Grilled Kielbasa and Pesto Penne

Grilled Kielbasa and Pesto Penne

What are some of your favorite ingredients to always have in your kitchen? Lately, I’ve been all about trying to maintain a stocked kitchen. From fruits and vegetables to meats and carbs, there’s nothing better than going into my kitchen and challenging myself to create a dish using only the ingredients that I have on hand. Because let’s face it, who wants to run up to the grocery store every day? Certainly not me…or my husband. We’re totally over that.

Last week when I went to the grocery store, I noticed that pasta was on sale. That’s right, the whole “Buy 4 for $3.00” dream come true…or at least in my eyes. When I see pasta on sale, I tend to go a little nuts…and nuts I went. I stocked up the cart with all sorts of sizes and shapes of pasta. Then, when I returned home, I proudly placed all of my boxes of pasta into my pantry and smiled with excitement. If you know me, you know that I love to experiment with pasta dishes.

My favorite dish to prepare growing up was spaghetti. To this day, I still love to cook, as my husband calls it, my “World Famous Spaghetti Recipe” but I also love to experiment with vegetables, sauces, and meats. From tomato sauce to pesto sauce, chicken to shrimp, Basil to Oregano…the possibilities are endless when it comes to making a pasta dish full of flavor and excitement for your taste buds.

As it turns out, my husband recently asked if I could start making him dinner to take with him to work. I gladly accepted that challenge, secretly knowing that I could treat every day like an episode of “Chopped” as I experimented with any and all ingredients that I had in my kitchen…and that included the endless supply of pasta.

The other day, I took the Kielbasa that I had in the refrigerator, grilled it, and then paired it with Penne and Pesto. The result was this Grilled Kielbasa and Pesto Penne that my husband thoroughly enjoyed at work. As the saying goes, Happy Husband, Happy Life…or something like that, right?

Grilled Kielbasa and Pesto Penne


  • 1 lb Penne Pasta
  • 1 lb cooked Kielbasa
  • 1/2 cup Pesto sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • Dash of dried Oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the grill or griddle on medium heat.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Be sure to season the boiling water with salt before adding in the pasta.
  3. Keep the Kielbasa whole if using an outdoor grill. Cut the Kielbasa into 1/2 inch slices if you’re using a stovetop griddle. Grill the Kielbasa until slightly browned and marked with grill marks. 
  4. Return the drained pasta to the pot. Toss in the Kielbasa (if you keep the Kielbasa whole, be sure to cut it into slices before adding it to the pasta), Pesto sauce, dried basil, dried Oregano, and garlic powder. 
  5. Toss together the ingredients. 
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve warm.

What’s your favorite pasta shape?

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  1. My favorite pasta shape just so happens to be penne! I can't wait to try this recipe out! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Couple of questions…

    Why not make your pesto from scratch? It's one of the simplest sauces to make. And ALWAYS better fresh than store-bought.

    Also, since pesto is mainly basil and garlic already, I found it interesting that your recipe called for adding more of both, albeit dried. Was there a reason for the EXTRA basil & garlic, in different form? Just curious. Maybe that wouldn't be necessary if the sauce was made from scratch to begin with? :)

    Either way, this IS a great dish. I've made several variations of it over the years. You could garnish with pine nuts (since we're going extra on the pesto ingredients, lol.), to give it a bit of crunch. And SURELY this would be topped perfectly with a bit of grated Parmesan. :)

    Happy eating!

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