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This One Pot Penne Pasta recipe is made with sausage, red peppers, and spinach and ready in 15 minutes, making this pasta recipe a weeknight favorite recipe!

Large pot of penne style pasta with red peppers flakes, slices of sausage, stringy melted cheese, and spinach all dipped with wooden spoon.
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It’s a busy weeknight and if I haven’t planned ahead, I start to think about what’s for supper. It’s a question I know we all ask ourselves all the time!

These are times I am happy to remember this One Pot Penne Pasta. I am always thankful that it’s such a quick and easy recipe. And my family absolutely loves it!

This is one of those pasta recipes that you throw everything into the pot and everything cooks together like magic. It also means there is only one pot to wash, one pot to dry, and one pot to put away. I love recipes like that! 

One Pot Penne Pasta Recipe

The flavor combination is out of this world delicious and one that I think you’ll enjoy, too!

How to Make One Pot Penne Pasta

You can customize the ingredients to your preference, but I use these ingredients in this recipe.


  • Smoked Sausage – Since it is already cooked and smoked, it adds so much flavor to this pasta recipe in a short amount of time. I like to slice the smoked sausage into bite-sized pieces to help it heat through even more quickly, but also for ease when served.
  • Onion – Diced onion is delicious in this dish, but can easily be omitted if you do not enjoy onions.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic is minced and included in this pasta recipe. If you do not enjoy garlic, you can omit.
  • Mushrooms – You can use either white or portobello sliced fresh mushrooms in this recipe or you can even use sliced mushrooms in the jar that have been drained.
  • Penne Pasta – Penne works well in this recipe, but you could use another tube shaped, sturdy type of pasta if you don’t have penne on hand, such as ziti or rigatoni.
  • Roasted Red Peppers – Use jarred roasted red peppers in this recipe and include the liquid from the jar for all of that delicious flavor in the finished pasta dish!
  • Cheeses – Use both Monterrey Jack cheese and Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh Spinach – Fresh baby spinach is perfect in this recipe. Since you add the cheeses and the spinach while the pasta is hot, the spinach will become tender and will wilt into the dish.

Not only is this dish full of incredible flavor, it makes a delicious, quick and easy pasta recipe!

Step by Step Instructions

  • To make this one pot pasta, add the sausage, onions, garlic, and mushrooms to the pot first.
  • Once your onions become tender, toss in the penne pasta, add the chicken stock and the jar of roasted red peppers with the liquid from the jar, and cover the pot for about 5 to 8 minutes. This allows the penne pasta to cook quickly and become tender.
  • Remove the lid, stir and continue to cook until penne pasta is al dente or reaches the amount of tenderness you prefer.
  • Finally, stir in the fresh spinach and cheeses until well combined, and the spinach is tender.
  • Then serve and enjoy!

Believe me, this has become one of my favorite staple recipes! It is so easy and delicious and a dish my family loves!

More Favorite Pasta Recipes

Alfredo Recipe

BLT Pasta Salad

Pasta Fagioli

Skillet Lasagna

Pot with penne pasta, slices of sausage, spinach, and melted strings of cheese.

Here’s my simple One Pot Penne Pasta recipe. It’s a keeper!

4.94 from 32 votes

One Pot Penne Pasta Recipe

Dinner 15 mins

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Servings 8
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone
This One Pot Penne Pasta recipe is made with sausage, red peppers, and spinach and ready in 15 minutes, making this pasta recipe a weeknight favorite recipe!


  • 1 pound smoked sausage cut into bite sized slices
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3 cups penne pasta uncooked
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 (10-ounce) jar roasted red peppers undrained
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups fresh spinach


  • Add sausage, onions, garlic, and mushrooms to a medium pot over medium heat. Cook until onions are slightly tender, stirring often. Add in penne pasta, chicken stock, roasted red peppers, along with the liquid from the jar. Stir to combine and cover for about 5-8 minutes. Remove lid, stir and continue to cook until penne pasta is al dente or at the amount of tenderness you prefer. 
  • Stir in the cheeses and fresh spinach until well combined and the spinach is tender.  Serve. 

Nutritional Information

Calories: 482kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 822mg | Potassium: 302mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 265IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 302mg | Iron: 1.5mg

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Robyn xo

Originally published 2014.

Pasta Recipes

Robyn Stone

Robyn Stone is a wife, mom, blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. Welcome to Add a Pinch where I share thousands of delicious, tested and perfected easy recipes that the whole family will love.

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Recipe Review


    1. 5 stars
      Was a hit for dinner! Tasted great! I added cut chicken breast with sausage😉

    2. Made this recipe last night. So good! I added some olive oil in the beginning with the onion, garlic, sausage, and mushrooms. Definitely will make this one again!

  1. I love one pot meals! The fact that the penne cooks in the same pot as everything else is simply awesome (as that means one less dish for me to clean later 😉 ). This is definitely going on the menu for dinner next week!!

  2. I love one pot meals too — this one looks lovely — look at that cheesy-goodness 😉

  3. i am going to make this recipe soon.Is the smoked sausage kilbasa? Thanks for the recipe I do follow your recipes with great results.Keep on sending them.I look forward to them.

    1. 5 stars
      It was absolutely delicious. I loved all the flavors. This recipe is now my new favorite meal to eat and cook.

  4. I made this tonight and mine was still pretty watery after cooking. I followed recipe exactly…..anybody else have this issue? Should I do a lower heat for longer time?

    1. I cooked it way longer after the initial “5-8 minutes” in order to get the pasta cooked and it also burned off a ton of liquid during that extra time. Then if it’s still a little liquidy even after the pasta is done, take it off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes and it should thicken the rest of the way.

  5. I just made this. One spot it says add spinach and cheese last. One spot said add it all at once, which is a big mistake. Add it when done.

    1. 5 stars
      Thanks! I’ve made it twice now the way the recipe states (adding all at once with the pasta and peppers) but I was thinking about trying it adding the cheese and spinach last. I’ll do it that way next time!

    2. 5 stars
      I make this all the time. But, I put it all together, adding the cheese last, and add the cooked pasta to the “conglomeration”. We have this a least twice a month. I’ve always used Hillshire” sausage.

  6. 5 stars
    I made this last night. So yummy! However, I would definitely add the cheese and spinach at the end next time. It burnt the bottom of my pan. Also, I had to cook the pasta a lot longer. Otherwise, it was so delicious. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  7. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious, but the past took foreeeeever to cook. From start to finish was approx 45 minutes. Next time, I’ll cook the pasta separately, and then add at the end.

  8. 5 stars
    Just made it – I’m still eating now. So delicious!!! I made it with our local Conecuh smoked sausage. I am looking forward to leftovers at lunch this week. Yea! 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! I had to make some change only because I didn’t have the exact ingredients. I used 1 cup of grated Pepper Jack cheese and 1 cup Colby Jack. Wanted to use up more of my spinach, so I added 3 cups. This is such a good basic recipe that other vegetables could be added or substituted. I’m new to your website, but will be returning for other recipes. Thank you!

    1. 5 stars
      you use smoked sausage so it is all ready kielbasa and chop that up it will add a nice smokey depth …so yeah no worries about it being under cooked using that kind of sausage! 🙂

  10. Thanks for the recipe , made it tonight and it was tasty.

    Only problems I had was my pasta took twice as long to cook (even though it was in a small enough pot that it was submerged in the chicken broth) and because I had to cook it so long the cheese started to burn a bit at the bottom and sides of the pot.

    I do like the flavor of the ingredient mixture, so does my husband, so I’ll try it again but Next time will cook the pasta separately, and add the cheese much later on so it won’t have time to stick to the pot.

  11. Thank you for this great recipe. Every time I make it, the entire family eats it. I do have to cook it for longer than the recipe states to make sure the pasta is cooked through but otherwise, it’s wonderful. The flavors are such a great combination.

    1. I’ve never substituted kale. It may take a bit longer for the kale to soften versus if using the spinach. Enjoy!

    1. Hi Nikki – You can substitute another similar cheese that suits your taste. I’m not exactly certain of all the cheeses in your area, but have seen some people comment that they have used other cheeses instead of this one. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks!

    2. 5 stars
      Monterey Jack Cheese is available at the Tesco cheese counter – In a large block and you ask for your desired size / weight amount.
      Or, Monterey Jack 1840 Cheese Slices (8 per pack – 160g) from Waitrose and Ocado.
      And, Monterey Jack 1840 Grated Pack (180g) from Waitrose and Ocado.
      If you have a good local Cheese Store, I am sure they will stock Monterey Jack Cheese.
      In Google, type, – Go to the website and put Monterey Jack into their Search area – You may have to register – This will bring up where you can buy it in your area.
      I hope this helps.

  12. how much pasta? I know it says 3 cups of uncooked…would that be a box of 1lb penne pasta or would I need more?

  13. 5 stars
    I doubled the garlic, substituted spinach for the kale This was delicious! My nephew said it was one of the best pasta dishes he’d ever eaten! High marks from a 26 year old! Will make this again. Thank you!

    1. That’s such a great feeling when you get those kinds of compliments from your family – I know it makes my day when nephews and nieces love something I’ve made for them! I’m so glad you – and your nephew – enjoyed it! Thanks! xo

  14. 5 stars
    This was great! I don’t like spinach well cooked, so I mixed into the pot after pressure was released just until wilted. I also used 6 cups of spinach because we love it!

    1. Oh yum! I love, love, love spinach, too so I’ll have to give your amount a try next time. xo

  15. 5 stars
    I made your One Pot Penne Pasta recipe and absolutely loved it. Definitely a “keeper”. I do have one question. For the Parmesan cheese, what kind do you use? I happened to have some fresh Parmesan shavings on hand and used them but wanted to know what you prefer to use. Thanks!

  16. 5 stars
    This was so good! Before dinner the husband said he wasn’t hungry. He ended up having 3 plates! And it’s pretty too boot! I read in other comments that their dishes turned out a bit watery. I had to add more chicken broth because mine was too thick. I guess the thickness of the sauce depends on which way the wind blows, but it’s easy enough to fix. This recipe is definitely going to be in our dinner rotation. And it’s so easy to make, I think I will make this for my next pot luck!

    1. It should work fine, Shannon. Just be sure thaw and drain the extra water from the spinach before adding to dish. Enjoy! Thanks!

  17. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner today and it is absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for the recipe. I be definitely making this again

  18. 5 stars
    So yummy and quick to make. I substituted the spinach for broccoli. Next time I will add some shrimp and chicken. Thanks for the recipe!

  19. I love this recipe and have made it a few times…and absolutely LOVE it!

    I have a work potluck coming up soon and wonder if I made a double batch of this the day before could I transfer to a crock pot and keep warm…

    Has anyone tried this before?

    Thanks – Megan

    1. Hi Megan,
      For the best results, you will want to cook pasta separately, make the rest of dish then add cooked pasta to end in crock pot. Thanks!

  20. 5 stars
    The first time I made this it turned out perfect, penne aldente, cheese melted into the liquid making the sauce thicken as it cooled. The flavor was and is awesome! I have since then made it but the cheese ends up a congealed mess at the bottom of the pan in clumps and the broth is thin. What am I doing wrong? The flavor is still good, but the clumps of cheese cling to the sides of pan, spoon etc! Makes it less appealing for sure….help I don’t think I’m doing it differently ( except not using any spinach)

    1. Hi Pat,
      I’m glad you enjoy this! Since you said it was a success the first time you made it, could it be that you may be using different brand(s) of ingredients than first time? I’m especially wondering if you could be using a different type/brand of cheese…I hope this helps and can figure out what’s causing it to turn out differently. Thanks! xo

  21. I’m seeing all of these fantastic reviews, but honestly , I cannot agree. I attempted this recipe, and to begin, you can’t cook penne with any amount of liquid in 5-8 minutes. It takes at least ten. So with as little liquid as you suggested, it took much more than ten minutes, and I had to add more liquid to completely cook the pasta. Aside from this flaw, the flavors are fantastic, and I enjoyed eating it.

  22. 5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious! I did cook the pasta separately. (As I read some of the reviews) And I cooked it a little more than the 8 minutes to get rid of most of the water.

    This dish is definitely a keeper for me. It was quick and very flavorful. I will be making this again.

    Thank you so much!

  23. 5 stars
    I’ve made this in the trailer out camping… easy one pot meal. I’m wondering about using sun-dried tomatoes rather than the red peppers? Or maybe a combination of both. Family loves it.

    1. Jan,
      I have not made it with sun-dried tomatoes but sounds great. So glad your family loves it.

  24. I love this recipe! So does my husband and step-son. Love the heat – it’s just perfect. We make this every few weeks and I often get requests from them to make it. It’s so easy on weeknight, thank you!!!

    Tonight while I was cooking this I thought to myself maybe a few ingredient swaps and we could try a one pot ham and cheese penne (Mac and cheese)… We may have to experiment with that 🙂

    1. Thanks, Meg. I’m glad everyone loves this recipe, Meg. I haven’t thought abut a ham and cheese penne dish but this sounds good. Let me know if you make it.

  25. 5 stars
    Its so easy and its so delicious!!!
    I used spicy smoked sausage and sometimes ground Italian sausage (recommended to me). I also pack in the veggies!
    I wish I could give this 10 stars!

  26. 5 stars
    Delicious but we added and changed a few things. We doubled the sausage, used a10 oz bag of spinach, 1 tbs Italian seasoning. We used Italian chicken andouille sausage.

  27. 5 stars
    Super tasty and so easy! The only changes I made: used chicken sausage since that was what I had on hand, and used a 12 oz jar of peppers. I made a mistake by adding salt to the dish, which it absolutely does not need. Excited to try this again with smoked sausage this time!

    1. I hope you do try this with smoked sausage, Dolores. My family loves it that way. I will have to try the chicken sausage with it sometime. Thanks!