Free Starter Guide

Penne Rosa

A bowl of Penne Rosa with shrimp and parmesan cheese.
Recipe At-A-Glance
Vegetarian15 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!

Share this post:

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!
  • Homemade Limoncello. Our limoncello recipe is the best place to start with making your own liqueurs because it is so dang easy. Drink it yourself, or give bottles as gifts.
  • Lofthouse Cookies. Make the bakery classic puffy sugar cookies right at home!
  • 109+ Meal Prep Recipes. If you need even more kitchen time savers, check out all of our meal prep recipes in one place.
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.

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.

Leave a Reply

164 Responses
  1. Sarah

    I found this recepie on Buzzfeed and tried it yesterday.
    Because of lower calories I substituted the greek with a low fat yoghurt and left the Parmesan.
    It was highly delicious!
    Me and my Boyfriend loved it and it shurely will be done again 🙂
    (For Information – a 400g serving had about 275 calories – just perfekt!)

  2. hi! i am loving your blog! i came because of the penne rosa {one of my all time favs from noodles} and stayed because of your sites layout! may i ask.. 1} how you format your recipe at a glance’ at the top? is that a plugin! and 2} what plug in you’re using for your recipes!

    any insight would be so appreciated.. i am fairly new to the food blogging game + am using foodie pro as well!

    1. Cassie

      Hi Kelly! The “At A Glance” thing is hard coded with HTML/CSS (in a previous life, I was a web designer). The recipe plugin is Easy Recipe Pro. Highly recommended, I love it! 🙂

  3. Jennifer

    I don’t usually comment, but I had to on this one.. It is by far my favourite recipe found to date. I have a hubby who isn’t usually fond of healthy eating (likes white bread and pasta vs whole grain, disposes non fat dairy products, etc.) and a son who’s finicky about veggies. Both of them gobbled it up! I made it again for guests, and everyone including the picky kids ate it and loved it (kids don’t lie to spare your feelings). I highly recommend 🙂

  4. ili

    Hi is this recipe supposed to be watery or dry? The shrooms and shrimp release a lot of water so I don’t know?? The picture looks like it goes dry

  5. B

    wondering if this could be turned into a penne vodka. Obviously vokda takes away some of the health factor but wondering if it would be weird with the yogurt.

  6. Lexy

    I tried this for me and my boyfriend last night and we both loved it. I left the mushrooms off because he’s a mushroom hater but I might use them next time and just tell him to pick around! I also didn’t have any red pepper flakes so I just used some paprika. It turned out so tasty!

  7. casey

    I love the penne rosa from noodles and comp!
    Thank you for the healthy makeover recipe.
    Any suggestions for more veggies to add in?

  8. Kerri

    This dish is sooo satisfying and tasty! I was really worried about trying the greek yogurt in cooking (not the biggest fan), but I tried anyway. And I am so glad that I did. It didn’t take long to put this dish together and I added a little extra spinach. Perfect, definitely going to have this again soon! Thank you for sharing this great recipe!

  9. Hadley

    This was absolutely delicious! I was worried about experimenting with greek yogurt since it is so tart but you would never be able to tell it had yogurt in it. The yogurt was an excellent substitute for the cream–so many less calories and much more nutritious! My mom eats like a bird and she ate more than I did! She even had seconds which is a very rare ocassion! I can’t wait to make it again!

    1. Stephanie

      I thank you for your comment. I am usually worried about using greek yogurt as a substitute but your comment has me pretty excited to try this recipe. 🙂

Meet Cassie
Meet Your Host

Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

Learn More About Me →

Skip to Recipe
Close-up of a woman holding a divided glass container filled with a prepped meal.

No-Stress Meals!
Meal Prep Made Easy

Tips, recipes and time-saving secrets to magical meals