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Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Recipe: Zesty Penne, Sausage and Peppers

This lively sauce uses cream cheese to create a rich, velvety texture like your favorite vodka sauce.

Zesty Penne, Sausage And Peppers Ingredients

  • 3 cups penne pasta, uncooked

  • 1 pound Italian sausage

  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips

  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

  • 1 (26 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed

  • Dash crushed red pepper

  • 4 ounces PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed

  • cup KRAFT Shredded Parmesan Cheese

How to Make Zesty Penne, Sausage And Peppers

  1. Cook pasta as directed on package.

  2. Meanwhile, crumble sausage into large skillet; cook and stir on medium heat 8 min. or until done. Drain. Add bell peppers; cook and stir 5 min. or until crisp-tender. Stir in next 3 ingredients; cook 5 min. or until heated through. Add cream cheese; cook 2 min. or until melted, stirring frequently.

  3. Drain pasta. Add to sausage mixture; mix lightly. Top with Parmesan.

Zesty Penne, Sausage And Peppers Nutritions

  • Calories: 764.8 calories

  • Carbohydrate: 75.4 g

  • Cholesterol: 86.1 mg

  • Fat: 37.8 g

  • Fiber: 8.6 g

  • Protein: 31 g

  • SaturatedFat: 14.8 g

  • ServingSize:

  • Sodium: 1913.8 mg

  • Sugar: 19.5 g

  • TransFat:

  • UnsaturatedFat:

Zesty Penne, Sausage And Peppers Reviews

  • I made this last night and it was really good and made a ton of food. I did change a few things though so I put the changes below. I used hot Italian sausage instead of regular. After crumbling it, frying and draining I added 3 diced bell peppers (1 each red, yellow, and orange), about a cup of diced yellow onion, and 5 cloves of garlic minced. I cooked those until the peppers were soft tender, about 5-10 minutes on medium. Then I added 1 can each of diced tomatoes, tomato sauce (the 8 oz can), and tomato paste. I also tossed in some oregano, black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Mix together and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Then add 4 ounces cream cheese. Melt and mix thoroughly. Toss sauce and pasta together. This way was so good my boyfriend wants it in the regular rotation. It was a tiny bit spicy (but I liked that) so you may want to hold off on the red pepper flakes and have each person add those to their liking. I only gave it four stars because I modified it to make my own spaghetti sauce instead of the jarred version. And dicing all those veggies is a lot of work when you need a new chefs knife.

  • OMG....you have to try to this recipe. Sooooo simple and good I did the recipe as stated except for the red pepper flakes. I dont like spicy anything but DH added it to his serving. We both were ooohing and aaahing over this. I dont care for fennel seed either but it definitely added a nice flavor. Will be making this one over and over. thank you for sharing.

  • This was really very good and easy to prepare I didnt change anything except I forgot to put the parmesan cheese on it at the end, but it was good without it I figured we could add our own parmesan cheese to our servings if we wanted to. Will definitely make again

  • My son and I had this the first day of us "Batching" it because Mom and Daughter were away. My sons reaction was overwhelming. Its probably the best pasta dish hes ever eaten. It only gets better the second and third day. He said; "we need to have more of these kinds of dishes". One star for Dad

  • This is absolutely wonderful I didnt have fennel seed, so left it out and substituted tomato sauce and Italian seasoning for the spagetti sauce. My husband was begging for more Will definitely make again.

  • I was looking for a sausage casserole recipe when I came across this...what a surprise. This was super delicious & easy to make. Since I didnt have a red pepper, I used 1-1/2 green peppers, a small onion & used spaghetti sauce w/ garlic. Everyone went back for seconds...definitely worth a try

  • Yummy I added mushrooms and garlic.

  • Great recipe. Great dish. I didnt do anything different except I used whole grain rotini instead of penne - very filling and satisfying - and easy.

  • This dish is sensational. Made it after a hard day at work. It came together very quickly and was delicious. I changed nothing.

  • So quick and asy. Absolutely delicious. Definitely as repeat for my family.

  • Delicious This is the first meal my boyfriend and I have cooked up together and we were both very impressed with ourselves with the end result : Its funny that this recipe is posted by Philadelphia Cream Cheese because we didnt put any in it Instead, to make it more cheesy we put as many crumbles of feta on top as we wanted. OH SO GOOD Great recipe for experimenting with different veggies/sauces/cheeses.

  • Quick, easy and yummy.

  • Simple yet very tasty. We used mild Italian chicken sausage browned up with some olive oil and it turned out great. Will definetly make this again and maybe add some mushrooms and onions next time

  • Excellent Great flavor and I didnt even add the crushed pepper because my boyfriend cant eat spicy food.

  • Yummy and so simple I made this for a party. I made 3 pasta dishes and this was everyones favorite. I love vodka sauces which is why I love this one so much Have made several times and and it never disappoints.

  • This sauce was absolutely delicious Every ingredient serves a delicious purpose, so dont substitute. Mmm I recommend using a very spicy italian sausage :)

  • I really enjoyed this recipe. The fennel seed is what made this recipe so delicious in my opinion. I made the recipe as indicated and added a chopped onion which gave the sauce added flavour. I will make this one again.

  • My kids loved this one, it was so easy to make.

  • My hubby and I love this recipe We make on nights we want a "nice" pasta dinner but dont have time to let the tomatoes simmer and blend. Tonight we used whole fennel instead of the fennel seed and added some fresh basil from the garden. It was out of this world.

  • Ok, so I didnt follow exactly...halved the meat and kept the cream cheese the same...was creamy and hubby liked it Id make it again.

  • I have only recently started going beyond the basic recipes my mother taught me. I decided to start cooking meals that I enjoy and would order at a resurant. This is one of my favorites. I patted myself on the back when my family dug in for seconds. Next time I would not put in so much spagetti sauce though

  • Easy & Delicious....this is the kind of recipe that I truly enjoy

  • My husband LOVED this and so did I. Only made a few minor modifications. I put in a full 8 ounces of cream cheese and left out the red pepper flakes and fennel seed. Instead I added a teaspoon of habenaro sauce which kicked up the spice a little and it was wonderful. I will definitely be making this again. BTW, this is more like 12 to 16 1 cup servings...not 4. Ends up being a lot of leftovers for two adults...but we wont mind

  • Love it

  • I followed this recipe exactly and my oh my I love it So tasty and a pretty easy recipe. Thank you, I make this all the time.

  • This recipe was GREAT i didnt have fennel seed so i substituted rosemary and it gave the sauce a savory, delicious taste i also threw some asparagus in with the peppers and they both cooked up really well. i will definitely make this dish again

  • Made this tonight - it was a big hit I didnt have plain spaghetti sauce, just vodka sauce, so I only added a little bit of cream cheese (2 oz.). It was a great meal and I will definitely be making it again

  • My husband and I loved this

  • We used hot ground italian sausage and then omitted the crushed red pepper flakes, it was great I might add more fennel next time... Hooray

  • My Husband and I LOVED this recipe I think it is the best pasta that we have ever made. We added garlic and onion with the peppers (as per other reviews). The 2 older kids did not love it but the 2 years old did.

  • My daughter and husbands favorite meal So easy and simple to make. We like it a little spicier and use crushed pepper flakes in ours.

  • Family loved this recipe They couldnt get enough of it. I used both spicy and mild italian turkey sausage and it was still awesome. This one is definately a keeper

  • I left out the red pepper and substituted for onions. I also left out the fennel since I didnt have any and used reduced fat cream cheese. This recipe is a good, healthier substitute for other cream tomato sauces that use heavy cream as a base.

  • This recipe is AWESOME I followed the cooking directions and it turned out perfectly. This one is definitely a keeper.

  • Made this for my family and it was a huge success Everyone ate until they were so full they could burst. It was really easy and took very little time or effort. The only thing I did different was add mushrooms and a few chopped tomatoes. I will definitely be making this again. My Mom even said it may be her new favorite meal :)

  • This is a go-to dinner at my house. The only thing I do is I dont break up the sausage that much. I like bite size pieces. The same with the peppers. I think the peppers get over cooked if theyre cut too small. I normally dont tweak this too much. I treat it as a weekday dinner and the faster and less that I work with it then better and its just fine the way it is.

  • Used hot sausage. Should have used mild. Liked the consistency of the sauce.

  • My husband loves it when I make this dish. Super good and super, super easy

  • Just made this today and we really liked it. I made it almost as is. I didnt have fennel. And I added a little more pasta..The flavor was just delish. Amazing what a little cream cheese makes. That is the secret ingredient. 5* for sure. Thanks

  • Used spicy italian sausage...omitted red pepper flakes and fennel seeds, used a green red and yellow bell pepper and added a dash of white pepper....it was good and easy.

  • My husband and I love this recipe we have used it on our date nights, it is so easy and quick and date night quality 5 stars

  • Really good husband said it was his top five that I have ever made

  • Not a thing zesty about this mush

  • This was a very tasty, easy recipe. Even my picky 2 year old liked it I didnt have Italian sausage on hand and substituted chicken, and it was still very tasty. Great quick dinner for a busy evening

  • Though not too healthy, this is a great recipe for company. Easy to make, easy to tweak. Dont tell anyone about The secret ingredient of cream cheese

  • The wife and I really enjoyed this. We used hot sausage and arribiata sauce, gave it a little kick but the cream cheese balanced it out so we werent sweating through the meal.

  • I was not a fan of this recipe at all. I wouldve given 1 star but my fianc said it was good. The sauce was thick & overpowering. Masked all the flavor of the peppers. Sorry, but I dont think Ill be making this again.

  • Absolutely delicioso Thanks so much

  • Its Great I made a healthier version with turkey sausage. I used whipped cream cheese instead of a block and Mozzarella instead of parmesan because its what I had on hand. I used an entire box of noodles so I increased the spaghetti sauce to a jar and a half. Served it to guests and they loved it. Oh and I left out the fennel.

  • This was a very easy meal to make and was great I used bow tie noodles instead of penne. Also didnt use fennel seed. Unfortunately Walmart was out of Italian sausage so I used hot smoked sausage instead was amazing

  • I was in search of a recipe for sausage since I was not in the mood to throw it on the grill. I was a little hesitant to make this since my husband is a little picky but I had all the ingredients on hand. Well, my husband LOVED it. It was very easy and quick. My husband took the left overs for lunch the next two days and still raved about it.

  • Awesome recipe My sister showed me this and she uses a whole block of 1/3 less fat cream cheese...makes it SOOOOOO GOOOD....we like to give this to our boyfriends with the penne, and we eat our sausage/sauce with crusty french bread ;o)

  • This turned out great It was a nice change from your average pasta and red sauce.

  • This was just OK. It turned out really sweet. I used Prego sauce so maybe that was it, but I wish it would have been a little zippier.

  • I made this last night, I was somewhat hesitant about adding the cream cheese, after I tasted it before it melted in the pan, it tasted too rich, therefore I removed what had not been melted. It tastes much better without the cream cheese.

  • I made this because of the glowing reviews it received. It really did turn out to be quick and delicious. I used one reviewer suggestion and added feta in place of the cream cheese. I am doing weight watchers and this didnt end up braking my bank of points and the kids devoured it. I did leave out the fennel since the CHICKEN sausage I used is pretty heavily spiced with fennel anyway. Thanks for the new quick go to recipe

  • I made this tonight, and my husband and I really enjoyed it I followed the recipe exactly as written, and after we finished eating, I had enough sauce left over that I think I could have doubled the amount of pasta (or halved the sauce). Thanks so much for sharing this great and easy recipe

  • This came out to be really good.I thought the cream cheese sounded a little strange but it gave it a nice flavor. Will be making this more often.

  • Very quick and a great upgrade to a can of so-so spaghetti sauce. We tweaked it from original over several meals to include a large diced yellow onion, and if out of cream cheese, sour cream will substitute pretty well

  • Weel, I did make a few changes I used red & green pepper, added onions. I left out the fennel as our sausage had enough already. I ended up baking it in the oven because my penne was undercooked. I just added about 1/4 cup of water. My husband liked it already without the cream cheese, so I just added the parmesean at the end and let it melt. On the stove or in the oven it had a great flavor and we ate the whole thing in 2 nights It reminds my of sausage peppers and onion without the bun Will be making many times

  • I found this recipe the other day and boy it didnt disappoint Very flavorful and not too rich I opted to use turkey Italian sausage and it was quite delicious. I also added Parmesan cheese to my meat mixture instead of sprinkling it on top. It came out delicious I will certainly make this again

  • Wow great idea family loves it

  • This dish is EXCELLENT I used hot sausage so I didnt put any red pepper in. This was the only change I made to the original recipe. It was so easy to make and not very time consuming. A good recipe for week nights as well as for company. Thanks so much for this quick and easy recipe.

  • Love the flexibility. Added more garlic, used a can of diced and a can of sauce.skipped the fennel. Dubbed cream for the cream cheese. Sliced the sausage instead of crumbling. Whole family loved it.

  • Really good and super easy Great recipe

  • Simple, quick and an all around perfect family meal. Will be keeping this one around.

  • One of our favorite

  • This recipe is amazing I substitute turkey sausage to reduce the fat but it still tastes unbelievably delicious. I never have seconds when I eat dinner and I absolutely could not stop eating this. It also makes great leftovers for lunch the next day. My boyfriend asks me to make this again and again. It is a winner

  • Simple, tasty, quick. Whats not to like? I was going to make jambalaya (again) and did this instead. I used sliced smoked sausage. The fennel seed really adds flavor.

  • This was SO good I did change a few things around though based on what I had on hand:-Bow tie pasta instead of Penne-Cut up strips of chicken instead of the sausage (with some lemon pepper seasoning)-Didnt add fennel seeds-Used grated parmesan instead of the shredded

  • This is the first time I made this recipe and was really impressed with the taste very easy to make and the only ingredient I wasnt sure of was the crushed red pepper(a dash) so I used 1/4 teaspoon along with the hot Italian sausage and it came out GREAT I will definitely make this again and recommend it.

  • I love this recipe Have used it several times and always with rave reviews I stick with what is says exactly except sometimes I will add a couple cloves of minced fresh garlic.

  • Made it for the guys at the fire hall and we devoured it

  • This meal is amazing The only thing I would change next time is to add a little more crushed red pepper It was delicious

  • Great dinner.

  • Easy to prepare and a hearty, delicious meal. I used about a cup of diced canned tomatoes, a medium sized can of plain tomato sauce, the spices, cream cheese and about a cup of grated Asiago cheese in the sauce. Make sure to use a good quality Italian sausage. I cut mine in 1 inch chunks and added 2 cloves of minced garlic and the peppers to the pan after the sausage was no longer pink. Extra Italian seasoning can be added, if you wish. After you add the penne, top with a bit of parsley and grated Parmesan or asiago cheese. So yummy .

  • One word :DELICIOUS I used Ragus tradition tomatoe sauce and it was a perfect blend with the Philadelphia cream cheese

  • This was a quick easy meal that all three of my finicky daughters ate.

  • Added yellow and orange peppers, no fennel seed, no red pepper. Turned out GREAT husband and picky 8 year old loved it. Husband even took left overs to work the next day. Thanks for the great recipe.

  • Used can of crushed tomatoes and dash of cream in lieu of spaghetti sauce.

  • So easy and so good. Easy to play around with what you have around the house.

  • Added portabella caps and onions as well. So good.

  • Easy and tasty Even my picky eater of a boyfriend loved it. I added minced garlic to it for an extra kick.

  • Made it with gluten free penne, and used hot Italian sausage. Wonderful

  • Made it with Newmans sockarooni and skip the cream cheese. Nice and spicy especially when you use spicy Italian sausage.

  • This was very good and so simple to make. I used sweet Italian sausage. I did not want a meat sauce, so I did not crumble the sausage. I put the entire rope of sausage in a baking sheet, drizzled olive oil over the sausage, baked in the oven and sliced the sausage. While the sausage was in the oven, prepared the rest of the meal. Other than that, followed the recipe exactly. The family loved it.

  • Had some friends over 2 nights ago and made this for them. I was surprised with how quick and easy a large dish like this was to make. Everyone enjoyed it. I followed recipe as is except I added some oregano, black pepper, and chopped onion in when I cooked the sausage. It made for a good dish even though Ive had better. My friends would say rate it 5 star but Im going to have to say its about a 4.

  • Good with a puttanesca sauce and reduced fat cream cheese. Added some broccoli during the last 4 minutes of pasta cooking. My proportions werent exact as stated so follow your own tastes.

  • This is a great recipe, my family and I really enjoyed this recipe

  • I really did think this was good, but Im not sure where the "zesty" comes in? Used rigatoni cause thats what I had. Nice and creamy, added a little pasta water to the sauce to loosen it up a bit :)

Source: Zesty Penne, Sausage and Peppers

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