Inflammasomes are intracellular multiprotein signaling complexes that activate Caspase-1, leading to the cleavage and secretion of IL-1β and IL-18, and ultimately host cell death. Inflammasome activation is a common cellular response to infection; however, the consequences of inflammasome activation during acute infection and in the development of long-term protective immunity is not well understood. To investigate the role of the inflammasome in vivo, we engineered a strain of Listeria monocytogenes that ectopically expresses Legionella pneumophila flagellin, a potent activator of the Nlrc4 inflammasome. Compared with wild-type L. monocytogenes, strains that ectopically secreted flagellin induced robust host cell death and IL-1β secretion. These strains were highly attenuated both in bone marrow-derived macrophages and in vivo compared with wild-type L. monocytogenes. Attenuation in vivo was dependent on Nlrc4, but independent of IL-1β/IL-18 or neutrophil activity. L. monocytogenes strains that activated the inflammasome generated significantly less protective immunity, a phenotype that correlated with decreased induction of antigen-specific T cells. Our data suggest that avoidance of inflammasome activation is a critical virulence strategy for intracellular pathogens, and that activation of the inflammasome leads to decreased long-term protective immunity and diminished T-cell responses.