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Chicken Sausage Rigatoni with Crispy Breadcrumbs

  • Author: Molly
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This Chicken Sausage Rigatoni with Crispy Breadcrumbs is a quick and simple pasta dish that comes together in 30 minutes and is LOADED with flavor. Italian chicken sausage, herbs, and lots of tomato-y goodness makes this one special. The addition of crispy herbed breadcrumbs on top adds a wonderful crunch to the saucy pasta. This one is a must make!



For the Pasta:

  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb sweet or hot Italian chicken sausage, removed from casings
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (15-oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Optional Herby Breadcrumb Topping:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Fresh basil, for serving


For the Pasta:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a good amount of kosher salt to it. Add your pasta and cook to el dente, according to the package ingredients. Do not drain the water – reserve for the pan sauce.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spatula, until it is crumbled and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, dried herbs, and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes or until the onion is starting to soften.
  4. Stir in the tomato paste and allow it to melt and coat everything in the pan.
  5. Stir in the canned tomatoes and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  6. Once the pasta is done, add it to the skillet with the sausage sauce. Add roughly ½ cup of the pasta cooking water as well, and toss everything together until the sauce is coating the pasta noodles well.
  7. Stir in the cheeses and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Cook until the cheeses are melted and gooey. Add more pasta water, as needed, to keep everything saucy.

For the Herby Breadcrumb Topping:

  1. In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the panko and seasonings and cook, stirring frequently, until the panko is toasty and golden brown.

To Serve:

Place the pasta in serving bowls and top with the crispy breadcrumbs, an additional grating of parmesan, and fresh basil. Serve immediately while everything is hot.


  • The breadcrumb topping is completely optional here, but it adds a wonderful crunchy texture on top of the saucy pasta.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: pasta

Keywords: chicken sausage rigatoni, 30 minute chicken sausage rigatoni, sausage tomato rigatoni, easy Italian sausage rigatoni