Penne pasta is a versatile ingredient that pairs well with many sauces. In this post, we’re sharing 11 of the easiest penne pasta recipes you can make. From hearty sausage penne pasta to creamy alfredo penne pasta, you’ll find some delicious options for quick weeknight dinners.
Penne pasta is our favorite pasta as it’s so simple to make and great for lunch and dinner. Whether adding healthy veggies and delicious proteins, you cannot go wrong with it!
Just about every household has a package of penne pasta in their kitchen pantry. And that’s no surprise considering how easy and convenient it is to transform pasta into delicious hot and cold dishes.
Easy Penne Pasta Recipes
Penne Vodka Pasta
If you’ve enjoyed vodka sauce penne at your favorite Italian restaurant, you know how creamy and delicious it is.
You can easily prepare this dish at home as well! Just follow the instructions in this recipe for perfect results every time.
Ham and Cheese Pasta Bake
Serve this hearty ham and cheese pasta dish the next time you’re hosting a party!
It features layers of penne pasta, ham, and cheese and is finished with an irresistible crispy au gratin topping.
Shrimp Penne Pasta
You’ll love the flavors of this easy shrimp pasta dish. The shrimp is sweet and plump and it’s tossed with the penne in a delicious sauce.
Sausage Penne Pasta
This creamy sausage penne pasta couldn’t be easier to make. It comes together with a handful of simple ingredients and is ready to enjoy in just 20 minutes.
Serve it with a crisp side salad for a healthy dinner!
Penne Pasta without Cheese
This creamy penne pasta dish is creamy and saucy. It has a buttery garlic flavor you’ll love. Serve it with lots of crusty bread to mop up the delicious sauce!
Alfredo Penne Pasta
You’ll love the flavor of this creamy alfredo penne pasta. It’s totally comforting and will be on the dinner table in about 30 minutes.
Chicken Penne Pasta
Boneless skinless chicken breast adds a healthy dose of lean protein to this hearty penne pasta dish.
Enjoy it with a side of your favorite green veggie and some crisp garlic bread.
Pesto Penne Pasta
Basic pesto pairs exceptionally well with pasta. You can use store-bought or homemade pesto in this tasty pesto penne dish that takes just 15 minutes to make.
Instant Pot Penne Pasta
Save yourself some time by making this saucy penne pasta in an Instant Pot! It’s full of flavor and is ready to eat in just 25 minutes.
Baked Penne Pasta
This hearty baked penne is filled with ground beef, veggies and two kinds of cheese!
It’s the ultimate comfort food and would be wonderful served with a crisp garden salad.
How Long to Cook Penne Pasta
The key to a delicious pasta dish is ensuring the pasta is cooked al dente. This post walks you through everything you need to know, including how long to cook the pasta to your preferred texture.
11 Easy Penne Pasta Recipes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste (optional)
- 1/3 cup vodka 3 oz
- 28 ounces canned whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- salt and pepper or to taste
- 3/4 cup half and half or ½ cup whipping cream
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 pound penne pasta or other pasta
- grated parmesan for serving
- fresh parsley or basil for garnish
- Place a large skillet over medium heat (see note). Add the oil followed by the garlic, onions and red pepper flakes. Cook for 4-5 minutes until soft, stirring regularly to prevent sticking.
- Add the vodka and tomatoes to the pan. Stir and continue cooking for 5-7 minutes more until the sauce has reduced somewhat.
- Add the tomato paste, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer partially covered for 15-20 minutes until reduced by about half. Stir occasionally.
- While the sauce is simmering, you can cook the pasta in boiling salted water, following the package directions. Drain, toss with a teaspoon of olive oil to prevent sticking and set aside.
- Transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor. Purée for about 5 to 10 seconds until smooth.
- Add the pureed sauce back to the skillet. With the heat on medium-low, add in the half and half or cream. Stir gently for a minute or two until it starts to bubble.
- Stir in the parmesan cheese. Then toss with the cooked pasta until coated completely. Garnish with extra parmesan and optional parsley or basil before serving.
Leave a Reply