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Penne pasta is one of the most beloved and famous pasta shapes. It received its name after, you guessed it, the pen due to its shape. It was inspired by the quill and created in the 1800s and we’ve been loving it ever since.
The tube-shaped pasta with angled edges allows the sauce to get into it adding to the texture and tastiness of every bite. There are many ways to enjoy penne pasta so we’ve rounded up some of the best penne pasta recipes.
Add some variety to your recipe repertoire and exercise your culinary skills with this roundup of recipes. Even the most novice of cooks will find a new favorite.
From restaurant-quality meals to easy dinner recipes and everything between, these recipes are sure to please.
1. Baked Penne
This delicious baked penne pasta is the perfect one-pot meal. Ground beef, onion, garlic, herb cream cheese, spaghetti sauce, and mozzarella all combine with the pasta and bake to perfection. It comes together in 40 minutes making it perfect for a hearty weeknight meal.
A traditional Italian pasta dish with the famous vodka sauce. This sauce originally came to fruition as a quick and affordable way to impress Italian women and became a staple in Italian cuisine.
The rich and creamy sauce is full of butter, garlic, vodka, cream, Marzano tomatoes, crushed red pepper, and parmesan. It’s a restaurant-quality meal sure to impress everyone at your dinner table.
This dreamy, creamy penne pasta recipe comes together in 20 minutes. Butter, flour, garlic, white wine, cream, seasonings, and parmesan cheese create this beautifully flavored cream sauce. Tossed with the penne pasta and dinner is served!
Want to add a little protein? A grilled chicken breast will pair perfectly with it.
There are so many great penne pasta recipes available and this one is no different. Refreshing and light, this is the perfect recipe when craving comfort food but not wanting a heavy meal. Fresh basil, tomatoes, garlic, onion, and parmesan cheese toss with the penne pasta for a delectable dish.
Add some spice to your life with another easy dinner recipe. Ready in less than 30 minutes, this is a perfect weeknight meal.
Arrabbiata is the Italian word for angry but there’s nothing to vex you about this recipe, only rich, spicy flavors. It's a red-hot tomato sauce with garlic, red pepper, and basil that’s full of flavor! If you love spice, you’ll love this sauce.
Take your traditional chicken alfredo up a few notches with this baked version of the favorite classic. Adding more cheese and baking it creates a rich, velvety, tasty, and lovable comfort food.
Even better, you can be indulging in this decadent dish in no time as it's ready in under an hour, great for a weeknight dinner and perfect for leftovers the next night.
7. Penne Pesto
Take a tasty twist on the traditional penne pasta recipe with this super simple dish. Green beans, chicken breasts, mayonnaise, store bought or homemade pesto sauce, cherry tomatoes, white vinegar, seasonings, and parmesan cheese merge together in a burst of texture and flavor.
A copycat recipe of the famous Macaroni Grill signature dish. This delicious meal has a rosemary cream sauce that mixes with chicken, shrimp, and smoked prosciutto for a rich and robust flavor.
No need to go out to dinner when you can make this restaurant quality meal at home.
A mozzarella cream sauce blends together with basil, sun-dried tomatoes, and red pepper flakes for a uniquely fresh and flavorful meal. It’s the perfect dish to elevate weeknight meals or impress on date night.
A one-pot easy dinner recipe that is hearty and pleasing to any palate. Italian sausage and pepper jack cheese give a robust flavor while the tomato, onion, garlic, and carrot give it texture and tang. A fuss-free dinner in 30 minutes packed full of satisfying comfort.
Looking for a healthy pasta salad? Look no further than this filling, protein-packed, and altogether delightful penne pasta recipe. With peas, red onion, tuna, and celery adding texture and flavor, the real star of this show is the creamy avocado yogurt dressing.
Perfect for potlucks, picnics, and BBQs, you’ll have this tasty salad on repeat.
A creamy pasta dish full of flavor. This penne pasta recipe includes chicken spinach, cherry tomatoes, and bacon, yum!
This penne recipe is as healthy as it is good. Packed full of fresh vegetables and soft noodles, it has the perfect balance of texture and flavor. The light lemon sauce adds a hint of citrus and a burst of refreshing flavor.
Get ready to take your tastebuds on a delicious ride. Bacon and ranch take a traditional alfredo sauce and level it up right off the charts. This baked penne pasta is not only a restaurant-quality meal it’s also easy enough to whip up on a weeknight. A simple, hearty comfort food great any time of the year and especially perfect for a cold night.
An easy dinner recipe that is packed full of flavor and satisfying to eat. Cajun seasonings give it a bold, spicy flavor that blends with a cream sauce to balance out the richness of the cream sauce. It comes together in under 45 minutes making it the perfect meal to throw together when you’re short on time without sacrificing flavor.
This salad is a summer favorite and the perfect dish for potlucks and picnics. Loaded with salami, tomatoes, olives, peppers, onion, 3 types of cheeses, and fresh basil, it’s a light and fresh salad with every bite bursting with tasty flavors. The tangy dressing adds to the explosion of flavor with every bite. It’s so good, you might not want to share it!
The lemon garlic sauce is so fresh and tangy, it adds a light and zesty flavor to this pasta dish while broccoli adds an earthy flavor and texture. It’s a healthy and quick meal to make any day of the week.
This delightful dish is a springtime favorite. The pancetta is a crispy treat in every bite while the peas and goat cheese add light and earthy flavor. The sauce is a creamy, garlicky dream and all of the flavors complement each other for a truly simple yet exquisite dish.
This mouthwatering spin on the classic alfredo sauce is packed full of the flavors of the southwest. A robust dish that uses cheddar cheese instead of the traditional parmesan cheese adds to the depth of flavor. It’s the cheesy, creamy, and oh-so-satisfying dish that will have everyone asking for seconds.
A quick and easy dinner recipe that is also restaurant quality can be hard to find. This penne recipe checks both those boxes. Ready in 20 minutes, it has a wonderful white wine parmesan cream sauce. The chicken apple sausage and shallots add rich flavors and create a hearty meal any restaurant would be proud to serve.
You don’t have to wait for Autumn to enjoy the flavors of the season. This is a quick and easy recipe ready to be enjoyed all year long. A delicious blend of bell peppers, sausage, garlic, and onion adds to the flavor profile while the pumpkin sauce is rich and savory. It’s a robust dish bursting with flavor.
This penne recipe is a fun twist on the traditional Caesar salad. Even better, it has bacon. The crunchiness of the bacon, croutons, and romaine lettuce pair perfectly with the softness of the penne pasta, tenderness of the chicken, and creamy Caesar dressing. A tangy and delightful dish that will have your taste buds dancing for joy.
Don’t be fooled by the name! While this recipe is packed full of cheese creating a hearty comfort food, it’s also stuffed full of vegetables and calls for low-fat cheese creating a healthier option. With mushrooms, spinach, onion, bell peppers, and seasonings, this baked pasta dish is full of earthiness and creamy, cheesy goodness. While it does call for chicken, you can easily omit it for a vegetarian meal instead.
Is there anything better than pasta with meat sauce? A perfect meal for a busy weeknight.
One of the original sauces to pair with pasta, this is as authentic as you can get. Classic Italian flavors from onion, garlic, Italian seasonings, red pepper flakes, basil, thyme, and chunky tomato sauce mix in with ground beef creating a tantalizing, delicious sauce. The rich and velvety sauce envelopes the pasta in a delicious and cozy dish.
We may have saved the best for last with this one. This crowd-pleasing baked pasta is full of hearty flavors and ooey-gooey cheesiness. Bursting with garlic, seasonings, and a dash of red pepper flakes, it has the tastiness to live up to its name. Perfect to feed the family and leftovers freeze up nicely.
Did you try one of these delicious penne recipes? Let me know in the comments.
Penne Pasta Recipes
- 10 ounces penne pasta
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- Boil and cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Once cooked, drain and set aside.
- Heat a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Place butter in the pan and melt. Add in garlic stir for 1 minute.
- Stir in cooked pasta. Add Parmesan and stir to completely coat.