Sausage and Pepper Pasta made with lean turkey sausage, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and a quick and easy tomato sauce is an easy, tasty weeknight dinner.
Sausage and peppers is one of my favorite ball game treats. However, I'm not always at a ball game and I'll find myself sometimes during the week wanting this dish, but in a heartier version than just a simple sandwich.
Enter, this Sausage and Pepper Pasta Shells dish. The recipe was inspired by those ballpark peppers and sausage flavors, but of course, turned into an easy (but very flavorful) pasta dish. My version is made with turkey sausage, peppers, sweet onion, mushrooms, and fire roasted tomatoes.
The best part about this dish is that you can use any type of pasta you like. However, I have to say that I love the shell-shaped pasta the most for this recipe since their pockets will fill with the sausage and tomato goodness, which makes them sandwich-like, in a way!
How do you make Sausage and Pepper Pasta Shells?
Making this dish is just about as easy as putting together a sandwich, I promise!
First, cook the pasta according to package directions, then drain and set aside.
Next, add the sausage to a skillet and brown until there's no more pink meat over medium heat. Take the sausage out of the skillet and set it aside.
To the same skillet, add the peppers, onions, and mushrooms, cooking them down for about 5-7 minutes or until tender. Add a tablespoon of water or two if they are starting to burn.
To the veggie mixture, add garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and oregano, cooking for an additional minute. Then, add in the tomatoes and their juice and the pasta, letting them cook for 1-2 minutes or until everything is thoroughly heated through. Top with basil if desired and serve!
What makes this dish healthy?
- High fiber pasta helps you get an extra dose of fiber and makes the pasta a little healthier than traditional white pasta.
- Lean turkey sausage is delicious and nutritious — packed full of protein, low in fat and calories when compared to your typical Italian sausage.
- Green peppers, like all bell peppers, are chock full of vitamins like C, A, B6 and K. They are also high in carotenoids and fiber.
- Mushrooms are full of pantothenic acid, B vitamins, riboflavin, and niacin. They are also great for your digestive system and give a great meaty taste to lots of dishes if you want to skip the meat.
- Sweet onions, like most onions, are not only flavorful, they are full of fiber and folic acid. Raw onions also are low in calories, and can help keep your heart and cardiovascular systems healthy.
- Garlic goes great with onions and also has a lot of antibiotic and antioxidative properties. It has also been shown to lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels.
- Spices such as oregano, red pepper flakes, and pepper add lots of flavor without any additional calories or fat. Spicy ingredients like red pepper flakes can also have heart benefits and can promote weight loss as well.
- Tomatoes are high in the cancer-fighting compound lycopene. Lycopene has also been linked to reducing incidences of heart disease as well as cancer. Tomatoes are also a great source of potassium, folate, and vitamins C and K.
Tips for Making Sausage and Pepper Pasta Shells
- Do follow the package directions for cooking the pasta that you choose, as every pasta (and especially high-fiber, low-carb, or alternative pastas) could have varying directions.
- To make this dish gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta. I like the Banza brand.
- Some of my favorite Italian turkey sausage flavors include both sweet and hot Italian sausage, basil and feta, and apple varieties, if your grocer or specialty store carries them.
- Other veggies you can add to this dish include shredded zucchini, spaghetti squash, or carrots, corn, or even chopped broccoli.
- If you can't find fire-roasted tomatoes, you can use a can of plain diced tomatoes with a teaspoon of paprika added to them, sun dried tomatoes, or roast your own fresh tomatoes.
What sides go with Sausage and Pepper Pasta Shells?
- This dish goes great with garlic bread, thinly sliced French bread, or dinner rolls.
- I also like to add a veggie side to most dishes. With this one, I love a good amount of roasted broccoli or cauliflower, asparagus, or even green beans.
- Whip up an easy side salad using whatever greens you have on hand. (If you're using kale, I recommend cutting it into ribbons and massaging a little bit of olive oil in it before adding it to your salad.) Top greens with more chopped veggies and a healthy vinaigrette.
- Not feeling like doing all the chopping needed for a salad? Grab a bag of baby carrots and some low-cal ranch for an easy, healthy, crunchy side.
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Sausage and Pepper Pasta Shells
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- 8 oz high fiber pasta shells
- 3/4 lb lean turkey sausage
- 1 green pepper, sliced
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 14.5 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes, canned
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped or torn
- Salt and pepper
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- Nutritional Information
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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