This Creamy Cheesy Kielbasa Pasta is perfect for a cozy night in or when you're trying to whip up something quick and delicious for dinner.
The combination of kielbasa, pasta, and a creamy cheese sauce is simply irresistible. It's the ultimate comfort food that will leave you feeling satisfied and happy.
I like to top it with a crunchy breadcrumb topping; the crunch works well with the creamy sauce and the soft sausage. Ready in under 30 minutes, you can add a side salad, and dinner is complete.
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These notes are here to help make this recipe a success; they cover some but not all ingredients. For a complete ingredient list, check out the recipe card below.
Kielbasa Sausage: This is a cooked smoked sausage that adds so much flavor to the pasta dish. It is budget-friendly and great for family meals, as the kids love it.
Onion: I use a regular brown onion, but you can use any onion.
Garlic: Measure garlic with your heart and add more to suit your family's taste.
Chicken broth: I use a low-sodium broth, but you can use vegetable or beef broth/sock instead.
Shredded Cheese: Any good melting cheese will work. I usually go for Cheddar or Colby.
Parmesan: This adds extra flavor to the sauce, but you can use extra shredded cheese. Store-bought pre-grated parmesan can leave your sauce grainy, so buying a block of parmesan and grating it yourself to get a luscious, smooth sauce is better.
Pasta: Any pasta shape will work here. We like to use penne or rigatoni, but you can use your family's favorite shape.
We've tested this recipe at least 3 times to ensure it works well for you. Have a look at our tips for getting the best dish you can!
- Remember to salt the water generously before adding your pasta; the recipe suggests 1 tablespoon of salt.
- To help get a perfect sauce consistency and allow it to coat the pasta, reserve 1½ cups of the pasta cooking water. Around ½ cup of pasta cooking water is added to the sauce, but it is a good idea to reserve extra in case the sauce thickens too much.
- When you add the garlic to the pan, cook it for 30 seconds and then move on to the next step. You don't want the garlic to burn.
- Add the broth/stock slowly and stir while you add it; this will help stop lumps from forming in your sauce.
- When you add the cheese to the sauce, gradually sprinkle it over the surface and stir after each addition; this lets the cheese incorporate rather than melt into a lump. It sounds tedious, but it only takes a minute and is well worth it.
Why You'll Love This Cheesy Kielbasa Pasta
These are all just suggestions and things that have worked in our test kitchen, but it is your dinner, so adapt it to suit your family. That is the beauty of cooking; we can all create our own delicious meals.
- You can substitute the half and half/single cream with milk.
- Use any smoked sausage that you and your family love. A smoked turkey sausage would work well.
- Swap the cheddar cheese for any cheese that melts well. Or use up the odds and ends that are in your refrigerator.
- Add baby spinach leaves to the sauce at the end of cooking.
- Fry mushrooms, celery, zucchini slices, or bell peppers with the onions to add extra vegetables to the dish.
- Add Pangrattato to the top of the pasta when you serve it (as pictured below)
Serving Suggestions for Creamy Cheese Kielbasa Pasta
Sides: This creamy, cheesy goodness is perfect when you want comfort food, so I love a big bowl of it with some garlic bread! But if you want to be more virtuous, add an arugula salad or simple buttered vegetables.
Wine: The rich salty meat of a kielbasa works well with fruity wines. For white wine, go for a crisp, dry Riesling. The refreshing lemon and pear notes will balance the garlicky, salty meat. For red wine, go for one rich in fruit like Malbec or Merlot; these will balance the meat but won't overpower the cheese.
Try other creamy pasta recipes:
- Creamy Bacon Pasta
- Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta
- Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta
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Get the Recipe
Creamy Cheesy Kielbasa Pasta
For the pasta
- 12 oz pasta (see note 1)
- 1 tablespoon salt
For the sauce
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 14 oz smoked kielbasa sliced into ¼ inch slices
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 1½ cups low sodium chicken broth (see note 2)
- 1½ cups half and half/single cream
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried chives
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ cup cheese shredded (see note 3)
- ½ cup parmesan grated (see note 4)
Cook the pasta
- Bring a large pan of water to a boil. Add the salt and cook the pasta for 1 minute less than the packet instructions.1 tablespoon salt12 oz pasta
- Once cooked, reserve 1½ cups of the pasta cooking liquid and drain the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking.
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based skillet over medium-high heat.2 tablespoon olive oil
- Add the sliced kielbasa and cook over high heat for 2 minutes.14 oz smoked kielbasa
- Add the chopped onion and cook for 2 minutes, then add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds.1 small onion2 cloves garlic
- Sprinkle over the flour and stir to coat the onion and sausage.2 tablespoon flour
- Slowly add the broth in small amounts, stirring with every addition.1½ cups low sodium chicken broth
- Add the cream, oregano, dried thyme, dried chives, and black pepper, then bring to a simmer for 2 minutes.1½ cups half and half/single cream¼ teaspoon dried oregano¼ teaspoon dried thyme¼ teaspoon dried chives¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Gradually sprinkle over the shredded cheese and grated parmesan. Stir after each addition until it has all melted. Let the sauce simmer on very low heat until your pasta is cooked.1½ cup cheese½ cup parmesan
- Add the drained pasta to the sauce and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water.
- Stir the pasta gently until it's coated in the sauce, and cook everything for 1 minute, tossing gently. Add more pasta cooking water if the sauce gets too thick.
- Any pasta shape will work here. We like to use penne or rigatoni, but you can use your family's favorite shape.
- I use a low-sodium chicken broth, but you can use vegetable or beef broth/sock instead.
- Any good melting cheese will work. I usually go for Cheddar or Colby.
- Store-bought pre-grated parmesan can leave your sauce grainy, so buying a block of parmesan and grating it yourself to get a luscious, smooth sauce is better.
Nutrition is per serving