For me, pasta is the epitome of comfort food. I have many favorite dishes on the Skinny Ms site (honorable mentions definitely go to this Mediterranean-Style Greek Pasta and Easy Chicken Pasta Primavera). But, this rustic and healthy baked rigatoni with peppers and sausage is not only the quickest to prepare, but it also delivers on flavor every single time. Rigatoni is tossed with your favorite marinara sauce, lean turkey sausage, sweet peppers, and cheese. Then, just bake it until it’s hot and bubbly for yummy dinner any night of the week.
We love swapping pork or beef for ground turkey (or in this case, turkey sausage). It is not only lighter, but it’s also usually cheaper than higher fat alternatives. If you’re not into turkey sausage, Italian pork sausage will work just as well. Just be sure to cook the sausage longer and drain off the fat if you’re minding calories. To amp up the flavor, don’t be afraid to add chili flakes, freshly ground black pepper, or fresh basil over a pasta like this.
Another reason this Healthy Baked Rigatoni with Peppers and Sausage dish will leave you feeling less sluggish is the absence of heavy dosings of olive oil. As much as olive oil is a staple for any pasta dish, we often add much more than we need. If you want to add a drizzle for flavor, save it for the end and let people add it themselves upon serving.
Another tip: As you cook the rigatoni in the velvety marinara sauce, make sure remove the pasta slightly before it’s al dente. This is because it will cook further in the oven, so you want to prevent overcooked pasta.
Made Too Much?
Add leftover turkey and pepper into a fresh baguette for a lighter Italian-inspired sub lunch. This healthy baked rigatoni with peppers and sausage is also perfect for family gatherings, potlucks, or for meal preppers. Make it the day before; after work, pop into the oven until it’s hot and bubbly. Depending on how many you are serving, you can easily divide this in half and freeze it for another night.
Healthy Baked Rigatoni with Peppers and Sausage
- 1 pound ground turkey sausage
- 2 whole bell peppers sliced into strips
- 1 1 pound box whole wheat rigatoni cooked
- 1 32 ounce jar no-sugar added marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 inch casserole dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
- In a large high sided skillet, cook the turkey sausage breaking it into small chunks as it cooks. When fully cooked, drain off any excess liquid and return to heat. Add the peppers and cook just until the peppers begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Stir in the rigatoni, marinara, and water.
- Pour the pasta into the prepared casserole dish and top with the mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until cheese begins to brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
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