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How many calories are in Cavatelli with sausage?

Cavatelli with sausage is a delicious Italian pasta dish that combines small shell-shaped pasta with flavorful sausage and tomato sauce. Many people enjoy eating Cavatelli with sausage but wonder about the calorie content of this hearty pasta meal. Calorie counting has become increasingly popular as people aim to manage their weight and make informed food choices. Determining the calorie count in Cavatelli with sausage requires looking at the calories in the individual components of the dish. By understanding the calories in Cavatelli pasta, Italian sausage, and tomato sauce, you can estimate the total calorie count of Cavatelli with sausage. This article will provide a thorough breakdown of the calories in each ingredient and give you an idea of the total calories in a serving of Cavatelli with sausage.

Calories in Cavatelli Pasta

Cavatelli pasta is small, shell-shaped pasta made from semolina flour and eggs. The calorie content of Cavatelli pasta depends on the brand and whether it is fresh or dried. On average, one cup of dried Cavatelli contains:

  • Calories: 210
  • Total fat: 1g
  • Saturated fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 5mg
  • Total carbohydrates: 43g
  • Dietary fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 2g
  • Protein: 7g

Fresh Cavatelli tends to have slightly fewer calories with around 200 calories per cup. The calories from Cavatelli pasta come mainly from the refined carbohydrates in the semolina flour. Cavatelli is low in fat and provides a moderate amount of protein from the eggs used to make it. The calorie count of dried Cavatelli can vary between 180-240 calories per cup depending on the brand. But on average, one cup of dried Cavatelli contains about 210 calories before it is cooked.

Calories after cooking

When cooking dried Cavatelli, it absorbs water and expands in size. One cup of dried pasta will yield around 2 cups of cooked pasta.

So 210 calories per cup of dried Cavatelli becomes:

  • 1 cup dried = 210 calories
  • 2 cups cooked = 420 calories

This means if you cook 1 cup of dried Cavatelli, the total calorie amount doubles to 420 calories.

Calories in Italian Sausage

Italian sausage is a savory pork sausage seasoned with herbs and spices like fennel, paprika, garlic, and black pepper. It brings big flavor to pasta dishes like Cavatelli with sausage. The calorie content in Italian sausage can vary based on the type and preparation:

Raw Italian sausage

  • Calories in 1 oz raw: 90 calories
  • Calories in 3 oz raw (typical raw serving): 270 calories
  • Calories in 4 oz raw: 360 calories

Cooked Italian sausage

Since raw Italian sausage loses some fat and moisture during cooking, the calorie count decreases slightly when the sausage is cooked:

  • Calories in 1 oz cooked: 80 calories
  • Calories in 3 oz cooked (typical cooked serving): 240 calories
  • Calories in 4 oz cooked: 320 calories

So a single raw Italian sausage link containing around 3-4 oz will provide 270-360 calories raw, or 240-320 calories cooked. This varies based on the brand.

Calories in Tomato Sauce

Cavatelli with sausage is typically served with tomato sauce. The calories in tomato sauce depend on how it’s made:

Plain tomato sauce

Plain tomato sauce made with just tomatoes, olive oil, herbs, and seasonings is relatively low in calories:

  • 1/2 cup plain tomato sauce: 60 calories

Meat-based tomato sauce

If the tomato sauce contains ground beef, Italian sausage, or other meats, the calorie count increases:

  • 1/2 cup meat tomato sauce: 150-200 calories

So homemade plain tomato sauce adds minimal calories, while meat-based tomato sauces add more significant calories to the dish.

Total Calories in Cavatelli with Sausage

Now that we’ve looked at the calories in each component, we can estimate the total calories in a serving of Cavatelli with sausage:

  • Cavatelli pasta (2 cups cooked): 420 calories
  • Italian sausage (3 oz): 240 calories
  • Tomato sauce (1/2 cup): 60 calories

Total calories per serving: 720 calories

This estimate is for a common portion of Cavatelli with 3 ounces of cooked Italian sausage and tomato sauce made with just tomatoes. The calorie count can be lower or higher based on the exact ingredients and portion sizes.

Here is a quick recap of the average calories in each component per serving:

Ingredient Calories
Cavatelli pasta (2 cups cooked) 420
Italian sausage (3 oz) 240
Tomato sauce (1/2 cup) 60
Total Calories 720

Ways to Reduce Calories in Cavatelli with Sausage

While Cavatelli with sausage is a high-calorie dish, there are some simple ways to lighten it up:

  • Use turkey Italian sausage instead of pork sausage.
  • Choose whole wheat or protein-enriched Cavatelli pasta.
  • Load up on vegetables like bell peppers, onions, spinach, or broccoli.
  • Use shrimp instead of sausage for a lower-calorie protein.
  • Use part-skim ricotta or fresh mozzarella cheese instead of full-fat cheese.
  • Use plain tomato sauce instead of heavy cream-based sauce.
  • Skip the cheese and add basil, parsley, or oregano for flavor.

Making some simple substitutions and adding more vegetables can reduce the calories in Cavatelli with sausage by 100-300 calories per serving.

Health Benefits of Cavatelli with Sausage

While higher in calories, Cavatelli with sausage has some valuable nutritional benefits:

  • Provides protein from the sausage and eggs in the pasta.
  • Good source of iron, zinc, and B vitamins from the sausage.
  • Tomato sauce offers antioxidants like lycopene.
  • Pasta provides energy from carbohydrates.
  • Italian sausage supplies heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

In moderation, Cavatelli with sausage can be incorporated into a healthy diet. Eating it along with vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein helps balance out the nutritional value.


Cavatelli with sausage typically contains around 720 calories per serving. The high-calorie ingredients are the pasta, sausage, and tomato sauce if made with meat. There are several simple ways to lighten up this classic Italian pasta dish by using healthier substitutions and more vegetables. While relatively high in calories, Cavatelli with sausage also provides important nutrients like protein, iron, lycopene, and B vitamins when eaten in moderation as part of a healthy diet. Knowing the calorie count can help you enjoy this flavorful pasta dish while still minding your daily calorie intake.