Skip to Content

Penne with Italian Meat Sauce

This penne with Italian meat sauce has become a go-to dinner at our house. Not only is it delicious, but also it’s great for leftovers.

A bowl of penne with Italian meat sauce beside a plate of bread

How to Make an Easy Italian Meat Sauce with Pasta

I like all types of pasta. But ever since I’ve had to be gluten-free, I’m somewhat limited in what I can use.

For this dinner, I used ground beef. However, you can also use ground turkey or sausage if you prefer.

After several failed attempts at making my own gluten-free pasta, I’ve resorted to purchasing what I can find. However, as soon as I figure out a way to make it, I’ll post the recipe here.

There are as many ways to make Italian meat sauce as there are cooks. Some require quite a few ingredients and hours of hard work in the kitchen.

My version of any recipe is typically one that involves shortcuts in the kitchen. Although I love to cook, I don’t want to stand in front of the stove all day.

This pasta dish is delightfully easy as well as delicious. When you finish cooking it, you’ll be able to serve a meal you can be proud of.

Simply add a side salad and some bread for a delicious dinner or lunch.

Penne with Italian Meat Sauce Ingredients

I have used jars of marinara sauce many times. However, it’s not necessary if you have tomato sauce and Italian seasoning.

You’ll need a pound of ground beef, chopped onion, chopped bell pepper, tomato sauce, pasta, water, and Italian seasoning. If you like mushrooms, you can add those too.

Gluten-free penne pasta, Italian seasoning, ground beef, tomato sauce, chopped peppers, chopped onions, and sliced mushrooms

You’ll also need some water for the pasta to absorb.

I don’t use much water since I like a thick gravy. If you want a thinner gravy, simply add more water.

You can also vary the amount of pasta you add. If you prefer more penne, add it. Just make sure you increase the amount of water.

For exact measurements of each ingredient and full directions, go to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. You can even print out the card by using the “print” button.

How to Make Penne with Italian Meat Sauce

First, in a large saucepan, brown the ground beef. Drain it and return the meat to the pot.

Browned ground beef and a chopper in a pot

Although you can finish this delicious dish off in the oven, I didn’t do that this time. That’s because I wanted to keep it as simple as possible.

Plus I didn’t want a bunch of extra dishes, pots, and pans to wash. I think it’s just as good this way.

Next, add the onion and bell pepper to the pot and cook it until the onion is translucent. Now it’s ready for the rest of the ingredients.

Onions and peppers added to the ground beef in the pot

Pour the tomato sauce into the pot. Then add the water and Italian seasoning.

Italian sauce in a pot

If you want mushrooms, also add those now. You can use either fresh or canned mushrooms, as long as they’re sliced.

Simmer the sauce for 15 minutes. If you want to simmer it longer, that’s fine. However, make sure you have enough water for the pasta to absorb.

Then add the pasta to the sauce and continue to simmer until the pasta is tender but still firm.

Serve this delicious food hot. If you like cheese, add it after it’s on the plate.

Bowl of Italian pasta with meat sauce beside a slice of bread

More Recipes

We typically have a salad with our pasta dishes. The ones we enjoy are this delicious Greek olive and feta salad or this nutrition-packed broccoli slaw.

A dessert is always good to have with this dinner, so try this mint chocolate chip ice cream. You might also enjoy these key lime cookies from Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.

See this recipe shared at Meal Plan Monday, Full Plate Thursday, and Weekend Potluck.

Yield: 6 servings

Penne with Italian Meat Sauce

Bowl of penne pasta with Italian sauce

This penne with Italian sauce is a delicious but easy dinner for busy nights.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup of chopped bell pepper
  • Two 15-ounce cans of tomato sauce
  • 2-1/2 cups of penne pasta (regular or gluten-free)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
  • Optional: 1/2 cup of canned sliced mushrooms (or 1 cup of fresh sliced mushrooms)


    1. In a 4-quart pot, brown the ground beef on medium-high and drain.
    2. Add the chopped onion and bell pepper and cook until the onions are translucent.
    3. Stir in the tomato sauce, water, and Italian seasoning. If you choose to add mushrooms, do it now.
    4. Bring the contents to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the sauce, uncovered, for approximately 15 minutes.
    5. Add the pasta and cook until the noodles are tender, about 15 minutes.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 324Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 67mgSodium 800mgCarbohydrates 25gFiber 4gSugar 7gProtein 25g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Please feel free to share!

Skip to Recipe