Creamy and veggie-packed, this chicken sausage and mushroom penne makes one simple and delicious weeknight meal.
BUT FIRST: While the photos of this recipe aren’t the greatest [thank you sun setting by 5 pm], I can assure you THIS recipe is one Ted has asked for weekly since I made it the week before Christmas.
While most other food-focused bloggers are posting healthy recipes this time of year, I’m just going through the motions and consider getting ONE meal on the table a win. Creamy cheese sauce in January? Yep, you read that right. While this chicken sausage and mushroom penne is not a typical figure-friendly January recipe, the cheese gets balanced out with whole wheat pasta, lean protein, and fresh veggies. It’s about balance, right?! And if my kids eat pasta without complaints, well heck, I’m serving it! And probably putting a few extra veggies on my plate.
You guys know I’m a huge fan of cooking with chicken sausage [recipes here], so when I opened my fridge and spotted ingredients like the sausage, Boursin cheese, and a mixture of mushrooms, penne was on the brain! Alas, chicken sausage and mushroom penne.
The best part about this recipe besides the base of sausage, mushroom, and cheesy sauce, is you can swap out noodles and extra veggies depending on what you have on hand. We always have spinach and onion in the fridge, so I figured that would be my tasty combo. The kids were a little unsure about the cheese sauce and mushrooms, so they enjoyed penne with red sauce + some chicken sausage. Short order cooking? Eh. Probably just a little. But we all ate together and I actually had this meal hot, so I call that a win!
[See all that green?! Totally offsets the cheese sauce… which is the best part of the recipe IMO]
So, those of you prepping and making ultra-healthy recipes this January, you keep doing you. I don’t know what I’d do without you and your recipe inspiration. I’ll just keep doing me. Providing you with some easy weeknight meals that can be made cheesy AND healthy when your craving strikes!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups mushrooms [choose any variety or a mixture], rinsed and rough chopped
- 4-5 chicken sausage links, sliced into ½ inch pieces
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 package Boursin cheese
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 cups penne pasta
- ¼ cup reserved pasta water
- Add oil to large nonstick skillet, heating to medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms, and chicken sausage to skillet. Sautee until mushrooms and onions begin to brown, about 7-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile cook pasta according to package directions.
- While water is boiling and pasta is cooking, add spinach to skillet, stirring until wilted, about 2 minutes.
- Add cheese and milk, continuously stirring until cheese has melted and formed a sauce. Heat through.
- Add cooked pasta and ¼ cup reserved pasta water to skillet. Stir to combine. Serve immediately.