Aggie's Kitchen

Zombie Mom Pasta: Whole Wheat Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage, Broccoli and Sun Dried Tomatoes

baby sleeping on mom

Zombie Mom Pasta: Whole Wheat Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage, Sundried Tomatoes and Broccoli – an easy weeknight meal! #zombiemom #pastarecipe #healthypastarecipe #chicken #chickenrecipe #healthychickenrecipe #simplemeal #easydinner #dinnerideas #healthyrecipe #aggieskitchen

So it’s official. I’m a zombie mom. There is no other way to describe how I feel these days. Since it’s been about 6 years since my daughter was an infant, I can honestly say that I forgot how it felt to not be able to carry on a conversation in public without saying stupid or forgetting something like your kids birthday, what you need at the deli counter or even what day it is. This is the state of my condition right now people. It’s not pretty.

We have been in survival dinner mode in our house lately. I’ve been doing my best to plan ahead two or three days at a time, especially with what I have on hand since I don’t have the flexibility to run out to the grocery store for last minute ingredients with a newborn easily and often just yet. Between moving and having a baby all within the same month, I can honestly say we have had our share of takeout and sandwiches lately. Enough is enough. You know it’s enough when pizza used to feel like a treat, but instead has become the norm and even the kids are groaning about it.  All I have to say is thank goodness for pasta. I am finding that pasta is becoming my go to dinner when I feel like I really have to make something somewhat healthy and nutritious for dinner without too much work.

skillet with chicken sausage and blue spatula resting in skillet with bag of frozen broccoli florets, pack of sun dried tomatoes, box of Ronzoni whole grain pasta, and a glass of red wine

My freezer and pantry are my friends right now (thankfully I stocked up on some staples before baby arrived!) and after taking inventory of what I had I successfully put together a dinner for the fam I could feel good about the other night in record time. And bonus, there was plenty leftover for lunch (for me!) the next couple of days.

skillet with chicken sausage, broccoli florets, sun dried tomatoes, and onions with blue spatula resting in the skillet

Being able to make a meal out of whatever you have on hand is something I have learned to do well over the years. I think I get it from my mom (and probably my dad and my grandparents too) because I rarely ever saw anyone in my family follow a recipe – especially when making dinner – unless they were baking something special. Food was something that was not wasted in my family, leftovers were constantly being reinvented into something for the next meal. My mom is the queen out of putting a meal on the table for lunch or dinner, whatever it may be, using up odds and ends of whatever she finds – and pasta (like this one) is one of those dishes perfect for just that.

skillet with chicken sausage, sun dried tomatoes, broccoli florets, and whole wheat pasta

This recipe is not meant to be exact. Play with your ingredients and adjust their quantities. Use what you have, fresh or frozen. And enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚


Zombie Mom Pasta: Whole Wheat Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage, Broccoli and Sun Dried Tomatoes

  • Author: Aggie's Kitchen
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Stovetop

An easy weeknight meal!


  • 1 13 oz box whole wheat pasta (I used rotini, but use your favorite or whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 lb fresh Italian chicken sausage (precooked smoked sausage can be used here too!), cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/23/4 14oz package of frozen broccoli florets
  • 1/23/4 package julienned sundried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup red wine (or chicken broth or even pasta water)
  • additional 23 tablespoons olive oil for drizzling before serving
  • pinch salt and pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • grated parmesan cheese for serving


  1. Prepare pasta according to directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, add 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large non stick skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add onion and cook a few minutes until softened. Add wine (or any other cooking liquid such as chicken broth or pasta water) to deglaze bottom of skillet. Add frozen broccoli and sundried tomatoes and saute until broccoli is soft and everything is warmed and cooked through.
  3. Drain pasta (scoop out 1/3 cup of pasta water first) and add directly to skillet. Add pasta water and gently toss. Season liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper. Turn off heat. Drizzle with additional olive oil and toss until incorporated throughout. Serve with red pepper flakes (optional) and lots of grated Parmesan cheese.


I used fresh Italian chicken sausage that was only slightly defrosted – this made cutting it into 1 inch pieces a lot easier. Pre-cooked smoked sausages are a great substitute as well.

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18 comments on “Zombie Mom Pasta: Whole Wheat Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage, Broccoli and Sun Dried Tomatoes”

  1. Big hug to you, Zombie Mom. ๐Ÿ™‚ This looks like a dish my family would love, will keep it on hand…because I still have Zombie days, too!

    • aww, thanks Brenda! Yea, I think we all have Zombie moments…I just feel like mine have been more consistent than usual lately ๐Ÿ˜‰ miss you!! xo

  2. oh man…I remember those days. HUGS! Hang in there…these days shall pass! That meal looks delish.

  3. I want 50,000 bowls of this. I can’t wait to be a zombie mom with you soon!! Looks so so good.

  4. I just wish you were closer; I would bring you a double order of fried rice! We can all relate; heck I felt like this ‘just’ moving so you’re doing better than you think you are.
    LOVELY photo of you and baby; so very sweet. Congrats if I’ve not said so before Aggie.

  5. Mine are 7 and 5 and I still feel like that! Oy. I swear, I think once you have kids all the blood rushes from your brain and never returns. Lol. Love that precious photo. Somehow it’s all worth it, huh? <3

  6. I don’t have kids, but can I just tell you how jelly I am of your baby snuggles? So precious! And this zombie pasta, would be a hit with the hubs!

  7. Hang in there Aggie!!! I have to say, this dinner is quite an accomplishment – I don’t remember cooking anything this fancy for at least 2 months after my son was born!

  8. looks zombilicious ; D

  9. Your little one is so, so precious! Love the pasta!

  10. Oh my gosh I think all mom’s completely understand what you are going through. This is one awesome zombie mom pasta and looks pretty delicious.

  11. Pasta is the best for quick dinners. Your little guy is so adorable, love those snuggle photos!

  12. hang in there pretty mama!! i’m the oldest of 4 and while my mom was probably in a similar state when #4 was an infant, i have no recollection of it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Awww sending you hugs!! Things will get better soon. And in the meantime…this pasta looks pretty rockstar to me!

  14. I vaguely remember those zombie mom days! It’s been quite a long time for me, so I’m not sure I could go back to it at this point. I’m sure my family would love this pasta!

  15. Who needs dinner when you can nom on those delicious baby cheeks? Congratulations again on your new addition, he looks absolutely adorable!!

  16. I remember those days so well! Just hang in there – you’re going to be back to normal in no time at all! ๐Ÿ™‚ Love the use of on-hand ingredients in this recipe – looks fantastic! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. You make being a Zombie Mom look GOOD!