This past weekend was my daughter’s birthday and she asked for baked ziti. Baked ziti made the way I usually make it didn’t really fit into how my husband and I are trying to eat right now…lighter and on the healthier side. I decided that I could still make a delicious baked pasta dish that I know my daughter would love, but with a little less cheese and with ground turkey instead of beef. My husband gave me a million compliments and my kids ate it for two days.
I’ll mark this one down as a keeper (just don’t tell my Italian grandparents I put cottage cheese instead of ricotta in baked ziti!!)
Lightened Up Bake Ziti
makes 8-10 servings
1 lb whole wheat ziti or penne pasta
1 lb lean ground turkey
28 oz can Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
15 oz can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
3/4 of a 16 oz container of 1% cottage cheese
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese, for topping
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cook pasta according to directions.
While pasta is cooking, brown onions and ground turkey in a nonstick skillet. Season with oregano, garlic, salt and pepper while browning.
Drain pasta when cooked, and put back into same pot along with ground turkey (drained), tomatoes, sauce, cottage cheese, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Gently stir until all ingredients are combined.
Pour pasta mixture into a lightly greased (with nonstick spray) 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake in oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is golden brown.
Serve warm. Leftovers can be stored in the freezer for future dinners.
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