Looking for more quick and easy pasta dishes to add to your weeknight dinner rotation? These penne pasta recipes perfectly fit the bill.
Penne, which is derived from the Latin word “penna” meaning pen, gets its name from its cylindrical shape and angled edges.
Unlike other kinds of pasta made with softer kinds of wheat, penne is made with durum wheat. This makes it chewier and more resilient.
That said, if you like your noodles extra al dente, penne is the pasta for you!
In today’s recipe round-up, I’ll share with you the many different ways you can turn a simple box of penne into a scrumptious feast.
As a versatile noodle, there are tons of pastabilities that penne brings. But I shortened the list to 23, just so you won’t get too overwhelmed.
Let’s get started!
To kick things off is a dish that proves not all pasta has to be heavy and filling.
Flavored with sweet tomatoes, fresh basil, and garlic, this dish is as refreshing as can be.
Despite the absence of cream, butter, and a thick sauce, this pasta is still loaded with flavor.
As an added bonus, this easy-peasy dish is ready for lunch or dinner in just 20 minutes!
This garlic penne pasta is creamy, dreamy, and extremely delicious. You really can’t go wrong with pasta, white sauce, and lots of cheese.
Don’t worry about the sauce being overly rich, though.
The garlic and the parsley cut through its umaminess, resulting in well-balanced flavors.
The fact that penne is hollow makes it a perfect candidate for thick and chunky sauces.
It’s one of the reasons why this next recipe is such a huge success.
In this dish, the penne is tossed with a scrumptious tomato sauce with ground beef.
You’ll love how the sauce doesn’t just go over the pasta, but through it as well.
When your body is craving both something indulgent and nutritious, this recipe is exactly what you need.
Filled with fresh vegetables and scrumptious chicken sausage, this pasta is both delicious and nutritious.
Also, don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to the vegetables listed in the ingredients. Raid the fridge and throw in whatever’s in there!
What do you get when you combine a box of penne, leftover ham, and a few other pantry staples? An irresistible ham and penne skillet, that’s what!
Aside from being ridiculously tasty, this dish is also super easy to make.
Everything gets cooked in the same pot, from the noodles to the white sauce and diced ham.
Fun fact: the word arrabbiata is Italian for angry. This dish won’t make you mad, though. All it does is delight.
It gets its name from its fiery tomato sauce, which is loaded with red chile pepper and garlic.
That said, If you like to spice up your dinner, let this recipe show you how it’s done.
This is a simple creamy chicken penne leveled up with a refreshing bruschetta topping.
If you find classic white sauce to be sickeningly rich, this dish is for you.
The bruschetta is a mix of tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and balsamic. It balances out the richness of the sauce, giving you a beautiful harmony of flavors.
Level up classic chicken Alfredo by topping it with cheese and popping it in the oven.
It results in an extra decadent dish. It’s melted, ooey-gooey comfort food at its best.
It also couldn’t be easier to make. In just under an hour, you’ll have an indulgent dish ready to feed a crowd.
Elevate your pasta gaming simply by adding a splash of vodka!
Penne alla vodka is a seemingly complex dish that’s actually very simple: penne and tomato cream sauce spiked with vodka.
Finished off with a sprinkling of sharp and salty parmesan cheese, this pasta is easy, yet restaurant-quality.
This pasta dish had me at bacon.
The bacon is just the added touch, though, so there’s definitely more to it than just that.
The pasta is bathed in a creamy white sauce flavored with garlic, spinach, and tomatoes.
It’s a bright and colorful dish that’s equally decadent and refreshing.
Flavored with pumpkin sauce and spices, this pasta dish is more than perfect for the fall!
A blend of pureed pumpkin, Greek yogurt, parmesan, garlic, chili, and nutmeg creates a cozy and warming sauce that’s both savory and sweet.
Make the most out of tuna in a can by turning it into an appetizing pasta sauce!
It’s simple. Just cook the tuna with a jar of passata (a puree of uncooked ripe tomatoes), basil, kalamata olives, and voila.
Al dente penne is coated with a luscious marinara sauce filled with Italian sausage to make a hearty and tasty dish.
As if that wasn’t good enough, the whole thing gets topped with mozzarella and parmesan and baked in the oven.
It might be an additional step, but the melted, ooey-gooey golden crust on top is definitely worth it.
14. Jambalaya Pasta
If you love both Italian and Cajun cuisines, you’ll definitely fall head over heels with this jambalaya pasta!
Here, the penne is tossed in a thick tomato sauce that’s jam-packed with chicken, sausage, and shrimp.
It’s like eating jambalaya and pasta in one bite.
This pasta salad is a heavenly combo.
It has romaine lettuce, shredded rotisserie chicken, croutons, parmesan, and penne tied together with a creamy Caesar salad dressing.
It’s as delicious as it is colorful. You can’t look at it and not want to try it!
This fiery shrimp pasta is a fantastic way to warm your body on a cold fall or winter day.
The shrimp and pasta are both key players in this dish. But the star is the blend of olive oil, soy sauce, parmesan, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes.
Together, the ingredients create a sauce that serves 2 purposes: as a marinade for the shrimp and as a sauce for the pasta.
If you’re looking for the easiest recipe on this list, you’ve just found it.
A combination of penne and homemade marinara, this pasta dish is as simple as can be.
This isn’t to say it’s too basic, though. While the flavors are straightforward, they’re also sure to delight your tastebuds.
Fagioli al forno is Italian for “pasta and beans from the stove.”
It’s a colorful and hearty casserole loaded with penne, beans, Italian sausage, and a well-seasoned tomato sauce.
Topped with lots of cheese and baked to golden perfection, this pasta bake is seriously rich, creamy, and delectable.
Have lots of leftover turkey from Thanksgiving? I know exactly what you can do with it.
This pasta primavera is a combination of colorful vegetables, turkey, and a refreshing sauce.
The generous use of vegetables makes this dish a healthy change from the indulgent dishes you’ve had over the holidays.
Can’t get enough of meat? This pizza pasta bake is loaded with it!
From ground beef to pepperoni to sopressata (Italian dry salami), this bake will definitely satisfy your meat craving.
This is a dreamy pasta with a cream cheese dressing and a spicy cajun chicken.
With the perfect ratio of creaminess and spiciness, this pasta dish delivers a beautiful balance of flavors.
This dish is named for Amatrice, a town in Italy where it originated.
Pasta all’ Amatriciana has a tomato-based sauce flavored with white wine, garlic, and prosciutto.
It’s a little bit salty, a little bit smoky, and completely tasty.
Packed with grilled chicken, creamy Alfredo, bruschetta, and three cheeses, this Applebee’s copycat will surely hit the spot.
If you’re looking to impress the kids, this recipe has you covered.
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