Zesty Penne Pasta - Light

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 5 mins

I found this recipe in a magazine, in a Philly (cream cheese) ad. I modified it to make it healthier, and was honestly WOW-ed when I tried it - it's that good! Hope it WOW-s you too!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 3 cups whole wheat penne, uncooked
  • 1 lb reduced-fat pork sausage, Jimmy Dean
  • 1 (26 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce, I use Prego Heart-Smart
  • 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 14 cup parmesan cheese


  1. Cook pasta according to directions.
  2. While that cooks, brown sausage in a pan sprayed with cooking spray.
  3. When sausage is fully cooked, add spaghetti sauce & red chili pepper flakes. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add cream cheese to sauce, stir well for 2 minutes.
  5. Drain pasta and mix well with sauce. Top with parmesan, let stand on LOW heat for 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
Most Helpful

I made this last night for the kids. I'm sheepishly reporting that I did make it with regular penne, regular cream cheese, and regular sausage. I halved the crushed reds, too. They loved it! I think this recipe could really be adapted, too. I think sauteed peppers, mushrooms and onions would be delicious in this dish.

Heathen Mama March 26, 2010

This is really really good. It's creamy, but not too creamy; spicy but not too spicy; and easy (but doesn't look as easy as say, spaghetti). Stick with the 3 cups pasta (or less...) or you will have not enough sauce. My Jimmy Dean Red. Fat Sausage was only 12 oz., and it was perfect. Thanks for the recipe.

MelissaO' November 15, 2011