Three Cheese Ziti with Turkey

4.25 from 4 votes

This pasta is just as comforting as any other pasta, but healthy!

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:

4.25 from 4 votes

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 Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield 8 people
Serving Size 1 cup
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
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.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 228mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 8
Keywords Budget-Friendly, Diabetic-Friendly, Kid-Friendly, Pasta

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The SkinnyMs. team believes that all people, regardless of age, size, and fitness level, have the power to transform their lives — they just need the resources to do so. The SkinnyMs. method promotes healthy living through a combination of clean eating and regular exercise. We offer everything you need to be successful.

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  1. 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! 😉

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

    1. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

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