Cheesy chicken sausage pasta

I love cooking for others.

But it also stresses me out. Because contrary to how things sometimes may appear, not all of my dishes are successes. I sometimes overcook my meat (I’m looking at you, boneless skinless chicken breasts), or burn the garlic, or come up with really awful flavour pairings. Have you ever had balsamic vinegar and toasted sesame oil together? Don’t – it’s gross.

So anyway, cooking for others makes me nervous because I can never really be completely sure that my recipe will turn out. For example, a few weeks ago I was experimenting with a new pasta recipe, but unfortunately it didn’t come out of the oven as the amazing dish I envisioned. Instead it was dry and under-salted. JZ (being the good boyfriend that he is) insisted that he liked it, but I knew it needed some tweaks to make it better. And being the stubborn girl that I am, I set out to do just that.

And make it better, I did.

chicken sausage pasta

Cheesy chicken sausage pasta
Adapted from this recipe for Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash from Ari’s Menu

Serves 4

2 cups dry fusilli pasta
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup cottage cheese
2.25 tsp basil, divided
2.5 tsp oregano, divided
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb ground turkey
2 chicken sausages, casings removed
28-oz can of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Bring a medium-large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the box, but undercook it by about 1 minute. Once it is done, drain it and let the pasta sit in the sieve until you are ready to use it. You may want to toss the noodles in just a bit of olive oil to keep them from sticking!

Next in a small bowl mix together the ricotta and cottage cheese with 1.5 tsp basil and 1 tsp oregano. Set aside.

Heat up the oil over low heat in a cast iron pan, then add the onion and saute for 3-4 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute before adding the ground turkey, breaking it up as you cook it. When it is mostly browned, add the chicken sausages by removing the casings and mixing it well into the turkey mixture.

When the meat is cooked, add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, and remaining basil and oregano. You don’t need to cook for very long at this step – if you do cook it for longer, you may want to add more tomato juice to compensate so that it doesn’t dry out in the oven. Next mix in in the cooked pasta and ricotta/cottage cheese mixture, then top with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then remove and enjoy!

chicken sausage pasta

What do you do if a recipe you make isn’t perfect? Do you persevere until it’s perfect or do you give up on it?


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22 Responses to Cheesy chicken sausage pasta

  1. OH CHELSEAKALE YUM!!! The ingredient list is already borderline illegal but the picture is the icing on the (Savoury) cake.

    I always try and perfect a recipe before posting, and eerily, it usually is 5 attempts!

    Definitely making this. #manofmyword

  2. I can totally relate to that feeling when cooking for others. The worst part is that I don’t do it often enough although i do repeat what i make several tines before posting a rwcipe to make sure it wasnt a fluke. This recipe sounds really fantastic!

    • Chelsea

      Yeah I always make a recipe at least twice before I post it… but sometimes it’s like 6-7 times if it really needs some work.

  3. Oh yeah, I totally get what you mean when cooking for others. I definitely feel the same way! It can be so nerve racking, but so fun all at the same time!

    That being said, this recipe definitely sounds like a winner! Yum!

  4. You know I’m stubborn! I’ve had to get better at accepting that some recipes won’t turn out and it’s okay to throw them out if they suck. I used to have a bad habit of forcing myself to eat them even when I didn’t like them. After 3 rounds of cinnamon rolls the other weekend where 2 of them sucked I just swallowed my pride and threw them out. Luckily 3rd times a charm and it worked out!

    • Chelsea

      I force myself to eat bad recipes too – especially ones where I’ve used hefty amounts of expensive ingredients like almond butter! I hate throwing out like $8 worth of almond butter!

  5. And that is why I make Joe do all the cooking haha…I get too nervous that I’m going to screw it up, and he knows more than I do and is really good at flavors. Since I have the chance to change that over the next few months, I shall do my best….but I also see the return of breakfast for dinner most nights too :P

  6. This sounds soooooo good! Cooking for others stresses me out too, which is a bummer because I love hosting.

  7. It definietly depends on how bad it turned out haha, if it was horrible I just give up, if it wasn’t I keep trying whether that means trying out a completely different recipe or not!
    Love how you added cottage cheese to this recipe too! Sounds so good!

    • Chelsea

      Haha yup, there are some dishes that I’ve made that were so bad I’m not even sure if it would be possible to make them good! :P

  8. I can’t even imagine your dishes coming out less than perfect — they always look amazing! But I can definitely relate to feeling stressed out when it comes to cooking for others. I love it, but I think I freak people out because I’m literally staring at them when they’re taking the first bite to see their reaction :lol: This dish looks amazing, though, and I conveniently have a new cast iron skillet :D

    • Chelsea

      Hahaha I do the same thing! And then I pester them asking “Are you sure you like it? Be honest! Does it need less sauce? More cheese?”

  9. this looks amazing!! itz been too long since i’ve cooked haha

  10. This looks amazing! And Cheese! you can never have enough cheese <3

  11. So glad you were able to perfect it! It really depends on what the recipe is for me whether I’ll keep trying or just give up. Was it something I was really looking forward to or just a whim you know?

    I feel the same about cooking for others- love it but it’s stressful. I need to come up with a base few recipes I feel comfortable cooking under any circumstance, then it will probably go much easier!

    • Chelsea

      That’s definitely true! If I didn’t really have a huge interest in the recipe anyways, I don’t usually bother to try to make it better – I just put it in the discard pile and forget about it. :P

  12. I haven’t had the opportunity to truly experiment in the kitchen with my own recipes but it is something I would really like to do. And I hope I have some major failures and major success :) This looks awesome and I am glad you were determined to perfect it because nothing beats a great pasta bake!

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