Creamy Baked Penne

Creamy Baked Penne – quick and easy weeknight meal. Penne pasta, Italian sausage, onion, bell pepper, spaghetti sauce, cream cheese, milk, Italian seasoning, and mozzarella cheese. SO good! Everyone cleaned their plate!!

plate of cheesy baked penne

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Easy Baked Penne with Cream Cheese

This Creamy Baked Penne is a weeknight staple at our house. It is effortless to make and tastes great. Penne pasta, sausage, cream cheese, Italian seasoning, spaghetti sauce, and mozzarella. The best part about this dish is that it is ready to eat in about 30 minutes! Whip up a salad and some garlic bread and dinner is done!

How to Make Creamy Baked Penne

This casserole is super simple to make. Start with cooking some penne pasta and mix together cream cheese, milk, and Italian seasoning. While the pasta is cooking, cook some sausage or ground beef with onion and bell pepper in a skillet. Add spaghetti sauce, part of the cream cheese mixture, and some mozzarella to the skillet. Add pasta; mix lightly. Spoon into 2-qt. casserole; top with remaining cooking creme and mozzarella. Bake until heated through.

  • The original recipe used a 10-oz tub of Philadelphia Italian Cheese and Herb Cooking Creme. 
  • The suggested substitute to Philadelphia Italian Cheese and Herb Cooking Creme by Philadelphia Brand is 1 tub of whipped cream cheese, 2 Tbsp milk, and 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning.
  • My favorite store-bought spaghetti sauces are Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic Marinara (green label), Rao’s, and La Famiglia DelGrosso.
  • Can Creamy Baked Penne be made in advance? Yes! You can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate overnight. You will need to add a few minutes to the cooking time since the dish will be cold.
  • If you are feeding a crowd, feel free to double the recipe.
plate of cheesy baked penne

What to Serve with Baked Pasta Casserole

As I said, this pasta is a favorite at our house. The flavor from the cream cheese makes all of the difference. We usually serve this pasta with some garlic bread and a salad. SO good! You can’t beat this easy meal that is just as delicious as any Italian restaurant! It is already back on the menu again this week! Give it a try ASAP! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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plate of cheesy baked penne

Creamy Baked Penne

Yield: 4 people
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Creamy Baked Penne – quick and easy weeknight meal. Penne pasta, Italian sausage, onion, bell pepper, spaghetti sauce, cream cheese, milk, Italian seasoning, and mozzarella cheese. SO good! Everyone cleaned their plate!!

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb extra-lean ground beef or Italian Sausage
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • ½ cup green peppers
  • 1 (24-oz) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 (8-oz) tub whipped cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup Kraft Shredded Mozzarella Cheese divided
  • 3 cups cooked penne pasta

Instructions:

  • Heat oven to 350°F.
  • Stir together whipped cream cheese, milk, and Italian seasoning. Set aside.
  • Brown meat with vegetables in large nonstick skillet.
  • Stir in spaghetti sauce, ¾ cup cream cheese mixture and ½ cup mozzarella; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until mozzarella is melted.
  • Add pasta; mix lightly. Spoon into 2-qt. casserole; top with remaining cooking creme and mozzarella.
  • Bake 20 min. or until heated through.

Notes:

The original recipe used a 10-oz tub of Philadelphia Italian Cheese and Herb Cooking Creme. 
The suggested substitute to Philadelphia Italian Cheese and Herb Cooking Creme by Philadelphia Brand is 1 tub of whipped cream cheese, 2 Tbsp milk, and 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning.
3 cups of cooked pasta is approximately 1½ cups uncooked penne pasta.
spaghetti sauce
My favorite store-bought spaghetti sauces are Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic Marinara (green label), Rao’s, and La Famiglia DelGrosso.
Can Creamy Baked Penne be made in advance? Yes! You can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate overnight. You will need to add a few minutes to the cooking time since the dish will be cold.
If you are feeding a crowd, feel free to double the recipe.

Steph

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Comments

  1. I haven’t been able to find the Philadelphia cooking creme in quite a while and am afraid they stopped making it. Can the chive and onion cream cheese spread be used instead?

  2. I used the original Philly Cooking Creme to make a simple beef stroganoff. It was delicious! I can't wait to try the other flavors.

  3. I'd like to try the Chicken & Broccoli Casserole made with the Savory Garlic Philidelphia Cooking Creme! It looks great and best of all it looks easy!

  4. We just tried the Italian Herbs and Cheese Blend to make a pizza the other night. Tomatoes, chicken, bacon, and mozzarella. We loved it!

    I am also following PCC on facebook.

  5. P.S I forgot to mention I also just signed up for twitter so I could enter and follow u for more recipes!! FINGERS CROSSED!!!

  6. I am going grocery shopping TODAY and getting this and get the ingrediants to make the Baked Penne! I know my boys and hubby will LOVE it! It sounds so easy to make and SO SCRUMPTIOUS!!! Thanks for the recipe and the update on the Philadelphia Italian Cheese and Herb cooking cream! I honestly didnt even know this existed! Until now…. 😉

    I also liked on facebook and my email is melissacmatthews@gmail.com

  7. I've actually made the Southwest Pasta Skillet, but with ground beef instead of chicken. Turned out good.

    The Creamy Chicken Florentine looks good.

  8. LOVE Philly Cooking Creme :)Actually won a House Party to try it with 10 if my friends. The enchiladas with the Southwest flavor was awesome, as was the Garlic Chicken and Pasta.

  9. I really want to try this baked penne recipe! Love your blog. My husband always loves the recipes I try from here.

    brandeecbuntyn at gmail dot com

  10. I haven't tried any of the recipes on their site, but I have incorporated a few of the different cremes into my own recipes. I really like the extra "oomph" and flavors they provide.

  11. I have used the cooking cream once before but I don't remember exactly what I made! I do remember it was good though- I think it had mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, asparagus and the italian cooking cream.

  12. I've used them in a chicken Florentine recipe I found and it was so great! I'd love to win this card to buy some more and try your amazing-looking penne! 🙂

  13. I used the Savory Lemon and Herb Monday night, tossed it with Grilled Chicken & Cheese Tortellini. It was wonderful. I also love to make the Enchiladas recipe on the Santa Fe Blend. Love to keep them for easy weeknight meals.

    Your blog is amazing. My friend told me about your site and I just love it. I have made many of your recipes but have to say the homemade butterfingers are my favorite. We made them along with cake pops for Christmas presents. Everyone was so amazed. Thank you for sharing your wonderful love for food and cooking. 🙂

  14. This really sounds amazing. I had a coupon to try it for free and made a pretty amazing stroganoff, but the fat content scared us off of ever using it again. I didn't know they made a lower fat version! That's awesome!

  15. I used it when I thought I had ingredients for alfredo but didn't. I just substituted the Philly Cooking Creme and all was good!
    stephilund at gmail dot com

  16. I haven't tried the cooking creme yet, but I would like to try the Chicken Enchiladas Supreme. debragraybeal at gmail dot com.

  17. I bought some of the savoury garlic on Saturday – I can't wait to try it! I'm going to make your penne recipe for supper tomorrow.

  18. I haven't tried it yet but I looked at the site and the recipe I would try is the Chicken Enchiladas Supreme! 🙂

  19. I had never heard of this stuff before! Wow, the possibilities!!

    I think I would try the Chicken Florentine, although your Penne recipe looks fabulous too!

  20. Another Stephanie here! Love your blog and fantasize about your recipes EVERY DAY… I just don't understand how you stay so thin!!! Anyway, I have used the cooking creme in mashed potatoes instead of milk… makes for some tasty taters!

    What happened to my name up there on the previous post??? 🙁

  21. Another Stephanie here! Love your blog and fantasize about your recipes EVERY DAY… I just don't understand how you stay so thin!!! Anyway, I have used the cooking creme in mashed potatoes instead of milk… makes for some tasty taters!

  22. I love your blog!! Found on pinterest and now i check in daily!

    I tried the philly cooking creme italian herbs. I used chicken breast tenders and mixed the cooking creme and cream of chicken soup. It was awesome! My fiance, who is very picky, ate 3 helpings! It was awesome and i will certainly use it again!

  23. I usually add cream cheese to my potato soup. Now I also add cooking cream. Change up the flavor….garlic, Santa Fe or Italian…and it changes up the flavor of your potato soup. It also makes a great baked potato topper. I love Philadelphia Cooking Creme!
    rhondaree1958@yahoo.com

  24. I mix the Santa fe flavor with shredded/chopped chicken and taco seasoning then fill wonton wrappers in mini muffin cups. It's delicious! Hopgirljunior at gmail dot com

  25. <3 Philly Cooking Cream! Have used it plain on chicken, pork, beef, and even in the crockpot! So versatile and YUMMY!!

  26. I've tried all of them. I was not impressed with the Italian Herb and Cheese. I've made the enchiladas with the Santa Fe blend. I've also used it warmed up just as a dip for chips. I used the Savory garlic in your cream cheese spaghetti bake and just last week I spread it on chicken and wrapped in bacon. So yummy!

    angelmama1209 at yahoo dot com

  27. I've tried the cooking creme before, pretty good stuff! I'm REALLY excited they have 1/3 less fat now, that will be much better to use!

  28. I have not tried the cooking cremes but that Mediterranean Chicken and Vegetable Rotini looks like it will be my first choice!

  29. I made very easy chicken enchiladas with the garlic cooking cream. I mixed leftover chicken, the cooking cream, and a can of diced green chilis. I used this to stuff the flour tortillas, sprinkled in some cheese, and rolled the up. I poured green enchilada sauce over them, more cheese and baked at 350 for 30 min. My sons and husband loved them!
    I'm glad to see the lower fat version out!

  30. I love your blog! Decided I had to follow it after finding 3 recipes in a row on pinterest that made my mouth water (and actually turned out tasty!). I've used Philly Cooking Creme before and it's really easy to keep on hand for a quick dinner. I just kinda make it up as I go.

  31. I have tried the Santa Fe/Mexican inspired cooking creme. Both times I used it I made a Pasta dish (from their site) using corn and rotel. Delicious! I haven't tried any of the other flavors, but this recipe is now on my list!
    Lauren Trawick
    Laurenbtrawick@yahoo.com

  32. I just make up my own thing using Philly Creams, usually involving chicken, garlic, onions, and pasta
    maddox1013(at)aol(dot)com

  33. I just used the original cooking cream last night! Our favorite recipe is the lemon broccoli chicken but now I can't wait to try the baked penne and the shrimp & broccoli fettuccine .

  34. I haven't tried any of their cooking cremes, but I'd like to try the Tex-Mex Beef & Rice Casserole–It looks YUMMY, and the Santa Fe blend intrigues me. ^_^
    I both liked Philly on facebook and followed them on twitter.
    My email address is
    aehelephant @ gmail . com

  35. I have not tried the Cooking Creme yet, but this Baked Penne sure looks delicious!! I also like the looks of the Shrimp and Broccoli Florentine! I must give them a try!

  36. Steph your penne looks so creamy and cheesey and wonderful! I have used Philadelpia's Southwest cooking sauce in a baked macaroni and cheese with Chorizo. You're so right about teir sauces making it easier to get dinner on the table.

  37. I can not wait to try this recipe using the new Philly cooking creme. I have seen these in the super market and have been waiting to try them. Looks like dinner!

  38. I haven't tried any recipeds yet but I would love to try the Creamy Chicken Picatta with Asparagus, yum!

    Also I liked on facebook (no twitter here) and my e-mail address is lrandazzo@hotmail.com!

    Love your blog, I've tried tons of recipes in the short time that I've been following.

  39. I haven't had the pleasure of trying the Philadelphia Cooking Creme, but the recipe that looks the most intriguing is the Santa Fe Chicken Casserole.

    I have also "like" on Facebook and followed on twitter.

    tamaralw@msn.com

  40. I tried it first in place of sour cream in stroganoff and it was delicious!

    So far though, I LOVED a couple spoonfuls in a breakfast scramble… delicious!

  41. I love the Philly Cooking Creme! I like using it in my alfredo sauce. I've also used the southwest flavored creme in my taco lasagna, delicious!

  42. Pasta with shrimp and the cooking creme – my boys loved it! And they had just caught the shrimp at the beach too! Super fresh

  43. I have tried it in a few recipes. I made a calzone once and I thought it was too salty. But I made 1 similar to this (maybe the same) and I liked it.

  44. I've never tried Philly Cooking Cream, but what you made sounds super yummy and I love your recipes! I'll be making your baked penne for sure!:)

  45. I LOVE all the cooking cremes, but am UBER EXCITED!! about Kraft coming out with a 1/3 less fat versions!! I use the sauces all the time. A couple of spoonfuls in scrambled eggs – AMAZING!! Not just for dinner anymore. 🙂 Hope I win!!

  46. I've used the Santa Fe kind, mixed with chopped chicken, as a nacho-type dip! yum.

    And I'm getting ready to make 7up Biscuits right now…all of my little valentines are home sick, and we're thinking biscuits might make us feel better 🙂

  47. I had never even heard of this product – but I LOVE Philly Cream Cheese and use it all the time. After looking over the recipes, I'm printing out the following to try:
    Tex-Mex Beef & Rice Casserole
    Easy Chicken Enchiladas
    Creamy Bacon Fettuccine
    Sausage & Peppers Rotini
    Thanks for sharing!!

  48. I have not tried the cooking creme, but looking at the website, I'd try the Todd English creamy italian mac and cheese.

    vflambert at hotmail dot com

  49. I tried Philadelphia cooking creme a while back in a pasta dish with white sauce. It was OK but I really like the way it looks in your red sauce pasta dish.

    KellywcuATyahooDOTcom

  50. I think that baked penne sounds delicious and so simple! I want to give it a try RIGHT now!

    I also liked Philadelphia on Facebook and followed them on Twitter. 🙂

  51. I have made lasagna with Philly cooking creme… I usually put cream cheese in mine and I used the Italian cooking creme instead. It was great!

  52. It caught my eye in the store recently and I have been thinking about trying it. Thanks for a review I can trust. I think I would try the grilled chicken flat-bread recipe.

  53. I have added the Philadelphia CC to other recipes and love to use the garlic flavored in the "Creamed Spinach" recipes! It is to die for! Top with some fresh parmesan cheese, bake and what a wonderful side dish! And easy!

  54. I love the Philadelphia Cooking Creme line. I have made stuffed sweet peppers with their Santa Fe creme and ground sausage mixed in. Delicious!

  55. I've tried their sauces a couple of times and love how easy it is to turn a so-so dish into a "special" one with their creamy sauces!

  56. I haven't tried it cause I've been dieting.

    But, since I see that reduced fat on the label will definately give it a whirl now.

  57. I have tried the cooking creme and liked it. We tried the Italian Herb and cheese version and made a pasta dish with it.

  58. This recipe sounds and looks delicious and easy. I LOVE using Phildelphia Cooking Creme in my kitchen. It adds so much flavor & creaminess and my family loves eating it!

  59. Had not heard of the cooking creme — so excited!! I'm going to try the Chicken Pot Pie
    I also liked Philadelphia on facebook!

  60. Definitely the Creamy Pesto Baked Ziti – I haven't tried any of the cooing cremes yet, but I plan to! Thanks for the giveaway!

  61. I already liked Philly Cream cheese FB page. I am a HUGE fan of Cream Cheese and use it quite a bit in most all my pasta dishes. My fave is to add the Italian and Herb on to my spaghetti. Oh it makes it so creamy. Also, now they have the chocolate ones. Hello, what took them so long. FANTASTIC! My daughter and I used the white chocolate version and dipped strawberries in it just this past weekend. WOW! Thanks for the chance to win and keep those great recipes coming. My fourteen year old asks for your CRACK bread every chance she gets. Yummy!! Cmogles@gmail.com

  62. That looks yummy! I have used it in a recipe, one I found online for pasta and sauce but it wasn't baked. I do love baked penne, I will give this one a try soon.

  63. I haven't tried it yet, but I want to! Especially after seeing recipes like this. I also would like to try the Baked Chicken Enchiladas! YUM.

  64. I love the Philly cooking Creams. We use it for leftovers. Add leftover chicken, noodles and the cream, heat it up and enjoy. The kids don't complain about eating leftovers this way.

  65. Thank you Kraft for making the Cooking Creme! I never remember to leave out regular cream cheese to warm up and end up microwaving it. What a mess! Cooking Creme is so easy and the consistency is so much better too. This is the perfect creation for a busy mom!

  66. I have never tried the Philedelphia Cooking Cream but as I was looking through the recipes on cookphilly.com I came across the Ceaser-Chicken Salad Panini. That sandwich looks really good so I think I will try it! I love using my panini press, although I don't use it as often as I like. So what a better reason to break it out and try this recipe!
    My email is skarn1@comcast.net

  67. Love this site & this product. We use primarily the Italian Cheese & Herb, it always gives a nice creamness to the recipes.

  68. I have never tried it, but being a cheese lover, I surely will! I looked at the recipes and the Shrimp & Broccoli Fettuccine looks like the first recipe I would like to try. Thanks for the giveaway!

  69. I haven't tried it yet. I guess I'd choose the pesto stuffed shells from the Philly website, but I really wanna make your baked penne recipe here, it looks Delish!!!

  70. I have not tried the cooking cream before, but I am sure my husband and I would love the pesto flavor.

    keri326 at gmail.com

  71. I have used the Philly cooking creme in a manicotti dish, and it was yummo!! I will have to try your recipe as well!

  72. I haven't seen the Cooking Creme in the stores yet but will start looking. The baked pasta will probably be my first recipe to try – yummm!

  73. I haven't tried the cooking creme yet, but I plan to. I think this recipe (Baked Penne) might be the first one I try. It looks/sounds wonderful!

  74. I have only used it once so far…I used the Italian Cheese and Garlic with some precooked chicken strips, a little bit of broth, cooked penne and a bag of frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrot mix. It was delicious and super quick and easy.

    The penne and the chicken strips were leftovers and I love the cream for use of leftovers since my daughter usually turns her nose up at leftovers…it was great to turn it into something completely new.

    Thanks

  75. I have never tried the cooking cream, but I've always meant to! I'd love to try it on this recipe. I "liked" them on facebook, but I don't have a twitter.

    caballtaz at gmail dot com

  76. I have used cooking cream and love it. I want to try this baked penne recipe also. I love green peppers, so I will most definitely leave them in.

  77. Hi, Steph. The chicken enchilada supreme recipe on the Philly website looks like one I would like to try. Haven't tried the cooking cream yet. Looks interesting. Might be good in your crockpot potato soup (using shredded hashbrowns). Made it twice. Hubby really likes it!!

  78. Your dish looks delicious Steph and while we use lots of their regular cream cheese, we've not tried the Cooking Creme. I would go with the Shrimp & Broccoli Fettuccine to see how it compares with alfredo sauce and I have everything but it on hand. I'll look for it in the market.

  79. I made something similar to what you made on your blog with the cooking creme. I didn't use a recipe, just sort of tossed everything together. It was pretty tasty.

  80. I used the Sante Fe flavor and made chikecn enchiladas. They were GREAT! I use this quite a bit and love cooking with Kraft.

  81. Have yet to try the Creme but looking online, I would love to try Creamy Chicken & Pesto Cavatappi because I love Pesto and I noticed that there's a Creamy Pesto Creme.

  82. Being from the South, I put cream cheese in everything — especially Philly Cream Cheese, it's my fav and makes everything taste better!

    I am embarrassed to admit though, I have yet to try this fabulous new product. All of the recipes sound de lish and I don't know which one I want to try first!!! I'm thinking I'm going to start with the Chicken Florentine Casserole though.

    I am now a follower on Twitter and FB, and look forward to more Philly Cooking Creme recipes!

    jennifer.l.june@gmail.com

  83. I have subtituted the flavored philly in many recipes. One of my favorites is a stuffed mushroom with the italian herb flavored philly with buttered bread crumbs on top

  84. I have tried this. I had the garlic and herb. I sauteed some shrimp and vegetables and added the sauce near the end. A little white wine to thin it just a tad. It was yummy!

  85. I have tried several flavors and love them all but the garlic & herb is my favorite. I boil penne, brown a chicken breast, steam some broccoli and mix it all together with some cooking cream for a quick and easy chicken alfredo…

  86. I made a chicken and pasta dish using the Philly Italian Cheese and Herb. My family said the meal was restraurant worthy! Tasted just like a dish i get at Chili's. Yum! Will definately be using Philly alot! brody.neal04@gmail.com

  87. Oh my – anything with cream cheese in is has to be good! I've not tried the cooking cream, but I will definitely be making the Baked Penne. Id also like to try the savory garlic scalloped potatoes and the chicken, broccoli & potato divan. Love your blok and just made the M&M Cakies and the Sausage Cheese Muffins last night!

    smboyd99@yahoo.com

  88. Hello! I love your blog and all of the recipes :). The chicken dumpling casserole is my favorite so far — I've made it three times!

    I have tried the Savory Garlic Cooking Creme and made Chicken Florentine with it. Now that they have a Pesto version, I want to try that and make their stuffed shells.

    I've followed Philly on twitter and liked them on facebook! My email address is jenadelaney@gmail.com

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