Delicious and (mostly) Nutritious Baked Pene with Meat Sauce!

I found this recipe on pinterest and thought it was a good way to get some delicious pasta without going too overboard on my “diet”…yes I used it in quotes because it’s almost a joke at this point.  I actually cut the recipe in half, so if you want to try it out and have enough for more than 2 people, make sure you double all portions!

  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2  (24 ounce) jar pasta sauce (I used vodka sauce, but you can choose whatever is your favorite!)
  • 2 cups cooked penne (about 2-1/2 cups dry shells)
  • 1/4 cup fat free cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 cups low fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley


Ok, now to the fun part – putting it all together!  Here’s what I did:

STEP 1:  In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground turkey, diced onion, and minced garlic until turkey has lost its pink color.  Once it’s done, you can drain any excess fat from the turkey and set aside.  Don’t worry about it getting cold because you’re going to bake it anyways.

meat and onions

STEP 2:  Add the entire jar of pasta sauce, stir.

STEP 3:  Cook penne according the package instructions, al dente preferred.

STEP 4:  After draining, add the pasta to the cooked turkey and sauce

meat and onions with pasta

STEP 5:  In a large mixing bowl combine cottage cheese, 1.5 cups mozzarella, ricotta, and herbs.

cheese mix

STEP 6:  In a 8″ x 8″  pan, add 1/2 turkey mixture (cooked turkey, marinara and cooked penne) and top with the cheese mixture.  You may need to use your fingers to distribute it because its pretty sticky.

pasta first layer

STEP 7: Top with remaining turkey/penne/sauce mixture and 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella


pasta second la yer

STEP 8:  Bake at 375 degreesF for 30 minutes

STEP 9:  Enjoy!  I’m an idiot so I didnt take a picture of the final product…probably because by that time I was foaming at the mouth and ready to eat…but it was delicious!    This meal actually only has about 300 calories per serving and close to 20g of protein!  Not bad for a good, and filling, dinner!  Of course I added garlic bread and a glass (or 2) of wine with my meal, so my meal wasn’t healthy at all, but all I’m trying to say is that it could be healthy if you wanted it to be! Enjoy! 🙂


About erinHasThoughts

I just started eHT in January of 2011, and I'm shocked and humbled that people read it! For some reason it seems like I am always in the most ridiculous situations and witness things only seen in movies, so I like to share my experiences with all of you. Thanks for reading! xo

Posted on June 6, 2013, in Recipes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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