Penne Pasta with Meat Sauce

a hearty dinner
A hearty dinner
Share it on your social network:
Or you can just copy and share this url


8 oz Penne pasta
2 tbsp Salt for pasta
2 tbsp Olive oil extra virgin
2 cups Onion chopped, about 1 large onion
2 cloves Garlic chopped
1 tsp Dried Italian seasoning
dash Red pepper flakes
pinch Dried thyme or ½ tsp fresh
Salt to taste
Black pepper freshly ground, to taste
1 lb Ground beef 16% fat
2 ½ cups Tomato sauce canned chunky
½ tsp Dried basil or 3 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tsp Sugar
1 tbsp Parsley chopped, fresh

Nutritional information


Penne Pasta with Meat Sauce


This Penne Pasta with Meat Sauce recipe is rich, flavorful, and easy enough for any weeknight. Italian Bolognese sauce with ground beef, vegetables, and herbs turns penne pasta into a hearty dinner the whole family will love.   

Making this pasta with meat sauce is easy. Just boil up some pasta until al dente and drain. My favorite cut of pasta for this recipe is penne pasta, but rigatoni is an equally great option. While the pasta is cooking, sauté the onions. Next, add the garlic, thyme, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Cook for another minute and set aside. Use a cast-iron skillet to brown the ground beef. Add the well-browned meat along with tomato sauce to the seasoned onions. Once the meat and tomato sauce have been added, add all the remaining ingredients, give the sauce a good stir, then cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Adjust the seasonings if needed. Toss the cooked penne pasta through hot meat sauce and serve garnished with chopped fresh parsley. Every bite is moreish. Enjoy!

To make the Penne Pasta with Meat Sauce, you will need the following ingredients:

Ingridiens for Penne Pasta with Meat Sauce

Steps to make Penne Pasta with Meat Sauce


Cook pasta


Bring to a boil 4 quarts of water in a large pot. Once at a boil, add 2 tablespoons salt. Once the water is at a boil again, add 8 ounces penne pasta. Cook, uncovered, over high heat with a vigorous boil. Cook until al dente, according to package directions, for about 8-10 minutes, then drain.


Sauté onions


Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add 2 cups chopped onion, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, and a dash of red pepper flakes. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft.


Add garlic, thyme, salt and pepper


Add 2 chopped cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, salt and black pepper to taste. Cook for 1 more minute until the garlic is fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.


Brown ground beef


Heat a large clean cast-iron skillet over high heat. Salt the bottom of the skillet evenly. Once the skillet is hot, break up small chunks of ground beef and add them to the skillet, don’t stir. Add in batches if needed, you want the meat to get well browned. Make sure the skillet isn’t too hot though. If the meat is burning, not browning, take the skillet off the heat for a little. Reduce heat to medium-high and return the skillet to the stove. Once the meat is browned on one side, use a metal spatula to flip the meat over to brown on the other side. If using a cast-iron skillet, you can now remove the skillet from heat as the residual heat will finish cooking the meat. If not, let the meat brown for another couple of minutes.


Add beef and tomato sauce


Using a slotted spoon, lift the meat from the skillet and add it to the seasoned onions. Add in 2 ½ cups canned chunky tomato sauce. Break up the bigger chunks of meat with the edge of a metal spatula.


Add basil and sugar


Stir in ½ teaspoon dried basil leaves and 1 teaspoon of sugar and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat, uncovered, for 15 minutes.


Adjust seasonings and add pasta


Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Add salt and black pepper to taste and a little more sugar if the sauce is too acidic. If the sauce needs additional liquid, add more tomato sauce. Stir in the cooked pasta.



Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and serve immediately!

If you are in the mood for rich and saucy pasta, this Penne Pasta with Meat Sauce is your recipe. Delicious and budget-friendly, perfect weeknight meal the whole family will love. Give this recipe a go, and please come back to tell us what you think!

Jeff is a 38-year-old bachelor who prefers not to waste his time on salads and light meals. He’s a true carnivore who knows how to enjoy food to the max! Jeff will tell you how to cook rich and filling meals from scratch, bringing some real meaty decadence to your kitchen. His recipes are sure to satisfy every meat lover!

  • Recipe Reviews:
Instant Pot Creamy Mushroom Soup Recipes– Homemade Instant Pot Creamy Mushroom Soup –Easy Instant Pot Creamy Mushroom Soup
Instant Pot Creamy Mushroom Soup
Heart-Shaped Roasted Potatoes Recipe- Roasted Heart Potatoes-Valentine's Day Roasted Potato Hearts
Heart-Shaped Roasted Potatoes
Add Review
Add Comment

Recipe Reviews

Average Rating:
Total Reviews: 1

Easy, quick and delicious! My husband can eat pasta every day!

Write your own review

You can optionally upload your own image along with a review