Baked Pasta with a Turkey Meat Sauce

With fall, comes the cool crisp air and the desire for warm, comforting food. This dish definitely delivered. It was so delicious and hearty that Adam asked if we could have leftovers of this the next night instead of what I was going to cook. I found this on Proceed with Caution and it sounded so fabulous, and it was! Not to mention it was so easy to put together…plus, while it’s baking it gives you time to clean up the kitchen! (This dish is also known to nurse any wounds created by a huge upset during football season…not that I know from experience or anything;) We’ll just say #1 fell and it was a sad day at our house).

Baked Pasta with a Turkey Meat Sauce
Source: Proceed With Caution from Clean Eating Magazine, Jan./Feb. 2009


16 ounces whole wheat penne or pasta of your choice
2 small zucchini, washed and cut into 1/2″ quarters
olive oil cooking spray
1 lb lean ground turkey
3 cups no salt added tomato sauce
1/2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 ounces part skim mozzarella cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot, bring water to boil. Once boiling, add a pinch of salt & pasta & cook according to package directions. When pasta has approximately two minutes left of cooking time, add in the zucchini & boil for remaining cooking time. Pour pasta & zucchini into colander & drain. Return pasta to pot.

While pasta is cooking, spray a large skillet with cooking spray and brown turkey meat over medium heat, approximately 7 minutes. Once browned, stir in tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, basil, garlic powder, salt & pepper. Cover & bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and simmer for approximately 4 minutes, stirring as needed. Stir turkey meat sauce into the pasta and toss to combine, being careful not to break any of the pasta.

Spray a 2 qt. baking dish with cooking spray, layer 1/2 of the pasta with turkey meat sauce on the bottom of the dish. Cover with 2/3 of the mozzarella cheese. Top with remaining pasta mixture, then the rest of the mozzarella & paremesan. Bake for approximately 18 minutes, until cheese is completely melted.

**Optional: I also broiled it for 2 minutes additionally to get the cheese nice & golden & bubbly, do this with extreme caution and watch very closely so you do not burn it!**

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  1. Yum! Looks like a great fall meal, plus nice and hearty.

  2. That looks wonderful! I love pasta dishes.

    -Krystal @

  3. newmanfamily says:

    I have a very similiar recipe but don't add the zucchini so I will have to try that.I actually bought the ground turkey to make it this week. So I will have to add the zucchini – always wanting to add veggies for the kiddos.

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  5. This dish is one of the few I have been able to easily make and actually enjoy (my husband is the cook in our family). We’ve had this at least four times now! Really great!