Home-cooked casseroles can be healthy, too!
There is something about a warm, gooey pasta casserole that sparks cravings and makes you want to dig right in. While your oven cranks up the warmth and the perfume of home cooking permeates the house, you get the sense that wholesome, home-cooked meals are the best way to nourish yourself and your family. This chicken and penne parmesan casserole has loads of flavor, but is low in excess fat and calories. And did we mention the applause you’ll receive when you bring this dish to the table?
Chicken and Penne Parmesan Casserole
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 pound lean ground chicken or turkey
- 24 ounces marinara sauce jar, no sugar added, store bought or homemade
- 12 ounces whole-grain penne uncooked (3 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 cup parmesan freshly grated, divided
- 3/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese grated
- 1/4 cup parsley coarsely chopped, loosely packed or garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Boil a pot of salted water for the pasta and cook according to package directions, until the pasta is al dente.
- Over medium heat, in a skillet, cook the ground poultry for about 8 minutes, or until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Add all of the marinara sauce and stir.
- Mix the drained pasta with the sauce,1/4 cup of the Parmesan and the mozzarella cheese. Transfer the pasta to a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray or greased with a small amount of olive oil. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on top of the pasta then drizzle with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.
- Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until a golden crust forms on top.
- Let it rest for about 5 - 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley just prior to serving, if desired.
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