A pasta bake that’s made with penne – and you DON’T need to boil it first – sausage, bell peppers, crushed tomatoes, and plenty of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. This is my favorite kind of dinner – we’ve got cheese, carbs, veggies, protein, and it requires minimal prep work and dishes, but provides maximum flavor!
This situation is incredibly delicious and I tried to simplify the recipe so it requires as little work as possible! There’s no need to cook the pasta first – it goes in the baking dish first, with olive oil and spices. Next, we’re adding canned crushed tomatoes, our cooked sausage, and water. Stir that up, and add the cheese and bell peppers and you’re in business!
You can skip the sausage, too, if you want to make this a vegetarian dish. As I often say, the hardest part of this recipe is waiting for it to cook so you can dig in!! The pasta is saucy, the bell peppers tender, and the whole thing is incredibly flavorful and cheesy! I feel like I’m having a bit of writer’s block today so that’s all I’ll say about this – other than that you should probably make it for dinner, like, immediately.
Happy first day of Spring!! I hope it’s warm and sunny wherever you are. And if it’s not, remember – Opening Day is only 8 days away and spring weather is never far behind once baseball begins. (Except for last year, when it snowed in April, but we’re just going to confidently say this year will be different!)
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
Cheesy Pasta Bake with Sausage and Peppers
- 1 box penne pasta 16 ounces
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 3 cups water
- 1 lb cooked sausage Pork or Italian
- 1 24 ounce jar pasta sauce I like the tomato basil flavor ones
- 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 1 and 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Prep: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Cook your sausage, and drain grease.
- Assemble: Add the box of UNCOOKED - yes, uncooked - pasta to the baking dish with the spices and olive oil. Stir to mix. Add the water, cooked sausage, and pasta sauce and stir. Add half the mozzarella cheese, then lay the peppers in a layer on top, and then add the remaining mozzarella and all the parmesan cheese.
- Bake: Bake for 35-40 minutes. Stick a fork through a piece of pasta to test that it's cooked, and pierce the peppers to see if they're tender to your liking. Place under the broiler for an extra minute or two, if desired, to get that really toasty look on the cheese.
- Serve + Store: Enjoy immediately! Store leftovers, covered well, in the fridge for up to 6 days. This makes great leftovers.
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