Cheesy Wheaty Baked Ziti

By Peggy D. and Joseph M. from Mt Laurel Elementary, Birmingham, Alabama.


This healthy main dish recipe was developed by Darlene Malinoski using seasonings to enhance the flavor of simple ingredients.  Using whole wheat pasta and ground turkey, we transformed this Italian favorite into a kid-friendly entree.  The combination of melted cheeses, meat sauce, and pasta appeals to palates of all ages!  



Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 c

From Fat29.8%
From Saturated Fat9.4%
From Sugar10.0%


Ingredient 6 servings 50 servings
Turkey, ground0.8 lb6.64 lb
Onions, chopped, frozen1/2 c/0.4 oz1 qt
Tomatoes, canned, diced3.0 c1.5 gal 1c
Basil, crushed1/2 t1 T 1 t
Garlic powder1.0 t2 T 2 t
Salt-free seasoning1 1/2 t1/4 c 1/2 t
Italian seasoning1 1/2 t1/4 c 1/2 t
Cottage cheese, small curd1.0 c2 qt 1/3 c
Mozzarella cheese, shredded1.0 c2 qt 1/3 c
Parmesan cheese, grated1/4 c1 pt 1.3 T
Penne pasta, whole grain1 3/4 c3 qt 1.3 pt


Brown ground turkey. Drain. Add onions and continue cooking. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and seasonings to turkey. Heat to boiling, uncovered. Remove from heat. Prepare pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. Drain. Put cottage cheese in small bowl (6 servings recipe) or in food processor. Mash or process until it resembles ricotta cheese. Add the parmesan cheese and 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese. (The remaining half is for topping.) Spray casserole dish (for 6 servings recipe) or 2 steamtable pans (12" x 20" x 2 1/2") with pan release spray. Pour enough meat sauce in each pan to lightly cover bottom of container. Then mix the remainder of the meat sauce with the cooked pasta. Pour half of the meat/pasta mixture in each pan. Spoon cheese mixture on top and spread evenly over meat/pasta mixture. Then top with the remaining meat/pasta mixture and cover with foil. Bake in preheated conventional oven at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or in preheated convection oven at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. CCP: Heat to 165 degrees F or higher for at least 15 seconds. Remove pans from oven and uncover. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese. CCP: Hold for hot service at 135 degrees F or higher. Serve with 8 oz spoodle or scoop.