15 Penne Pasta Recipes

Totally tubular dishes

Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? Make it fuss-free with penne pasta recipes that are perfect for weeknights, and satisfying enough to please kids and adults alike. From one-pot meals to easy cheesy baked casseroles, and 15-minute pasta dishes, these are sure to become new family-favorite recipes.

Don't forget to experiment with penne pasta varieties either! Mini penne noodles make a great substitute for elbow macaroni, and ridged penne rigate are perfect for capturing every bit of a delicious sauce.

  • 01 of 15

    Penne all'Arrabbiata

    Penne all'Arrabbiata

    The Spruce

    Arrabbiata means "angry" in Italian, and this classic Roman pasta dish gets its cheeky name from its signature spicy tomato sauce, made with garlic and red chile peppers. You can make the sauce in about the time it takes to boil a pot of penne, making it a great family dinner option on rushed weeknights.

  • 02 of 15

    Chicken, Cheese, and Penne Pasta Bake

    Chicken, Cheese, and Penne Pasta Bake

    The Spruce

    In less than an hour, you can bake a yummy chicken penne casserole for weeknight dinner. Kids will love digging their forks into the tender, ooey, gooey pasta, which contains sneaky nutrition in the form of artichokes and mushrooms, along with a deliciously creamy cheese sauce.

  • 03 of 15

    Pasta Salad With Chicken and Bacon

    Pasta Salad With Chicken and Bacon

    The Spruce

    Smoky crumbled bacon adds something special to this creamy penne pasta salad that also boasts tasty chunks of cooked chicken (use rotisserie, or leftovers), plum tomatoes, red onion, and celery. It's all tossed in a light, lemony mayonnaise dressing with fresh chopped parsley, and just a hint of garlic.

  • 04 of 15

    Pumpkin Pecan Penne

    Pumpkin Pecan Penne

    Allyson Kramer

    Rich-tasting pumpkin pecan penne features two favorite fall flavors, but you can make this easy, sophisticated pasta dish at any time of year with canned pumpkin puree. Its gorgeously creamy sauce is as rich as a traditional Alfredo, but is completely dairy-free, so it's suitable for vegans, or those avoiding lactose.

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  • 05 of 15

    Penne Pasta With Fresh Artichokes

    Penne Pasta With Fresh Artichokes

    svariophoto/Getty Images

    Fresh artichokes in season are a real treat, and their gorgeous, mild green flavor needs little tweaking. Enjoy them Roman-style in this simple, elegant dish of pasta and artichokes flavored with olive oil, garlic, onion, butter, sea salt, and lemon juice.

  • 06 of 15

    Spicy Sausage and Penne Casserole

    Spicy Sausage and Penne Casserole

    Diana Rattray

    Bake up a penne pasta casserole that's as satisfying as lasagne, but less work. Loaded with with smoked andouille sausage, Creole seasonings, and cheddar cheese, it makes a filling family dinner, and freezes well for making ahead. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven, so undercook it by a minute or two when preboiling.

  • 07 of 15

    Penne Pasta With Creamy Tomato and Meat Sauce

    Penne Pasta With Creamy Tomato and Meat Sauce

    Diana Rattray

    If you've got an hour at the end of the day, you have time to make this crowd-pleasing pasta with creamy tomato and meat sauce. The hearty ragu is simple to make on the stovetop, and includes hidden veggies for extra nutrients. If you'd rather skip the small amount of wine in the recipe, you can replace it with water or broth.

  • 08 of 15

    Penne Pasta with Asparagus, Pancetta and Cherry Tomatoes

    Penne Pasta with Asparagus, Pancetta and Cherry Tomatoes

    Daniel Bendjy/Getty Images

    Pasta dinners don't have to be heavy affairs. Brighten up your summer dinner table with this fast, fresh-tasting pasta dish that celebrates seasonal produce, and requires no separate sauce. Simply flash-fry chopped green asparagus and juicy cherry tomatoes in garlic-infused olive oil, and toss with smoky bacon crumbles. Top with fresh parsley, and serve.

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  • 09 of 15

    Penne all' Amatriciana

    Penne all' Amatriciana

    Elaine Lemm

    The classic pasta all' Amatriciana is named for Amatrice, the Italian town where this recipe originated. Spicy and porky, with plenty of rich tomato flavor, this pasta typically uses the Italian cured meat guanciale, but pancetta will do if it's more readily available. Don't skip the red wine, which adds sweetness and acidity to the sauce.

  • 10 of 15

    Baked Penne Caserole With Ham and Peas

    Baked Penne Caserole With Ham and Peas

    Diana Rattray

    Use up leftover ham in this easy, cheesy baked pasta casserole that you can dig into pronto, or freeze for enjoying later. The rich cheddar cheese sauce thickens as it bakes, creating an appetizing strata of cooked penne, diced ham, and peas. The crunchy, buttery, browned breadcrumb topping is a bonus!

  • 11 of 15

    Meaty One-Pot Penne Alla Vodka

    Meaty One-Pot Penne Alla Vodka

    The Spruce

    One-pot penne alla vodka is a fabulous go-to dish for date night, family night, or any night when you're craving warm comfort on a plate. The rich, beefy, creamy sauce is loaded with ground meat and crushed tomatoes, with just a little vodka kick. Top it with grated Parmesan cheese for a sharp, salty finish.

  • 12 of 15

    Pasta with Sundried Tomato Pesto

    Pasta with Sundried Tomato Pesto

    Katie Workman/themom100.com

    We usually think of pestos being green, but this pesto sauce with basil has a brick-red color from tangy sundried tomatoes, plus fresh or chopped canned diced tomatoes, which are used instead of pine nuts. It makes a tasty sauce for hot cooked penne noodles, and leftovers can do double-duty as a yummy sandwich spread.

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  • 13 of 15

    Crock Pot Pizza Pasta Casserole

    Crock Pot Pizza Pasta Casserole

    Diana Rattray

    Do something different for pizza night with this fully-loaded crockpot pizza pasta casserole that includes ground beef, pepperoni slices, green bell pepper, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, and Italian seasonings. Your slow cooker does most of the work, with only a few minutes needing upfront for browning the meat. Add cooked penne noodles near the end of cooking, for the perfect al dente texture.

  • 14 of 15

    Gluten-Free Summer Penne With Tomatoes and Basil

    Gluten-Free Summer Penne With Tomatoes and Basil

    Katie Workman

    Do you love pasta, but need to eat gluten-free? When summer comes around, make this fresh-tasting pasta with cherry tomatoes and aromatic basil leaves your new go-to dinner recipe. Make it easily in less than half an hour for a quick weeknight dinner, or serve at room temperature as a tasty cookout pasta salad.

  • 15 of 15

    Penne Pasta Bake With Tomatoes and Mozzarella Cheese

    Penne Pasta Bake With Tomatoes and Mozzarella Cheese

    The Spruce

    Baked penne pasta casserole with canned crushed tomatoes, shredded mozzarella cheese, garlic, and dried herbs could not be easier to make in about 30 minutes, and kids love to eat it. Feel free to add a few vegetables for extra nutrition, or make it vegan by using a dairy-free cheese replacement.