If you have a crowd of people to feed, pasta is one of the least expensive meals out there. Not only is it inexpensive to serve pasta, but pasta dishes are filling and quick to throw together. Easy pasta recipes include spaghetti and a simple tomato sauce. This easy penne pasta is made in a single skillet. The dish is filling with tangy homemade tomato sauce and creamy cheeses that delight any crowd.
Backstory about Easy Pasta Recipes – Skillet Penne Pasta
For those of you who hate the backstory and just want the recipe, use the button at the top of the page to skip to the recipe fast. However, for those of you who enjoy hearing about how unique recipes come into being, I’ll share my story.
My grown kids have been coming over a lot for dinner lately. I love having them here, but feeding extra people costs a lot of money. I’ve been looking for less expensive options that are still feeling and nurturing. There is something about moms that we want to feed everyone. And my kids seem to equate food with love, so I can’t just let them go hungry.
I was looking for some easy pasta recipes, because pasta is so easy and cheap to make. I was chatting with my good friend Jenny about foods to cook for a crowd and she mentioned that she makes penne pasta on her stove top (not baked penne pasta). Her recipe sounded so simple and filling. I loved the idea.
As I always do, I decided to add my own twist to the recipe and wound up with something new and so delicious that your family will go back for seconds. The result is an easy meal to throw together that is inexpensive, filling and one of the best pasta recipes you’ll ever try.
Easy Pasta Recipes – Skillet Penne Pasta Tips
How do I make easy skillet penne pasta?
- Press three garlic cloves into a skillet.
- Add chopped onion, green pepper, sausage and hamburger.
- Mix ingredients together as hamburger and sausage brown. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Drain meat mixture and add back to same skillet.
- Pour in cans of diced tomatoes and tomato paste.
- Add penne pasta and set to a low simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta begins to get tender.
- Add cheese.
- Put lid on skillet and let simmer on lowest setting for another 10 minutes.
- Serve with crusty bread.
Do I have to use penne pasta?
Of course not. You can use any type of pasta you have on hand. What I like about penne pasta is that it reheats well and doesn’t get mushy like some other types of pasta. I planned to make a big batch of pasta to feed a crowd and have leftovers, so penne was an excellent choice for those purposes.
Can I freeze this dish?
I tested this and it didn’t freeze great the way lasagna does. My recommendation is to go ahead and eat up your leftovers. It really is so easy to throw together that you don’t need to cook ahead.
How do I heat up penna pasta leftovers?
I’m gad you asked this, because this is always a challenge for me. You can certainly heat things up in the microwave, but the best technique I’ve found is dumping the amount you want into a skillet again, adding a bit of tomatoes or tomato sauce and heating until the pasta begins to steam and the sauce bubbles. I also added a bit more cheese to the top of this to freshen it up.
Are the pasta leftovers any good?
I thought this dish tasted better as a leftover. It was good the first night, but the flavors had a chance to really mix together and it was so yummy warmed back up.
How much pasta do I make for each person?
This is such a difficult question to answer because different people eat different amounts. My husband might go back for seconds and thirds, while one daughter might only eat a spoonful and say she doesn’t want more.
What pairs well as a side with easy pasta recipes?
With this meal, I got a big loaf of Italian bread, sliced it, buttered, put on parchment and cooked on 350 F in the oven for about 8 minutes. You could also add a salad to make the meal a bit healthier and feed more people. If you want to add protein, serve meatballs on the side for anyone who wants a little extra protein.
More Easy Pasta Recipes & Pairings
You might also enjoy these other easy pasta recipes and sides that pair well with pasta:
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I use a large family size skillet to make big batches of food at one time. This allows me to make enough to feed a crowd and have leftovers and saves time and effort.
When it comes to easy pasta recipes, I was surprised at how well my latest experiment turned out. It took just 30 minutes to throw this meal together an it’s enough to feed a crowd or eat on for several days for under $2 per person.
Looking for easy pasta recipes to feed a crowd for cheap? This skillet penne pasta with hamburger and sausage comes together in less than 30 minutes and is filling, delicious comfort food.
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 green pepper
- 1/2 yellow onion small
- 1 pound ground beef lean
- 1/2 pound ground Italian sausage
- 1 can Italian diced tomatoes If you can't find Italian, add your own seasoning.
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- salt and pepper to taste
Press or dice three garlic cloves and add to skillet.
Dice green peppers and onions very fine and add to skillet.
Set heat on stove top to medium and let garlic, peppers and onions start cooking.
Add hamburger and sausage and mix all together, breakup up meat until it is browned. I like to use a meat masher to get it all broken up and mixed together.
Drain meat and add back to skillet. Pour in diced tomatoes and 1/2 cup water.
Turn heat up and bring to a low boil, add penne pasta and let simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes.
Add tomato paste and stir into the mixture. Turn heat to low.
Top with cheese and cover with lid.
Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serve with crusty Italian bread. Yum!