This Creamy Chorizo Pasta Recipe is an incredibly satisfying weeknight dinner the whole family will love! Gorgeous pasta swirls, mushrooms, and baby spinach are smothered in flavorful, cream-cheesy chorizo sauce. And the best part – dinner’s on the table in less than 20 minutes!
Creamy Chorizo Pasta
When I asked a friend what recipe he wanted to see on the blog, a creamy chorizo pasta was his answer. And I’m not sad about it! As far as I’m concerned, this is a great recipe for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I know you’re gonna love it!
When I think about healthy meals, I’m SO OVER removing foods that have long been considered ‘bad.’ How often have you heard someone say, “I don’t do pasta”? Well, I don’t know about you, but labeling ingredients as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is just not a healthy way for me to think about food. It just makes me crave it EVEN MORE.
Studying culinary medicine has given me the confidence to look at food differently. Today, my philosophy is much more about abundance over sacrifice.
So instead of saying, I can’t eat pasta, or I won’t lose weight. I would rather say, what can I add to a pasta recipe to pump up the nutritional value? What can I add to help me stay fuller for longer? What can I add that’s filling and allows me to eat less pasta overall? This recipe is a perfect example of that kind of thinking.
This Creamy Chorizo Pasta Recipe contains flavorful veggies, like fresh spinach and mushrooms. Vegetables will provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help the body function at its best. Plus, veggies add extra bulk to fill you up with fewer calories.
Also, I’m using wholewheat pasta instead of white pasta to take advantage of the extra fiber it provides. And I’m using a lighter cream cheese to add protein and richness without the heaviness. As opposed to something like a heavy cream (or double cream in the UK).
Small changes like these really can add up to make a big difference over time!
Why You’ll Love This Chorizo Pasta Recipe
Creamy Chorizo Pasta is a delicious and easy-to-make recipe! Here are just a few reasons why you’ll love this dish. It’s:
- Quick to make. This pasta recipe takes less than 30 minutes to pull together, making it perfect for those busy weeknights when you want something super-simple but uber-satisfying.
- Comforting. The creamy and spicy chorizo sauce creates a warm, comforting meal that’s bursting with cozy, so glad-to-be-home vibes.
- Great for entertaining. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or having friends over for a glass of white wine and chit-chat, this Creamy Chorizo Pasta Recipe is flavorful enough to impress but won’t keep you slogging away alone in the kitchen for hours.
Here’s what you’re gonna need to make this creamy chorizo pasta recipe:
- Wholewheat Pasta: I use fusilli, but any pasta shape will work!
- Chorizo: The star ingredient! Chorizo imparts a massive amount of flavor to the dish.
- Cream Cheese: I use Philadelphia Lightest for its creamy richness without heaviness.
- Mushrooms: Brilliantly meaty, you can add any mushrooms to this dish. I use quartered chestnut mushrooms.
- Fresh Spinach: One of my favorite greens to add to pasta. Particularly baby spinach. It’s tender and not too bitter, so the flavor doesn’t overpower the other ingredients. Plus, it’s a nutritional powerhouse.
- Fresh Red Chili: For some extra heat. Omit if you prefer less spice. You could also use red pepper flakes (chilli flakes in the UK).
- Fresh Rosemary: Perfectly compliments the flavors in the pasta and creates a little more depth.
- Garlic: Aromatic and delicious, fresh garlic adds a flavorful punch!
- Tomato Paste (Tomato Puree): Adds some acidity to balance out the creaminess of the sauce.
- Sea Salt Flakes and Pepper: To make the flavors pop! A pasta dish can easily fall flat without a lift from the seasoning.
How to Make Creamy Chorizo Pasta: Step-By-Step Instructions
Making this chorizo pasta recipe is an absolute breeze! Here’s how in illustrated steps:
- Chorizo Preparations
The first step is to cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to the package instructions. Once cooked, drain the pasta, reserving some starchy pasta water. Meanwhile, add the chorizo to a large skillet until it releases a puddle of natural oils. Then you know it’s time to add the mushrooms. Cook for a couple of minutes before adding the chili and rosemary. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, adding the garlic and tomato paste (purée) in the final minute.
- Make it Creamy!
Turn down the heat and add the cream cheese and seasoning. Melt down the cream cheese and add the cooked pasta. Add some pasta water to loosen.
- Add Spinach
Add the spinach and stir into the cream sauce in the final minute of cooking.
I like to pour the whole dish onto a platter and sprinkle over extra fresh red chili and grated parmesan. Pop the platter in the middle of the table and let everyone get stuck in. And then there’s just one final step, ENJOY!!
Find the recipe card with exact ingredients and full recipe instructions at the bottom of this page. ⇩
Every ingredient for this recipe is easy to get hold of from your local grocery store. However, you can make this dish your own by making substitutions that create the perfect flavors for YOU! Here are some suggestions:
- Vegetables: You could add red peppers or fresh tomatoes instead of mushrooms. Sweet cherry tomatoes are also a great addition. I love how they burst over the heat and add an intense jammy tomato flavor to the dish.
- Pasta: Any type of dried pasta will do! I like fusilli because of how the pasta sauce clings to the swirls. But penne pasta, spaghetti (long pasta), farfalle (bows), and conchiglie (shells) will be fine! Use your favorite pasta shape. Whatever’s in your pantry.
- Chorizo: As fresh chorizo is one of the key ingredients in the pasta sauce and provides so much flavor, I’m using quality Spanish chorizo sausage. But you can use whatever is available where you are. Something like Mexican chorizo or beef chorizo would be great. They are all full of delicious smoked paprika, herby, and garlicky flavor. If you can’t get hold of chorizo, fresh sausages like Italian sausage containing extra seasoning compared to a standard breakfast sausage would also work. However, the flavor of the overall dish would be very different.
- Rosemary: On a visit to Sicily, I expected lots of fresh herbs in my meals. And that was the correct assumption, for sure. But I didn’t realize how much fresh rosemary would get added to everything! From roasted vegetables and potato dishes to fish, pasta, and pizza, rosemary is a massive part of Silician cookery. It was during this time I fell in love with rosemary as a seasoning. And it works perfectly in this dish. However, fresh basil is equally as good!
- Spicy Chorizo Pasta: To make this a spicy pasta dish, look for spicy chorizo sausage or an alternative spicy type of sausage. Alternatively, add more chili peppers or a few chili flakes to suit your tastes.
- Keep the Starchy Water: First and foremost, don’t underestimate the power of starchy pasta water. When cooking your pasta, reserve some of this liquid before draining it all away. This water is essential in creating a silky sauce that clings perfectly to the pasta.
- Always Al Dente: Secondly, be careful not to overcook the pasta itself. Al dente is always best – when you bite into it, there should still be a slight resistance before it gives way. And remember, the pasta will continue cooking for a minute or two when it’s added to the sauce. If in doubt, follow the package instructions for al dente.
- Avoid Adding Extra Oil: Finally, it’s important to remember that chorizo is a fatty sausage that will release its own oils when cooked. As a result, adding extra olive oil to the pan is unnecessary when preparing your dish. Too much oil can make the meal greasy.
NUTRITION TIP: Wholewheat pasta has a lower glycemic index than refined white pasta, meaning it releases glucose into the bloodstream at a slower rate. Why is this beneficial? Well, it helps us avoid a rapid spike in blood sugar levels which can lead to an energy crash and cravings for more sugary foods.
More Delicious Pasta Recipes
If you’re looking for more healthy pasta recipe ideas but are also after an easy meal to prepare, you’re in the right place. Here are some of my family favorites.
- Healthy Spaghetti Carbonara
- Mediterranean Vegetable Pasta
- Whole Wheat Pappardelle with Sundried Tomatoes
- Ground Beef and Zucchini Pasta Casserole
Thinking of making this recipe? Share your thoughts in the comment section and provide a star rating! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I always LOVE hearing from you.
Printable Recipe Card
Creamy Chorizo Pasta Recipe
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- 10 oz (285 g) fusilli pasta, or your favorite pasta shape
- 4½ oz (130 g) chorizo, diced into small chunks
- 5½ oz (160 g) chestnut mushrooms, quartered
- 1 red chili, finely chopped (remove seeds for less heat)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato paste (purée)
- 6 oz (165 g) pack Philadelphia lightest
- ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 oz (30 g) fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
- chopped red chili, for extra heat
- grated parmesan , for extra cheesiness!
- Prepare: Gather and prepare your ingredients. Boil the kettle.
- Pasta: Fill a large saucepan with boiling water and carefully submerge the pasta. Cook the pasta until al dente ~ refer to pack instructions, but usually about 10 minutes. Once cooked, reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water, then drain away the rest through a colander.
- Sauce: While the pasta is bubbling away, prepare the creamy chorizo sauce. Heat a large pan (or large skillet) over a medium-high heat. Add the chorizo, and once it has released its oil, add the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms are coated in chorizo oil, add the chili and rosemary. Sauté for about 5-7 minutes. In the final minute, add the garlic and tomato paste (tomato purée), stirring continuously.
- Cheese: Turn down to a low heat and add the Philadelphia cream cheese, stirring until it's melted. Season with salt and pepper. Now add the cooked pasta and stir until it’s well coated in the creamy sauce. The sauce will be quite thick, so a little at a time, add the reserved pasta water to loosen it.
- Spinach: Add the spinach to the pan and let it wilt into the sauce ~ about 1 minute.
- To Serve: Divide the pasta between 4 bowls and serve immediately. Top with some finely chopped red chili and grated parmesan cheese if you'd like (optional). Enjoy!
Nutrition Information (Per Serving)
Nutrition Disclaimer: Nutritional information is estimated using an online nutrition calculator. For accuracy, we recommend you calculate using the exact ingredients and brands you used.
Frequently Asked Questions
A portion of creamy chorizo pasta is best eaten in moderation as part of a varied and balanced diet. You can use the nutrition panel in the recipe card as a guide to see if the recipe can fit in with your personal nutrition goals.
Chorizo is a type of sausage that originated in the Iberian Peninsula but is now popular all over the world. It is made from ground pork, paprika, and other spices, giving it a distinctive smoky flavor and deep red-orange color. There are many different types of chorizo, with variations depending on the region where it’s made and the specific recipe used. Often served sliced or diced, chorizo is a versatile ingredient that can be added to many different dishes, from pasta and breakfast scrambles to paella and stews.