A bowl of Penne Rosa with shrimp and parmesan cheese.

I’ve been holding out on you guys. For a few weeks now, I’ve been stockpiling recipes so I could have some fun yumminess to share while I was chillaxing on the beach this week.

I felt particularly guilty about holding onto this one because it had all the elements of my favorite kind of recipe: supremely easy, speedy, delicious and healthy. But think of it is my gift in exchange for disappearing for a week. I go hang out on the beach for a week and you get a delicious recipe. Fair trade, right?

Okay, maybe not. But this is still a good one!

A pot full of Penne Rosa gets stirred with a wooden spoon.

The inspiration for this weeknight pasta dish actually comes from my eternal laziness. My office is directly above a Noodles and Company restaurant and more often than not, laziness wins out when I need lunch and I just make the quick trip down there to grab lunch.

A lot of times I get their Med Salad (so yum!) but sometimes I’ll go for their Penne Rosa.  You can serve this dish up vegetarian, but I often will add some plumped sautéed shrimp or cooked chicken breast to help up the protein factor.

A bowl of pasta with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

My husband said this was his favorite pasta dish I’ve ever made (and I’ve made quite a few). I take that as high praise! Oh, and the best part? Start to finish: ready in 15 minutes. Yeah. You need to make this.


Want more recipes like this one?

  • Canned Diced Tomatoes. Learning how to can tomatoes means that you can put up so many staple ingredients for winter, including the diced tomatoes you need for this pasta dish.
  • Pumpkin Pasta. Want to try your hand at making your own noodles? This pumpkin pasta recipe only calls for two ingredients.
  • Garden Tomato Soup. This fresh tomato soup is always a winner when you are looking for some comfort food.
  • Homemade Spaghetti Sauce. The only dinner simpler than this penne rosa? Popping open a jar of canned spaghetti sauce you made in the summer and pouring it over some noodles.
  • Spaghetti with Canned Clams. Clam pasta is a great weeknight meal that you can make almost entirely from pantry staples, as long as you have canned clams.
  • Split Pea and Ham Soup. If gloomy weather has got you down, try this warming, hearty split pea soup with ham.

And check out these reader favorites!

  • How to Make Overnight Oats. Overnight oats are our meal prep go-to because they are so simple to make, and they are endlessly customizable—we have 15 recipe to get you started!
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Penne Rosa

Penne Rosa

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This copycat recipe for Penne Rosa is a healthy, quick, and super tasty dinner to feed to your family. Add chicken or shrimp or keep it veggie!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes (about 1/2 lb.) chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 12 ounces whole wheat penne, cooked
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. In a large skillet with a lid, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add in garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for 2 minutes or until garlic begins to soften.
  2. Add in mushrooms, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms begin to release their water.
  3. Add in spinach and cover skillet. Let spinach wilt for 2 minutes. Remove lid, and stir in the pasta sauce. Remove the skillet from the heat, and let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the Greek yogurt, and then add the penne. Stir until sauce is mixed well and all pasta and veggies are coated. Heat until just warmed through. Divide into pasta bowls and serve topped with parmesan cheese.


Add cooked chicken or shrimp to the final dish for an added boost of protein!

You might be tempted to skip the resting step before adding the Greek yogurt—don't! At high temperatures Greek yogurt breaks down and curdles. Give the dish a few minutes off the heat before stirring in the yogurt to avoid chunky sauce.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 159Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 244mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 8g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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  1. youre close but no cigar. I used to work there, put cooked penne noodles in skillet with oil red onion mushrooms and tomato, flip a few times, pour a sweet white wine in there, reduce, put heavy cream in, reduce, put marinara in, drop spinach flip a bunch of times, add chicken during or after (sliced and cooked). either way plate it, shave fresh parm on it, boom penne rosa.

  2. For others that don’t like heavy cream, another idea is part skim ricotta. Add a tablespoon white or red wine to the sauce, pasta water & let all the sauce soak into the penne, mixing well. Instead of hot pepper can melt in some shredded pepper jack plus parm. As well, don’t add the ricotta until it has cooled a bit. For me I need a touch of oregano & basil in the sauce as well. I love greek yogurt, but that adds too much tanginess for picky kids.

  3. I’ve used this recipe since 2012. It’s become and tried and true and hasn’t left my bookmark page since then. That’s a lot of phones and laptops haha. Thank you.

  4. Chicken or shrimp is NOT “veggie”… Vegetarian means eating only Vegetables! Chickens and shrimp are animals, therefore no vegetables! Thank you!

  5. Thanks for the recipe! I just tried it tonight, and it is delicious. I don’t really like mushrooms, so I chopped them small in the food processor, and it gave the sauce a nice meaty feel. I will definitely make this again.