Pasta with Turkey Sausage and Smoked Mozzarella

Pasta with a tomato sauce with Italian turkey sausage and smoked mozzarella cheese.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Have you ever tried smoked mozzarella cheese? It’s sort of like a mozzarella version of gouda. I had never encountered it until my father used it in a recipe he got from a local butcher shop.

This is the recipe, with lots of changes from the original which called for three times as much cheese. We found with this cheese that, unlike regular mozzarella which is quite mild in flavor, a little smoked mozzarella goes a long way.

We’ve made this several times; it now makes a regular appearance in my parent’s home because it’s quick, filling, and tasty. It also makes terrific leftovers.

Pasta with Turkey Sausage and Smoked Mozzarella Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4

Turkey sausage is rather lean. If you use regular pork sausage, cook it up first, then discard the rendered fat and use the residual fat in the pan to cook the onions and garlic.


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 14-ounce cans crushed tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 pound Italian turkey sausage, bulk or cut into 1/2-inch slices*
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 pound fusilli pasta
  • Salt
  • 3 ounces smoked Mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

*If you put the sausage in the freezer first for a half hour, it will be easier to slice.


1 Sauté onions and garlic: Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.

2 Add tomatoes and sausage: Add the tomatoes to the pan (if using canned whole tomatoes shred them with your fingers as you add them to the pan). Include the juices.

Add the sausage and red pepper flakes. Cover and cook on medium low heat for 20 minutes, until the sauce is thickened.

3 Cook the pasta: While the sauce is cooking, cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a teaspoon and a half of salt for every quart of water.

Cook the pasta according to pasta package instructions, until al dente, or cooked through, but still a bit firm. Drain the water from the pasta.

Combine the pasta and the sauce in a large serving bowl.

4 Add smoked mozzarella and Parmesan: Stir in the cubed smoked mozzarella cheese. Continue to stir until the cheese has softened and is a bit melty. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

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Fettuccine with Creamy Tomato Italian Sausage Sauce here on Simply Recipes

Sausage, peppers, and smoked mozzarella panini from Kathy of Panini

Herb butter mushrooms with smoked mozzarella from Shaheen, The Purple Foodie

Pasta with Sausage and Smoked Mozzarella

Showing 4 of 29 Comments

  • My Simple Food

    I’ve never heard of smoked mozarella. Interesting. How did the overall dish taste like?

    Smokey, cheesey, sausagey pasta. ~Elise

  • Purvis

    I’ve never had smoked mozzarella before. By itself, it tasted a bit strong–more like “smoke” than “smoked.” But the amount that’s in this recipe is just enough to take it to the next level. We LOVED it. I didn’t have turkey Italian sausage on hand, so I used smoked turkey sausage from the deli aisle instead. Still great. And easy.

  • Amy

    Just made this over the weekend and am finishing up the leftovers. Loved it! I couldn’t find any smoked mozzarella at my grocery store, so picked up some smoked gouda at the deli counter. I enjoyed it; but would really like to try it with smoked mozzarella…do you know if this can normally be found in the grocery store, and if so, which brand? Thanks!

  • Arcey

    Made this for a pot luck the other night and it was quite good — a big hit! I used brown rice penne pasta from Trader Joe’s because one of the group is allergic to wheat. It was just fine using the alternate pasta.

    I used pork Italian sausage, added some oregano, fresh basil, and fresh tomatoes to the sauce, as well as the canned tomatoes, and it turned out great. I would say to use a whole pound of pasta, rather than 3/4 of a pound.

    Rather than slicing the sausage before cooking, I’d suggest cooking them whole, browning on all sides (doesn’t have to be cooked all the way through), then removing from the pan and sauteeing the onions, garlic, etc. without washing the pan, using a little more oil, and the fat and browned bits from the sausage. It’s easy to slice the sausage when it’s been cooked before slicing, and cuts out one step in the above recipe.

    I don’t usually like smoked mozzarella, but it was perfect in this recipe — I guess the amount was just right to give it a deepness of flavor, without overpowering the dish.

    I’ll definitely make this again. It was easy and very tasty! Thanks again for another great recipe idea.

  • Friday

    Sounds good. But, this is a very basic sauce. No salt or oregano or sugar or anything?

    No, all the seasoning should be in the sausage. ~Elise

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