Healthy Recipes to Keep You Fit and Fabulous

Posts tagged ‘healthy italian’

Baked Spinach Ziti

Oh, Mondays.  They never cease to wear me out!


I woke up bright and early to get ready to teach at the middle school.  I made myself a yogurt bowl and some coffee before heading out the door.

I topped a cup of Chobani 0% Vanilla Greek Yogurt with a sliced banana, a tablespoon of peanut butter, and some cinnamon.


I packed my Vera Bradley lunchbag with a healthy little meal:

I topped a toasted whole wheat sandwich thin with deli turkey, reduced-fat provolone cheese and mustard.  On the side, I had some grapes, and a cup of Fage 2% Greek Yogurt with Honey combo:

When I got home from teaching, I decided it would be a good idea to get a head-start on dinner, so I wouldn’t have much to do when I got home from class.


When Corey and I had lunch on Sunday at 903 Mills Market, we flipped through a newspaper that was on the table and came across this advertisement:

A delicious-looking dish of baked ziti!  I haven’t had baked ziti in forever, and I thought it would be fun to make a healthified version for a weeknight meal.

Baked Spinach Ziti

Servings: 6-8


1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out (see demonstration here)

4 Hot Italian Turkey Sausages, removed from casings (you could substitute ground turkey or lean ground beef)

1/2 onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 tablespoon dried basil (or 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped)

1/2 tablespoon dried oregano

1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 28 oz. can tomato puree

2 1/2 cups (measured uncooked) whole wheat penne pasta

1 3/4 cups Fat Free Mozzarella, shredded

3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the sausage after you have removed the casings.

Use your spatula to break up the meat.  Cook until no longer pink.

Remove from heat.  Drain the oil from the meat, and set aside on a plate.

Heat a large skillet (big enough to hold the two 28 oz. cans of tomato) over medium heat.  Spray with nonstick spray, then add the chopped onion and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the chopped garlic and cook for an additional minute.

LOWER THE HEAT.  Add the diced tomatoes and the tomato puree.

Stir in the basil and oregano.

Raise heat to medium-low.  Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Add the meat to the sauce and simmer, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes.

Add the cooked pasta and stir until the noodles are coated with sauce.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a 9X9 baking dish, start by ladling about a cup of the sauce/noodle mixture into the bottom, just enough to make an even layer.

Divide the thawed spinach into thirds.  Evenly spread 1/3 of the spinach on top of the noodle mixture.

Evenly spread 1/4 cup of grated parmesan over top.

Top that with 1/2 cup of the shredded mozzarella.

Repeat the above steps until you have made 3 layers.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


Corey and I loved this recipe.  Seconds were enjoyed by both of us 🙂 .

Note: Don’t attempt to make this while wearing white pants…


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