Cheesy Baked Penne

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This recipe has been featured in a post on The Recipe Girl blog:  Cheesy Baked Penne.

Cheesy Baked Penne

Perfect for using up leftover ham, this creamy, cheesy, comfort-food dish is completely family friendly.

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 45 min


4 cups 2% milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, or freshly grated
freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 pound penne pasta, cooked until al dente
1 cup peas, frozen
1 1/2 cups ham, diced
1 cup Provolone cheese, diced
1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated


1. Prepare sauce: Heat milk in a medium saucepan until small bubbles form around the edges. In a larger saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add flour and stir well. Continue to cook, stirring, until thick and smooth, about 2 minutes. Slowly begin adding hot milk to the large saucepan, whisking constantly while adding. Sauce will start out lumpy and become smooth as milk is incorporated. Stir in nutmeg and freshly ground pepper. Turn heat up to medium and bring sauce to a simmer for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside while you prepare the pasta.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a shallow 2 1/2-quart baking dish.

3. Assemble the dish: In a large bowl, toss cooked pasta with the sauce. Stir in peas, ham, provolone and 3/4 cup of the grated Parmesan. Scrape the mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

4. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 25 minutes. Uncover and bake until sauce is bubbling around the edges and the center is hot (about 10 minutes more). Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Source: (Adapted from Real Food)

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  • Faith Bokros wrote:

    This was good and had enough for two different baking dishes, I used corning ware one bigger than the other. I used the povolone but also used mozzarella cheese plus the Parmesan. I used freshly grated nutmeg. I am taking some to my friend who just had knee surgery and keeping some for my husband and myself. Thanks for recipe. I would add Mushrooms and green onion to this next time just for a change.

  • Jen wrote:

    This was just ok to me. Seems like it was missing something, but we could not figure out what it was.

  • Debra wrote:

    Rebecca, I believe it is 1/8 tsp. ground OR freshly grated nutmeg … and freshly ground pepper to taste

  • Rita wrote:

    Will be making several of your leftover ham recipes this week. This was the first one and it was very good. I thought it needed a bit of salt, so next time I will salt the water for the pasta.
    It was easy and yes, versatile

    LOL! I just remembered!!! I forgot the peas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Yeah, it’s so hard to pinpoint salt addition when using ham since some ham can be super salty.

  • Karen wrote:

    This is so good. Can also use Mozzarella & Parmesan, Mozz and Feta, Brie & Monterey Jack, Gruyere & a nutty Gouda, Monterey Jack and Swiss etc…Can also change up the pasta. So versatile and delicious!

  • Rebecca wrote:

    is it supposed to be nutmeg or pepper or and pepper?

    • Lori Lange wrote:


  • Katie wrote:

    Made this for dinner tonight! Very delicious, but also very filling… I would recommend serving a little less than usual, and having seconds if you’re still hungry – I couldn’t finish my entire plate! 🙂