Baked Penne with Spinach and Turkey Sausage

Fresh spinach and turkey sausage are mixed with whole wheat penne and marinara sauce, then topped with low-fat cheese. YUM! This is one of my husband’s favorite recipes, and I’m sure your family will love it too. Admittedly, this is probably not the healthiest recipe I’ve ever posted, but it is much lower in fat than a traditional baked ziti. I like to load this up with as much fresh spinach as I possibly can. You don’t really taste it much and it helps boost the nutritional profile of the dish. Overall, this baked penne is filling and delicious!!

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Added bonus: you can easily make this vegetarian by omitting the turkey sausage.

Baked Penne with Spinach and Turkey Sausage

Ingredients:

  • 1 box whole wheat penne
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Fresh spinach roughly chopped-at least 8 oz but up to 16oz. (May substitute chopped frozen spinach)
  • 1 lb mild turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 16 oz jar of your favorite marinara sauce (I used Prego’s Roasted Garlic and Herb)
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat grated parmesan
  • 8 oz fat free ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups (8 oz) shredded par-skim mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper

1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add penne and cook according to package directions. Drain and return to pot.

2) Preheat oven to 350F, Spray a 9 x13 pan with cooking spray.

2) Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add sausage and cook thoroughly, using a spatula or wooden spoon to break up the meat into smaller chunks. When sausage is cooked, add chopped spinach and cook until wilted.

4). Pour marinara sauce over pasta. Add spinach/sausage mixture. Add half the mozzarella, and all of the ricotta cheese and parmesan. Pour pasta mixture into baking dish and top with remaining half of mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serves 12. Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 303 Fat: 10g Carbs: 33g Protein: 23g Fiber: 5.5g

Recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.

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