Collard greens, garlic, and red pepper flakes are tossed with browned sausage and pasta in this easy Pasta with Sausage and Collard Greens. And the updated version of this recipes uses a lot of sausage and collard greens and not much pasta, so check the nutritional information and you might be surprised!

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This easy and delicious recipe for Pasta with Sausage and Collard Greens was adapted from one of my most-used cookbooks, Mark Bittman’s The Best Recipes in the World (affiliate link). I’ve been cooking from this book since I first discovered it, and haven’t found a bad recipe yet.

My version of this classic dish uses nutritious collard greens, and I’m also using turkey Italian sausage, since it’s lower in fat and turkey is one of the Superfoods. I also used more collards and a lot more sausage in proportion to the macaroni to make this lower in carbs. (The photos show the earlier version, but check the nutritional information for the version with more sausage and collards and you might be surprised.) When I first made Hopping John Soup I discovered how much I liked collard greens, and the only thing I might change when I make this again is to double the collard greens for even more veggie goodness. 

Pasta with Italian Sausage and Collard Greens found on

How to Make Pasta with Sausage and Collard Greens:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. If you’re starting with uncooked turkey Italian sausage, first simmer them in a small amount of water until the sausage is barely cooked and firm. (I originally used just three sausages for this, but I’ve updated the recipe to use the whole package of five links.)
  2. While sausage cooks, cut the collards into ribbons and wash in a salad spinner (or in the sink.) 
  3. Cook the collards for about 5 minutes in a pot of boiling water.
  4. Slice the cooked sausage into rounds and brown sausage in a generous amount of olive oil. (The oil stays in the pan to saute the garlic, red pepper flakes, and greens, and it seasons the pasta, so don’t cut it down.)
  5. When the collards have cooked 5 minutes, remove them from the water, add salt, bring back to a boil, and add the the macaroni (or other pasta shape) to the same water and cook until it’s barely al dente.
  6. Then drain well, saving about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
  7. Remove the browned sausage and add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the olive oil and cook for a couple of minutes.
  8. Then add the collard greens and cook until they’re heated through, about 2 minutes more.
  9. Add the sausage and pasta into the pan with barely enough pasta cooking water to moisten the dish and cook just until the pasta and sausage are heated.
  10. Serve hot, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese to pass at the table.

Pasta with Italian Sausage and Collard Greens

More Recipes for Pasta with Greens:

Broccoli Rabe with Pasta and Sun-Dried tomatoes ~ Simply Recipes
Spaghetti with Garlic, Chard, and Pecorino-Romano Cheese ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Quinoa Spaghetti with Garlicky Greens and Tomatoes ~ Aggies Kitchen

Pasta with Sausage and Collard Greens
Yield: 4 generous servings

Pasta with Sausage and Collard Greens

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Collard greens, garlic, and red pepper flakes are tossed with browned turkey Italian sausage and pasta in this easy recipe.


  • 1 bunch collard greens, stems removed, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced crosswise into half inch slices (see notes)
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 T minced garlic (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tsp. hot pepper flakes (optional)
  • one 19.5 oz. package hot turkey Italian Sausage
  • 1 cup dry macaroni (see notes)
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving


  1. Bring small pot of water to boil, add uncooked sausage and cook at low simmer 10 minutes. (You can skip this step if you have pre-cooked sausage.)
  2. Let sausage cool and slice.
  3. Bring large pot of water to a boil, add sliced collards and boil 5-7 minutes, until tender but still bright green.
  4. Remove collards from water and drain, keeping water in the pot and bringing it back to a boil.
  5. When water comes to a boil, add pasta and a generous amount of salt and cook 9-10 minutes, until done but still quite al dente.
  6. Drain pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of cooking liquid.
  7. While pasta cooks, in large skillet, heat 3 T olive oil.
  8. Add sliced sausage and brown until well browned on both sides.
  9. Remove sausage.
  10. Add garlic (and red pepper if using) and cook 2 minutes, scraping bottom of pan to get browned sausage bits.
  11. Add collards and saute 2 minutes, then add sausage, pasta, and enough cooking liquid to moisten dish, and cook 2 minutes more or until the pasta and sausage are heated through.
  12. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  13. Serve hot with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


Use more greens if you’d like; I used about 1 lb. of collards. I used about 7 oz. pasta; use whole wheat macaroni or other whole grain pasta or pasta of your choice if you prefer.

Recipe adapted from The Best Recipes in the World (affiliate link).

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 448Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 1142mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 0gProtein: 38g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Pasta with Sausage and Collard Greens could be South Beach Diet friendly if you use whole wheat or other whole-grain pasta. (Use more greens and sausage if you want to make the dish lower in carbs, but it won’t ever be suitable for stricter low-carb diets.)

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Pasta Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

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