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Pretty Penne Ham Skillet Recipe

Pretty Penne Ham Skillet Recipe

I'm a busy nurse, so fast meals are a must. This pasta is a tasty change of pace from potato-ham casseroles. —Kathy Stephan, West Seneca, New York
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min. YIELD:6 servings


  • 1 package (16 ounces) penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  • 1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add ham, red pepper and onion; cook and stir 4-6 minutes or until ham is browned and vegetables are tender. Add garlic and herbs; cook 1-2 minutes longer.
  • 2. Stir in broth and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10-15 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Add pasta; toss to combine. Sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 6 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1-1/2 cups equals 567 calories, 24 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 57 mg cholesterol, 1,344 mg sodium, 62 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 27 g protein.

Reviews for Pretty Penne Ham Skillet

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Reviewed Apr. 21, 2016

"Made this about a month ago. We thought it was dry and that it did not need as much oil and butter. Actually used one T of olive oil and 2 T of broth to saute onion, red pepper and ham in the first place. I did continue to add broth throughout. I used no-salt added vegetable broth as it always seems richer to me and gives a little more flavor than chicken broth. After I had everything put together I checked for moisture and added a couple T of milk and the same of more broth.

Quick recipe and nice idea."

Reviewed Mar. 29, 2016

"Excellent dish. I changed very little to the existing recipe. Used left over ham from Easter. GOYA FOODS has a ham flavored concentrate packet that added more ham flavor. If you do not mind using packaged food products to flavor. My fresh chives were ready to cut, and gave more flavor to dish. Light and tasty. Husband said only a glass of wine was missing. May try adding wine next time we make it. Thank you. Pleasant change from heavy sauces."

Reviewed Mar. 27, 2016

"My sons and I didn't really care for it. We thought it was a bit dry."

Reviewed Dec. 15, 2015

"Quick and easy with good flavor. A nice change from red/white sauce. I don't see this being a dish that is requested in our house but I would make it again for convenience of ease and time."

Reviewed Dec. 6, 2015

"Yummy! Light and very flavorful sauce. Cooked up pretty quickly."

Reviewed Oct. 16, 2015

"My family loves this recipe. Quick easy meal on one of those busy nights."

Reviewed Oct. 8, 2015

"Really good. The light sauce was a nice change from typical sauces. Recipe does make quite a bit."

Reviewed Apr. 21, 2015

"This recipe caught my eye because i dont care for heavy sauces on my pasta. Made it today and my family loved it. It was extremely flavorful. I followed the recipe as written but, since I don't care much for ham, I'll use chicken instead next time."

Reviewed Apr. 16, 2015

"My family loves this! I did, however, listen to the reviews and remove the veggies and ham while the sauce was thickening up. It was perfect because the veggies were still slightly crisp. Question - I tried to add a note to the recipe so I would remember to remove the veggies in the future and I know I saved it but it's not there. Has anyone used the notes feature before?"

Reviewed Apr. 9, 2015

"I recant. At first when I was done cooking, I thought this recipe would be awful because simmering the sauce made the vegetables into mush. And they WERE mush-but the flavor is fantastic. If you want the veggies crisp tender I recommend removing the veggies or cooking them separately and adding them after the sauce reduces. I made this with radiatore"

Reviewed Mar. 2, 2015

"My family and I really like this recipe. It has become one of my favorite uses for leftover ham. The sweetness of the ham is nicely combined with the other ingredients. Use a very deep and large skillet since this makes a lot of food. I like to substitute in a package of thawed, frozen broccoli or peas for the bell pepper. I used a little less fat."

Reviewed Jan. 28, 2015

"5 star"

Reviewed Nov. 16, 2014

"This recipe is a great start, but I wasn't impressed with it as written. First off, it seems like way too much oil/butter. I did what was written to start, but ended up draining a lot of oil while the ham/veggies were cooking. Having the peppers in while the sauce simmered/reduced left them super soggy and soft. I don't like the texture of the penne with the chunks of ham either, but that might just be a personal preference.

I really liked the flavor of the sauce, so I might try this again, but with several changes. I would cut the butter/oil at least in half, probably would try asparagus instead of a bell pepper, not have the pepper/asparagus/whatever in the sauce while it reduces, and I would use a different type of pasta - perhaps rotini."

Reviewed Oct. 18, 2014

"I used small shells for the pasta. Great easy meal."

Reviewed Oct. 14, 2014

"This was quite good. Only had dried herbs but was still very flavorful. Will definitely make again."

Reviewed Sep. 22, 2014

"Loved the taste of this, but there seemed to be a lot of liquid that didn't reduce. However, it did seem to soak into the pasta after it sat for a little while. Overall, a great way to use up leftover ham!"

Reviewed Feb. 18, 2014

"The whole family enjoyed this dish. I included a very finely chopped zucchini to add some nutritional value and my picky son didn't notice. A nice change from the usual pasta in red sauce. I will definately make this again."

Reviewed Jan. 5, 2014

"We loved this recipe! Definitely quick and easy. The only changes that I made were to use tri-color penne and to double the lemon juice. I served this with Greek salad and garlic bread."

Reviewed Jun. 6, 2013

"I guess I'm just not a pasta eater, because I found this to be boring. I used fresh herbs and grated the parmesan myself, and I still felt it lacked something. I juiced a whole lemon to get some zing to the broth. I took a look at the reduced "sauce" and only tossed in half the pasta."

Reviewed Feb. 4, 2013

"I make this at least monthly. I normally have all the ingredients on hand, it's easy, and the family loves it. I do use bow tie pasta instead though."

Reviewed Oct. 30, 2012

"My family loved it! My dad took leftovers to work and later on in the month he brought 3 lunches of the same dish because everyone in his office wanted some!"

Reviewed Mar. 25, 2012 Edited Jan. 20, 2014

"This was delicious and light. Different from the typical pasta dish I eat. Will definitely make again with leftover ham. I have made again and added some edamame for more color. Still delicious!"

Reviewed Dec. 24, 2011

"Fantastic! What a great way to use up leftover ham!"

Reviewed Nov. 5, 2011

"This is a surprisingly different dish. The spices really make it great. I left out the pepper and cut the ham down to 2 cups. I also cut the pasta down to around 1/2 pound to 3/4 pound- a pound seemed like too much. Shredded mozzarella cheese goes nicely on top. I found it a to have a little too much liquid. I might cut some of the chicken broth next time. I also might suggest using smaller pasta. I used ziti pasta and I think it needed to be some sort of smaller sort of noodles. I might suggest bow-tie or shell pasta. Very interesting dish!"

Reviewed May. 5, 2011

"We have made this many, many times and it's an all-time Taste of Home favorite! It's so easy and delicious! It's also good if you substitute shrimp or grilled chicken for the ham."

Reviewed Mar. 3, 2010

"Both times I've made this, I've added a green vegetable - zucchini the first time, and asparagus the second time. I think it tastes much better that way!"

Reviewed Jan. 15, 2010

"I made this recipe last night using whole wheat penne pasta and my husband and I loved this skillet. It has a really nice light flavor. I normally eat very bold dishes with tons of spices but this was a very nice change."

Reviewed Nov. 21, 2009

"I have fussy eaters and I am happy when I find a good recipe. Its quick and easy with lots of left overs."

Reviewed Jul. 16, 2009

"Rather bland, not big on taste. Family opted for sandwiches instead."

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Wine Pairings

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.