Pasta with Turkey Sausage and Smoked Mozzarella

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.

pasta-sausage-smoked-mozz-method-2 pasta-sausage-smoked-mozz-method-3

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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Pasta with Sausage and Smoked Mozzarella

Showing 4 of 29 Comments

  • Lou

    Jennie-o makes a good Italian turkey sausage which is super easy to find and still delicious! Wish I could have found smoked mozzarella because the recipe just is not the same without it. Still delicious, easy, filling and well received by all who ate it! My personal preference is extra garlic and a little basil! Thank you Elise! You are amazing and have not failed me once:) thank you for making such delicious and well thought out recipes and giving us regular cooks the ability to create something great

  • Kelly

    My husband said this was the best thing I have ever made and to definetelly keep this recipe. I had a few change just because I couldn’t find the ingrediates or I was using what I had on hand. I used two cans of diced tomatoes instead of whole because they were in my cubbard. I couldn’t find smoked Mozzerella so I used 8 oz Hoffman hickory smoked swiss and cheddar

    I used mild italian sausage and served it with penne pasta. So Good! I am so happy I found this site. Every receipe is a winner. I visit the site every week for ideas for dinner. Thank you so much for putting these amazing recipes out there for all of us aspiring cooks.

  • Corinna

    I made this last night. My family loved it!
    I didn’t have smoked mozzarella cheese, but I had regular mozzarella and liquid smoke. I used a few drops of the smoke and it worked very well.
    The only other change I made was instead of red pepper flakes, I used one red chili seeded and deveined and chopped finely and sauteed with the onion and garlic.
    It made a huge amount and will make great left overs for several days. (I already had a bowl for breakfast!)
    Thank you!!!!!!!

  • Debbie

    I made this recipe last night. Since I didn’t have all the ingredients, I made a few adjustments. I used Cajun sausage instead of Italian turkey sausage and I only had fresh Mozzarella cheese and it wasn’t smoked. I also used butterfly pasta since I ran out of fusilli.

    Despite the modifications, the recipe was fabulous. My husband asked me to make this one again. We both love spicy food so the Cajun sausage worked well.

    Thank you for sharing these recipes. Sometimes I forget my manners. I make recipes I find on blogs like yours and then forget to return to let you know how it came out. I know I can always count on you. It seems that every recipe of yours that I’ve made …has been wonderful and so tasty.

    Thank you,

  • Jessica

    I made this last night and it was sooooooo good!! Hubby said it was one of the ‘better’ dishes I’ve made (he was careful, since the night before I made the sweet and sour chicken from your site, and he said that was AMAZING). One thing though, I don’t know if that cheese is super strong, but both our stomach’s were gurgling/upset for hours after eating!

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