tex-mex one-skillet pasta

today’s dish is of the one-skillet variety.

have you tried this magical method yet?

well, let me tell ya – the process is quite as simple as the internet promises! so, today, we are going to embark on a little tex-mex trip to one-skillet town!

{tex-mex one skillet pasta} the ingredient line-up!some one-skillet dishes will have you toss everything right in, cover + walk away. but this one here is a bit of a spin off on that idea.

{don’t quit me now! i’m not a fibber! the reasons are totally worth it!} 

reason numero uno: crispy sausage edges are a textural win! so, in this one-skillet dish, we are going to first brown up some chicken sausage to get that tasty browned bite we all love.

reason numero dos: we want to amp up the flavor! in this spin, we soften the veggies in the skillet before adding the cooking liquid. doing so gives the veggies a flavor boost from the already cooked sausage + now seasoned, skillet. {browned bits. i’m talkin’ to you!}

both steps are a teeny tiny extra labor of cooking love – but you’ll thank me when you get to the final bites! pinky promise!

{tex-mex one skillet pasta} throw everything in the skillet + simmer away to tender goodness!now although, we added two steps to the one-pot method, this dish still ranks in the top three of easy peasy. {one being PB&J and the other being canned soup}

this is because once you complete the first two steps, then we add in {read: literally pour} some goodies like rotel {a zesty blend of crushed tomatoes with chiles}, pasta {orecchiette to be exact!} + we even make room for some good-for-you-greens like brussels sprouts.{tex-mex one skillet pasta} savory chicken sausage + veggies simmer into a wonderful one-pot pasta everyone will love!while i know most of you are on the brussels train to trendy foodie town, some are still on the outs. but, i am convinced their presence in this pasta will turn you into a lover!

here, the brussels beautiful layers are peeled apart to give a {insert favorite green}-like bite. after just minutes of simmering, the notorious hearty green will transform into delicate vitamin-packed shells that sop up all the tex-mex flavors. 

plus, if you’re not sold just yet, i want you to know that at the end we cover everything in a heaping handful of melty gooey monterrey jack. 

and everything shoes, leather, bark.. is delicious with cheese on top, right?!

{tex-mex one skillet pasta} savory chicken sausage + veggies simmer into a wonderful one-pot pasta everyone will love!_after your cooking time has elapsed, you’ll eat it straight from the skillet dish it out in heaping spoonfuls to a bowl near you, garnish with green onions + you may even choose to toss on a dollop of daisy {this is not a plug. that’s just how i refer to sour cream in general. tv has ruined me.} to cool things down a bit!

guess what the best part is? you only have one skillet to clean! {. .and a few bowls with forks. told ya to think about that straight from the skillet plan. .}


tummy full.

mind blown.

tex-mex one-skillet pasta
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 3 servings
  • 6 oz. {2 links} chicken sausage, thinly sliced {any smoked flavor will do. i used a chipotle + cheese flavor, which i highly reccommend!}
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced {seeded + de-ribbed if looking for less heat}
  • 1 {10 oz.} can diced tomatoes w/chiles {i used ro-tel HOT with habanero - which gave a HUGE heat kick}
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 oz. orecchiette pasta
  • 2 cups brussles sprouts, shredded or de-leaved
  • ½ cup shredded mexican blend cheese
  • ¼ cup green scallions, sliced
  1. heat a skillet over medium heat + spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. add the chicken sausage to the skillet + saute until browned. {about 5 minutes}
  3. add the onion + jalapeno to the skillet with the chicken sausage. continue to saute until the veggies have softened {about 5 minutes}.
  4. add the ro-tel + chicken broth. stir to combine + using your spatula, break up any browned bits off of the bottom of the skillet.
  5. add the uncooked pasta + brussels sprouts to the skillet, doing your best to submerge both under the liquid.
  6. allow for the liquid to reach a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer + cover.
  7. cook, covered, for 14 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
  8. remove the lid, sprinkle the shredded cheese on top, replace the lid + let it sit for a few minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  9. add the scallions for garnish + serve! enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅓ of recipe Calories: 332 Fat: 11 Carbohydrates: 41 Sugar: 10 Sodium: 1258 Protein: 18

tiny lightbulb

to stretch the chicken sausage in the dish, i sliced each link very thinly! 26 slices per link to be exact! while you don’t need to be on the number money, i do suggest to do your best to get as many as you can without losing sausage coin integrity! the benefits to more sausage coins is simple – you’ll now get a salty bite into each forkful without having to up the actual link count!


pasta changes: any pasta can be substituted into this recipe to adjust to what you may have on hand! the biggest trick will that you will need to then adjust cooking time since different shapes cook at different times! orecchiette, the pasta i used, is a great choice because of it’s similar size to the sausage coins +  brussels leaves so i would highly suggest giving it a try!


next, let’s chat about sausage swaps: like i mentioned, i used a chipotle + cheese chicken sausage because those flavors lend very well to the flavor profile we’re workin’ on. BUT. if you can’t find that kind then don’t skip this meal because of it! a traditional turkey kielbasa would work just as well, as would any chicken sausage flavor you can dream into it {maybe skip the apple flavor but go for the green chile, ya catch my drift}. and, health-minded or not, i would skip the traditional pork or italian sausages because they usually contain fennel which wouldn’t jive here.


swaps for the brussels sprouts: heartier greens such as kale, raw broccoli florets or swiss chard will need the same cook time as the brussels, so add it at the same step! if you opt for a lighter green, such as fresh baby spinach or arugula, you will want to add it at the cheese step so that it wilts, yet doesn’t totally break down!

cal arrow

a great way to drop the cals would be to use a light shredded cheese. and a great way to lower sodium would be to drop the chicken sausage down to only 1 link!

tiny leftovers

 surprisingly, this dish holds pretty well in air-tight tupperware! i reheated mine in the microwave the next day + while the pasta lost a bit of it’s natural bite in lieu of becoming a bit gummy, the flavors were strong after marrying + it tasted great!


i used jalapenos + onion as the veggie stars but bell peppers, poblano peppers or corn would be great! fresh diced avocado over the top would give a great cooling taste!


martha taught me that:

 “Orecchiette, from the Italian words “orecchio” (ear) and “etto” (small), is an ear-shaped pasta originating in the beautiful southern region of Italy.”


thank you to the great blogs {kevin + amanda} + {budget bytes} for the inspiration! my recipe here is slightly adapted from each of their one-pot sausage pasta spins!