Happy Memorial Day! While mainly a day to reflect and honor those men and women who have died in service to this country for many it also serves as the official start to summer. While that may leave you thinking of BBQ and potato salad you should also think about using your crockpot! Flavor packed and easy to make, this Slow Cooker Sausage Penne Bake is full of sun-dried tomatoes and healthy spinach and would be a perfect meal to come home to after a long day out with family and friends.
I used a jarred Alfredo sauce to make this quick and simple. If you have a favorite home-made sauce then you could sub that instead!! I also used pre-cooked sausage crumbles which made this super fast to prepare.
I precooked the noodles just a bit (about 1-2 minutes less than the al dente cooking time) since there was not a lot of added water/moisture in this recipe. This made the noodles tender but not mushy. Penne noodles are the way to go here as they seem to soak up the sauce perfectly.
I love chicken sausage and it comes in so many flavors! Pick your favorite! Get a little crazy. This along with the sun-dried tomatoes will really pack a flavor punch. The pop of flavor in your mouth is perfectly offset with the lovely creamy sauce.
- 1 pound penne pasta noodles
- 30 oz Alfredo sauce
- 4 oz about 2 chicken sausages
- 1 cup precooked sausage crumbles
- 1/2 cup packaged sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 packed cups baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup Italian shredded cheese blend
- 1 cup shredded fresh Parmesan
- Cook penne pasta according to package directions, but cut the cooking time short by 1-2 minutes (just shy of al dente)
- Drain pasta well and add to crock
- Cut sausage in half and slice halves about 1/4 inch thick
- Add cut sausage, sausage crumbles, sauce, tomatoes, and spinach to crock
- Add 1/2 cup of each of the shredded cheeses
- Stir to combine well
- Sprinkle top with remaining cheese
- Cover and cook on high 2-3 hours or low for 5-7