Sausage, Kale & Ricotta Penne Pasta

sausage kale & ricotta penne pasta pasta

Sausage Kale and Ricotta Penne Pasta may just be your ticket to more pasta nights. Do you love pasta but hold back from eating it for health reasons? Well, this crazy delicious recipe has some key differences over less nutritious pasta plates. Let’s see if any of those changes make it possible for you to enjoy a quintessential comfort food more often.

The first thing that usually makes me think twice about eating regular pasta is the GMO suspect, denatured white flour. Then comes the inclusion of eggs. Fortunately, eliminating both of those ingredients is simple. There are so many great alternative types of pasta on the market today. For this dish, I chose one of my favorite artisan pastas. Not only does it taste better than other noodles, but it’s organic, whole-grain, vegan, and gluten-free. How is that for an improvement?

Another good thing about this dish is there isn’t any dairy. Silky olive oil and fine sea salt dress the penne pasta, while plant-based ricotta replaces any need at all for a creamy, cheesy component. My easy Fluffy Homemade Ricotta will take your recipe over the top. But don’t stress if you aren’t able to make it from scratch. Again, markets are stocking more and more great-tasting dairy-free vegan ricottas every day.

So that brings us to the plant-based Italian sausage. Right? Who would have ever guessed we would come so far with Meatless Mondays? We don’t have a problem with gluten in our house. However, if one of the reasons you want to make this killer meal is that it is gluten-free, just make sure you check the label on your sausage. Not all vegan sausage brands are also gluten-free.

Now I fear I may have spent too much time telling you why Sausage Kale and Ricotta Penne is healthy enough to eat any night of the week. What you really need to know is how amazingly scrumptious it is. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

You know, there isn’t any way to tell you in a few words how satisfying this perfect pasta dish is. But picture penne tucked in with juicy vine-ripe tomatoes, savory sausage, dark green kale, and aromatic basil. Then think of that pillow of fresh ricotta on top, and do yourself a favor. Give this recipe a try. You can have it on the table in under 30 minutes and won’t regret it.

sausage kale & ricotta penne pasta pasta

Sausage Kale & Ricotta Penne Pasta

Healthy penne pasta with vine-ripe fresh tomato sauce, kale, plant-based sausage and fresh ricotta. Diary-free, gluten-free and wholegrain.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Course Dinner, Under 30 Minutes
Cuisine Italian, Plant-Based, Whole Food
Cooking Skill Beginner
Servings 2
Author poppyswildkitchen


  • 4 oz. Jovial brand whole grain brown rice penne
  • 1 TB olive oil plus 2 teaspoons divided
  • 2 cups seeded and diced ripe Roma tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced thin
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 oz. coarsely chopped tender or baby kale
  • 3 oz. sliced plant-based Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup Fluffy Homemade Ricotta or store-bought vegan ricotta
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed whole basil leaves


  • Take ricotta from refrigerator, measure out, and warm to room temperature while preparing pasta.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan. Add diced tomatoes, garlic and salt. Cook over medium high heat for about 10 minutes. Cook until tomatoes begin breaking down and juices start to evaporate.
  • While tomato sauce cooks, bring two quarts of water to a boil. Heat 1 teaspoon(s) of olive oil in a large skillet and brown vegan sausage on both sides. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
  • Boil pasta 10 minutes or until al dente. Add chopped kale and continue cooking 2 minutes or more until both pasta and kale are tender. Drain pasta and kale in a colander. Place pasta back in pot it was boiled in. Stir in 1 teaspoon(s) of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
  • Serve pasta on individual plates. Alternate layers of tomato sauce, pasta with kale, and browned sausage. Top layered pasta with dollops of ricotta.
  • Sprinkle with chili flakes and vegan Parmesan if desired.


*I highly recommend making your own homemade ricotta. But if you need to use store-bought, Kite Hill is a brand you might like to try.
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