Italian Sausage Cauli-Cream Noodles

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Italian sausage, cauliflower cream, and cherry tomato pasta on white plate on counter with wood spoon. Parsley and tomatoes on counter and bowl in background.

This Italian Sausage Cauli-Cream Noodle recipe has homemade garlic and herb filled turkey  sausage with bright and fresh cherry tomatoes in a rich and creamy non-dairy cauliflower cream sauce – YUM!  You could just eat it with a spoon…maybe right out of the pan…I’m just sayin’.  However, to make it more civilized, the recipe suggests to mix it with light and airy, thin rice noodles that soak up every last bit of the sauce for the perfect bite!

Italian Sausage Cauli-Cream Noodles brings together two of my recent recipes into one new amazing creation!

  1. It includes homemade Turkey Italian Sausage that I first posted in my Chicago Style Pizza recipe. The turkey Italian sausage tastes amazing and very close the traditional pork sausage with garlic, fresh parsley, and fennel seed.
  2. It has cauliflower cream.  A couple weeks back I posted Green Cauliflower Cream Fettuccine, which was vegetarian, but meat lovers can enjoy this creamy dairy-free delight too!

And so, I bring you my latest recipe, Italian Sausage Cauli-Cream Noodles!

PREP-AHEAD TO MAKE YOUR ITALIAN SAUSAGE & CAULI-CREAM NOODLES

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming.  Here is my recommendation for making dinner easier: make your own kits!  On Sunday, prep all of the ingredients and components for 3 meals and store them in the fridge on meal-specific pans or bowls.  Then on the night you cook, everything is ready to go!  You will need 1 gallon bags and sandwich-size bags.

  • Place the cauliflower florets in a medium sauce pot and fill with water to about 1/3 as high as the florets. Cover and turn the stove to medium heat. Water should come up to a boil and cook with cover on for 8-10 minutes.

  • Test the florets with a fork to make sure they are fall-apart tender. Then strain out the water and transfer to a blender. Add 1 cup chicken broth and blend until smooth. Note: leave the center of the lip off and cover with a towel to let steam escape and avoid a cauli-explosion.  Pour the cauliflower cream into a storage container.

  • Chop 4 Tbls Parsley.  Place 1 tbls in a small baggie for garnish.  The remaining 3 tbls will go into the turkey sausage.
  • Make the turkey Italian Sausage.  Mince 2 cloves garlic.  Add the Ground Turkey to a large mixing bowl.  To the turkey, add the minced garlic, 3 Tbls of the chopped parsley, 1 tsp of fennel seed, 1 tsp Salt, 1 tsp fresh ground pepper.  Mix to combine.  Place the raw meat in a sealed bag.

  • Make the rice noodles and store in a gallon bag.
  • Place the raw turkey sausage, the cauliflower cream, cherry tomatoes, chopped parsley, and rice noodles on a sheet pan or large bowl in the fridge so everything is kept together for the cooking night.

LET’S COOK:

First, rinse the cherry tomatoes and cut each in half.  Set aside.

Cook the turkey in a large pan.  As the meat sears, break it up into bite-size pieces with a spatula or spoon.

Pour in the cauliflower cream sauce and stir to combine the flavors, scraping the bottom of the pan for all of the brown-goodness and mixing the sausage into the sauce.

Next add in the halved cherry tomatoes and stir gently to combine. You will only be slightly cooking the tomatoes as you want to retain that fresh burst of flavor in this dish.

Last, place the cooked noodles back in a strainer and rinse with warm water.  Rice noodles tend to stick together when chilled, so you want to loosen them before adding them to the sauce so that you don’t break them into pieces as you mix.  Once the noodles have regained life and are pliable, add them to the sauce in the skillet. Stir to combine.

Plate, garnish with parsley and enjoy!
😍Carrie

Italian Sausage Cauli-Cream Noodles

This Italian Turkey Sausage Cauli-Cream Noodles recipe is a gluten-free & guilt-free, creamy, decadent, delicious pasta dish.  It has homemade Italian Sausage with ground white meat turkey and a dairy-free cream sauce made from cauliflower. Then a burst of fresh flavor from cherry tomatoes. Gluten-Free Rice noodles are fine like angel air and really soak up all of the creamy deliciousness in every bite.  Gluten-Free. Dairy-Free.

Course Main Course
Keyword cauliflower, cauliflower cream, dinner, ground chicken, ground turkey, healthy dinner, healthy recipes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 565 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Cream Sauce

  • 3 cups Cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth

Italian Sausage

  • 1 lb Ground Turkey or Chicken raised without antibiotics
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seed
  • 4 Tbls Parsley chopped
  • 1 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Other

  • 8-10 oz Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
  • 8 oz Vermicelli Rice Noodles

Instructions

Prep Ahead to make your Kit:

  1. Place the cauliflower florets in a medium sauce pot and fill with water to about 1/3 as high as the florets. Cover and turn the stove to medium heat. Water should come up to a boil and cook with cover on for 8-10 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for another few minutes.

  2. Test the florets with a fork to make sure they are fall-apart tender. Then strain out the water and transfer to a blender. Add 1 cup chicken broth and blend until smooth. Note: leave the center of the lip off and cover with a towel to let steam escape and avoid a cauli-explosion

  3. Add 1/2 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper and test to see if additional salt is needed. The chicken broth will add a salty flavor, so it may not be required.  Pour the cauliflower cream into a storage container or jar.

  4. Chop 4 Tbls Parsley. Place 1 tbls in a small baggie for garnish. The remaining 3 tbls will go into the turkey sausage.

  5. Mince 2 cloves garlic.  Add the Ground Turkey to a large mixing bowl. To the turkey, add the minced garlic, 3 Tbls of the chopped parsley, 1 tsp of fennel seed, 1 tsp Salt, 1 tsp fresh ground pepper. Mix to combine.  Store in a large (gallon) storage bag.

  6. Make the Rice Noodles in a very large pot for lots of room, as rice noodles are starchy and can stick together if the pot is too small. When you add the noodles to the boiling water, stir frequently until they start to soften to ensure the noodles do not stick.  Store in a large (gallon) storage bag.

  7. Place the raw turkey sausage, the cauliflower cream, cherry tomatoes, chopped parsley, and rice noodles on a sheet pan or large bowl in the fridge so everything is kept together for the cooking night.

Cook:

  1. Rinse and cut the cherry tomatoes in half.  Set aside.

  2. To a preheated pan, add 1 tbls extra virgin olive oil. Add the Italian Sausage Turkey mixture. Break apart the meat and let it sear.  Continue to break it up into bite-size pieces and let it brown on all sides, about 8 minutes total cooking time.

  3. Pour the cauliflower cream sauce over the cooked turkey sausage in the pan and stir to combine heat up the sauce again. Add the halved cherry tomatoes and stir to combine and heat. Note, the tomatoes will only lightly cook which keeps the bright, fresh, bursting flavor in this dish!

  4. Place the cooked noodles back in a strainer and rinse with warm water. Rice noodles tend to stick together when chilled, so you want to loosen them before adding them to the sauce so that you don’t break them into pieces as you mix. Once the noodles have regained life and are pliable, add them to the sauce in the skillet. Stir to combine.

  5. Plate the pasta, sprinkle with remaining chopped parsley. Enjoy!!

    Noodles with cauliflower cream sauce, sausage, and tomatoes on white plate on counter with tomatoes, parsley, and spoon on counter

Review of Blue Apron & Tips to Make Meal Kits Easier

Hi there!  So, I love meal kits!  Obviously, if you have been to this website, you know that I love creating my own menus and recipes, but on occasion, I splurge and order a meal kit which seriously gives me a kid-like excitement.  I have tried several vendors, but pretty much just keep Green Chef and Blue Apron in my rotation.  I order a kit every 4-5weeks just to shake up my routine and give me something exciting.  Yes, it’s exciting!  I try not to look too closely at what they are sending before I get it, so it’s like opening a present 🎁!

I know that most people have heard of meal kit vendors like Blue Apron, Plated, and HelloFresh, but many of you may not have tried them yet.  Well, even though I think you can make your own meal kits with my simple plans, I really am a fan of the delivery vendor options, so this week I wanted to share the experience.  Also, I am not being paid for this review, it is my genuine opinion.  Below you will find my opinions, but also TIPS for how to make these experience even better.

Overall Thoughts on Blue Apron 
Dave and I both loved the meals.  The only point we differ on is that I felt the calories and fat content is too high.  However, I have some really great tips for cutting down on both the fat and calories below!  I can also overlook this as an occasional treat.  The flavors were really great and I appreciated that they included ingredients that I would not normally purchase because I would not use them up, for example Miso paste.  The preparation was easy, BUT I have tips on how I made them so easy.  If you leave all prep for the meal to the night of, it could be a bit much, especially if you are running home from work and juggling kids and other home duties.  

The Ordering Process
So, how does it work?  Well, first, you set up an account online and select the plan you want.  For 3 meals for 2 people, the cost It is $59.94.  You are able to select the specific proteins you prefer from a list, including pork, beef, lamb, shellfish, fish, poultry, vegetarian.  Then, you download the app and select the week and the meals for that week.
My three meals were:

  • Sweet & Sour Pork Bowls
  • Miso Chicken Ramen
  • Meatballs & Polenta

The Kit Arrives!
First, the fun box arrives!  This really is fun for me, it’s an event.  
Then, I open it and peek inside.  Blue Apron packs all ingredients delicately and neatly in a insulated bag within the box.  At the bottom of the bag are large ice packs and any raw meats or fish are placed on those icepacks.  A cardboard sheet covers the meat and all other ingredients are layered on top.

  

 

 

 

 

I like to take out all ingredients to get a good sense of what I have and arrange them by recipes in the fridge as best as I can.  Each ingredient that is packaged pre-portioned gets a label indicating what it is and which recipe it goes with.  Large Fresh veggies may not get a label, such as the pepper or corn or eggplant that you see here.  Fragile ingredients that can break or bruise or crush are placed in additional protective packaging.  This results in a lot of packaging and that has been a source of concern for many.  I can see that Blue Apron is starting to move more toward recycled materials and less plastic, but let’s face it, it’s still a lot of packaging.

 

Each recipe card includes a short description with a list of the ingredients on the front.  On the back are the detailed cooking instructions.  In the app, there are supplemental instructions and videos if you need those too.

TIP 1:  PREP-AHEAD 
Ok, one of the biggest complaints that I see about Blue Apron and some of the other Kit Vendors is that the preparation time is just too long.  People buy these kits to save time and many of the recipes take 40-45minutes for a somewhat skilled at-home cook and even longer if you are just starting out cooking at home.  This makes me sad, because I know there is a better way!  So, I am sharing my secrets here!!

To reduce your preparation time on the night you are cooking the meal, prep ahead!
Below is what I do first…I scan through the recipe and circle the steps that can be done ahead and prepped ingredients stored in the fridge.  This is often the peeling, chopping, dicing, mincing needed for the veggies.  Sometimes, you can even prep ahead the proteins, such in this kit, I could make the meatballs on Sunday and cover them in the fridge, until I cooked the meal the next day on Monday.

Once I prep ingredients, I keep them together by placing on sheet pan, but this is taking it to another type-A (yes, I have to-do lists everywhere) level that you may not need to step too :).  But, it works for me!

TIP 2: Replacing an Ingredient
I have liked all of the meals that I have received from every delivery vendor and even if there is an ingredient that I wouldn’t typically use, I always give it a try.  However, sometimes, there may be an ingredient that you just do not like.  Replace it!  In my instance, I have to admit, there is 1 veggie that I just don’t care for and that’s eggplant.  However, I had some nice cabbage in the fridge which was great replacement for the eggplant in the Ramen chicken dish.

The final dishes
Here are the final dishes that I made, very hearty, very delicious.  The portions are large and as I mentioned earlier, they are pretty high in both calories and fat.  Which leads me to my final TIP.

TIP 3: Split 2 servings into 3 or 4
My final tip comes from a friend who has been ordering Sun Basket and has the same concerns with high calories and fat content.  She cuts each serving in half and saves the second half for a second meal.  She then supplements the meal with a green salad!  This is genius!  You get all of the amazing flavors of the meal and a healthy salad to round it out.  Simple.  AND you stretch your dollar.  Again, genius!

Try it for yourself
If you want to try Blue Apron, simply click on the website link below and sign up.  You can pause any week or cancel your subscription, but it is definitely worth a try.
www.blueapron.com