Three Cheese Ziti with Turkey

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The Italian cheese blend in our baked ziti is lightened up and made even creamier with the addition of cottage cheese. Like a magic trick, you’ve got to find out for yourself how this works, and then you can do it time and again, in a lot of recipes.

You can use the cheese blend in other recipes like lasagna or cheese ravioli, or add spoonfuls to other pasta creations you want to make creamy. We like the whole grain pasta or a high protein pasta such as the Barilla Plus pasta, which is made with chickpeas. Feel free to try a gluten-free variety of pasta as well!

You can even add sliced button mushrooms instead of the turkey in your ziti, just saute them in place of the turkey, and you’ve added a vegetarian source of protein. Cooked tomato in the marinara sauce adds lycopene. Try making our marinara sauce if you would like a homemade one.

Add a salad on the side and you’ve got one healthy and delicious meal:

Three Cheese Ziti with Turkey

This creamy baked Italian dish is a budget-friendly family meal that will make even the pickiest eaters happy.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Budget-Friendly, Diabetic-Friendly, Kid-Friendly, Pasta
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 289kcal
Author: SkinnyMs.


  • 1 pound lean ground turkey optional, if you prefer meatless
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 24 ounce marinara jar - no sugar added
  • 4 cups ziti or penne shells, cooked (cook according to package, about 2-1/2 cups dry shells)
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese fat free
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese low fat
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded, low fat
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano


  • In a large skillet add ground turkey, diced onion, minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and cayenne pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, breaking up meat as you go, cook until turkey has lost its pink color. Drain any fat from turkey and add the entire jar of marinara sauce, stir.
  • Cook ziti or penne shells according to the package instructions, al dente is preferred (firm but not hard). Drain and add to cooked turkey and marinara.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine cottage cheese, mozzarella, ricotta and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and oregano.
  • In a large casserole dish or 9" x 13" pan, add 1/2 turkey mixture (cooked turkey, marinara and cooked shells), top with half cheese mixture, repeat.
  • Cook uncovered for approximately 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 228mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 8

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28 Comments on "Three Cheese Ziti with Turkey"

  1. Stephanie  February 11, 2012

    Can I make this in the crock pot? It is very yummy!!!

    • Skinny Ms.  February 12, 2012

      Stephanie, Sure…just follow the directions for the Slow Cooker Ziti.

  2. Sara Deaver  June 19, 2012

    Made this last night, it's delicious!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Skinny Ms.  June 19, 2012

      Sara, You're so welcome! Glad you enjoyed. 🙂

  3. Stephanie Harrison  August 10, 2012

    I have to admit that I've only made a couple of your recipes, but this one is really good! This is my favorite! Maybe if I win that cookbook I can start making a whole lot more! 😉

  4. Eryn  September 22, 2012

    What is the serving size for that calorie count?

  5. mothra6374  September 30, 2012

    I made this last week & we decided it's going into the regular recipe rotation.

  6. Helene  November 26, 2012

    sounds great..but would love to know the nutritional value…calories, etc..thanks so much..can't wait to try this..

    • Skinny Ms.  November 27, 2012

      Helene, Look above the recipe for the data! Servings: 8 | Calories: 289 | Total Fat: 7 g | Previous Points: 5 | Points Plus: 6 | Saturated Fat: 3 g | Trans Fat: 0 | Cholesterol: 20 mg | Sodium: 228 mg | Carbohydrates: 43 g | Sugars 3 g | Dietary Fiber: 5 g | Protein: 15 g

  7. korina  December 30, 2012

    Do you know the calories per serving if the turkey is omitted?


    • Skinny Ms.  December 31, 2012

      Korina, Calories will be closer to 200 w/o the turkey.

  8. Jody  April 3, 2013

    What if I would like to change the ricotta cheese with another cheese? What cheese would you recommend? I am not a fan of ricotta!

    • Skinny Ms.  April 3, 2013

      Jody, Replace with equal amount of mozzarella or cottage cheese…or a combination.

  9. Susan Krick LaBranche  April 11, 2013

    This is great!!! I switched out 1 cup of mozz. for 1/2 c. asiago / parm mix and 1/2 c. Italian blend low fat to pep up the cheese flavor. It was wonderful and 1/2 is in the freeze in calorie portions!!! Love it!

  10. Patty Rosellini  June 25, 2013

    Anyone done this in crockpot?????

  11. Nikki  August 15, 2013

    Do you think this could be frozen?

    • Skinny Ms.  August 16, 2013

      Nikki, Before or after cooking? I would recommend freezing before cooking.

  12. Dawn  March 31, 2014

    How much is a serving size 1cup-2cups?

    • SkinnyMs  April 2, 2014

      1 cup.

  13. Tabitha  January 21, 2016

    Is the protein still the same if the protein plus penne pasta is used?

    • Gale Compton  January 21, 2016


      That would increase the protein somewhat. Check the box to see what the increase is. 🙂

  14. Cynthia  February 6, 2017

    How much is a serving size?

  15. Cat  August 21, 2020

    Can I make ahead and freeze?

    • Gale Compton  August 21, 2020

      Cat, Definitely! This recipe is perfect for freezing.


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