Best of Swanky Recipes/ Meals/ Pasta/ Vegetarian Recipes

Mozzarella Penne Rosa Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomato, spinach, and cheesy mozzarella marinara pasta served with Birds Eye® Italian Style Protein Blends.

I was recently asked by Pinnacle Foods Group LLC to create some unique tips for using a new product and I wanted to share with you

Mozzarella Penne Rosa Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Creamy tomato marinara pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, spinach, and mozzarella.  Have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes!  Serve with Birds Eye® Italian Style Protein Blends for a classic Italian dinner.

There is something about pasta that is naturally satisfying, enriching and comforting.  It’s no wonder why because pasta is the perfect dish for versatility.  Cooler weather outside makes for the perfect warm pasta dish served up as the best comfort food.

Our favorite recipes always make it to the dinner table.  Recipes that we make over and over again for our family because they love them. They are the first recipes that we use each time the holidays come around and are included when meal planning.  They are the recipes we bake for our family frequently.  They are tried and true recipes that our family wants more of.  Over time, these recipes sort of become a staple in our home. If there is one thing our family loves, it’s pasta and a side of vegetables.  In our home, this is the meal that makes it to the table countless times a year.

Mozzarella Penne Rosa Pasta

When it comes to dinner, I’m always looking for side dishes to compliment the meal.  Birds Eye® Protein Blends offer a unique way to add more vegetables to your diet.

What I love about this recipe is how little of prep time is involved.  It’s as simple as chopping up a few vegetables and combining it with cooked pasta. This meal takes 25 minutes to make.  It can be made fresh or in advance. Sometimes, I find myself making the sauce ahead of time and serve it the next day.

Sun Dried Tomato Penne Pasta

Both of these amazing Birds Eye® Protein Blends were purchased at Walmart®.  They can be found in the freezer aisle near the frozen vegetables.  I like to stock up on a few of these for busy weeknight dinners.  It makes meal planning so much easier and results in less waste.  It takes a few minutes to make and is all hands-off time which is valuable to me.  Most times, I can dish up dinner while these cook.

Cheesy Mozzarella Penne Rosa Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes

Our family likes that the vegetables taste fresh.  It comes seasoned, whether it be with herbs and spices or a sauce.  It has a great taste that my whole family loves.

 We’ll be saving the Southwest Style Protein Blend for later in the week.  It will be great as a side for tacos or a southwestern chicken wrap recipe.

Italian Style Protein Blend

Birds Eye® Protein Blends come in 4 delicious flavors. Southwest Style, California Style, Italian Style, and Asian Style.  The flavors are satisfying and fun to pair with different meals.

 We’re huge fans of these easy-to-prepare side dishes.  We’ve tried them all and they make the meal plan rotation in our house.  Birds Eye® Protein Blends are So Veggie Good!TM 

Birds Eye Protein Blends

What are some of your favorite family dinners to make?

Mozzarella Penne Rosa Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes

Creamy sun-dried tomato, spinach and cheesy mozzarella marinara pasta served with Birds Eye® Italian Style Protein Blends
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Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms (, chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (, minced or zested)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 8 ounce penne pasta
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 jar ((24 ounces) marinara sauce)
  • 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream or half & half
  • 1 cup mozzarella (, shredded)
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (, shredded (or 1/2 tablespoon dried basil))
  • 1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese (, shredded)


  • Fill a large pot with water and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil then place on stove top over medium high heat. The pasta will be added once it starts boiling.
  • In a separate pan, Place oil in large skillet over medium low heat. Add sun dried tomatoes and chopped mushrooms. Sun dried tomatoes will burn if left too long. Flip once then remove to cutting board and dice them; set aside. Continue to Sautee mushrooms for 3 minutes, stirring with spatula. Stir in minced/zested garlic and continue to sautee for 2-3 minutes making sure they don't burn. Stir in broth/stock and reduced heat to low. Stir in 24 ounces marinara sauce, red pepper flakes and half of the sun dried tomatoes then simmer for 10 minutes stirring it occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, pour penne pasta into boiling pot and cook according to package direction. Drain pasta and set aside once done.
  • Stir in heavy cream/half & half into skillet and stir to combine for 3 minutes. Stir in shredded mozzarella cheese and stir to combine. Fold in fresh baby spinach, combining everything well. Allow to cook for 5 minutes. Stir in penne pasta and dried basil, if using. Top with chopped fresh basil, sun dried tomatoes and shredded Parmesan cheese.
  • Prepare Birds Eye® Italian Style Protein Blends package according to package directions. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve as a side dish.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pinnacle Foods Group LLC. The opinions and texts are all mine.

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  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Platter Talk
    02/13/2016 at 4:15 pm

    5 stars
    This penne pasta dish is drop-dead gorgeous; the sun-dried tomatoes take it to an entirely new level!

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Mark, Compass & Fork
    02/13/2016 at 4:37 pm

    5 stars
    Aagh, the flavors of Italy. Such an inviting looking dish.

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Sam | Ahead of Thyme
    02/13/2016 at 5:29 pm

    I love a good bowl of pasta. This looks super delicious and I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    02/14/2016 at 3:37 am

    Gosh this looks and sounds absolutely amazing! The perfect comfort food recipe!

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Barely Vegan
    02/14/2016 at 4:08 pm

    That pasta looks ridiculously good!! I’ll be saving this recipe. Thank you!! 🙂

    • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
      Jessica Knott
      02/15/2016 at 12:28 pm

      It’s pretty delish! Thanks for saving and stopping by today!

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    12/07/2020 at 9:30 pm

    Tastes great, but you really need to revise cook time to at least 25 mins. &that’s based on the minimums in the recipe

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