February 28, 2012

Easy Baked Penne with Philadelphia Cooking Creme & Skillet Giveaway {Powernap}

Philly Bake

This is the latest installment of my Powernap column. The series where I share quick, easy food that can be made for all kinds of situations. Powernaps are short and sweet, and so are these recipes. These are the things I make in a jiffy when I need a quick snack, am in the mood for a recipe experiment, or simply need to clean out the pantry.

Right before I left from Thailand I was invited to work on a great new project for Philadelphia Cooking Creme. Given that I was concentrating on quick recipes for a few nights before I left I knew it would be the perfect time to use the new creme. I picked it up at our local shop and was thrilled to find the version I was looking for in a low-fat variety. For dinner that night I whipped up this simple savory pasta bake with meat sauce and we all feasted on the delicious, quick meal.

The interesting concept behind the cooking cremes is that they are flavored cremes that are meant to replace sour cream and condensed soups. They are lower fat and add much more flavor dishes. I used the low-fat Italian creme to make a delicious pink sauce with sweet Italian sausage.

After enjoying our hot meal my husband and I both agreed that this creme made a very flavorful sauce. It provided just the right amount of silkiness and flavor without being too heavy. My daughter even enjoyed it and she is usually not a big fan of thick sauces. This recipe is definitely a keeper for those nights I have to get a quick meal on the table.

If you are in the need of a mealtime makeover, or just a new roster of meal ideas I totally recommend checking out the Philadelphia Fresh Family Favorites monthly recipe program on CookPhilly.com. It is chock full of easy, creamy recipes, like the one we made below.

To help you get cooking with Philadelphia they’ve generously offered to giveaway and awesome 11″ Circulon Fry Pan, containers for leftovers and coupons for a free container of Philadelphia Creme!

To Enter to Win the Philadelphia Giveaway:

1. Tell me what you think you might make with Philadelphia Cooking Creme.

2. Like The Naptime Chef on Facebook.

3. Sign up for the Naptime Chef newsletter (upper right hand corner).

4. Like Philadelphia Cream Cheese on Facebook

5. Extra Entry: Cook with Philadelphia Cooking creme and upload a picture of your delicious dish to their Facebook page!

6. Contest runs from February, 28th at 7:00am through Sunday March, 4th at 9:00pm ET. Winner will be announced on Monday, March 5th at 7:00am. Prizes can only be shipped within the continental US.

7. Winner will be selected by random.org. If prize is not claimed within 48 hours another winner will be chosen.

I am one of 9 bloggers selected by Kraft Foods to participate in the Philadelphia Cooking Creme recipe program. While I have been compensated for my time, my opinions are my own, and I have not been paid to post positive comments.

Kraft Foods is providing the prizes for this program at no cost to me. This program is not administered or sponsored by Kraft Foods or its affiliates, but solely by Kelsey, The Naptime Chef.


 Easy Baked Penne


½ pound sweet Italian sausage or extra-lean ground beef
½ cup chopped yellow onion
½ cup chopped green pepper
24 ounces tomato sauce
1 10 ounce container Philadelphia Italian Cheese & Herb Cooking Creme, divided
1 cup shredded Mozzarella, divided
3 cups cooked pasta like penne or macaroni


1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Cook the pasta according to package directions and set aside.

3. In a skillet brown the meat and the onions together until the until the meat is browned and cooked through. Stir in the spaghetti sauce and ¾ cup of the cooking creme. Sprinkle in the mozzarella and stir until melted. Pour the cooked pasta into the sauce and stir to coat.

4. Pour the mixture into a large ovenproof baker or, like I did, slip an ovenproof skillet right into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes and serve hot.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

This pasta dish is best served with a green vegetable or salad!

Naptime Stopwatch

10 minutes prep time, 30 minutes cook time

Naptime Reviews

A hit all around!


More Naptime Recipes