Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage and Greens

This Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage and Greens recipe landed on the cover of our Collards & Kale Cookbook! Most of the recipes there are new but we did include a few old favorites like this. Check out the Collards & Kale cookbook for more healthy recipes with greens.

Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage and Greens

Who’s ready for some pasta? Or simply anything that doesn’t have turkey in it? Don’t get me wrong, I love the Thanksgiving feast. In fact, I look forward to having some leftovers for supper tonight. But I suspect that you might be ready for a recipe that doesn’t have turkey in it, so thought I’d share this Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage and Greens recipe that has been waiting in the wings for a bit.

You will certainly find many variations on the theme of pasta with sausage and veggies here at Cooking Chat. With all the serious eating going on in this holiday season, I thought you might appreciate this version featuring rigatoni with chicken sausage, which has quite a bit less fat content than pork sausage. I used a chicken sausage with roasted red peppers and garlic, which brings some nice flavor to the dish.

The other key variation on the pasta with sausage and greens theme is the use of packaged mixed cooking greens. I used the Cut ‘N Clean Euro Greens mix, which combines chard, mustard greens, turnip greens, and kale. This package provides a nice variety of flavors and nutrients, and saves you some prep time. As you may have noticed, I’ve been having fun with a big batch of Cut ‘N Clean greens lately, making tasty items like this Kale Pesto Crostini.

These healthy greens get piled high in the skillet, but soon cook down to a manageable level!

Mixed Greens in Skillet for Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage dish

The greens take about 10 minutes to wilt, as they simmer covered with the onion mixture and chicken broth. Then the previously browned sausage gets added in to finish cooking. Meanwhile, you get your pasta cooked, then toss it together with the greens and feta cheese. You’re ready for a tasty, healthy meal! Check out the full recipe Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage and Greens instructions after the wine pairing notes.

Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage and Greens

Wine Pairing: I thought the spice in the sausage would get picked up nicely by a Zinfandel, so I served the 2009 Amphora Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma with our Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage and Greens. We were pleased with the choice. I tasted lush fruit–blueberry comes to mind–along with chocolate and cinnamon. I know, sounds like dessert, but it’s definitely good with this pasta dish! 

Amphora Zinfandel served with Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage and Greens


Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage and Greens
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Rigatoni with Sausage and Greens provides good nutritions from healthy mixed greens and lean chicken sausage. Tasty with plenty of onions and garlic!
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ orange or yellow bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small chicken sausage w roasted red pepper and garlic, or other sausage of your choice
  • 8 to 10 oz package mixed cooking greens such as Cut 'N Clean Euro Greens
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • pinch red pepper
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • 12 ozs rigatoni or other short pasta shape
  • salt to taste
  1. Coat a large skillet with oil spray, and heat to medium high. Add the sausage to the pan, cook about 5 minutes, turning occasionally to brown the sausage. Remove the sausage and set aside for later.
  2. Add 1 tbsp olive oil in the skillet, then stir in onions to sauté. After the onion has cooked for a few minutes, add the peppers.
  3. Sauté the onions and peppers for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, cook for another minute.
  4. Start boiling water for the pasta at this time.
  5. Stir the greens into the skillet, doing so in a few batches. They are high volume to start but will cook down quickly. Add the broth, red pepper flakes and salt to taste.
  6. Cover the skillet, and cook the greens for 10 minutes on medium low.
  7. Cut the chicken sausage into thin slices, then stir into the skillet after the greens have cooked for 10 minutes. Cook another 10 minutes covered. (this cooking time is for sausage not previously cooked, you can skip to the next step if you bought pre-cooked sausages).
  8. Start cooking the pasta around the same time you add the sausage to the pan, and cook according to package instructions.
  9. Remove the cover from the skillet, stir, and cook another 5 minutes uncovered. Keep warm while the pasta finishes cooking.
  10. Drain the pasta. Toss with the remaining tbsp olive oil, then stir in the sausage and greens mixture, followed by the feta cheese. Serve and enjoy!

Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage and Greens


  1. […] Wine Pairing: Yes, this roasted asparagus with mushrooms is red wine friendly, but you still need to pick a wine that isn’t particularly tannic. Given that I also had steak on the plate, I wanted something at least medium bodied, but soft on the tannins. I chose the 2009 Amphora Kylix red blend from Dry Creek in Sonoma County. I’d previously enjoy several Zinfandels from Amphora, such as the one I served up with this rigatoni and sausage dish. […]

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