Sausage Alfredo Pasta

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This creamy Sausage Alfredo Pasta combines penne pasta, smoked sausage, and a seasoned Alfredo sauce to deliver a restaurant-worthy meal. This dinner can be ready in about 30 minutes or less making it a perfect weeknight dinner.

For a lightened-up Sausage Alfredo pasta with veggies (onion, peppers, and mushrooms) try our Cajun Sausage Pasta.

Overhead image of the Sausage Alfredo pasta

Sausage Alfredo Pasta

Once you try this recipe, you’ll never want to make Sausage Alfredo with jarred sauce again!

This creamy Alfredo sauce is insanely easy to make and loaded with flavor! To keep things as quick and easy as possible (weeknight dinner recipe alert!), the only thing you’ll need to chop for this recipe is the sausage. Other than that, you can use pre-minced (jarred) garlic and nothing else needs diced or chopped.

The sauce packs a serious punch of flavor with minimal ingredients. We do this by adding in some cajun seasoning to introduce a slight hit of heat, along with a smoky, garlicky, and peppery flavor. Of course, if you prefer less heat, feel free to reduce the amount. And, on the flip side, if you’re a heat lover, increase the amount to personal taste preference.


Try some of our other favorite Alfredo recipes–this Chicken Alfredo Recipe, this lightened-up Chicken Alfredo, or this Chicken Broccoli Alfredo.

Process shoots--images of the sausage being cooked and browned and then being set aside and the butter and garlic being added to the pot

Can You Put Sausage In Alfredo?

You can’t go wrong with adding sausage to a creamy pasta recipe–it’s the perfect combination!

This particular recipe features smoked sausage in the sauce, but for a ground Italian sausage Alfredo sauce, try this Creamy Sausage Pasta

Do You Cook Sausage Before Putting It In Sauce?

Yes! Even though smoked sausage is fully cooked, we recommend sautéing it first for this recipe. There are a couple reasons for doing this:

  • It builds flavor. The drippings and any browned bits left behind from cooking the sausage add so much flavor to the creamy Alfredo sauce.
  • It makes the sausage more flavorful. Color=flavor and adding some color to the sausage improves the texture and flavor of the sausage.

Process shots of Sausage Alfredo Pasta-- images of the cream sauce being made


Sausage Alfredo Variation Ideas

Make Shrimp and Sausage Alfredo

After sautéing and then removing the sausage, add in some shrimp. Here’s what to do:

Add in 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter to the same pan. While the butter melts, add salt to the shrimp (I add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon). Toss gently. As soon as the butter is melted, add shrimp in one even layer so shrimp is not overlapping. (It will steam if the pan is too crowded.) Cook for 1 minute, then use tongs to flip each shrimp over and cook on the other side for 1 more minute. Transfer cooked shrimp to a clean plate. Return shrimp to the pan at the end!

Make Chicken and Sausage Alfredo

After sautéing and then removing the sausage, follow directions for cooking chicken in this Buffalo Chicken Pasta recipe. Remove chicken and rest, tented with foil. Dice or thinly slice then add back in at the end!

Or make a chicken, shrimp, and sausage Alfredo by cooking each component separately (in the same pan–this will build layers of flavor!) and then returning it back into the pasta at the end.

Process shots-- images of the cream sauce, pasta, and meat being all combined and mixed together

How To Make Sausage Alfredo

  • Salt the pasta water: Salting the water is the only chance you have to season the actual pasta, so make sure the penne pasta is well salted as it cooks (otherwise this entire Sausage Alfredo Pasta will taste under-seasoned).
  • Sauté sausage: Once the sausage is sautéed, add to a plate and tent with foil. 
  • Toss together sauce: Don’t wipe out the pan! We’ll prepare the sauce in the same pan building on the flavor left from sautéing the sausage. We add some Cajun seasoning to make a Cajun Sausage Alfredo–you’ll be amazed how much flavor this adds!
  • Emulsify! Now here’s the secret to the best Italian pasta recipes–emulsifying! Tossing the hot pasta with the Alfredo sauce and reserved pasta water is called emulsifying and that’s how you get a wonderfully smooth and flavorful sauce that clings to the pasta instead of falling to the bottom of the pot!

Up-close overhead image of the Sausage Alfredo Pasta ready to be enjoyed



This Sausage Alfredo is best enjoyed the minute the sauce is emulsified. In fact, this is when all pasta dishes taste their best!

You can certainly store leftovers, but you’ll 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.

What To Serve With Sausage Alfredo Pasta:

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Sausage Alfredo Pasta

5 from 2 votes
This creamy Sausage Alfredo Pasta combines penne pasta, smoked sausage, and a seasoned Alfredo sauce to deliver a restaurant-worthy meal. This dinner can be ready in about 30 minutes or less making it a perfect weeknight meal.
Print Recipe

Sausage Alfredo Pasta

5 from 2 votes
This creamy Sausage Alfredo Pasta combines penne pasta, smoked sausage, and a seasoned Alfredo sauce to deliver a restaurant-worthy meal. This dinner can be ready in about 30 minutes or less making it a perfect weeknight meal.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword sausage alfredo, Sausage Alfredo Pasta
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Chelsea Lords
Calories 1246kcal
Cost $9.12


  • 1 pkg. (16 oz.) penne pasta
  • Fine sea salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pkg. (13 oz.) smoked sausage, thinly sliced
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic (or use 1 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning (Note 1)
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: paprika and dried oregano
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1-1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano (Note 2)
  • Optional: fresh parsley, for garnish


  • PASTA: Heads-up: you'll need to save pasta water before draining! Bring a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling, add in 1 tablespoon fine sea salt. Add in all the penne pasta and boil, stirring occasionally, until it's "al dente" according to package directions (lowest time indicated on package). Before draining, remove 1 cup of pasta water. Drain but do not rinse in cold water.
  • SAUSAGE: Place a large cast iron skillet/pot (big enough to hold all the pasta later) over medium-high heat. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon oil. Once oil is hot, add the sliced sausage. Let sear, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned (smoked sausage is cooked through, so no need to get to a certain temperature). Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a large bowl, leaving any grease behind (If there is more than 1 tablespoon, drain it off). Set sausage aside for now.
  • SAUCE: In same pot (don't wipe it out), add butter and melt over medium-high heat. Once melted, add in garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Pour in the cream, cajun seasoning, paprika, oregano, and pepper to taste (I add 1/4 tsp.). As soon as mixture boils, turn heat down to medium low. Simmer until thickened, about 1-3 minutes (See Note 3).
  • SAUCE, CONT.: Once thickened, remove pan from heat. Stir in the finely grated Parmesan cheese until melted and sauce is mostly smooth. Dump drained pasta right on top of the sauce plus 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Return sausage and add optional parsley. Return pan to heat. Turn to medium and toss gently with tongs until the pasta and sauce emulsify (cling together) nicely. This takes about 1 minute. Add additional pasta water if needed (if it's looking dry/stodgy!). Taste and add a pinch of salt if needed.
  • ENJOY: Remove from heat and serve right away! Garnish plates with fresh parsley plus a sprinkle more of cheese if desired.


Recipe Notes

Note 1: Cajun seasoning. This seasoning can vary a lot from brand to brand. We personally use McCormick’s® Perfect Pinch Cajun or Tony Chachere’s® Original Creole Seasoning (neither sponsored).  You can also make your own Cajun seasoning mix if you’d prefer. Whatever you use, add slowly and to taste. Cajun seasoning is also often salted, which is why we don't add any extra salt to the sauce.
Note 2: Parmesan cheese: This ingredient makes the biggest difference to the overall flavor in the recipe. And while this recipe is designed to be quick and easy, don't try to shortcut the cheese. Do not use canned or pre-shredded/grated Parmesan--the sauce won't work (cheese doesn't melt smoothly and you'll be left with a big clump). Instead, use a block of cheese to grate finely on the small sides of a cheese grater or Microplane. If you're looking for some extra umph, try Parmigiano Reggiano--it's incredible in this dish.
Note 3: Thickness check: The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Lift up the spoon and immediately trace a line across the back of the spoon with your fingertip. If the line retains a clear track, the sauce is thick enough. If not, the sauce needs to be simmered a bit longer.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 1246kcal | Carbohydrates: 94g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 79g | Saturated Fat: 40g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 26g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 210mg | Sodium: 1464mg | Potassium: 602mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2586IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 412mg | Iron: 3mg

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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