Baked Penne

BeefEasyItalianMain CoursePastasavory

Baked Penne is a classic Italian-American dish with penne pasta baked in spaghetti sauce, cooking creme, and cheese! It’s the perfect weeknight meal!

Baked Penne is a classic Italian-American dish with penne pasta baked in spaghetti sauce, cooking creme, and cheese.   The first time I made this delicious Baked Penne was about a year ago. It totally knocked our socks off! I’ve made it several times since then because we love it so much. 😀

   This is a classic Italian-American dish with pasta baked in spaghetti sauce, cooking creme, and cheese! Gah. SO GOOD! Don’t ask me why I’m just getting around to blogging about it now. Please forgive me.

   This Baked Penne is the perfect meal to whip up on a weeknight. It is so easy and unbelievably delicious! I decided I’m going to make it for our Christmas dinner. Usually, we make the traditional turkey and mashed potato feast, but I told Kale I wanted to change things up this year. We’re having his side of the family over that day and I know they are going to love it!

Baked Penne

Course Main Course, Pasta
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
Author Holly


  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 24 ounce jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 10 ounce container of Philadelphia Italian Herb & Cheese Cooking Creme, divided
  • ** If you can’t find the cooking creme you can substitute using 4 ounces softened cream cheese mixed with 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese divided
  • 3 cups cooked Penne pasta


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium non-stick skillet, over medium-high heat, cook the onion and ground beef until beef is no longer pink. Drain any grease. Stir in the spaghetti sauce, 3/4 of the cooking creme and 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese.
  • Cook and stir mixture until cheese is melted; about 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked penne noodles to combine. Carefully pour mixture into a greased 8×8 inch baking dish. Dot the rest of the cooking creme evenly over the top of the pasta, and then sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella over the top. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy! ♥


*My grocery store has not carried the Philadelphia cooking creme in a long time 🙁 I love to substitute it with 4 ounces cream cheese mixed with 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning. It is delicious!



Baked Penne is a classic Italian-American dish with penne pasta baked in spaghetti sauce, cooking creme, and cheese.

Recipe adapted from: Plain Chicken

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29 thoughts on “Baked Penne

  1. Holly your recipes never disappoint! I’m very excited to try this one as I know my family will enjoy it. Happy holidays to you and yours!

    1. Judi, Oh no! 🙁 I’m sorry. I’m sure a great substitute would be 8 ounces softened cream cheese mixed with 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning. Let me know if you try it!

  2. Incredible recipe. This was gone in less than 20 minutes after serving and I was hoping for leftovers tomorrow!! First time trying the cooking Creme. Really great stuff 😀

  3. My store also stopped carrying the cooking creme, so I mixed 8oz of softened cream cheese with 2 tsp of Italian seasoning and 3 cloves of sauteed garlic in olive oil. 🙂 It is baking in the oven now and smells delicious!

  4. Made this last night using cream cheese, a touch of heavy cream and fresh parsley since my stores quit carrying the cooking crème. It was delicious! My husband and two year old loved it!

  5. I couldn’t find the cream but I am confused about the substitute. In your ingredients part it says 4 oz mixed with 2 tablespoons of seasoning but in the comments I’m reading 8oz with 2 tablespoons of seasoning. Or is it 8 oz with 4 tablespoons?

    1. Katie, I find the 4 ounces of cream cheese mixed with 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning works perfectly for us! I’ve made it several times that way now because I think they’ve officially stopped selling the cooking cremes.
      Hope you enjoy the recipe! Let me know 🙂

      1. Thanks! I ended up only using half of an 8oz container with the seasoning because I thought the whole 8oz would be too much. I also used Emeril’s Chunky Mariana Sauce (my favorite). Loved the recipe. I thought it tasted better the next day just like most pasta dishes. It will be great to make the day before in the future! Thanks again. I can’t wait to try your other recipes!

  6. This one was so amazing, as are all of your recipes! Thank you so much for sharing! I use your recipes and menus daily!

    1. Alyssa, Yes, you can make this ahead of time. Up to 24 hours. I recentl made this in the morning up until the baking point, then covered it in and put it in my fridge until dinner. So it sat in my fridge about 8 hours. It was perfect 🙂

  7. This sounds yummy! I’m looking for casseroles I can make ahead and freeze. Has anybody tried making a double recipe and freezing half? How did it come out after you thawed and baked the second half?

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