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penne pasta bake with sausage in a white 9x13 baking dish

Baked Penne with Sausage

This easy baked penne recipe has plenty of Italian sausage baked with marinara sauce and lots of parmesan and mozzarella cheese!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword baked penne, penne bake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 761kcal


  • 1 pound uncooked penne pasta
  • 17.6 oz/500g Italian sausages crumbled
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 cups (24 oz.) marinara sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella or cheddar
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 375F and move the rack to the top third of the oven.
  • Boil a salted pot of water for the pasta. Cook it for 2 minutes less than the package directions indicate. Once it's done, drain it and set it aside.
  • Crumble the sausage meat directly into a skillet, and add the onion in too. There should be enough fat released by the sausage to cook the onion, but if it's particularly lean, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sausage has browned (about 10 minutes). If there's a lot of excess fat, spoon most of it out.
  • Stir in the garlic and cook for about a minute.
  • Add in the marinara sauce and red pepper flakes and cook for a couple more minutes until it's warmed through.
  • Add the drained pasta to a 9x13 baking dish and then pour the sausage mixture over top. I add in some salt & pepper as well. Toss until everything is coated. Smooth it out into an even layer.
  • Top with the cheeses and bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Broil for a few minutes to brown the cheese (watch it carefully). Serve immediately.


  • I used a 5-pack of Johnsonville mild Italian sausages for this recipe. Anything similar weight-wise will work. Or use ground sausage meat to skip the step of taking it out of the casings.
  • 3 cups marinara sauce = one 24 oz. jar. There is quite a bit of sauce in this recipe, so you can use a bit less than a full jar if you don't want lots of sauce (try 2-2.5 cups). Try my homemade marinara sauce if you prefer from-scratch.
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.


Calories: 761kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 1689mg | Potassium: 848mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 913IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 379mg | Iron: 4mg