Baked Penne with Sausage and Ricotta

Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes

This cheesy baked penne is filled with hearty sausage, creamy ricotta and a tangy red wine tomato sauce.

Sausage and Ricotta Baked Pasta - The Lemon Bowl

Admittedly, it has been a pretty mild fall so far here in Michigan but I’m no dummy. The chill is definitely in the air and winter is coming… but I’m totally ready to hunker down, get cozy and embrace all things hibernation. 

Sausage Baked Pasta with Mushrooms and Ricotta - The Lemon Bowl

Of course, when it comes time to hibernate that means it’s time to trade in the lighter meals for something a bit more stick-to-your-ribs. A lighter version of the comfort food classic, this cheesy Baked Penne with Sausage and Ricotta is made with whole wheat pasta, part-skim mozzarella and turkey Italian sausage.

Sausage Baked Pasta with Ricotta - The Lemon Bowl

Ricotta cheese adds a light, almost airy quality to the dish that doesn’t make you feel completely weighed down after eating this cozy pasta dish. With over 24 grams of protein per serving, this is comfort food you can feel good about eating from time to time.

What are your favorite cold-weather dishes? Anything you’d like to see lightened up? I’m all ears!

Your fork is waiting.

Sausage and Ricotta Baked Pasta - The Lemon Bowl

Baked Penne with Sausage and Ricotta

4.67 stars average
This cheesy baked penne is filled with hearty sausage, creamy ricotta and a tangy red wine tomato sauce.
PREP: 30 minutes
COOK: 45 minutes
TOTAL: 1 hour 15 minutes
Pin
Servings8

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound whole wheat penne (cooked according to package instructions)
  • 1 pound turkey sausage (removed from casings)
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon salt (divided)
  • ½ teaspoon pepper (divided)
  • 2 cloves garlic (grated – divided)
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 32 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 ½ cups shredded part-skim mozzarella

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9″ x 13″ baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add sausage begin to break down with a wooden spoon into bite-sized pieces. Cook sausage until browned, about 8-9 minutes.
  • While sausage is browning, add one of the grated garlic cloves and half of the salt (1/2 teaspoon) and pepper (1/4 teaspoon) to the ricotta container. Stir well. (Alternatively: you can combine in a small bowl but I prefer to mix in the container so I don’t have to dirty another dish.) ; Set aside.
  • Add mushrooms to the pan along with half of the salt (1/2 teaspoon) and half of the pepper (1/4 teaspoon) and stir until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds to release flavors then pour red wine and deglaze pan with the wooden spoon.
  • Stir in crushed tomatoes, oregano and chili flakes. Bring to a boil then remove from heat, stirring well.
  • Add cooked pasta to the tomato sausage sauce and stir until combined and evenly coated.
  • Start layering your baked penne by adding half of the pasta and sausage mixture to the bottom of baking pan.
  • Using a large spoon, dollop half of the ricotta mixture on top of the first layer of pasta. Next, top with 1/2 cup of the cheese.
  • Repeat layer by adding the remaining pasta, ricotta and cheese.
  • Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 45 minutes.
  • Serve with grated parmesan cheese if you wish.

Nutrition

Calories: 419kcalCarbohydrates: 49.2gProtein: 24.7gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6.7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8.3gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 434mgFiber: 7.1gSugar: 3.2g

Disclosure: I am honored to be a Dairy Ambassador for Milk Means More. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Lemon Bowl possible. All thoughts are my own.

For more easy dinner ideas, check out my Healthy Entrees board!

Photo of Liz Della Croce

Hi, I’m Liz!

Hey there, I’m Liz Della Croce and I’m thrilled to have you here! My aim is to motivate and ignite your passion for cooking amazing meals for your loved ones. I believe in the power of real, wholesome ingredients that are bursting with flavor and won’t break the bank. Whether it’s a traditional Lebanese recipe from my family or a culinary creation from across the globe, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that nutritious food can be exciting, affordable, and easy to prepare.

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10 responses to “Baked Penne with Sausage and Ricotta”

  1. mimi Avatar
    mimi

    so i know what i’m making tomorrow for dinner

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      How did it turn out!?!

  2. Meghan | Fox and Briar Avatar
    Meghan | Fox and Briar

    Oh this looks soooo good. I love that you put wine in the tomato sauce! Also that is so smart to mix the cheese up in the ricotta container to save dirtying another dish. Win!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I love adding wine to tomato sauce – it always makes people ask what’s in it!

  3. Catherine Avatar
    Catherine

    Dear Liz, I love the sound of this dish! The red wine sauce and the flavorings come together beautifully. Such a satisfying and comforting meal. xo, Catherine

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      The red wine really made the whole dish – thank you Catherine!

  4. Shawnna Avatar
    Shawnna

    ooh this looks really good! I love dishes like this! chili, lasagna casseroles that stick to your ribs!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Perfect for this time of year!

  5. Sarah | Broma Bakery Avatar
    Sarah | Broma Bakery

    So like, I want this every night this week. <3

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Literally. I want to give it to you haha

Liz Della Croce eating black bean dip

Hi I’m Liz!

Hey there, I’m Liz Della Croce and I’m thrilled to have you here! My aim is to motivate and ignite your passion for cooking amazing meals for your loved ones.