Creamy Dijon Penne with Kielbasa

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This gluten- and dairy-free weeknight gem is ready in 25 minutes.
creamy dijon penne with kielbasa recipe: bowl of creamy dijon penne with kielbasa
Kristen Kilpatrick/Dinner Tonight

You can never have too many lightning-fast pasta recipes in your back pocket for busy weeknights. Tell cacio e pepe to stand aside in favor of the creamy Dijon penne with kielbasa from Alex Snodgrass’s new cookbook, Dinner Tonight: 100 Simple, Healthy Recipes for Every Night of the Week.

“In my college years, one of my go-to meals to make was kielbasa pasta,” writes Snodgrass. “While this recipe is a much more elevated version of the one from my college days, it still gives me all the cozy-yet-simple vibes. Shallot and garlic are sautéed until fragrant, then simmered in a creamy Dijon sauce that’s infused with a lovely touch of tarragon and a splash of white wine.”

The recipe calls for gluten-free pasta, but you can substitute wheat-based noodles if desired. You can also use Swiss chard or spinach in place of baby kale. The only nonnegotiable? Stick to full-fat coconut milk for maximum decadence (and finish your plate with shaved Parm if you eat dairy).

From Dinner Tonight by Alex Snodgrass. Copyright © 2023 by The Defined Dish LLC. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow Cookbooks, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.


Kosher salt

8 ounces gluten-free penne or rigatoni

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

One 14-ounce kielbasa sausage, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

4 garlic cloves, minced

½ cup minced shallot (about 2 large shallots)

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

½ cup dry white wine

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

½ cup unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk

1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh tarragon

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 cups baby kale


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add plenty of salt (about 1 tablespoon) and the pasta and cook to al dente, according to package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the starchy pasta water, and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add the kielbasa and spread it into a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, until browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Toss and continue to cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the kielbasa to a plate and set aside.

3. Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium-low. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the garlic, shallot, ½ teaspoon salt and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the shallot has softened, about 2 minutes.

4. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until the wine has reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the mustard and whisk until it has emulsified in the sauce. Add the coconut milk, tarragon, ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper and whisk until smooth.

5. Increase the heat to medium. Add the drained pasta and kielbasa (and any juices from the plate) and toss to coat. Stir in ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water. Add the baby kale 1 cup at a time and toss until it’s wilted and evenly distributed. If needed, add more pasta water, ¼ cup at a time, to bring the sauce together until the pasta is well coated and glossy.

Nutrition Facts
  • 673 calories

  • 39g fat

  • 52g carbs

  • 25g protein

  • 5g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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