Baked Penne Dinner

We love pasta, but spaghetti can get a bit old after a while. Here is a dish that is just as easy, but adds a little variety. Plus, there are some options to make this dish a little healthier!

Baked penne dinner


  • 1/2 lb ground beef or sausage
  • 1 small or 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 t Italian seasoning
  • 1 (26 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 2T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (13.25 ounce) box penne pasta (cooked to al dente)
  • 1/2 C ricotta cheese (optional)
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1 1/2 C Mozzarella or Italian Blend shredded cheese


  • Brown meat, onion and garlic together in a large skillet sprayed with non-stick spray.
  • Stir in spaghetti sauce, balsamic vinegar, italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Add cooked and drained pasta
  • Stir in ricotta cheese (this is optional. If you don’t like/ have ricotta, it’s still delicious without it. I just like the extra flavor and creaminess).
  • Spread mixture in a 9×13 pan and top with shredded cheese.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about half an hour. Cheese should be melted and slightly browned.

As promised, here are your healthy changes. This is how I make it for my family. Luckily, the changed still make for a DELICIOUS dinner my family thoroughly enjoys!

  • Use ground turkey in place of the beef or sausage and be sure to drain it after it is browned.
  • Instead of traditional pasta, use a whole wheat/whole grain pasta.
  • Use part skim ricotta, or leave it out all together.
  • Use part skim mozarella for the cheese, and take the amount down to 3/4 to 1 cup.

Enjoy your dinner!!

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