This Spicy Penne Arrabiata is filled with sausage, peppers and the yummiest sauce – it takes less than 30 minutes and only uses one pot!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil – use any neutral oil like peanut oil, sunflower oil or vegetable oil.
- Turkey sausage links – I'm using turkey sausage in this recipe as a healthier option but you can use pork sausage, veggie sausage or beef sausage.
- Yellow onion – white onion, shallots, red onions are all great alternatives here.
- Garlic – fresh garlic minced or jarred minced garlic will both work fine.
- Red chili flakes – the chili flakes are what's going to make the sauce an arrabiata sauce, so if you don't have any flakes on hand, use any other dried chili peppers to add that spice. Based on your spice tolerance, you can use as little or as much as you'd like.
- Diced tomatoes – fresh or canned tomatoes will work fine. If you can't find canned diced tomatoes, then canned chopped tomatoes will work well.
- Tomato sauce – combine tomato paste with water to create a tomato sauce if you don't have any on hand.
- Penne pasta – arrabiata sauce pairs the best with penne rigate pasta. If you don't have penne or aren't able to find any you can substitute it with rigatoni, fusilli or mostaccioli pasta.
- Red bell pepper – red bell peppers are sweeter than the other bell peppers and they pair beautifully with this red dish, but if you don't have any on hand, feel free to remove it altogether or substitute it for green, yellow or orange bell pepper.
- Fresh basil – leave this off altogether.
- Parmesan cheese – shredded mozzarella would also be good.
- Salt & pepper – to taste.
How to make penne arrabiata
- Cook then slice the turkey sausage.
- Sauté the garlic, onion and sausage.
- Add the salt, pepper and chili flakes.
- Mix in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and water.
- Add the noodles and cook until al dente.
- Stir in the bell peppers.
- Garnish and enjoy!
Why is it called penne arrabiata?
Arrabiata directly translated from Italian means “angry”. This may sound funny to some but considering the spice level and the bright colour red, it makes sense! The name arrabiata is inspired by the chilies that heat up the spicy tomato sauce and is a delicious treat when you're craving a really flavourful pasta.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Arrabiata sauce is spicy but not overwhelmingly so. The red chili flakes give it a kick, so if you don’t want your sauce to be too spicy, you can adjust the amount of chili flakes you want to use.
This recipe has 361 calories per serving – pretty good for a hearty helping of delicious pasta!
While both arrabiata and marinara are red-based sauces, arrabiata sauce is spicy whereas marinara is milder and sweeter. Arrabiata uses chili to give it a nice kick, but if you were to remove the red chili flakes, it’d taste quite similar to a plain marinara sauce.
Storing and reheating
This dish is perfect for meal prep! Once your pasta has cooled down, place each serving into its own container and keep them in the fridge for up to 5 days.
When you're ready to enjoy your pasta, take your individual serving out of the fridge and pop it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. I like adding some fresh parmesan over top. I also recommend sprinkling some water over top of the pasta so it doesn’t dry out.
Freezing this recipe
As is the case with most pasta, this spicy penne arrabiata freezes really well for up to 3 months. Just be sure that it's completely cool before you place it into containers for freezing. Glass meal prep containers are the best when it comes to freezing any sort of meal.
When you're ready to reheat, pull a serving out of the freezer, sprinkle a little bit of water over top and microwave for 7-8 minutes, stirring halfway through. It reheats so well!
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More one pot pasta recipes
- The Easiest One Pot Pasta Primavera
- Healthy One Pot Broccoli Pasta Alfredo
- The Creamiest One Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning this recipe into your weekly lunches.
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months.
One Pot Spicy Penne Arrabiata
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 turkey sausage links
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 (796mL) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (680mL) jar tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 lb dried penne pasta
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- chopped fresh basil, for garnish
- Fresh grated parmesan cheese, for garnish
- In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil on med-high heat. Add turkey sausage, searing for about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Using tongs, remove sausage and when cool, slice into bite-sized pieces. Meanwhile, add onion and garlic to pot and sauté for about a minute.
- Add sausage pieces back into pan, add salt, pepper and red chili flakes and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and water and bring to a boil.
- Add penne, then cover with lid and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 8-10 minutes until pasta is fork tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir in red pepper, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Serve hot with grated parmesan and fresh basil overtop!