Weight Watchers Recipe of the Day: Mom’s Easy Baked Ziti Made Lighter
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, cottage cheese and a package of ground turkey.
Skinny on Mom’s Easy Baked Ziti Made Lighter
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.
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.
Easy Baked Ziti Recipe Variations:
Meat – Ground beef, ground turkey, or sausage would work, as would sliced meatballs
Cheese – Ricotta or cottage cheese for creaminess. A layer of fresh slice mozzarella or provolone would be nice
Veg it Up – Add chopped cooked mushrooms, zucchini, peppers or spinach
According to my calculations each serving has 364 calories and *9 SmartPoints.
If you like this Easy Baked Ziti Made Lighter, be sure to check out some of my other Weight Watchers friendly recipes including Healthy 4-Ingredient Pasta with Pesto & Tomatoes, Creamy Slow Cooker Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta, Skinny Sausage Pasta with Vegetables, Light & Creamy Slow Cooker Pasta Primavera and Slow Cooker Chicken Pasta Fagioli.
Weight Watchers friendly easy baked ziti made light and delicious, for a comforting dinner the whole family will love!
- 8 ounces ziti or other short cut pasta, uncooked (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 pound extra lean ground beef or ground turkey
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 3 cups spaghetti sauce
- 2 cups non-fat 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
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Cook ziti according to package directions. Drain, and set aside.
Meanwhile, crumble meat in a large skillet coated with non-stick cooking spray. Add onions. Saute, breaking up the meat into crumbles, until it is fully cooked, about 10 minutes.
Stir the spaghetti sauce into the meat.
In large bowl, combine cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, parsley, and garlic powder. Mix thoroughly. Add cooked ziti and mix well.
Spread about 1/3 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.
*9 Weight Watchers PointsPlus
*9 Weight Watchers SmartPoints
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.
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