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Sausage Arugula and Spinach Pasta

This Sausage Arugula and Spinach Pasta is a perfect quick recipe for your weeknight dinner! It’s light yet hearty and full of flavor.

Pasta dinners don’t always have to be heavy. In fact, some of my favorite pastas are those with light sauces like Linguine Aglio E OlioMacaroni and Tomatoes with Greens or Spaghetti with Browned Butter and Mizithra

And also this Sausage Arugula and Spinach Pasta. It is a complete meal all in one! The greens, the protein, the carbs. It’s all there. An it is so delicious.

What Ingredients You’ll Need: 

Overhead photo of ingredients needed for sausage arugula pasta.
  • PENNE PASTA: Penne works great in this recipe but you can use any short pasta that you like. This would also be great with ziti or rotini. You’ll also need to reserve some of the pasta water so don’t forget!
  • ITALIAN SAUSAGE: To make this pasta even lighter, you can use turkey Italian Sausage instead of pork Italian Sausage. If you use the links, just remove the casing by cutting a little slit in the casing and peeling it off.
  • SHALLOT: Shallots have a delicate sweet flavor. It’s a subtle onion flavor but not over powering.
  • DRIED OREGANO: You can also use fresh if you have some on hand. You’ll want to use 2 teaspoons of fresh.
  • CRUSHED RED PEPPER: Depending on how sensitive you (or those you are feeding) are to spice you can use less or more than the 1 teaspoon that the recipe calls for. If you’re unsure start with 1/4 teaspoon.
  • BABY ARUGULA: Arugula is one of my favorite greens! It is lightly bitter and peppery.
  • SPINACH: You can use baby or regular spinach for this recipe.
  • PARMESAN: A healthy grating of fresh parmesan over the top of this pasta adds just the right amount of salty flavor.


You’ll only need two pots/pans for this recipe: one large pot to boil the pasta and another large pan for the other ingredients. You do need the second pan to be large enough to fit the pasta. I like to use a large braiser pan.

STEP #1: Cook the pasta according to package directions. Before draining your pasta remember to reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. This will be used for the sauce later in the recipe.

STEP #2: Brown the sausage until cooked through then strain grease. Set sausage aside.

STEP #3: In the same pan, saute olive oil, shallots, garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper.

STEP #4: Return the sausage to the pan and add the cooked pasta as well as the arugula, spinach and reserved pasta water. Cook just until the greens wilt. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with parmesan.

This recipe comes together in under 30 which makes it perfect for busy weeknights or nights when you just don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen.


Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and this pasta reheats beautifully the next day!


Why reserve pasta water?

Pasta water is full of the starch from the pasta. This starch acts as a binder and helps bring sauces together.

Do you eat the stems of Arugula?

Yes! You can. The leaves, stems, flowers and seeds of arugula are all edible.

If you’re looking for more arugula recipes, check these out:

This Spinach, Arugula, Cranberry and Walnut Salad is the PERFECT salad for your holiday celebrations.

Looking for a hearty salad? This Crispy Chickpea and Arugula Salad is protein packed and will keep your belly satisfied all day.

Arugula’s peppery flavor makes it the perfect green to top these Ribeye Steak Sandwiches.

Note: This post was originally published in 2009. It was updated with new photos, nutrition information, tips and a slightly modified recipe in 2022.

Sausage Arugula Spinach Pasta

This pasta loaded with garlic, sausage and greens is a delicious light dish, perfect for those of us wanting to lighten things up a bit.
4.5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 760 kcal



  • 12 ounces dried penne pasta
  • 16 ounces Italian Sausage casings removed
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper optional
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to box directions. Strain but reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Set cooked pasta aside.
  • While your pasta is cooking brown sausage in a pan over medium heat, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a colander to strain grease. Set aside.
  • To the same pan that you cooked the sausage in add olive oil, shallot, garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper. Cook until shallot is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Return sausage to the pan, add cooked pasta, arugula, spinach and reserved pasta water. Toss to combine and cook for 2 minutes or just until the greens wilt. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer to serving platter, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.




Calories: 760kcalCarbohydrates: 68gProtein: 30gFat: 40gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 968mgPotassium: 654mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1851IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 138mgIron: 3mg
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Keywords: arugula, italian sausage, pasta, pastas, Recipe, Spinach

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

  • Reply
    February 19, 2024 at 5:47 pm

    4 stars
    Maybe my sausage wasn’t fatty enough… but this was really dry and kind of bland before I doctored it. Added a full cup of pasta water, some more olive oil and a fair amount of parmesan. Extra greens. Some lemon zest really helped. Eventually it was a very tasty pasta

    • Reply
      February 19, 2024 at 9:32 pm

      I am glad you were able to adjust the recipe to turn it into something that you loved! I’ll have to try the lemon zest next time :)

  • Reply
    September 19, 2023 at 10:40 am

    5 stars
    This was refrigerator clean out day, made this with some minced onion, a small amount of roasted chicken breast, pesto, spinach and arugula mix. Amazing.

    • Reply
      September 24, 2023 at 9:41 pm

      That sounds so good, Kristina! Glad you enjoyed it!!

  • Reply
    January 17, 2010 at 9:45 am

    As a recent college student, I’ve been living on ramen and processed food. On a whim, I decided to try out this recipe, and, besides being utterly delicious, has completely revolutionized the way I see food. I know now that I can actually cook for myself, and with ingredients that won’t kill me in the future.

    So thank you for that :)

    • Reply
      January 18, 2010 at 9:37 pm

      Kim- Thank you for your nice comments. I am happy to hear that I was able to help you move away from processed food. I hope you enjoy all your new cooking experiences! :)

  • Reply
    November 30, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Wow, this was really, really good. My grocery story didn’t have Arugula but it was fantastic anyway. Definitely cooking this again

    • Reply
      December 1, 2009 at 11:41 am

      Samantha- Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed it! I’m happy to hear it :)

  • Reply
    November 21, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Marion- I haven’t had too much experience with radish greens but I’m sure just about any greens would work. I hope you enjoy this just as much as you enjoyed the sausage, peppers and onions :)

  • Reply
    November 19, 2009 at 7:03 am

    I loved your fettucine with sausage, peppers and onions, so I know I’ll like this. I don’t know if I will be able to find baby arugula here in the boondocks but they will have the baby spinach.

    I’m wondering how a few sprigs of water cress would work in this, or even radish greens. Because of the holidays radishes and their greens are plentiful.

  • Des

    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

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