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Penne and Smoked Sausage

My sausage pasta is a must-try dish. It just tastes so good when it’s hot and bubbly from the oven. The cheddar french-fried onions lend a cheesy, crunchy touch. —Margaret Wilson, Sun City, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1-1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
  • 1-1/2 cups cheddar french-fried onions, divided
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375°. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown sausage over medium heat 5 minutes; drain. In a large bowl, combine milk and soup. Stir in 1/2 cup onions, 1/2 cup cheese, peas and sausage. Drain pasta; stir into sausage mixture.
  • Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Cover and bake until bubbly, 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining onions and cheese. Bake, uncovered, until cheese is melted, 3-5 minutes longer.
    Freeze option: Sprinkle remaining onions and cheese over unbaked casserole. Cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake casserole as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°.

Penne and Smoked Sausage Tips

Are smoked sausages already cooked?

Almost always, yes—smoked sausages are already fully cooked. In fact, meat is often smoked at a high enough temperature to cook it at the same time as smoking. The major brands of Hillshire Farm, Eckrich and Jennie-O smoked sausage are all fully cooked. Always check the label for the words “fully cooked” to be sure.

What else can I add to this penne and smoked sausage recipe?

Bell peppers are an awesome start! Choose red or green peppers for a color boost, or use frozen mixed peppers for a convenient addition. Like a little heat? Then use poblano peppers, a spicier smoked sausage, and pepper jack cheese. Cheese soup instead of celery might be great here, too. Or, to add a Creole touch, choose smoked andouille, a shrimp or lobster soup, cooked shrimp and/or chopped okra.

What other meals can I make with smoked sausage?

More than you can imagine! In the a.m., add smoked sausage to fried chopped potatoes and melt in some cheese for a hearty breakfast dish. Or make a zucchini-potato supper in just 25 minutes. Here are 37 more sausage skillet dinner ideas. Research contributed by Christine Rukavena, Taste of Home Book Editor
Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups: 553 calories, 35g fat (14g saturated fat), 70mg cholesterol, 1425mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 3g fiber), 22g protein.

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