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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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • runs2eat13
    Feb 16, 2011

    This was delicious! My fiance doesn't like eggplant and he loved the dish. He didn't realize eggplant was in it until he was half way done. It heated up really well too for leftovers.

  • haddur
    Feb 6, 2011

    This was excellent!! The only thing I changed was I used Italian seasoning rather than basil and pepper. I added that seasoning to taste. The eggplant was delicious and the kids and hubby gobbled it up :)