Quick & Cheap Penne Pasta Delight

Looking for a budget-friendly, delicious meal that comes together in no time? This penne pasta dish with a blend of Alfredo and spaghetti sauce is the perfect solution! With the addition of garlic bread, this meal is both satisfying and affordable.


  • 1 box of penne noodles – $0.84
  • 1 jar of Alfredo sauce – $2.00
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce – $3.00
  • 1 pack of garlic bread – $2.00

Total Cost: $7.84


  1. Cook the Penne Pasta:
    • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
    • Add the penne noodles and cook according to the package instructions, usually about 10-12 minutes, until al dente.
    • Drain the pasta and set aside.
  2. Prepare the Sauces:
    • In a medium saucepan, combine the Alfredo sauce and spaghetti sauce.
    • Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauces are well combined and warmed through. This blend creates a creamy and tangy sauce that coats the pasta beautifully.
  3. Combine Pasta and Sauce:
    • In a large mixing bowl or the pot used to cook the pasta, add the cooked penne noodles.
    • Pour the heated sauce mixture over the pasta and toss to coat the noodles evenly.
  4. Prepare the Garlic Bread:
    • While the pasta is cooking, preheat your oven according to the garlic bread package instructions.
    • Place the garlic bread on a baking sheet and bake as directed, usually about 8-10 minutes, until golden and crispy.
  5. Serve:
    • Divide the sauced penne pasta among plates.
    • Serve with slices of warm garlic bread on the side.

Why You’ll Love This Meal

  1. Quick Preparation: This meal can be prepared in under 30 minutes, making it perfect for busy weeknights.
  2. Budget-Friendly: At just $7.84 for a complete meal, it’s easy on the wallet.
  3. Simple Ingredients: Uses readily available, inexpensive ingredients.
  4. Delicious Flavor: The combination of Alfredo and spaghetti sauce provides a unique and flavorful twist on traditional pasta dishes.
  5. Comfort Food: Warm pasta and garlic bread make for a comforting and satisfying meal.
  6. Versatile: Can be easily customized with additional ingredients like grilled chicken, vegetables, or Parmesan cheese.
  7. Kid-Friendly: Simple flavors and pasta are usually a hit with kids.
  8. Minimal Cleanup: With just a few pots and pans used, cleanup is quick and easy.
  9. Leftovers: Makes great leftovers that can be easily reheated.
  10. Crowd-Pleaser: Perfect for feeding a family or a small group of friends.

Tips for Making the Perfect Pasta Dish

  • Cook Pasta Al Dente: Make sure to cook the pasta until it’s al dente (firm to the bite) to avoid mushy noodles.
  • Mix Sauces Well: Stir the Alfredo and spaghetti sauces thoroughly to ensure a smooth, even blend.
  • Season to Taste: If desired, add a pinch of salt, pepper, or Italian seasoning to the sauce for extra flavor.
  • Add Protein: For a heartier meal, add cooked chicken, shrimp, or meatballs.
  • Include Veggies: Incorporate steamed or sautéed vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, or spinach for added nutrition.
  • Cheesy Topping: Sprinkle some grated Parmesan or mozzarella cheese on top before serving for an extra cheesy touch.

How to Store and Reheat

  • Storing Leftovers: Place any leftover pasta in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Reheating: Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat. Add a splash of water or milk to the pasta to keep the sauce creamy.
  • Garlic Bread: Store leftover garlic bread in foil and reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 5-7 minutes, or until warm.

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