These Individual Baked Penne are SO simple and fun for a weeknight meal. Only 4 ingredients and 30 minutes required for these cute little bites.
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Who doesn’t love a miniature food?! Nobody. That’s who. They just make mealtime so much more fun.
Not only is this individual baked penne cute but it checks off all the weeknight dinner boxes. They are super simple, quick, involve a small ingredient list, perfectly portioned and are very family friendly.
This recipe is super basic and straightforward but not in a bad way. You only need 4 ingredients to make this baked penne. A big jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (this is my personal favorite), penne pasta (or any short cut pasta you have in your pantry), fresh mozzarella cheese and Italian seasoning.
To start, the pasta needs to be cooked. Since the baked penne will be popped in the oven to melt the cheese, the pasta will continue to cook so you should cook the pasta 3 minutes less than the box instructions indicate. Otherwise it will turn into a mushy mess.
Once the pasta is cooked, toss it with your favorite jarred sauce and portion it out individually. You can either use ramekins or a jumbo muffin pan to make these individual pastas. I went the jumbo muffin pan route because it was the perfect size for this recipe and made dishes easier.
Once the pasta is divided evenly, top each with a hearty serving of freshly shredded mozzarella cheese. Then sprinkle it with your favorite Italian seasoning. This one is hands down my favorite and I always keep it stocked in my pantry.
Then into the oven they go for a quick 15 minutes until the cheese gets bubbly and melted. Because it’s a quick time in the oven, the pasta stays really saucy and doesn’t dry out which is super important when we’re talking baked pasta. Nobody likes a dry pasta dish.
Once they’ve baked, let them rest a few minutes on your countertop so they don’t fall apart when you serve them. But even if they do, this baked penne is still weeknight perfection.
Individual Baked Penne
- 1/2 lb. penne or short cut pasta
- 24 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
- 1 cup shredded fresh mozzarella
- Italian seasoning
- Nonstick spray
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta 3 minutes less than the package directions.
- Drain pasta and add to a large bowl. Pour spaghetti sauce over the pasta and stir until well coated.
- Spray a 6 count jumbo muffin pan or 6 ramekins with nonstick spray. Divide pasta and sauce evenly among the muffin pan. Sprinkle each with an even amount of mozzarella and sprinkle with desired amount of Italian seasoning.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to set for 3 minutes before removing from muffin cups. Run a knife around the edges to help remove it in one piece.