Cheesy, saucy, noodle-y, and satisfying; this lightened up version will not disappoint.

Just imagine whole grain penne tossed with ground meat, three different cheeses (mozzarella, ricotta and Parm), flavorful tomato sauce… and then baked to perfection. I also sneak in some spinach for added nutrition and fiber. It’s baked ziti bliss!

Try my Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese.

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Baked Ziti Casserole

Cheesy, saucy, noodle-y, and satisfying; this lightened up version will not disappoint.
Servings: 12 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 1 box, 14 to 16 ounces whole grain ziti or penne noodles (smaller tubes work best)
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey, at least 90% lean
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 10 ounces frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
  • ¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 to 1½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 24 ounces marinara sauce
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan


  • Preheat the oven to 350˚. Liberally coat a 9×13 casserole dish with nonstick oil spray, and set aside.
  • Cook pasta to al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  • In a large pan, cook the ground turkey, using a wooden spoon to break the meat into crumbles. Add onion powder and garlic powder. Stir frequently, pouring small amounts of pasta water into the pan to help incorporate browned bits from bottom. Once browned, remove from the stove.
  • In a separate bowl, blend the drained spinach, tomatoes, egg, egg white, ricotta, basil and oregano. Add to the ground turkey mixture and combine. Add 1 cup of the mozzarella, all the marinara sauce and cooked ziti. Mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spoon ziti mixture into baking dish. Cover pan loosely with foil paper and place in oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and divide remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese evenly over each. Place back in the oven uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and enjoy!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian

Nutrition Information per serving

Calories: 290Carbohydrates: 15gProtein: 22gTotal Fat: 9g— Unsaturated Fat: 6g— Saturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 450mgFiber: 6gTotal Sugar: 5g— Natural Sugar: 5g— Added Sugar: 0g
Nutrition information is calculated using a leading industry software. That being said, brands can vary, and there may be slight fluctuations in the numbers.
I’m hoping you loved this recipe! If you made it and want to share feedback, I’d be so grateful to hear from you. Please leave a review below or tag @joybauer on Instagram!