This Chicken Sausage and Asparagus Orecchiette Pasta dish is a delicious pasta dish that is loaded with flavor, with a creamy pesto sauce, fresh veggies, and slices of chicken sausage. Once upon a time I was wandering the food aisles of Target and it was delightful. Who else likes shopping for food? Being a food bloggers has brought this side out of me. During my wandering, I picked up a box of orecchiette pasta. I had never cooked with orecchiette before and thought I would try it out. Thus this delicious chicken sausage asparagus pasta recipe was born. It’s a colorful, and fresh pasta dish that I think you will love. This chicken sausage and asparagus orecchiette dish is a savory pasta dish, with the fresh flavors of asparagus, peas, and basil pesto. It’s a great satisfying dish that is a perfect option for a quick and easy weeknight dinner option.
What is Orecchiette?
Orecchiette is a type of pasta that is commonly found in Southern Italian cuisine. The word “orecchiette” means “little ears” in Italian, which refers to the pastas small, shallow dome shape with an indentation in the middle.
It’s known for having a slightly chewy texture, and is able to hold sauces well because of its middle indentation, making it a popular choice.
This is a quick overview of the ingredients you’ll need for this Chicken Sausage and Asparagus Orecchiette Pasta Recipe. Specific measurements and full recipe instructions are in the printable recipe card below.
- orecchiette pasta – you can substitute other medium pasta noodles like medium shells, farfalle, macaroni, or fusilli.
- Chicken sausage – links, not ground chicken, so you only have to heat it up, not fully cook it
- Green Peas
- Minced Garlic
- Basil Pesto
- Olive Oil
- Shredded Parmesan Cheese – freshly shredded is best
How to make Chicken Sausage and Asparagus Pasta?
- Add the olive oil to a sauté pan and heat it up. Then cook the slices of chicken sausage until the edges are crisped and the pieces are hot throughout.
- Add the asparagus and peas to the pan and cook a few minutes until the asparagus is cooked through.
- Add in the cooked pasta, pesto sauce, and half of the parmesan cheese. Stir it all together to coat the pasta, veggies, and sausage in the mixture. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan over the top for serving.
Tips and Tricks:
- Instead of asparagus try a variety of other vegetables, broccoli, squash, or mushroom.
- You can use a variety of medium pasta noodles if you can’t find orecchiette pasta noodles – try farfalle, macaroni elbows, or even penne.
How to store leftover pasta?
Let the pasta dish cool to room temperature and transfer it into an airtight container. Store the pasta in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can reheat the pasta in individual servings in the microwave, or on the stove top, with a little extra pesto added in to keep the dish from drying out. This asparagus chicken orecchiette pasta is a great dish that you will love. It’s a fresh spring pasta, that is ready in less than 30 minutes, for a great weeknight dinner option.
More pasta recipes:
- Casarecce Pasta with Basil Pesto
- Proscuitto and Piselli Pasta
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- One Pan Cheesy Chicken Pasta
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Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage and Asparagus
- 8 oz orecchiette pasta
- 2 chicken sausage (links, not ground chicken)
- 20 spears asparagus (washed, trimmed, and broken into 2 inch pieces)
- 1 cup green peas (thawed)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1/3 cup basil pesto
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- Cook the orecchiette pasta in a large pot of water, according to directions on the packaging. Drain the pasta from the water when cooked.
- Add the olive oil to a large sauté pan, and heat it over medium low heat. Add the minced garlic to the olive oil and cook for about a minute or two, until golden.
- Slice the chicken sausage into 1/2 inch pieces and add the pieces to the olive oil, and cook until browned and warm throughout.
- Add the asparagus and peas to the pan and sauté until cooked throughout, just a few minutes.
- Add the cooked pasta, and pesto sauce to the sauté pan and stir it all together to coat everything with the pesto.
- Mix in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese and let it melt and coat the pasta mixture.
- Remove the pasta from the heat and sprinkle on the remaining Parmesan cheese onto each plate.
This asparagus chicken orecchiette pasta was first posted on November 4, 2014. The photos and text were updated for clarity on April 12, 2023.
Sandi Berrett says
This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it.
P. Green (no pun intended) says
One of my favs. You can use any green veg.
Have made several times using fresh green beans instead of asparagus. Make sure you use a very good pesto or make it fresh. Delicious combination but no way does this serve 8 people, maybe 8 children but not adults! Serves 2 people at most, fyi.
Aimee Berrett says
Hi Cheryl, so glad you’ve liked the dish! I edited the servings to say 2-4 since it calls for 6oz of pasta and technically 2oz is a serving size. I’ll definitely have to try it with green beans next time, yum!
trying this tonight! sounds amazing!
This sounds so yummy! I’ve never used orecchiette either, but it looks like a great choice for this dish, and I love pesto! Thanks for sharing your recipe!