Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Photo by: Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl

Cheesy Pasta Bake

Cheesy Pasta Bake is the perfect comfort food that the whole family will enjoy. Jar marinara starts gives the cook a jump start on  the recipe.


Cooking Light MARCH 2012

  • Yield: Serves 8 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)
  • Hands-on: 39 Minutes
  • Total: 59 Minutes


  • 14 ounces uncooked ziti or mostaccioli
  • 12 ounces ground turkey breast
  • 8 ounces sweet turkey Italian sausage, casings removed
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 5 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce (such as McCutcheon's)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 6 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided (about 1/2 cup packed)
  • 2 tablespoons small basil leaves or torn basil


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain and set aside.

3. Place turkey and sausage in a medium bowl, and mix well with hands to combine. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add turkey mixture to pan; cook 8 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove from pan.

4. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and pepper; sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté for 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add wine, scraping the pan to loosen browned bits, and cook for 4 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Stir in pasta, turkey mixture, marinara sauce, and 1/2 cup basil. Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9–inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese melts and begins to brown. Remove from oven; sprinkle with basil leaves and the remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 492
  • Fat: 14.2g
  • Saturated fat: 6.1g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 4.8g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.4g
  • Protein: 30.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 88g
  • Fiber: 2.4g
  • Cholesterol: 72mg
  • Iron: 2.8mg
  • Sodium: 708mg
  • Calcium: 224mg

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Cheesy Pasta Bake Recipe