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Creamy Sausage Penne Bake Recipe

Imagine a plate of creamy, rich pasta with a hint of tangy tomato sauce and the savory taste of Italian sausage. A dish that's perfect for a cozy family dinner or a fancy dinner party. This creamy sausage penne bake recipe is just that. It's a one-dish wonder that combines the hearty flavors of sausage and pasta with a lusciously creamy sauce. A delightful combination that will leave everyone asking for seconds.

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The ingredients for this recipe are generally available in most pantries. However, if you're planning a trip to the supermarket, pay special attention to the Italian sausage. While this can typically be found in the meat section, it's a good idea to check if the store carries the mild variety, as this recipe calls for it. You may also need to look out for cream cheese and heavy cream in the dairy aisle.

Ingredients for Creamy Sausage Penne Bake

Penne pasta: A type of pasta with cylinder-shaped pieces.

Olive oil: Used for sautéing the sausage.

Italian sausage: Adds a savory and spicy flavor to the dish.

Heavy cream: Gives the sauce a thick and creamy consistency.

Tomato sauce: Provides a tangy base for the sauce.

Tomatoes: Adds a fresh and juicy element to the sauce.

Tomato paste: Deepens the tomato flavor in the sauce.

Cream cheese: Enhances the creamy texture of the sauce.

Garlic salt: An aromatic seasoning that boosts the overall flavor.

Oregano: An herb that gives a hint of earthiness.

Basil: A sweet-tasting herb that complements the tomato sauce.

Mozzarella cheese: Melts into a gooey topping that adds a delicious finish.

One reader, Granny Overstreet says:

star icon star icon star icon star icon star icon

This creamy sausage penne bake recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are rich and comforting, and the creamy texture is simply divine. It's a hit with my family every time I make it. Plus, it's so easy to prepare. Highly recommend trying it out!

Granny Overstreet

Key Techniques for Mastering Creamy Sausage Penne Bake

How to cook the pasta: Boil the penne pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente, then drain and set aside.

How to cook the sausage: In a large pan, heat olive oil and cook the mild Italian sausage until browned.

How to make the creamy tomato sauce: After browning the sausage, add heavy cream, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, cream cheese, garlic salt, oregano, and basil to the pan. Simmer the mixture for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

How to assemble the bake: Add the cooked pasta to the sausage and tomato mixture, tossing to coat the pasta. Then, pour the mixture into a greased 9x13 baking dish.

How to bake the penne: Sprinkle the top with mozzarella cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 18-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

How to serve: Allow the creamy sausage penne bake to cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

How To Make Creamy Sausage Penne Bake

Sausage, cream cheese, and tomatoes all give this penne bake its deliciously savory and creamy flavor. This is a great recipe for a filling weeknight meal.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 12ozpenne pasta
  • 2tspolive oil
  • 1lbmild Italian sausage
  • ½cupheavy cream
  • 15oztomato sauce
  • 14½oztomatoes,diced
  • 6oztomato paste
  • 4ozcream cheese
  • 1tspgarlic salt
  • ½tsporegano
  • ½tspbasil
  • 2cupsmozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Cook pasta as directed on box. Drain and set aside.

  3. In a large pan, heat oil and cook sausage until brown. Add heavy cream, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, cream cheese and spices. Simmer for 10 minutes.

  4. Add cooked pasta to the sausage/tomato mixture and toss to coat. Pour into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish.

  5. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 948.24kcal
  • Fat: 61.69g
  • Saturated Fat: 30.66g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 21.94g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.93g
  • Carbohydrates: 58.51g
  • Fiber: 4.94g
  • Sugar: 11.34g
  • Protein: 41.18g
  • Cholesterol: 182.51mg
  • Sodium: 1811.28mg
  • Calcium: 583.83mg
  • Potassium: 1091.31mg
  • Iron: 3.66mg
  • Vitamin A: 387.43µg
  • Vitamin C: 22.20mg

Expert Technique Tip for Perfecting Creamy Sausage Penne Bake

When browning the Italian sausage, make sure to break it up into small, bite-sized pieces. This will ensure that the sausage is evenly distributed throughout the penne pasta and each bite will have a good balance of flavors. Additionally, when adding the cream cheese to the sauce, cut it into small chunks and stir continuously. This will help it melt smoothly into the sauce, creating a rich and creamy texture.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Creamy Sausage Penne Bake

Plan ahead: Prep all your ingredients and cookware before starting to save time and avoid last-minute scrambling.

Multitask: While the pasta is cooking, start preparing the sausage and sauce to maximize efficiency in the kitchen.

Use pre-cooked sausage: Consider using pre-cooked sausage to cut down on cooking time and simplify the recipe.

Make extra: Prepare a larger batch and freeze individual portions for quick and convenient future meals.

One-pot cooking: Consider using a large skillet or pot to cook the entire dish, minimizing the number of dishes to clean afterward.

Invest in quality tools: Quality kitchen tools and sharp knives can make prep work faster and more efficient.

Organize your workspace: Keep your kitchen organized and clean as you cook to save time and minimize distractions.

Follow the recipe: Stick to the recipe to avoid mistakes and save time on improvisation.

Substitute Ingredients For Creamy Sausage Penne Bake Recipe

  • penne pasta - Substitute with rigatoni: Rigatoni is a similar shaped pasta that can hold the creamy sauce and sausage well.

  • olive oil - Substitute with butter: Butter can add a rich and creamy flavor to the dish, complementing the sausage and cream sauce.

  • mild Italian sausage - Substitute with spicy Italian sausage: Using spicy Italian sausage can add an extra kick of flavor to the dish.

  • heavy cream - Substitute with half and half: Half and half can provide a lighter alternative to heavy cream while still adding creaminess to the dish.

  • tomato sauce - Substitute with marinara sauce: Marinara sauce can add a slightly different flavor profile with its combination of tomatoes and herbs.

  • tomatoes - Substitute with canned diced tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes can provide a convenient and flavorful alternative to fresh tomatoes.

  • tomato paste - Substitute with ketchup: Ketchup can add a touch of sweetness and tanginess to the dish, enhancing the flavor of the sauce.

  • cream cheese - Substitute with ricotta cheese: Ricotta cheese can offer a similar creamy texture and a slightly different flavor to the dish.

  • garlic salt - Substitute with garlic powder and salt: Mixing garlic powder and salt can provide the same flavor without the added moisture from fresh garlic.

  • oregano - Substitute with thyme: Thyme can provide a slightly different herbaceous flavor to the dish.

  • basil - Substitute with parsley: Parsley can add a fresh and herbaceous flavor to the dish.

  • mozzarella cheese - Substitute with cheddar cheese: Cheddar cheese can offer a sharper flavor and a different melting quality to the dish.

Presentation Tips for a Delightful Sausage Penne Bake

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the creamy sausage penne bake, focus on creating a visually appealing plate. Use a large, flat plate to showcase the dish and ensure that the pasta is evenly distributed.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Add a touch of freshness and color to the dish by garnishing with freshly chopped basil and parsley. This not only enhances the visual appeal but also adds a pop of flavor.

  3. Incorporate texture: Consider adding a crunchy element to the dish, such as a sprinkle of toasted breadcrumbs or panko on top of the baked penne. This adds a delightful contrast to the creamy texture of the dish.

  4. Focus on precision: Pay attention to the placement of the pasta and sausage on the plate. Aim for clean lines and carefully position each element to create a balanced and professional presentation.

  5. Consider the serving vessel: Opt for a sophisticated and elegant serving vessel, such as a ceramic baking dish or a cast iron skillet, to elevate the presentation of the creamy sausage penne bake.

  6. Emphasize the cheese: Highlight the gooey, melted mozzarella cheese by ensuring it is beautifully melted and slightly browned on top. This adds a touch of sophistication to the dish.

  7. Create a focal point: Arrange the creamy sausage penne bake in a way that creates a focal point on the plate, drawing the eye to the center of the dish and making it the star of the presentation.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Creamy Sausage Penne Bake

  • Large pot: You will need a large pot to cook the penne pasta.
  • Large pan: A large pan is essential for cooking the sausage and mixing the sauce.
  • 9x13 baking dish: This baking dish is used to bake the creamy sausage penne.
  • Spatula: A spatula will help you mix the ingredients and transfer the pasta to the baking dish.
  • Oven: The oven is used to bake the creamy sausage penne.
  • Colander: A colander is necessary for draining the cooked pasta.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: These are essential for accurately measuring the ingredients.
  • Stove: The stove is used for cooking the sausage and simmering the sauce.
  • Cheese grater: If you are using block cheese, a cheese grater will be needed to grate the mozzarella cheese.
  • Wooden spoon: A wooden spoon is helpful for stirring the sauce while it simmers.

Storage and Freezing Guidelines for Creamy Sausage Penne Bake

  • Allow the creamy sausage penne bake to cool completely before storing or freezing. This will prevent condensation from forming and making the dish soggy.

  • To store in the refrigerator, transfer the cooled penne bake to an airtight container or cover the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

  • For longer storage, freeze the penne bake. Divide the cooled dish into individual portions or freeze the entire bake in a freezer-safe container or baking dish. If using a baking dish, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.

  • Label the container or baking dish with the name of the dish and the date it was frozen. The creamy sausage penne bake will keep in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

  • To reheat from the refrigerator, place the desired portion in a microwave-safe dish and heat until warmed through, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, you can reheat it in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) until heated through.

  • If reheating from frozen, thaw the penne bake in the refrigerator overnight. Then, reheat in the microwave or oven as described above. If reheating a larger portion or the entire bake, it's best to use the oven method to ensure even heating throughout.

  • For best results, add a splash of water or cream to the dish before reheating to help maintain its creamy texture.

The Best Ways to Reheat Leftover Creamy Sausage Penne Bake

  • To reheat leftover creamy sausage penne bake, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil to prevent the top from burning and drying out. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pasta is heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking to allow the top to crisp up slightly.

  • Another option is to reheat individual portions in the microwave. Place a single serving of the pasta bake on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a damp paper towel. This will help prevent the pasta from drying out. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until the pasta is heated through and the cheese is melted. Stir the pasta halfway through the reheating process to ensure even heating.

  • For a stovetop method, place the desired amount of leftover creamy sausage penne bake in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add a splash of heavy cream, milk, or chicken broth to help loosen the sauce and prevent the pasta from sticking together. Stir the pasta frequently and cook until it is heated through and the sauce is warm and creamy. This method allows you to easily adjust the consistency of the sauce by adding more liquid as needed.

  • If you have an air fryer, you can use it to reheat smaller portions of the pasta bake. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) and place the desired amount of pasta in the basket. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the pasta is heated through and the top is slightly crispy. This method is quick and helps maintain the texture of the baked pasta.

Interesting Trivia About Creamy Sausage Penne Bake

Penne pasta is named after the quill of an old-style ink pen, due to its shape.

Budget-Friendly: Is Creamy Sausage Penne Bake Cost-Effective?

This creamy sausage penne bake recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients, such as pasta, sausage, and tomato sauce, are generally affordable and readily available. The dish offers a hearty and satisfying meal for a family of four at an approximate cost of $15. The creamy texture and rich flavors make it a comforting and indulgent choice. Overall Verdict: 9.

Is This Creamy Pasta Dish Healthy or Unhealthy?

The creamy sausage penne bake recipe, while undeniably delicious, is not the healthiest option due to several factors:

  • The recipe is high in saturated fat from the heavy cream, cream cheese, and mozzarella cheese, which can contribute to heart disease and other health issues when consumed in excess.
  • The use of mild Italian sausage adds additional fat and sodium to the dish.
  • The recipe relies heavily on processed tomato products, such as tomato sauce and tomato paste, which may contain added sugars and preservatives.
  • The dish is relatively low in fiber, as it does not include any vegetables or whole grains.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Swap the mild Italian sausage for a leaner protein source, such as ground turkey or chicken sausage, to reduce the overall fat content.
  • Replace the heavy cream with a lower-fat alternative, such as evaporated skim milk or Greek yogurt, to maintain creaminess while cutting down on saturated fat.
  • Incorporate more vegetables into the dish, such as sautéed spinach, zucchini, or bell peppers, to increase the fiber content and add more nutrients.
  • Use whole wheat penne pasta instead of regular penne to boost the fiber content and provide a more complex carbohydrate source.
  • Reduce the amount of cheese used in the recipe, or opt for lower-fat cheese varieties to decrease the saturated fat content without compromising on flavor.
  • Prepare the tomato sauce from scratch using fresh tomatoes, herbs, and spices, allowing you to control the amount of added sugars and preservatives.

Editor's Opinion: Thoughts on Creamy Sausage Penne Bake

This creamy sausage penne bake recipe is a delightful combination of hearty flavors and creamy textures. The mild Italian sausage adds a rich, savory element, while the blend of tomato sauce, cream cheese, and heavy cream creates a luscious and indulgent sauce. The addition of mozzarella cheese on top adds a gooey, golden finish. The dish is a perfect balance of comforting and satisfying, making it a wonderful choice for a cozy family dinner or a gathering with friends. The recipe is simple to follow and yields a delicious result that is sure to impress.

Enhance Your Creamy Sausage Penne Bake Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus: Roast asparagus with garlic and parmesan for a flavorful and healthy side dish.
Honey Glazed Carrots: Glaze carrots with honey for a sweet and savory side dish that pairs perfectly with the creamy sausage penne bake.
Balsamic Grilled Vegetables: Grill a variety of vegetables with balsamic glaze for a colorful and tangy side dish to complement the creamy sausage penne bake.

Similar Recipes to Creamy Sausage Penne Bake

Cheesy Bacon Potato Casserole: This hearty casserole is a perfect comfort food dish, combining the savory flavors of bacon and cheese with tender potatoes.
Honey Garlic Glazed Salmon: This sweet and savory salmon dish is a crowd-pleaser, with a sticky honey garlic glaze that caramelizes beautifully in the oven.
Mango Avocado Salsa: This refreshing salsa is a perfect accompaniment to grilled chicken or fish, with the sweet and tangy flavors of mango and creamy avocado.

Perfect Appetizers and Desserts for Creamy Sausage Penne Bake

Appetizers:
Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: For a delicious and elegant appetizer, try making savory stuffed mushrooms. These bite-sized treats are filled with a flavorful mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs, then baked to perfection. They're sure to impress your guests at any gathering.
Crispy Zucchini Fritters: Looking for a tasty and unique appetizer? Try making crispy zucchini fritters. These golden-brown delights are made with shredded zucchini, herbs, and a hint of parmesan cheese. They're perfect for dipping in a tangy sauce or enjoying on their own.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder for an extra touch of decadence.
Berry Parfait: Layer juicy mixed berries with creamy vanilla yogurt and crunchy granola for a refreshing and satisfying parfait that's perfect for any time of day.

Why trust this Creamy Sausage Penne Bake Recipe:

This recipe is a guaranteed hit for any pasta lover. The combination of savory mild Italian sausage and rich mozzarella cheese creates a mouthwatering experience. The addition of cream cheese and heavy cream gives the dish a creamy and indulgent texture. The use of tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste ensures a robust and flavorful sauce. The blend of garlic salt, oregano, and basil adds a perfect balance of Italian flavors. Trust this recipe for a comforting and satisfying meal that will surely impress your family and friends.

Share your thoughts on the Creamy Sausage Penne Bake recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know how it turned out for you!
FAQ:
How can I make this recipe vegetarian?
You can easily make this recipe vegetarian by substituting the Italian sausage with plant-based sausage or crumbled tofu. You can also add in some sautéed mushrooms or bell peppers for extra flavor and texture.
Can I make this dish ahead of time and reheat it later?
Yes, you can prepare the creamy sausage penne bake ahead of time and reheat it later. Simply assemble the dish as instructed, cover it with foil, and refrigerate. When you're ready to enjoy it, remove the foil and bake it in a preheated oven until heated through.
Is it possible to freeze the creamy sausage penne bake?
Absolutely! This dish freezes well. Once it has been baked and cooled, you can portion it into airtight containers or freezer-safe bags. When you're ready to enjoy it, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it in the oven until it's heated through.
Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe?
Yes, you can use a different type of pasta if you prefer. While the recipe calls for penne, you can easily substitute it with other short pasta shapes like rigatoni, ziti, or farfalle.
What can I serve with the creamy sausage penne bake?
This dish pairs well with a simple green salad dressed with vinaigrette, garlic bread, or a side of roasted vegetables. The creamy and savory flavors of the penne bake complement lighter, refreshing sides.

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