Three Cheese Penne with Roasted Vegetables is an elegant dish that’s both colorful and flavorful. This one-dish wonder features garden-fresh veggies roasted to perfection and tossed with penne in a creamy, dreamy cheese and tomato sauce. One bite and you’re hooked.
This healthy and flavorful casserole includes veggies, pasta, cheese, a sauce and spices.
The vegetable: The colorful and healthy veggies include red peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, vidalia onions, cremini mushrooms, and frozen green peas.
The pasta: As the name suggests, the pasta of choice is penne.
The cheese: I used three different cheeses: Monterey Jack cheese, smoked Gouda cheese, and Parmesan cheese.
The sauce: For the sauce, I used Rao’s store-bought marinara sauce.
Raise the stern: To finish off the dish, I used kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, Italian seasoning, olive oil, and unsalted butter.
This Cheesy Penne with Roasted Vegetables is very versatile and allows for many substitutions.
The vegetable: If you can’t find Vidalia onions, use onions of your choice. You can also substitute green, yellow, or orange peppers for the red peppers. Instead of the cremini mushrooms, you can also use white button mushrooms and omit the green peas. Finally, fresh spinach would be a nice addition to this delicious recipe.
The pasta: Ziti would work just as well in this dish as rotini. Feel free to use what you have on hand.
The cheese: You can substitute mozzarella, fontina, or gruyere cheese for the Monterey Jack cheese. Also, you can substitute smoked mozzarella for the smoked gouda, or substitute the main cheese for the smoked cheese.
The sauce: You can use any good quality marinara sauce in this recipe, including your own homemade marinara sauce.
The three cheese penne with roasted vegetables is a meal in itself. The only thing I like to add is a freshly baked crusty French bread.
Three cheese penne with roasted vegetables
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into ½-inch strips
1 (7 to 8 ounces) zucchini, quartered lengthways and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (7 to 8 ounces) yellow squash, quartered lengthways and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cremini mushrooms (about 3 ounces), thickly sliced
½ Vidalia onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 cups (8 ounces) dried penne pasta
1 ¾ cups marinara sauce, store-bought or homemade
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
¼ cup (1 ounce) grated smoked Gouda cheese
½ cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese, divided
¾ cup frozen green peas
1 tablespoon (0.5 ounce) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a large baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil; put aside. Spray a 2 ½ quart or 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with nonstick spray; put aside.
Place the peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and onion on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper and Italian seasoning. Throw to thoroughly coat. Roast in preheated oven at 450°F for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from the oven; Allow to cool slightly.
Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
While the vegetables are roasting, cook the penne in salted water for 6 minutes. Drain in a colander.
In a large bowl, gently combine drained pasta, roasted vegetables, marinara sauce, ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, smoked Gouda cheese, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, green peas, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. until everything is well covered.
Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese and ¼ cup Parmesan. Spread with butter. Can be prepared up to this point in advance.
Bake in preheated oven at 375°F for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbly.
Yield: 6 servings.
- You don’t want to overcook the pasta because it will continue to cook after the dish is baked.
- This dish can easily be prepared ahead of time, covered and refrigerated. If you make it ahead of time, add about 5 minutes to the cooking time.
- Leftovers, if any, are just as good the next day. I like to reheat this in the microwave, but you can also reheat in the oven at 350F for about 15 minutes.
Chula King is the blogger behind PudgeFactor.com.
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