This hearty penne pasta recipe is filled with comforting flavors! Sausage, white beans, and Swiss chard combine textures and flavors!
This hearty penne pasta is everything you want in a dinner recipe! It's filled with comforting, simple ingredients, that blend together in a big bowl of comfort food.
The combination of beans, pasta, sausage, and greens (in this case, Swiss chard) is a classic for a reason.
This recipe is so customizable. The four main ingredients: sausage, pasta, greens, and beans - can be changed easily.
- Italian sausage - though I used Italian sausage, chicken or turkey sausage would also work. You can omit the sausage all altogether and make this a meatless meal, though you might want to increase the beans if you do that.
- Pasta - I used penne. Rigatoni would work. Any thicker short pasta works great in the recipe.
- Greens - I used Swiss chard. Spinach, kale, mustard greens are all possibilities. If you're using tougher greens, you might want to add them when you add the tomatoes to let them simmer longer.
- Beans - white beans are more traditional in this kind of recipe. Cannellini, great northern, chickpeas, or navy beans are all good choices. Red kidney beans are also an option.
This here is comfort food at it's finest! You could serve this with a salad, but you don't even have to! A nice big chunk of bread and you are good to go.
As I said before this classic pasta with beans and greens, usually white beans, is such an easy dinner that you can truly use whatever you have on hand. For this version, I used chickpeas. Not traditional, but they worked great!
I found the basic formula for this recipe from Sara Foster in her Casual Cooking Cookbook. She used rigatoni, cannellini beans, and Swiss Chard. I used penne pasta and chickpeas for this version. That is truly the beauty of this recipe!
More easy pasta recipes.
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Hearty Penne with Sausage
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ pounds Italian sausage casings removed
- 28 ounce canned diced tomatoes with their juice
- 2 cups chicken broth
- kosher salt
- 8 ounces penne
- 1 bunch Swiss Chard washed, drained, and coarsely chopped
- 12 fresh basil leaves thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano chopped
- 15 ounce can cannellini beans rinsed and drained (about 2 cups)
- sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup Parmesan Cheese finely grated
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the sausage and brown for about 5 minutes, breaking up the clumps. Drain the grease from the pan and add the tomatoes with their juice and the chicken broth. Reduce the heat and simmer on low for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While that is simmering, cook the pasta per package directions. Reserve a cup of the pasta water before draining the rigatoni.
- Add the penne to the skillet. Add the chard, basil, oregano, beans, and some of the reserved water - enough to make the pasta slippery. Cook for about 3-4 minutes allowing the flavors to blend and the beans to warm up. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm with the Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
This was originally published in 2015 and has been updated for 2024.