10 Creative Ways to Use Penne Pasta

Penne pasta is a versatile and beloved ingredient that often finds its way onto our dinner tables.

Its distinctive tubular shape makes it perfect for holding onto sauces and ingredients,

resulting in a delightful culinary experience.

In this article, we will explore 10 creative ways to use penne pasta that will add a new twist to your pasta repertoire.

1. Classic Penne with Tomato and Basil

Penne pasta can be a canvas for a classic Italian dish.

Boil the penne until al dente,

then toss it with a simple yet flavorful combination of fresh tomatoes,

basil, olive oil, and garlic. A pinch of red pepper flakes adds a little kick to this timeless dish.

2. Penne Alla Vodka

Indulge in the creamy goodness of Penne Alla Vodka.

This rich and luscious pasta dish features penne tossed in a velvety tomato-cream sauce with a splash of vodka.

It’s a treat for those special occasions.

3. Penne Primavera

For a healthier twist, try Penne Primavera.

This dish is a celebration of seasonal vegetables,

with penne pasta acting as a hearty base.

Sautéed broccoli, bell peppers, carrots,

and zucchini make this pasta dish a colorful and wholesome delight.

4. Penne Carbonara

Penne Carbonara is a decadent Roman pasta dish that combines penne with eggs,

pancetta, grated Pecorino Romano cheese, and black pepper.

It’s a creamy and savory treat that’s surprisingly easy to make.

5. Baked Penne with Three Cheeses

For a comforting and cheesy delight,

prepare Baked Penne with Three Cheeses.

Combine penne with a blend of mozzarella, ricotta,

and parmesan, and bake it until bubbly and golden.

It’s a crowd-pleaser that’s perfect for potlucks.

6. Penne Puttanesca

Penne Puttanesca is a bold and zesty pasta dish.

Combine penne with a sauce made from tomatoes,

olives, capers, anchovies, and garlic for a flavorful and slightly spicy meal that will awaken your taste buds.

7. Penne with Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Penne with Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes is a quick and delightful dish that showcases the vibrant flavors of basil pesto and the sweet intensity of sun-dried tomatoes.

It’s a burst of Mediterranean goodness in every bite.

8. Penne with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Elevate your penne pasta with a roasted red pepper sauce.

The smoky, slightly sweet flavor of roasted red peppers pairs perfectly with penne,

creating a pasta dish that’s both visually appealing and delicious.

9. Penne with Sausage and Broccoli

Penne pasta pairs wonderfully with the savory goodness of Italian sausage and the crispness of broccoli.

Sauté them together for a hearty and satisfying meal that’s both comforting and filling.

10. Penne Salad with Mediterranean Flair

Penne pasta can also be the star of a refreshing salad.

Toss cooked penne with cucumbers, tomatoes,

Kalamata olives, red onion, and feta cheese, all drizzled with a lemon vinaigrette.

It’s a perfect summer dish or a great side for your barbecue.


In conclusion, penne pasta is a versatile ingredient that offers countless possibilities for creating mouthwatering dishes.

Whether you prefer the classics or want to explore new flavors,

these 10 creative ways to use penne pasta will undoubtedly satisfy your culinary cravings.


1. Can I use gluten-free penne pasta for these recipes?

Yes, you can substitute gluten-free penne pasta in these recipes to make them gluten-free.

2. How can I make my penne pasta perfectly al dente?

To achieve al dente pasta,

follow the package instructions and taste a piece a minute or two before the suggested cooking time ends.

The pasta should be firm but not hard.

3. Can I make these dishes vegetarian or vegan?

Absolutely! You can easily adapt these recipes to your dietary preferences by using plant-based or vegetarian ingredients.

4. Can I prepare penne pasta dishes in advance for meal prep?

Yes, many of these dishes can be prepared in advance and reheated,

making them ideal for meal prepping.

5. What wine pairs well with penne pasta dishes?

For tomato-based dishes,

a red wine like Chianti or a light Pinot Noir complements the flavors.

For cream-based dishes, a crisp white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc works nicely.

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