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Sausage Penne Bake

No one will guess a dish this cheesy and filling could be healthy, but this one’s chock-full of eggplant, whole wheat pasta, tomatoes and fabulous flavor. —Barbara Kempen, Cambridge, Minnesota
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. Bake: 20 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 2 cups uncooked whole wheat penne pasta
  • 3/4 pound Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine or chicken broth
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 3 tablespoons chopped ripe olives
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the sausage, eggplant and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
  • Add wine and garlic, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Stir in tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Drain pasta. Add the pasta, 1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, olives, basil and pepper to skillet.
  • Transfer to a 3-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 325 calories, 11g fat (5g saturated fat), 46mg cholesterol, 623mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 7g fiber), 23g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.

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  • mom2lauren
    Sep 27, 2016

    As a TOH volunteer field editor, I enjoy testing various recipes. This one appealed to me because I had a package of sausage to use as well as a small eggplant from our garden and some leftover black olives in the fridge to use. I made the recipe using all the called for ingredients, except I didn't have enough penne and I didn't want to make a special trip to the store, so I used linguine noodles. I also didn't have quite enough mozzarella, so I topped it up with marble cheese. Great flavour combination made for a comforting meal on a cold, rainy night.

  • stevenraynewman
    Jan 31, 2013

    No comment left

  • vwgirl9
    Nov 14, 2012

    Family really enjoyed this

  • evamcp
    Oct 19, 2012

    Easy to make & delicious with lots of flavor!Note: It would be easy to cut back on sausage & cheese if you wanted less fat & use unsalted tomatoes to reduce sodium. I added a zucchini & it made such a wonderful dish full of veggies. My only sub was to use Italian seasoning instead of basil. However, some fresh basil leaves would be great!

  • popnmim
    Jan 10, 2012

    Just finished eating two bowls full. Excellant! Followed the recipe, but next time I will cut the onions into larger pieces and add a cup of canned corn. Maybe a bit of bell pepper.

  • ScorpioPlus
    Jan 9, 2012

    No comment left

  • win30o6
    Jan 9, 2012

    Look at the Saturated fat content and the Sodium content. These numbers are for a one cup serving. Not "heart healthy" at all!!

  • zrmag1
    Nov 14, 2011

    I'm a big fan of Eggplant. I used Whole grain Penne (that was all I had) instead of Whole wheat Penne . Loved it, loved it, loved it!

  • KWhitehead
    Jun 2, 2011

    Simple and so yummy! Reheats beautifully! Husband doesn't like eggplant, so I subbed in two chopped zucchinis and a chopped bell pepper. DELICIOUS.

  • asabot
    Mar 28, 2011

    Very good. We don't care for eggplant so I omitted it. I also added some garlic salt.