For some reason “easy baked ziti” popped into my head today as I was peering into the fridge this afternoon.
A favorite growing up, I haven’t made it for years.
But as I was contemplating what to make for dinner, I saw staring back at me a everything I needed to put together a pan of easy baked ziti – cooked pasta (fusilli – not ziti – but close enough), cottage cheese and a package of ground turkey.
Now there are dozens of ways to make an easy baked ziti from simple to complex.
You can use sausage or ground beef or turkey or make it vegetarian.
And whatever variety and combination of cheese you prefer.
In some recipes everything is stirred together and in others the pasta and sauce are layered like in lasagna.
I’m sure everyone has their favorite, but this simple easy version is based on what was available today in my kitchen. I guess it’ not even technically baked ziti, since I used fusilli, but its close enough to satisfy the craving
This is an easy versatile recipe. Feel free to substitute sausage for the ground beef or turkey (or leave it out for a vegetarian option.) You also can add extra vegetables, Cooked chopped mushrooms, zucchini, peppers and spinach all would be good.
- 8 ounces ziti or other short cut pasta, uncooked (about 2 cups)
- ½ pound extra lean ground beef or ground turkey
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 3 cups spaghetti sauce
- 2 cups nonfat cottage cheese (pureed in a blender for a creamier result if desired)
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cook ziti according to package directions. Drain, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, crumble meat in a large skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Add onions. Saute, breaking up the meat into crumbles, until it is fully cooked, about 10 minutes.
- Add the spaghetti sauce.
- In large bowl, combine cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, parsley, and garlic powder. Mix thoroughly. Add cooked ziti and mix well.
- Spread about ⅓ of the meat, onion, and spaghetti sauce mixture in bottom of prepared pan.
- Spoon ziti and cheese mixture into pan. Pour the remaining sauce mixture over the top. Sprinkle with a little more grated Parmesan if desired. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes.
If you liked this easy baked ziti you might also like:
*PointsPlus® for this easy baked ziti made lighter calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.