Baked pasta. Pasta, sauce, meat, cheese, and more cheese bake until bubbly. We all love it. We all crave its comforting qualities on days when only pasta will do. You know the days.
It is easy to think pasta –especially cheesy baked pasta – is forever gone once the healthy eating and weight loss journey begins. Nope. With a little portion control and the right ingredients pasta can still be part of your lifestyle. Your welcome. You know I got your back 😉
This baked pasta recipe is slightly adapted from the Weight Watchers One Pot Cookbook. It is a great basic recipe that can easily be modified to ingredients you have on hand. It called for Italian turkey sausage but you can easily use ground beef or ground turkey. Also, I think it would taste great with some sautéed mushrooms, onions, and/or peppers. Play around with it.
I kept this recipe clean eating friendly by using all natural Italian turkey sausage. I know organic would be better but that is the closest my grocery store had. I also used organic pasta and organic sauce. If you have homemade pasta sauce on hand then you can certainly used that. However, if you don’t, keep it easy with a jar of organic sauce.
In most baked pasta recipes the cheese can really send the calories and fat over the top. The key is to measure measure measure! Cheese is perfectly fine to use as long as you know how much you are using in the recipe. This recipe calls for 1 cup of shredded part skim mozzarella and 4 tablespoons of grated parmesan. This was the perfect amount of cheese.
This recipe can be assemble ahead of time and kept in the fridge overnight. Follow baking instructions when ready to eat. You might need to add 10 minutes or so to fully cook. This can also be assemble and frozen ahead of time in a casserole dish or using the casserole method describe in my freezer chicken parmesan. I recommend taking out the day before and letting thaw in the refriderator. Again, you will have to add on cooking time depending how frozen it is when putting it in the oven.
I really enjoyed this recipe. It was tasty, cheesy, and totally satisfied my comfort food craving. Look how delicious that is.
- 12 ounces whole grain penne pasta, cooked al dente
- ½ pound italian poultry sausage (I could not find ground so I used 2 sausage patties), cooked and broken into small pieces
- 2 cups basil and tomato jarred spagetti sauce
- 1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
- 4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons seasoned italian breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Spray a 7 x 11 casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl mix together pasta, sausage, 1 cup sauce, ½ cup mozzarella, 2 tablespoon parmesan, and oregano. Pour into casserole dish.
- Pour last cup of sauce over top and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top then cover with foil and bake 20 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake for another 10 - 15 minutes or until cheese is completely melted.