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Braised Chicken Thighs with Sausage and Pasta Recipe

One of my all-time favorite chicken recipes; simple ingredients cooked low and slow that come out perfect every time. Serve the braised chicken and sausage with pasta, over polenta, or on its own for a delicious low-carb dinner.

A dish filled with chicken and pasta and sausage in tomato sauce.

I love braised chicken, and with good reason, it is almost impossible to screw up. The meat becomes infused with the flavors of the cooking liquid and turns out meltingly tender. The whole dish is swimming in a super savory sauce which is amazing over pasta or creamy polenta. The key is to keep the heat low, you want to see just a few bubbles rising to the top at a time.

If you’re anything like me, you can’t have enough chicken thighs recipes. I like using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs because the dark meat is the juiciest and most flavorful but you can use only chicken legs or any chicken pieces you choose. In the images I used a whole chicken and cut it into 10 pieces.

The cooking time is about an hour but possibly longer if you want to get the maximum flavor. Be sure to at least cook the chicken until it is tender, which will take about 40 minutes, but if you have a little more time, keep cooking to really concentrate the flavors, up to 2 hours if you wish.

This dish is especially flavorful from the wine and spicy sausage. If you are sensitive to heat, feel free to use a sweet Italian sausage instead.

Why This Is The Best Braised Chicken Recipe

A dish of braised chicken thighs on a table next to some flowers in a vase.
  1. Braising is the cooking method that produces the most tender chicken.
  2. This is a great recipe for a special occasion. It simmers away until you are ready to serve.
  3. This is also the perfect recipe for any night of the week because the whole family will love it. Guaranteed zero complaints.
  4. The whole thing is made super easy on the stovetop. No need to lug the big pot into the oven.


All the ingredients to make braised chicken with sausage including the chicken, sausage, tomatoes and more.
  • Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or use a whole chicken cut into 10 pieces.
  • Kosher salt. I always use Morton kosher salt unless otherwise specified.
  • Black pepper. Freshly ground black pepper is best.
  • Olive oil. I always use California extra virgin olive oil simply because it is fresher than imported olive oils.
  • Spicy Italian sausage or sweet Italian sausage, depending on your preference.
  • Yellow onion use a medium to medium-large onion.
  • Garlic. A little garlic makes everything better.
  • White wine or extra chicken broth if you want to stay away from alcohol.
  • Crushed tomatoes to create a delicious sauce.
  • Chicken stock. If you have homemade, great. If not, store-bought chicken broth is fine.
  • Small pasta shells or other small pasta shapes like rigatoni or orecchiette.
  • Basil or other fresh herbs like Italian parsley.

How To Make This Recipe

step one

Season the chicken. Season the chicken pieces generously with kosher salt and pepper.

4 chicken thighs seasoned with salt and pepper on a wood counter.

step two

Brown the chicken. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven or I use my 5-quart Le Creuset braiser. Add chicken thighs to the hot pan and brown on both sides, about 8 minutes per side or until it has nice crispy skin. If the chicken is not pulling away from the pan, give it another minute, then try again.

Once it has browned, remove to a baking sheet. It will cook the rest of the way in the sauce.

4 pieces of chicken in a pot being browned on the stove.

step three

Brown the sausage. In the same pot, add the sausage and brown until two sides are golden brown. I like to cut each sausage in half for a more manageable serving size. Remove to the baking sheet with the chicken once they have browned.

Several pieces of sausage being browned in a pot.

step four

Sauté the onions and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium heat and in the same pot, add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Let cook just until beginning to soften then add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds more.

onions and garlic being sautéed in a pot on the stove.

step five

Add remaining braising liquid ingredients. Add the wine and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Then add the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer then return the chicken and sausage to the pot, cover and reduce to a simmer over low heat. Cook until the chicken is cooked through. Taste the sauce and add more salt if needed.

A pot filled with tomato sauce simmering on the stove.

step six

Cook the pasta. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package instructions.

A metal strainer in the sink filled with pasta shells that have just been cooked.

step seven

Serve. Return the pasta to the pot and spoon some of the sauce over the past. Toss to combine. Pour pasta onto a serving dish and top with the chicken and sausage. Sprinkle with basil and enjoy!

A hand spooning tomato sauce over a pot of pasta.

Braised Chicken FAQ’s

A dish of braised chicken and sausage on a table next to a bowl of olives.

Can I freeze this chicken dish? Sure! Once cooled, place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then reheat in a saute pan until the thickest part of the chicken is warm. Stick a metal skewer of pairing knife into the chicken and test.

What should I serve with it? Last night, I served this with a simple arugula and spinach salad and crusty bread. You could also go with a green vegetable like my simple sautéed broccolini. As for a wine pairing, I recommend a bold Italian red wine like a Nebbiolo or a Montepulciano.

Can I make this recipe in a slow cooker? For best results, follow steps one through four to brown the chicken and sausage, and then transfer everything to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, until the chicken is tender and the flavors have melded together.

Top 4 Most Popular Chicken Recipes

  1. Satay Chicken Skewers with Curry Peanut Sauce
  2. Chicken Artichoke Angel Hair Pasta
  3. Creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole
  4. Dairy-Free Chicken Pot Pie

I Hope You Love This Delicious Recipe

Our family has really been loving this new recipe, I hope yours does too. When you try it, let me know how it went! Share a photo and tag me on Instagram using @katesbestrecipes so that I can see. Or leave me a comment below (don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating)! Also, sign up for my weekly recipe newsletter so you never miss a thing.

A table set with a big platter of chicken and pasta and another plate with sausage next to it.


Author: Kate
Tender chicken braised with hot Italian sausage, tomatoes, white wine, and garlic makes a delicious topping for pasta.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 760kcal



  • Season chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper on all sides. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large 5 quart braiser or Dutch oven. Once shimmering, add chicken skin side down and let cook undisturbed until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Flip and brown other side. Remove to a baking sheet and add sausage. Brown sauage and place on baking sheet with chicken.
  • Add onion and garlic to pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until onion starts to brown. Add wine and scrape any browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add crushed tomatoes to the pan along with the chicken stock. Arrange chicken and sausage in pan, cover and let gently simmer on low heat until chicken and sausage are cooked through, about 40 minutes. Taste sauce and add more salt if necessary.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain and transfer pasta back to the pot. Spoon several spoonfuls of sauce over the pasta.
  • Spoon pasta onto a serving dish. Top with chicken and sausage and spoon more sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the basil leave and serve.


  1. Cooking Time Variations: While the recommended cooking time for this braised chicken recipe is about an hour, you can extend it for even more flavor. Consider simmering the dish for up to 2 hours if you have the extra time. This will help to further concentrate the flavors and make the chicken even more tender.
  2. Customizing the Spiciness: If you prefer a milder version, feel free to substitute the spicy Italian sausage with sweet Italian sausage. This way, you can still enjoy the flavorful combination of sausage and chicken without the added heat.
  3. Freezing and Reheating: This braised chicken dish can be easily frozen for later consumption. Once cooled, store it in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. To ensure it is thoroughly heated, use a sauté pan and warm the thickest part of the chicken until it reaches the desired temperature.
  4. Pairing Suggestions: While serving the braised chicken and sausage with pasta is delightful on its own, consider adding complementary side dishes to enhance the meal. A simple arugula and spinach salad can provide a refreshing contrast, while crusty bread can be used to mop up the delicious sauce. Feel free to get creative and experiment with different sides to suit your taste preferences.


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