I love pasta bakes, especially when the fall weather starts to get a bit more crisp. Nothing is easier than making a big pan of baked pasta and pre-cutting and storing portions ahead of time for lunch or dinner, which is something I do with this one.
While a pasta bake with marinara sauce and lots of cheese is delicious, it also comes with a heavy calorie and fat load. For this recipe, I lighten things up using pureed butternut squash, which helps bind things together and adds loads of nutrition without extra fat. The turkey adds lean protein and the sage and thyme really give it that warm, cool weather flavor that makes me think of the coming holiday season. Let me know if you give it a try!
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 pound of extra lean ground turkey breast
- 1 16 oz. box of rotini pasta, prepared as directed on packaging
- 1 jar of light marinara/pasta sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Rustico brand, but anything with 40-50 calories per half cup serving counts as ‘light’)
- 2 cups of mashed cooked butternut squash (From a can, steamed in a bag and mashed or roasted and mashed)
- 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
- 2 cups of reduced fat shredded cheese, divided
- 1 tablespoon of ground dried sage
- 1 teaspoon of ground dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- A dash or two of black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a 2 quart baking dish in nonstick spray (I use Bertolli Olive Oil spray) and set aside.
Prepare rotini pasta to ‘al dente’ directions on box, with pasta just slightly firm. Drain and set aside.
In a nonstick skillet, saute the onion and brown the turkey. Drain of any liquid before adding marinara sauce, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix to incorporate.
Add pasta, meat sauce, butternut squash, breadcrumbs and , 1 cup of the shredded cheese, and parmesan cheese to baking dish and mix well. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese on top and cover with foil.
Bake covered in oven for 40 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into eight servings.
Nutrition Info | Makes 8 servings
340 calories, 10g. fat, 46.5g carbs, 3.3g fiber, 22g protein
9 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per serving