Monday, March 29, 2010

Baked Pasta with a Turkey Meat Sauce

Winter will soon be a distant memory, and before we are enjoying the comforts of spring, I thought I would share a great cold weather comfort dish. I challenged myself to truly follow the limits of the amount of cheese in the recipe. If my husband is anywhere near me while cooking, I feel compelled to add more because he always looks at me like he's thinking, "that's all?"


However, precisely one cup of cheese worked out perfectly for this dish!  I swapped out the asparagus for some zucchini, which worked great.  This is a delicious, hearty, comforting meal!

Baked Pasta with a Turkey Meat Sauce
Source: Clean Eating Magazine, January/February 2009
Serves: 6

12 ounces whole wheat penne or pasta of your choice
3/4 lb thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into two inch pieces, or 2 small zucchini, washed and cut into 1/2" quarters
olive oil cooking spray
3/4 lb lean ground turkey
3 cups no salt added tomato sauce (Muir Glen recommended)
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sea salt or coarse kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 ounces part skim mozzarella cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.  When pasta is one minute from being done, add the asparagus or zucchini and boil for 1 minute, then drain and return to pot.

Meanwhile, coat a large skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium high; add turkey and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes.  Add tomato sauce, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and simmer until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add turkey meat sauce to pasta and stir to combine.

Lightly coat a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray; add 1/2 the pasta mixture and sprinkle with 2/3 of the mozzarella.  Add remaining pasta mixture and top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Nutritional information per 1 1/2 cup serving:
Calories: 400
Total Fat: 6 g
Sat Fat: 3 g
Carbs: 56g
Fiber 8 g
Sugars: 8g
Protein: 28 g
Sodium: 270  mg
Cholesterol: 40 mg


  1. This looks delicious! I love a good cheesy pasta dish!

  2. looks good. i think ill make that for dinner tommorow

  3. I love your picture! Looks like the perfect amount of cheese to me :)

  4. Just made this tonight...YUM! Thanks for sharing your deliciousness!