Italian Turkey Sausage & Pepper Pasta

I’ve been making this for years…since before we had kids. In fact, when we were first married, we lived near a Johnny Carino’s Italian restaurant and went there often. My husband always ordered a “Skilletini” which is a tomato based pasta dish served with peppers, onions, & sausage, much like this one. Maybe that’s why we love this so much. It reminds us of our newly-wed date nights. It was a favorite then and it’s a favorite now in our own home. ~Erin



8 oz. uncooked whole wheat penne pasta

1 ¼ lb. turkey Italian sausage (5 links)

1 bell pepper of each color: green, red, yellow, and orange; sliced into strips

1 lg. onion, sliced

2-4 cloves garlic, minced (I used 1 T. squeeze garlic)

1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce

1 T. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. salt

3 T. of pasta water (reserved before draining cooked pasta)

1 T. olive oil

Parmesan cheese for serving, optional (not included in WW points calculations)

Crushed red pepper flakes for serving, optional


Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions; reserve 3 T. of pasta water, drain, & set aside.

Brown sausages in a large skillet over medium-high heat; remove from pan & set aside. You can either leave them whole to cook them, then slice each into four pieces; or you can slice and then cook them. I prefer to slice first and then cook the pieces because they cook faster. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

Cook peppers and onions in olive oil over medium-high heat until they are crisp-tender (about 8 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about a minute).

Add the Italian seasoning, salt, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pasta water, and sliced sausage pieces. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add penne pasta and stir to heat through.

Serve with parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.

Weight Watchers Info.: This recipe makes 10 servings. Each 8 oz. serving (about 1 ½ c.) is 5 SmartPoints.


Italian Beef Sandwiches

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These sandwiches are the easiest thing you will ever make (even if you’ve never cooked a meal in your life, you can make these) and people will think you slaved in the kitchen.  This beef is fall-apart tender and melt-in-your mouth delicious.  5 ingredients and prep time is less than 5 minutes.  Set it and forget it!


3 pounds top round (or similar cut) beef roast

2 or 3 cloves minced garlic

1 (0.6 oz.) packet Good Seasons dry Zesty Italian dressing mix

1 (16 oz.) jar whole or sliced pepperoncini peppers

8 to 10 ounces fat-free Zesty Italian dressing

Buns for serving

Cheese for sandwiches, optional


Place roast in a slow cooker.

Top with garlic and dry zesty Italian seasoning mix.

Discard all but about a quarter of the juice out of pepperoncini jar; pour remaining juice and all the peppers over the roast.

Pour in liquid zesty Italian dressing.

Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 3-4, or until meat is fully cooked and shreds easily.

Shred the beef & serve it hot on a toasted bun with the cheese of your choice.

*The beef/pepper mixture calculates to 5 Weight Watchers Smartpoints per 4 ounce serving.