This Jazzed Up Bacon Sausage Pesto Penne Pasta is the perfect addition to your meal plan. Simple, savory, flavorful and delicious! 


It’s back to school time for this mom which means busy nights, quick meals and stressed out kids (and maybe mom, too). Between homework, after-school activities, nightly routines and other events, back to school is a time where everyone is running in different directions.

It’s imperative that I have an arsenal of go-to, yummy, quick to prepare, hearty meals. I’m feeding hungry teens and tweens, a toddler and a preschooler. Barilla has created a way for me to get a great meal on the table in about 20 minutes without using a bunch of different pots and pans.

Score – less dishes equals more times to run around and do all the things we need to get done!

This post was written with Barilla pasta and supported No Kid Hungry,.


I wanted to take a Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta and kick it up a notch to be something brand new, but also able to be kid AND adult friendly. So we started by swapping out the hamburger meat and brought in some delicious Beef Kielbasa.

We grilled that up with some bacon in our skillet. We drained them but kept them in the skillet, and added Penne Pasta. This is a one pan, no boil, no drain pasta.

This means there is no need to dirty up lots of different pans for one meal. It all cooks together. Another score! Simply add in 3 cups of water per box of pasta and follow the directions on the box to cook.

Barilla Pronto maintains its shape and texture while you’re cooking and in the end delivers a delicious taste sensation in every al dente bite! (I have a secret – I don’t actually like al dente, so I cook it longer)

While it was cooking, I whipped up a Bechamel Cheese Sauce and then added 1/2 cup of Barilla Pesto Sauce for an added kick to the recipe.

Jazzed Up Bacon Sausage Pesto Penne Pasta 3

I stirred the Pesto Bechamel Cheese Sauce into the skillet with the pasta when it was finished and added a can of diced tomatoes. This is where you can get creative with additions. For my kids though, I kept it as is as served it to them.

Kid version is the blue bowl in the photos. Adult version is the green bowl. For the adults, I sauteed some onion and mushrooms to spoon on top, and then added some crumbled Feta cheese.

I cannot even tell you how delicious this meal was. The flavors take a standard pasta dish and make it something so much more. That pesto adds a jazzy flavor that both kids and adults loved, but the bechamel sauce mellows it out a little.

I love the onion and mushroom addition with some Feta for the adults. SO delish! This was a winner in our house and it was all made easier with Barilla Pronto Pasta and Sauce.


Jazzed Up Bacon Sausage Pesto Penne Pasta Recipe

Jazzed Up Bacon Sausage Pesto Penne Pasta

Jazzed Up Bacon Sausage Pesto Penne Pasta

Nicole Cook
This Jazzed Up Bacon Sausage Pesto Penne Pasta is the perfect addition to your meal plan. Simple, savory, flavorful and delicious! 
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 710 kcal


For Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ¼ cups hot milk
  • ¾ cups shredded Mozarella cheese
  • ½ cup Pesto Sauce

For Meal:

  • 14 ounces Beef Kielbasa sliced
  • 5 strips bacon sliced
  • 12 ounces penne Pasta
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 15 ounces diced tomatoes


For Sauce:

  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles, about 2 minutes. Don’t let it brown, turn it down or remove from heat if needed.
  • Add hot milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring the mixture to a boil, and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Lower the heat and stir in shredded cheese, stirring until blended and continuing to cook for 2 more minutes. Add 1/2 cup of Barilla Pesto Sauce, stir and allow to cook for about 1 more minute. Remove from the heat, and pour over pasta.

For Meal:

  • In a large skillet, brown the bacon and sausage. Pour out the grease. Add 1 box of Barilla Pronto Penne Pasta and 3 cups of cold water. Boil for 10 minutes. Add 1 can of diced tomatoes, drained. Pour sauce into finished pasta and serve.

For Adult Version:

  • Add sauteed onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, feta cheese or anything else you’d like to your finished bowl. Yum!


Calories: 710kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 26gFat: 43gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 1059mgPotassium: 549mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 791IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 241mgIron: 3mg
Keyword easy pasta recipes
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