12 Yummy Penne Pasta Recipes

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What to cook with penne? Here are 12 of my favourite penne pasta recipes perfect for speedy family dinners and delicious meatless meals.

Simple yet creative ideas to inspire you and to please everybody!

No wonder penne is arguably the most versatile pasta shape out there, and for good reason!

It’s convenient, it holds its shape and texture well, it goes beautifully with any creamy or chunky sauce, and it can also be baked making a wonderful satisfying meal.

We love this chunky tubular pasta with its angled ends that get coated and filled with sauce. This little trick makes penne perfect with almost every type of recipe, from decadent and creamy pasta sauce to chunky ones with plenty of vegetables.

And we love even more penne “rigate” that refers to those little ridges that help the pasta sauce cling to each tube beautifully.

How delicious is that?!

Now let’s check out some of our favorite penne pasta recipes, where you can find spicy penne arrabbiata, cream cheese penne, penne with pesto, penne loaded with veggies and more.

Enjoy! x

Penne pasta recipes

If you loved these penne pasta recipes…

I love carbs and could never get onto one of those low-carb diets out there, so if you’re looking for more pasta recipes, I’m happy to share also my vegan pasta recipes or this terrific collection of 13 Super Quick Pasta Recipes ready in less than 15 minutes.

Plus a few of more favorites:

Lastly, I hope if you make and love one these penne pasta recipes, and if you have any questions, let me know. Leave a comment, send me a message, or rate it. I would love to hear from you!

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12 Yummy Penne Pasta Recipes

What to cook with penne? Here are 12 of my favourite penne pasta recipes perfect for speedy family dinners and delicious meatless meals. This creamy spinach tomato pasta makes a wonderful pasta dish that is full of flavor, a breeze to make andtastes so luxurious.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: creamy spinach tomato pasta
Servings: 4
Calories: 415kcal
Author: Katia



  • 8oz (225 grams) Penne (or your fav pasta shapes)

Creamy spinach tomato sauce

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (olive oil or butter are fine)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
  • 14 oz (400 grams) tomato passata (or puree or canned crushed tomatoes.
  • ¼ heaped teaspoon fine salt
  • teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil (or 1 Tbsp of chopped fresh basil)
  • ½ cup (100 grams) full-fat soft cream cheese
  • ½ cup (50 grams) grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) pasta cooking water
  • 5 oz (150 grams) fresh spinach, washed


  • Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted until al dente (follow the package directions). A couple minutes before draining, scoop out approx ½ cup of pasta cooking water.
  • While the pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and when it starts shimmering, add garlic, chili flakes, and sauté for about a minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add in the tomato passata, salt, pepper, stir and let the sauce cook for about 5 minutes (it should be gentle bubbling, so you may need to turn down the heat).
  • Stir in the cream cheese, parmesan, dried basil and ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water. Stir until well combined and emulsified.
  • Add the spinach, a handful at a time, and stir and cook for about 2 minutes or until wilted. Taste the tomato spinach sauce and adjust the seasoning to your liking (I add only ¼ tsp of salt because aged parmesan is quite salty, but you might want to add more salt or freshly ground pepper).
  • Drain the pasta, add it to the skillet, toss to coat (it takes about 10 seconds).
  • Turn the heat off and serve immediately. Enjoy!


Storage: you can store this creamy spinach tomato pasta leftovers in airtight container in the fridge for up 3 days. Reheat it before adding to cooked pasta, and toss well until combined. 
Nutrition facts: the nutrition values are for one serving and they are based on an online nutrition calculator. It’s an estimate only and it should not be considered as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. Please see my disclosure policies.


Calories: 415kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 950mg | Potassium: 694mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 4393IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 201mg | Iron: 3mg

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