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:
- Garden Salad with Lemon and Oil Dressing
- Mediterranean 3 Bean and Corn Salad
- Classic Cucumber and Tomato Salad
Three Cheese Ziti with Turkey
- 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.