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Penne and Smoked Sausage

This pasta is a must-try smoked sausage recipe. 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


  • 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


  • 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?

Yes—smoked sausages are almost always already fully cooked. (The meat is often smoked at a high enough temperature that it cooks while it's smoking.) Smoked sausages from major brands including Hillshire Farm, Eckrich and Jennie-O are all fully cooked. However, 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 fresh 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 soup might be great here, too.) Finally, for 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?

There are more smoked sausage dishes than you can imagine—including these sausage skillet recipes. In the morning, try this Hearty Sausage 'n' Hash Browns dish topped with melted cheese and green peppers. For dinner, make a Sausage Potato Supper with zucchini in less than 30 minutes. 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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  • Victoria
    Jan 7, 2021

    Even the picky eaters in our family loved it! (Also it makes 6 decent sized servings, so a family of 4 will have leftovers.) I made a few slight modifications - I used 2 - 13oz pkgs of Eckridge smoked sausage, 1 can of condensed milk (in place of 2% milk), and since the grocery stores in our area don't carry cheddar french fried onions, I used the regular ffonions, with white cheddar popcorn seasoning.

  • Traci
    Apr 23, 2020

    I would call this a starter recipe. I kicked it up with some changes. Used my food processor and ground up some cheezits I had, about 3/4 cup. Added cheesits to the soup mix, I added Italian seasoning, white pepper, garlic and onion powder to taste. I cut the sausage in half medallions and cooked these with purple onion, garlic and minced celery. I then substituted peas for a frozen bag of California mix veggies. I cooked the veggies in with the sausage. Combined it all and used regular fried onions and mozzerella in the top

  • Jeremy
    Mar 23, 2020

    great dish easy to make my wife doesn't like peas so we used green beans so it became a green bean casserole dish

  • Petra1224
    Oct 27, 2019

    I made this the first time today and we really liked it, I think next time I will add a few spices as a little kick to it. Other than that, this is a keeper.

  • Tanya
    Feb 24, 2019

    Great and easy. My husband asks for it every couple weeks.

  • maball
    Feb 19, 2019

    No comment left

  • marcibanes
    Oct 19, 2018

    Very good and quick. I felt that it needed a bit more in the mix for flavor. So, I sauted some peppers, onion and minced garlic and mixed them into the pasta and sausage mixture. I also added some Italian Seasoning and salt. It turned out really good.

  • Nancy
    Jun 16, 2018

    I made this last night and we both liked it a lot. I somehow missed that the french fried onions were supposed to be cheddar flavored so I used regular. My husband and I both enjoyed this dish very much, but thought something was missing - just didn't know what. The cheddar flavor may have made the difference, but we will definitely have this again! Thank you for a great yet easy recipe!

  • katlaydee3
    Jan 28, 2018

    It looks like I am in the minority. I did not care for this at all. I’m not sure why, I like all of the ingredients just not the combination. By the way Meijer stocks the Cheddar French-Fried Onions for those people having a hard time find them.

  • Emily
    Nov 16, 2017

    I sauteed onions, red bell pepper and celery and mixed it in. I didn't use peas or the fried onions in the recipe. I also used a cheddar jack cheese instead of mozzarella. My family loved it!