Simple Vegetarian Penne Rosa Recipe

6 servings
35 min

Simple and full of flavor, this vegetarian penne rosa recipe is an easy one pot meal that can be made in 30 minutes or less. It’s perfect for busy weeknights and can easily be customized with additions like mushrooms and chicken!

Years ago I discovered penne rosa from Noodles & Company and instantly fell in love with the dish. It’s simple, but packs a punch. I decided to make my own version, one that my whole family could enjoy, and it’s super simple! Even better, it contains ingredients you probably already have on hand and can be made in 30 minutes or less! Without fail, this one of my family’s favorite dishes.

It starts with cooking up your favorite penne pasta, then adding in fire roasted tomatoes and a few other tomato products. The fire roasted tomatoes are really the star of the show. They bring so much extra flavor to the dish and are a nice sweet, but smoky addition. Tomatoes combined with cream cheese create a delicious thick and creamy sauce to top the pasta with. I love adding in the spinach because it’s a wonderfully sneaky way to add greens to our diet.

What I really love about this dish, aside from the fact of how quick and easy it is, is that you can really customize it to your liking. Although it’s super tasty on your own, you could add chicken, mushrooms, peppers, or substitute the cream cheese for something dairy free to make it vegan! The possibilities are endless!


PIN FOR LATER!
HOW TO MAKE VEGETARIAN PENNE ROSA


TOOLS YOU MAY NEED


  • Large stock pot
  • Mixing spoon
  • Can opener
  • Serving dish (optional)


INGREDIENTS


  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 2 cans fire roasted tomatoes (14 oz)
  • 1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 cups fresh spinach


OPTIONAL ADD-INS


  • Roasted red peppers
  • Chopped portobello mushrooms
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Shredded parmesan
  • Parmesan crusted chicken


DIRECTIONS FOR MAKING VEGETARIAN PENNE ROSA


In a large stock pot, cook penne pasta according to the directions on the package, then strain and set aside.

In the same stock pot, add in fire roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, garlic salt and cream cheese and heat over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cream cheese has completely melted into the sauce.

Add in the fresh spinach and allow it to wilt into the sauce.

Add the penne pasta back into the pot (or add everything to a serving dish) and enjoy!

NOTES


  • If you don’t have any cream cheese on hand, you can substitute it with about 1/2 cup of heavy cream or half and half.
  • To make this a vegan penne rosa, either leave out the cream cheese or substitute it with vegan cream cheese or plain vegan yogurt.
  • Top this penne rosa with freshly grated parmesan cheese to give it a little extra flavor.
  • If you like to add meat into your pasta, crispy breaded chicken tastes great on top!
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Simple Vegetarian Penne Rosa Recipe
Recipe details
  • 6  servings
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 30 Minutes Total time: 35 min
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Ingredients

  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 2 cans fire roasted tomatoes (14 oz)
  • 1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
Instructions

In a large stock pot, cook penne pasta according to the directions on the package, then strain and set aside.
In the same stock pot, add in fire roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, garlic salt and cream cheese and heat over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cream cheese has completely melted into the sauce.
Add in the fresh spinach and allow it to wilt into the sauce.
Add the penne pasta back into the pot (or add everything to a serving dish) and enjoy!
Tips
  • If you don't have any cream cheese on hand, you can substitute it with about 1/2 cup of heavy cream or half and half.
  • To make this a vegan penne rosa, either leave out the cream cheese or substitute it with vegan cream cheese or plain vegan yogurt.
  • Top this penne rosa with freshly grated parmesan cheese to give it a little extra flavor.
  • If you like to add meat into your pasta, crispy breaded chicken tastes great on top!
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