Penne Rosa

A bowl of Penne Rosa with shrimp and parmesan cheese.
Recipe At-A-Glance
Vegetarian Option15 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!

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This post was updated in January 2016.

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 a real-food lunch.

A lot of times I get their Med Salad (so yum!) but sometimes, when I’m feeling a bit decadent, I’ll go for their Penne Rosa. Unfortunately, the regular size of that dish clocks in at almost 900 calories! I usually get the small size, which is still over 400 calories and always leaves me hungry an hour or so later.

A bowl of pasta with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

I knew I could do better than that, so I came home and whipped up my own version. Mine uses thick, creamy Greek yogurt in place of the heavy cream used by Noodles and Company. 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 without adding a lot of calories.

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.

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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!

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

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 chunk sauce.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
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.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.
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Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

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