 4)
  • Optional, for serving: fresh basil, extra grated Parmesan, and a squeeze of lemon juice

Instructions

  • PREP: Slice sausage thinly into coins. Cut cherry tomatoes in half (or quarters if large). Chop spinach coarsely. If using fresh corn, shuck it and then cut off the cob. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • SAUSAGE: Heat a large cast-iron skillet/pot (big enough to hold all the pasta later) over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Add coined sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 6-8 minutes. If there is an excess of grease (more than 2 tbsp), drain some off. To the center of the pan, add 2 tbsp. butter, 2-1/2 tsp. garlic, halved cherry tomatoes, and 2-1/2 cups corn. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I add 1/2 tsp of each, but add to preference). Add in 3/4 tsp. dried thyme. Sauté, stirring frequently, for 5-6 minutes or until tomatoes become saucy and excess liquid is mostly evaporated.
  • PASTA: Once water is boiling, generously salt the water -- I add 2 tsp salt. (Heads-up: remember to save some pasta water--See Note 5.) Cook the pasta according to package instructions--minus 1 minute from what the package indicates. Drain.
  • FINISHING: Back to the sauce: reduce heat to low and add 1/2 cup cream, and 1/3 cup Parmesan. Stir. Bring to a low simmer and simmer until thickened and cheese is melted, about 1-2 minutes. Next add 4 cups chopped spinach, drained cooked pasta, and a squeeze of lemon (if using). Switch to tongs. Tossing constantly, gradually add in the last 1/3 cup Parmesan, a tablespoon at a time until pasta and sauce are nicely emulsified (Note 6). Add an extra splash of cream or reserved pasta water, if needed, to thin the sauce. Toss until nice and creamy. Top individual plates with additional grated Parmesan and basil if desired. Enjoy!

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Sausage: We use a fully cooked smoked sausage for this recipe. We love using smoked turkey sausage (to keep this dish on the lighter side). You could also use chicken sausage for a lighter option. If you'd rather use ground sausage, brown it first, then pull it out and set aside (on a paper-towel-lined plate) while preparing the rest of the dish. Add the cooked sausage back in with the cooked pasta.
Note 2: Spaghetti: Make sure to only use 8 ounces (this is half of a standard 1 pound/16 ounce package). The sauce won't coat the entire package well.
Note 3: Corn: We tested this dish with both frozen and fresh sweet corn -- either works great. The cream sauce is a bit thinner with the frozen corn because of the evaporated liquid. For fresh corn, you can boil or grill it before cutting off the kernels if preferred. We like the corn to retain more crispness so we just cut it off the cob and add it in!
Note 4: Parmesan cheese: Grab a block of Parmesan and grate it on the small holes of a grater. Alternatively, use finely grated Parmesan cheese. (Parmesan from the can will be too salty and won't melt into the sauce nicely.)
Note 5: Saving pasta water: We want to save some pasta water to thicken the sauce. Here's a trick to remember: set a large colander in the sink with a glass or ceramic mug in the center of the colander. When you drain pour off the pasta water, you'll see the mug and be reminded to fill it first.
Note 6: Emulsifying: Toss until you get the sauce clings to the spaghetti instead of falling to the bottom of the pan. (The final step of tossing the cream sauce, hot pasta, and reserved pasta water is one of the secrets to good pasta dishes. It’s called emulsifying and that’s how you get a luxuriously smooth and incredibly flavorful sauce.)

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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