This One Pan Cheesy Pasta is the perfect option for a busy week. Make it an Italian night with just 20 minutes!
Some days you just really need to take it easy on yourself. The pressure to make an impressive dinner that everyone will enjoy can feel a bit overwhelming when life is throwing a million other things at you! That’s where this delicious One Pan Cheesy Pasta comes in!
First of all, this isn’t a recipe that’s going to lead to arguments from a lot of picky eaters–Hallelujah! It feels like comfort food, and it’s easy to substitute different meats, pastas, or cheeses if you prefer. I served mine with these Air Fryer Baby Potatoes and it was a huge hit!
Second, this recipe is super quick. As long as your Italian sausage is thawed, you can have it ready to serve in less than half an hour! If you’re a meal prepper, browning that Italian sausage up to 3 days before the meal can save you another 5 minutes or so!
Lastly, there is very little cleaning involved! Everything is cooked in one pan, so you don’t have to worry about having to tackle a sink full of dishes when you’re finished. You can just portion out leftovers for tomorrow’s lunches, then sit back and relax!
One Pan Cheesy Pasta Ingredients
This recipe uses so many pantry staples, making it an easy go-to meal! Scroll down to see specific amounts, but here’s a quick overview of what you need:
- Italian sausage: regular or spicy.
- Canned tomatoes
- Canned tomato sauce
- Elbow noodles (I use gluten-free pasta)
- Beef broth
- Milk: regular milk, almond milk, or any other milk alternative.
- Cheese (I used parmesan, cheddar, and mozzarella)
- Spices: Italian, garlic powder, onion, salt, and pepper
How do I make One Pan Cheesy Pasta?
This recipe is so easy, and it doesn’t even dirty up many dishes! You’ll only need one pan (with a tight-fitting lid) for this delicious pasta. Even better, it will take less than 30 minutes to make it to the table!
- The first step is to brown the sausage in a large skillet. Make sure to pick a nice, deep skillet that has a well-fitting lid. When sausage is nicely browned, drain off the grease.
- Next, you’ll want to stir in the tomatoes (drained), broth, milk, tomato sauce, and spices. You’ll bring this mixture to a nice simmer, then stir in the pasta.
- Cover with a lid and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When all of the liquid is absorbed, you are ready to top with cheese and serve!
Tips & Tricks for the BEST Cheesy Pasta
- Make sure to use a large, deep pan with a well-fitting lid. Without a lid, your liquid will evaporate before your pasta is cooked throughout.
- This recipe can be made gluten free by simply using gluten-free pasta!
- While I used three different cheeses, you can use what you have on hand. You just need 1 1/2 cup total, so feel free to mix and match whatever cheeses you desire!
- You can swap the milk for a different liquid (more broth, a dairy-free milk alternative, heavy cream, etc.), but this will affect the creaminess of the dish. Thinner liquids will result in it being less creamy.
- You can use different pasta if you don’t have elbow noodles available. I think the sauce works best with short, sturdy pasta, so alternatives like bowtie, penne, or rigatoni would likely work best.
Can I make Cheesy Pasta ahead of time?
Yes, this meal is perfect for meal prepping! If you don’t want to make the entire thing ahead of time, you could at least brown the Italian sausage on your prep day, saving you about 5 minutes.
If you want, you can even make this entire dish MINUS THE CHEESE 1-3 days early and store it in an air-tight container the refrigerator. To reheat, simply pour the dish into a skillet, cover, and heat on medium-low. Stir occasionally, and feel free to add an extra splash of milk if it seems a bit dry. When it is warmed throughout, top with cheese and serve!
More One Pan Recipes
I love the ease and quick cleanup of One-Pan recipes; don’t you? Here are a few of my favorites:
- Cheesy Chicken & Spinach Pasta
- Easy Sheet Pan Fajitas (low carb, keto)
- Broccoli Cheddar Chicken (low carb, keto)
- Cheesy Italian Pasta (similar to this one but with veggies)
- Easy Bacon Cheeseburger Mac
- Sesame Chicken Stir Fry (low carb, keto)
- Philly Cheesesteak Skillet (low carb, keto)
- Lemon Parmesan Chicken (low carb, keto)
- Mexican Chicken & Rice
- Pork Chops with Cream Sauce (low carb)
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomatoes, drained
- 1 cup broth beef broth
- 1 cup milk
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper
- 1 1/2 cup elbow noodles (I use Barilla gluten free elbows)
- 1/2 cup parmesan
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
- 1/2 cup mozzarella (or you can just use 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella total)
- In a large skillet, brown the sausage over medium heat, then drain off any grease.
- Add the drained can of tomatoes, broth, milk, tomato sauce, and the spices.
- Increase heat to medium high until the mixture begins to simmer.
- Then stir in noodles and reduce heat to low. Cover and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes.
- When noodles are tender, stir in the cheese.
Serving Size:1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 461Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 1246mgCarbohydrates: 21gNet Carbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 26g